Arts & Theater

Elevating Indigenous Perspectives with Rhiana Yazzie


Rhiana Yazzie: I went through a phase of: here’s all of my gifts, please take as much as you want, take anything from me, and I thought that’s how you are supposed to be a good person, you’re just supposed to lay it all out and be a free-for-all for anyone who wants it. And I will say to any young leaders: you can’t do that, because the moment where you realize that is not the strategy and you change, you start to shift, you start to solidify your boundaries, that’s a shock to everyone else that you’re serving.

Yura Sapi: You’re listening to Building Our Own Tables, a podcast produced for HowlRound Theatre Commons, a free and open platform for theatremakers worldwide. I’m your host, Yura Sapi, and I’m the founder of various organizations and projects including a 501(c)(3) non-profit, a six-hectare farm and food sovereignty project, and LGBTQ+ healing and art space. And I’ve helped numerous creatives, leaders, and other founders unleash their excellence into the world through my programs, workshops, and coaching services. In this podcast, I’m showcasing the high vibration solutions for you as a visionary leader to implement into your own practice and thrive. Stay tuned this season to hear from other founders who have built their own tables for their communities and for the world in this evolutionary time on earth. You are here for a reason, and I am so honored and grateful to support you on your journey, so stay tuned and enjoy.

Has anyone ever told you that your work won’t sell or that there’s no audience for the type of art that you make? This is the episode for you. In today’s episode, I interviewed Rhiana Yazzie, founder of New Native Theatre company. This incredible theatre company based out of the Twin Cities, Minneapolis, that is really focused on producing work of native artists, Native American indigenous artists for indigenous Native American audiences and community members. New Native Theatre produces commissioned and existing plays by native playwrights, community created plays about cultural and social justice topics, and presents just the best Native American productions from all around the continent. New Native Theatre also provides theatre training to Native American community members, really ushering in the next generation of Native American theatre artists that have gone on to take big stages and screen opportunities, really connecting a community network of different Native American organizations of different artistic disciplines and beyond.

In this episode, we get into topics around listening to your heart, your core, your why, and setting boundaries as a leader for your own growth and for the growth of your organization. Rhiana has fifteen years of experience running her own theatre company as a playwright as well. So get into this episode, learn from her unique indigenous wisdom. I can’t wait for you to experience this. We dive into different challenges that are bound to show up for you as you grow, and the ways in which you can overcome them, really let go of the limiting beliefs that might be surrounding you from other people’s perspectives, from the current state of the world that you might be experiencing, and connect to the truth about our role as humans on earth, as part of earth, as beings of earth. Without further ado, let’s get into this episode.

Before we get into this episode, go ahead and hit subscribe on this podcast. This is the best way to say updated on new episodes, and it helps build a thriving planet where all beings experience joy and harmony with each other and Mother Earth. So go ahead and hit subscribe and keep this good energy flowing.

Welcome, Rhiana, to the podcast. Thank you so much for being here.

Rhiana: Thank you so much for having me.

Yura: Yes, it’s such an honor and joy. I’d love to start off by asking you your superhero origin story. So what is that pivotal moment that really led you to forge your own path and build your own table?

Rhiana: Wow. I think there are a few things. My mom and my dad have both been very influential in me really valuing standing up for people. The moment came in theatre when I went to my very first play conference theatre reading, I got a letter in the mail that said, “We want to include your one act play long flight into this thing.” That was the first time a play of mine had ever gotten accepted. So I went there and I met this wonderful Tlingit artist named Diane Benson, and there was an evening one night at this festival up in Prince William Sound where people made a makeshift stage in a gym and just were sitting around—I guess it was more like a cafeteria. People were just reading random things that they wrote. And it was my understanding that there was a professor from the nearby college and he wrote this thing that had a bunch of stereotypical Indian images in it literally, and things like that.

And Diane and I were sitting next to each other and we were just like, “What the hell is this?” And then all of a sudden she stood up and she said, “This is bullshit. This is bullshit.” And I just remember, oh my God, I’d never seen native political action happening in the moment like that. And all these things went through my head, it was just like, “Oh my God, yeah, this is just theatre, you can stand up and say this is bullshit. There’s no actual fourth wall or anything. We’re just human beings trying to talk to each other and communicate and make work. If in an instant you have to get up and yell at a crowd on an indigenous land and tell them to stop, that… I didn’t say blew my mind. It blew my heart. It activated everything. And it was like, yeah, have a right to not be made fun of, turned into an object.

Why does that have to be our experience whereas everyone else gets to be a human being? They’re not made fun of in the same way, they’re not dehumanized. Really, her standing up and saying that was powerful. And I can’t say that I’ve ever done that since, wouldn’t rule it out though knowing me, but I know that there are ways to not be complicit and ways to stand up and ways to make your voice known. And as native artists, those first line of defense for how our people are being treated, because we’re out there in the world with the imagery, and if that’s a place where we can stop it, and honestly a pretty safe place to stop things, if you think about how people put their bodies on the line, I think it’s a simple act of courage. So I would say thank you Diane Benson for turning me into something.

Yura: Thank you, Diane Benson, for giving us this moment, and that’s such an amazing story. I feel inspired already, like you said, just having this invitation to stand up for whatever it is that you are feeling is not fitting what you need or what you want the world to be. Yeah, go ahead and stand up, and whether that’s creating your own table in this way or at these moments. And like you said, I think definitely we all have our ways of how we’re able to best be a part of this revolution, this evolution, I like to say too, because really it’s about what we’re becoming now. So thanks for standing up in this way and creating New Native Theatre. I’m really curious about that process too, how you ended up getting to that point where New Native Theatre exists now.

Rhiana: I’m a citizen of Navajo Nation, that’s how I grew up. My family, my community, and I grew up in Farmington, Mexico and Albuquerque, New Mexico, so I never actually lived on the reservation. I studied playwriting because a professor encouraged me. And then ultimately I moved to Minnesota in 2006, and that was on a playwriting fellowship. The people who are in Minnesota, the eleven federally recognized tribes are Dakota or Ojibwe, and then of course the surrounding tribes, many Lakota nations. And so the majority of the people that I’ve worked with have been local folks. But I came to the Playwrights’ Center in 2006 on an emerging playwright fellowship, and I really thought that there was going to be a professional native theatre for the stage, here’s a script, people learn lines and we do it, and there wasn’t.

I was really surprised because that’s the home of Theater Mu, now it’s the home of Penumbra Theatre, and also it’s the home of one of the most vibrant urban Indian communities in the whole nation because American Indian movement started in Minneapolis and a lot of legislation came through the minds of activists who lived in Minnesota. When I at the Playwrights’ Center set out to workshop my first play, it was like, “Where are all the native actors?” And they couldn’t cast it. So my cast looked like the United Nations. And that’s great if you write a play that’s intended for that, but if you write a play that’s about a specific cultural community, it’s really important to have people from those communities, those voices embodying those characters.

So that set me out on this journey as a talent scout, to be absolutely honest. If you go west on Franklin Avenue from the Playwrights’ Center, you will find the Minneapolis American Indian Center. And that was pretty much where I lived, my mainstay. I was there all the time, made a lot of friends, talent scouted, and then ultimately started to bring together people to do play projects, a lot of that started at the Indian Center there. So that’s in a nutshell how New Native Theatre started, because I just looked around and I saw so many talented native folks who weren’t doing theatre, but they were doing performance, and I absolutely wanted to bring all of those pieces together.

And so fifteen years later, have a very vibrant theatre company, a very vibrant performing arts community in Minneapolis, and majority of 99 percent of all the native folks who are doing theatre have walked through New Native Theatre’s doors at one point or another, including folks in television shows and movies nowadays. Minneapolis has been a hub for native artists and it’s just wonderful to be able to do the piece that is like theatre. So that’s how the company started in a nutshell, in my long acorn show.

Yura: Are you ready to build your own table? I’m thrilled to be expanding the work of our annual strategic planning institute where we cultivate visionaries creating projects, initiatives, and organizations for themselves and their communities around the world. The Strategic Planning Institute guides you through modules of exercises and practices that help you tap into your soul’s unique purpose in the work that you are doing in the organization that you will launch as the leader and founder. Take it from me as someone who has birds out into the world all kinds of projects, including this podcast, I am so excited to be supporting you on your journey of making this world a better place, and it’s my purpose to be helping you do this. I’m so grateful to have been trained and certified to really curate an incredible space for you to transform and expand outward.

There’s no need to wait any longer. This is your moment. The earth is calling you. So go ahead and sign up with us at LiberArte to be notified on the next opening for the Strategic Planning Institute. Together in our local communities, we combine as a network of change makers. And if you’re looking for even more curated support, you can book a one-on-one coaching package to guide you through immediately on what you need to start your own organization to build your own table that is abundant, sustainable, and full of love for yourself and your community. And you can always join our free network of visionaries, a community online forum curated by me and my team to provide you tools for you to grow. I can’t wait to meet you.

Wow. I’m definitely getting chills just thinking about everything that you’ve been able to build with community and create such a ripple effect on so many people and really the whole region and even the world, so congratulations on everything. Wow, fifteen years—almost a generation it seems. What can you share about these fifteen years and what you’ve learned and transformed on? Because something I’ve noticed as a founder especially, we go into it with a certain idea, a vision, resources, connections, and then there’s this transformation that happens for us to really become what it is that this role and organization that we built is asking us to do, because there’s this sense of having access to power to be using it for good. But also what does it mean to be able to hold all of that and to be that person that people count on? And so for me, it’s been just a lot of investing in being able to do that for myself, so different self-care practices and making sure that I’m taking care and connecting with nature. Love to hear about that journey for you over the past decade.

Rhiana: Yeah, I hear you, what you say about taking care of yourself, about self-care, because I think you’ve really got to know what’s your connection in order to be able to offer that to somebody else. And running a company, being looked at as a leader is a strange thing, especially being in this larger construct that we have in capitalism that wasn’t started by people who look like us, but so much about how the system works gets internalized in all of us, and those are really difficult things to maneuver. The things that I’ve learned over the years, I’d say I’ve learned more about myself than anything because I know what kind of person that I want to be, and then that kind of gets filtered through your life experiences, in your home experiences, your family, and then from there you’ve set out into the world with how you interact in the world.

And running a theatre company in a space where there isn’t another company doing that exact thing, it turns into a responsibility and a leadership position in a way that I know I didn’t set out to do that, I didn’t set out to say, “I’m naming myself artistic director so that I have this position.” No, whatever that name is supposed to be or would’ve been, I guess that’s the name that I have, but I just want to change the status of native people, I feel like I have this talent and ability to do that through storytelling, and that’s my little nugget on the inside. I would like native audiences to come away from a performance in the way I as a young person came away from a performance. I felt changed, I felt stronger, I felt more capable, I felt more self-esteem, and that is exactly what native community needs.

We need stories that where we can see ourselves, we can see a version of ourselves going through the same problems, the same difficult emotions that we’re going through. I want to see that there’s a native person facing issues that I faced in either my home life or my adult life, and how did they overcome that. Because mainstream America has thousands and thousands of examples of a person to be able to watch media, theatre, film, whatever, and they can see somebody going through an experience, having a catharsis, becoming a better person. When as a native person you don’t see a native person doing those things, you feel completely erased.

We can relate to the same emotion, but I don’t necessarily relate to the same container or the way the face looks, because then if I see this woman going through something, I don’t look like that woman. So in some way it’s like I’ve internalized part of learning what her journey is, but I’ve also internalized this piece of I’m not as good as that woman, I’m not as good as to be seen like that woman. So that’s the thing I set out to. So that’s why when it comes to doing native theatre, always the native audience is number one, and number one B or one A is a native artist, because if you force a native artist to change to become what it is the mainstream needs them to change to in order to do work for their community, what they’re making is changing.

I experienced this in my early days as a playwright where I was writing plays for native audience with native artists in mind to create those things, and the blowback I would get over and over in the early… I don’t know, what is it? The early aughts was that the content wasn’t for mainstream people essentially, and that if I didn’t make work for mainstream people, my work wouldn’t get done. And that’s true up until the murder of George Floyd, then things started to get shaken up, literary offices started to get shaken up, and then I got a lot of people contacting me wanting to read more of my early work. And when you talk about being a leader and doing things, I just think it’s really important having a moral compass in a way that aligns with the cultural community you’re trying to serve and how do you protect this moral compass.

I feel like you can’t be a leader without understanding trauma, without understanding a little bit of mental wellness and mental health.

I want to see my community grow and change in positive ways to overcome the deficits that we’ve been given. How do you do that? I know that coming from my personal family structure—having to be a parentified child, having a parent who was not neurotypical, also having a parent who did not come from a Western worldview—those things affected how I was then reaching other people. I know I went through a phase of: here’s all of my gifts, please take as much as you want, take anything from me, and I thought that’s how you’re a good person, that’s how you are supposed to be a good person, you’re just supposed to lay it all out and be a free for all for anyone who wants it. And I will say to any young leaders, and I’ve spoken to other young leaders of color that they always feel like they’ve go through that phase of I’m just here to give and give.

You can’t do that, because the moment where you realize that is not the strategy and you change, you start to shift, you start to solidify your boundaries, that’s a shock to everyone else that you’re serving. I feel like you can’t be a leader without understanding trauma, without understanding a little bit of mental wellness and mental health. And I know that in Minnesota, absolutely had to take a deep dive onto that because of the way that trauma manifests unfortunately in our community. Going through the pandemic was quite difficult because it amped up the mental health issues in our community. Ultimately, I feel like the thing that I came out of the pandemic was learned a lot more about how do I react to other people’s health and how do I create art knowing about trauma and then knowing about my own health, my own boundaries. I would say overall that running my theatre company, honestly, it has been my life’s work, and it has been how I spiritually have grown. And I don’t want that to sound corny, but it’s really true.

I had to face a lot of understandings of myself in relation to the world, and doing that through art has been a real gift. As an artist, you transform things by using your art. And what a beautiful gift that is. So many people don’t know that’s a tool, that’s why theatre is such a powerful tool. And ultimately that goes back to what I wanted to do in the first place, was give this powerful tool to a community that their tools have been ripped from them and their deficits have been exacerbated. I just think as a leader, you have to always be learning, pivoting, moving, growing, otherwise it’s just not going to be sustainable for anybody, especially for yourself.

Think about what our work will mean in a future moment…understanding that what we’re doing is planting trees, and eventually they’ll be so large that they’ll be so useful for…generations to come in the future.

Yura: Wow. Thank you so much for that. So many gems in there. Definitely from the process of connecting to your why, remembering why is it that I’m doing what I’m doing as the journey goes on, as dynamics shift, as you might get more recognition or you might get less, you encounter people limiting beliefs on what is possible. Even the fact that you said, oh, when George Floyd was murdered, that’s when you started to see more people wanting to even see your work from the early years, wow. Think about what our work will mean in a future moment that we might not necessarily be here to really witness in this physical form, but connecting to that, understanding that what we’re doing is planting trees, and eventually they’ll be so large that they’ll be so useful for people to come, generations to come in the future. That’s just an inspiring thing to say.

Sometimes when we feel like we’re in the moment of is this really being listened to, all people’s limiting beliefs of what the world is right now, sticking to that vision, sticking to that, understanding that there is more beyond this, which I think is why artists were uniquely positioned to do that, because we can imagine and visualize and experience other realities that being able to bring forth these futures into the moment through our work, through our portals of creations, we’re doing big things.

And also connected to this whole aspect of healing the past, I really hear the power of theatre to actually be part of inner child healing of all of the things that we were lacking while we grew up or that we experienced, that we can actually heal through witnessing a story in front of us, and also being a part of it as an artist, as an actor, as someone part of the storytelling process, there’s this beautiful journey and cycle of healing that these arts provide, and I think it’s so amazing and beautiful, and I think that’s also why people have latched onto it and understand what you’re doing. Definitely, again, connecting to that original “why” is clear and it keeps sharing. And I think that’s how growth happens, because when we keep coming back to that why we’re doing this, what we’re wanting to do, the next time we share it’s even bigger and bigger.

Rhiana: Oh, yeah. And I love your analogy of the tree, because an enormous tree, it’s the leaders in the forest. There isn’t just one, you can’t have a forest without many trees, and then each tree has to be strong and healthy and rooted. The larger it gets, the more it can sustain other animals, other life, and even in the ways that you can’t see it sustaining life, it does on that we can’t see it giving oxygen and then taking away the carbon. As an indigenous person, that’s our goal, because we can’t be making art and doing theatre in a way that harms indigenous thought and amplifies Western thought. Otherwise, we are literally destroying our community.

It’s so important to think about because art has these reverberations in so many different ways. As indigenous people, we’re 5 percent of the global population; there’s a constant onslaught of asking us to change and to be different. It’s not just about navigating the world as a minority part of the majority. It’s about not losing that innate understanding, and not just innate, but that connection that our families taught us about what it means to be connected to the earth, to have those teachings, and then I think that’s ultimately the gift that 95 percent of the rest of the population can take away.

Yura: I love that. I love this awakening, remembering that we are earth too, and we also are stewards in that way because we can manifest, we can bring these ideas and things and make them into reality that can really help. It’s back to this idea of using power for positive impact. There’s this idea that power is inherently bad because so many have done bad things when you have power.

Rhiana: Oh, sure, yeah. When you look at power through the lens of the Western world, it has not been yielded, wielded well.

Yura: Yeah, but ultimately it’s energy and it’s about how you use it. Are you going to use it for good? Are you going to use it for evil? And all of these things that you’ve mentioned as how to stay true to your inner soul and vision and values and community helps in those moments where things might get a little confusing.

Rhiana: And it helps in all the moments, because even when something is to be celebrated, how do you do that? Because it’s not like we’re cherry-picking. That’s the thing is every breath you take is like… I don’t know. I feel like I can easily go into esoteric conversation as well, but it’s a huge thing I think about a lot. I think about it a lot.

Yura: Yeah, me too. I’m super spiritual, and I think that we’re meant to be doing these things that our soul has chosen to come into the world in this moment, in this body with this voice, anyone who’s listening know that everything that you’ve been given is exactly what you need to do what you need to do in the planet at this time, and that if we’re here now at this really important moment for the earth, there’s a reason that we’re here. And so there’s this opportunity to, like you said, really tap into your own connection to being a part of something bigger and to being a part of the earth. So whether you’re indigenous, identify in that way or not, this is something that is important for all of us on the planet right now to really harness your power for good. Everyone has it. I have one more question for you. Really, as you reflect on your journey, I’d love to know what has been the most rewarding aspect of carving your own path, creating your own space, building your own table?

Rhiana: I think I was allowed to be my own person. I didn’t spend a lot of time transforming myself to be something that had a definition of success to a group of people and a way of being that wasn’t my culture, wasn’t my community. In my early life as a playwright, I had many meetings with artistic directors who pointed towards change of how I needed to change in order to be in alignment with them and their work and what they do, to not say things that would make them uncomfortable or to slow them down or to offer a different perspective or any kind of criticism. And I know you cannot say the words “white supremacy.” Back in 2014, there was a theatre I no longer work with because I said, “Hey, well, let’s talk about this like white supremacist construct,” and that wasn’t good at that point, but now theatres love it if you point that out. Power to them. Not in that way though.

Not trying to push myself into regional theatre and mainstream theatre, though the heartbreak it was to find out that, wow, nobody cares about a play that is for a native audience. That’s heartbreaking when you’ve been told a play is about the heart, the heart about humanity, about the heart in conflict with itself, and there are authors I absolutely love. That’s a quote from Faulkner, he says, “We’re writing about this condition of the heart in conflict with itself.” And it’s ultimately, I’m writing these things to understand myself, and I’m trying really hard to understand myself as a native woman who lives in America, because I don’t have the lifestyle my dad had or my grandma had. Being able to only be surrounded by Navajo language and culture, living that life, being in ceremony every day. I’m a person who was born in a century that was full-blown capitalism, full-blown “this is America.”

So when I’m told and I’m being taught the same thing all my peers are, you can write a play about the human condition and write it well, write it well, that play will be done. You think that theatre is this place, this bastion of safety and liberalism, but in a way it’s diet white supremacy, or as I say, white supremacy-lite. Please quote me when you say that, one of my favorite phrases. I don’t want to drink diet white supremacy and change myself so that I could have a play done. And also the, “We See You American Theatre” pointed out all of these terrible ways that white theatre works. And then as a native woman, contorting myself to be able to be in those spaces to make that work. So I think about who would I be? Yeah, I bet I’d be super successful.

But I think that what I wanted in the deepest piece of who I am on this earth, I really want to know how to be in connection, I really want to understand myself as a being on this earth along with the other billions of beings on this earth, and it sounds corny, but the plants and the water, and what does it mean to be alive in the world. And it’s about that connection to the earth, this living being that gave birth to you and is taking care of you. And if I’m writing stories and I’m labeling it indigenous, and I’m not understanding my cosmology as a Navajo and I’m not walking that walk, I’m not striving to understand it and to push it out in all the places that I am me, why am I labeling this stuff indigenous? I don’t want to label myself so that I can succeed in Western world.

I want to write stories that are about trying to understand yourself as, yeah, this indigenous person in this current environment and in times before and in times ahead. And I don’t think I could have successfully done that if I had stayed only in a system where I was making work for others. I think that forging my own table really meant me trying to understand and express myself how I’m going to make work. And I have, as they say, that you have these seasons of growth and these seasons of being fallow or seasons of planting, I took quite a long time to learn the seasons of learning and planting seeds. Being in Minneapolis, I have learned so much from that community. In fact, I’ve almost lived in Minneapolis as long as I’ve ever lived in any other place. So if anyone wants to say I am not from Minnesota, that’s baloney.

I’ve learned from elders, I’ve learned from my friends, my Ojibwe, my Dakota, my Lakota friends, people I’ve loved as acquaintances, people who I’ve taken into my heart, people who I thought were going to be partners in my life, because I’m living on another indigenous group’s land, it’s only 1800 miles away from my land. And it’s not like we didn’t know about each other in the past. I knew that if I created a theatre company there, that’s what I need to set out and learn and understand, and that this theatre company ultimately is going to be serving that community and that place, and so it needs to embody the values of what it is that land is asking. And I’ve had this time to really try to craft something that I hope is going to be taken over by that community because of the fact it was built with that community the whole time.

And so as a Navajo Dinéza, a chance to meet Ojibwes and Anishinaabekwes, I get to understand myself as a native person through seeing how other native people got to understand themselves. Building this space that was not contingent on being seen by non-native folks or validated by non-native folks. Believe me, many years it has not. I know that Rhiana is on this journey to be the kind of person she wants to be and to act in the way that it leaves the world in a better place. And I created this structure, this company, and this company every damn moment, I will say this with my deepest passion, every damn moment has striven to be kind and giving and loving to every single person who has walked through those doors and to give over all the knowledge and treasures that one can possibly learn as an artist. And being an artist is a lifetime work that for each individual needs to have.

It’s not something that I can just hand you on a plate. It’s more than making your work. It’s about understanding yourself and going deep into yourself and knowing what am I going to make, how am I going to contribute to this world, especially if you’re doing it through a native lens. So that’s what this theatre company has been able to sharpen my ability to say no or to say yes to how to be a native woman in the world, and, no, I don’t want to compromise in this way or that way because that actually destroys this identity of being a native person in the world. Forging my own table has meant being able to be a person. And I have such gratitude, deep gratitude and appreciation, that this must be a correct path, because I’ve been able to find funding many times very simply because it’s a place that I’m not trying to do for myself.

It’s a place that it can only succeed if there are other native people around and other native people with a high power dynamics such as myself learning and growing and becoming. I would not have done all of that if I had taken a path of living as a native artist in the white world and I don’t know anybody else’s path, but I know for myself there were moments, intersections where I almost moved to New York, I almost got this grant where that happened or almost got accepted to this school or that, and those things I do think about how they would’ve changed my path, but I think ultimately the path that I’m on is the thing that I asked to be on that I want to know about myself, and I want to know my mother, the Earth. As a Dinéza, those songs and the ceremony is the thing that tells you how to be in the world and on the earth, and sometimes you just got to forge your own path.

Yura: It’s so worth it. It’s so worth it for that internal growth, internal validation, and community. I’m so honored and proud to get to speak to you and get to highlight New Native Theatre. Please tell us how we can follow, how we can support, join.

Rhiana: Oh, yes, yes, yes. So we have an Instagram that I feel like is the best way to see what we’re doing, because we update that the most. Instagram @newnativetheatre. Theatre, we spell the bougie way with R-E at the end, instead of a E-R. And, of course, we’ve got a website. We’re doing a block of new work development this spring through August that you can contact us and ask to be part of it or come to an event. Really, it is an open door policy. You don’t have to have any experience. You just have to want to try and learn or do or make theatre. And we need all sorts of help.

And in many ways, it’s an open door to allies as well. And we’re on this search for a new executive director at the moment. We’re really in this growth phase that is amazing and fantastic and wonderful. So just come on down. The door is open. You are welcome. And if you’re in Minneapolis, come on up to the office. We want to see you. Let’s all be together, hang out, and make theatre. And we do make theatre, I’d say the biggest tenant in white supremacy we do not adhere to is urgency. Come on down. We’re here. We’ve got a nice slow pace that I feel like anybody could jump on this train.

Yura: That sounds so good. Yes. I invite everyone to check out New Native Theatre. Thank you so much, Rhiana, for being on the podcast.

Rhiana: Thanks for asking me. I really appreciate just to wax on about things very early in the morning.

Yura: Thank you. Really, you’re such a joy.

This podcast is produced as a contribution to HowlRound Theatre Commons. You can find more episodes of this show and other HowlRound shows wherever you find podcasts. Be sure to search with the keyword HowlRound and subscribe to receive new episodes. If you love this podcast, post a rating and write a review on those platforms. You can also find a transcript for this episode along with a lot of other progressive and disruptive content on Have an idea for an exciting podcast essay or TV event the theatre community needs to hear, visit and submit your idea to this digital commons.

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