Turtle Theater Collective and Guthrie Theater Native Arts Initiative January, 2020
The Minnesota State Arts Board recently awarded the Guthrie an Arts Access grant to partner with Turtle Theater Collective in order to grow our reciprocal relationship with the Twin Cities Native communities.
The grant period, which runs from January to December 2020, will allow us to collaborate in several ways:
We will provide tickets, communal meals and transportation for Native community members to attend Guthrie performances of Noura this winter and Cabaret and Sweat this summer
We will provide tickets and transportation for Guthrie staff to attend Native-led performances, sacred sites tours, powwows, and art shows together
We will offer two free 8-week sessions of playwriting classes taught by Guthrie Artistic Assistant and Playwrights Center Fellow Morgan Holmes, and two free 8-week sessions of acting classes taught by artist and educator Ernest Briggs. All classes will be held at the Guthrie and offered specifically to Native community members, and will include transportation assistance and snacks
We will facilitate three separate, paid fellowships for aspiring Native theater-makers: one that focuses on directing with Joe Haj, another on stage management with Tree O’Halloran and the third on theater management with James Haskins
We will produce two Native markets in the Guthrie lobbies in September and December, curated by Jaida Grey Eagle with Guthrie support
We will convene two facilitated conversations with Indigenous Direction in March and October about decolonizing and indigenizing spaces that will be open to all arts organizations
An Outing at the Guthrie for the Indigenous Community Sunday, Feb 9th, 11:30 am - 3:30 pm, January 19, 2020
An Outing at the Guthrie for the Indigenous Community Sunday February 9, 11:30am-3:30pm
The afternoon will include:
● Transportation from Midtown Global Market
● Catered lunch in the Guthrie’s Rehearsal Room
● Seats at the 1pm performance of Noura by Heather Raffo
● A post-play conversation with members of the cast and our Iraqi community
11am – Meet at Midtown Global Market (1001 E Lake St, free parking available) to board charter bus and depart for the Guthrie
11:30-12:30pm - Catered lunch together at the Guthrie
1-3pm - See Noura, followed by a post-show discussion with the cast and Iraqi community 3:15pm – Board charter bus to return to DIW parking lot
About the Play: It’s Christmas Eve in New York City, and Noura — a newly minted U.S. citizen from Iraq — is preparing to host an Iraqi meal and growing more homesick by the minute. Her husband and son have fully embraced their American names and identities, but Noura feels restless and displaced. Even so, she eagerly welcomes her dinner guests until secrets are revealed and the evening begins to unravel. This brilliant new play is a poignant exploration of motherhood, marriage and identity in modern America.
90 minutes. No intermission. Post-show conversation with actors and community members to follow.
Things to Know:
● This outing is appropriate for ages 12+
● This play is about refugees in the US from Iraq and explores family, identity, motherhood and marriage.
● Playwright Heather Raffo is Iraqi-American and director Taibi Magar is Egyptian-American.
This activity is free of charge, but space is limited! To attend, please sign up by February 7 at https://tinyurl.com/vnqkw73
Turtle Theater Collective is proud to announce their 2021 Play Reading Series via Zoom.
The Play Reading Series will showcase 3 new works by Indigenous Playwrights from across the country. TTC will present: This Way Yonder by Montana Cypress and directed by Ernest Briggs. Monster Slayer by Blossom Johnson directed by Brian Joyce and a third play TBD.
THIS WAY YONDER by Montana Cypress:
MONSTER SLAYER by Blossom Johnson: Isabella and Jaiden team together to create a comic book while digging deeper into their family history and begin to understand what it means to be a sacred being and get lost in the world of fantasy as they convince themselves they are demigods
The third play is yet to be determined but is tentatively scheduled for mid-late October 2021.
Turtle Theater Collective is committed to producing high-quality, contemporary work that explores Native experiences and subverts expectations about how and when Native artists can create theater. In addition to producing Indigenous plays, we center Native bodies and voices by situating them within the broader theatrical canon, providing opportunities for Native artists to grow and play.
The Turtle Theater Collective was founded by: Ernest Briggs (White Earth Ojibwe), Marisa Carr (Turtle Mountain Ojibwe), Sequoia Hauck (White Earth Ojibwe/Hupa)
The Turtle Theater Collective Advisory Committee is: Heid E. Erdrich, Carra Martinez, Sarah Rasmussen, James A. Williams
Performances will be streamed via Zoom on the following days:
This Way Yonder: May 14th, 15th @ 7:00 pm and 16th @ 3 pm
Monster Slayer: August 6th, 7th @7:00 pm and 8th @ 3:00 pm
Third Play (TBD): Tentatively scheduled for mid-late October 2021
Performances are FREE to the public. Donations are welcome, if you’d like to donate to TTC please go to: https://www.givemn.org/story/Ttc2021
Register for the Play Reading series by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
For interviews and review arrangement please contact Ernest Briggs at
This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.