Indigenous Women Playwrights Bios

Indigenous Women Playwrights

Panel Discussion

April 9, 2018 at Artists Rep


Larissa FastHorse (Sicangu Lakota) is an award winning playwright, director and choreographer.  Larissa's produced plays include What Would Crazy Horse Do? (KCRep, Relative Theatrics), Urban Rez (Cornerstone Theater Company, ASU Gammage, NEFA National tour 2019-20), Landless and Cow Pie Bingo (AlterTheater), Average Family (Children’s Theater Company of Minneapolis), Teaching Disco Squaredancing to Our Elders: a Class Presentation (Native Voices at the Autry), Vanishing Point (Eagle Project) and Cherokee Family Reunion (Mountainside Theater).  Her new comedy, The Thanksgiving Play, will be produced at Artists Rep and Cap Stage next season.  Larissa directed the critically acclaimed play, Our Voices Will Be Heard (Perseverance Theater Company) and is developing several new projects to direct with an emphasis on cross cultural community engaged work between Indigenous nations.

Larissa won the PEN USA Literary Award for Drama, NEA Distinguished New Play Grant, Joe Dowling Annamaghkerrig Fellowship, AATE Distinguished Play Award, Inge Residency, Sundance/Ford Foundation Fellowship, Aurand Harris Fellowship, the UCLA Native American Woman of the Year and numerous Ford, Mellon and NEA Grants.   She is a proud officer of the Board of Directors for TCG and represented by Jonathan Mills, Paradigm NY  


Mary Kathryn Nagle (Cherokee) is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation. She currently serves as the Executive Director of the Yale IndigenousPerforming Arts Program. She is also a partner at Pipestem Law, P.C., where she works to protect tribal sovereignty and the inherent right of Indian Nations to protect their women and children from domestic violence and sexual assault. Nagle has authored numerous briefs in federal appellate courts, including the United States Supreme Court. Nagle studied theater and social justice at Georgetown University as an undergraduate student, and received her J.D. from Tulane Law School where she graduated summe cum laude and received the John Minor Wisdom Award. She is a frequent speaker at law schools and symposia across the country. Her articles have been published in law review journals including the Harvard Journal of Law and Gender, Yale Law Journal (online forum), Tulsa Law Review, and Tulane Law Review, among others.

Nagle is an alumn of the 2012 PUBLIC THEATER Emerging Writers Group, where she developed her play Manahatta in PUBLIC STUDIO (May 2014). Productions include Miss Lead (Amerinda, 59E59, January 2014), and Fairly Traceable (Native Voices at the Autry, March 2017). Upcoming productions include Arena Stage’s world premiere of Sovereignty, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s world premiere of Manahatta. Both are scheduled for 2018. In 2019, the Rose Theater (Omaha, NE) will produce her new play Return to Niobrara.

Nagle has received commissions from Arena Stage (Sovereignty), the Rose Theater (Return to Niobrara, Omaha, Nebraska), Portland Center Stage (Mnisose), Denver Center for the Performing Arts, and Yale Repertory Theatre.

Nagle’s Manahatta received a 2017 Edgerton Foundation New Play Award for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival world premiere production.


DeLanna Studi (Cherokee) is originally from Liberty, Oklahoma. As an actor, her theater credits include Off-Broadway’s Informed Consent at the Duke Theater on 42nd Street, major Regional Theaters (Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Portland Center Stage, Cornerstone, and Indiana Repertory Theater), the First National Broadway Tour of Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winning play August: Osage County, and numerous community settings across Indian Country. DeLanna has originated roles in over seventeen World Premieres including fourteen Native productions written about and by Natives. DeLanna has toured for over ten years (with over 800 performances) in the Encompass “Compassion Play” KICK, a one-person show, written by Peter Howard, which explores the power of images, stereotypes, and Native American mascots. Her television roles in the Hallmark/ABC mini-series Dreamkeeper and Chris Eyre’s Edge of America have won her numerous awards. She has been an ensemble member of America’s only Equity Native American Theater Company Native Voices at the Autry for over 15 years. She has served her community for over eight years as the chair of SAG-AFTRA’s National Native Committee, where under her leadership they have produced an award-winning industrial film about American Indians in the entertainment industry and have created a “Business of Acting” workshop that tours Indian Country. DeLanna was the 2016 Butcher Scholar Award from The Autry Museum of the American West.

Her greatest achievement is helping other artists create their own stories, especially Native youth. She has been a mentor for the Mentor Artist Playwright Program, Young Native Playwrights, and the American Indian Film Institute’s Tribal Touring Program. She has been an Artist-In-Residence at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and the University of Wisconsin system, where she co-taught Native American Oral Histories and Storytelling and American Indian in Film at the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay.