Native & Indigenous Structure & Dramaturgy in Playwriting

Thursday, March 24, 2022
9:00 am to 10:00 am


This panel discussion will examine how Indigenous and Native dramatists use their unique storytelling structures to create work for the stage and illuminate their worlds. When non-Native theaters get to choose what plays speak for the Native experience, even when they're not coming from a Native perspective, how can this powerful community ensure they keep telling stories for the people they’re written for? And how can non-Native audiences engage when Native perspectives are rarely seen?

Outline & Supplemental Documents

Event Outline: AWP_2022_Native_and_Indigenous_Structure_and_Dramaturgy_in_Playwriting_Event_Outline.pdf



Rhiana Yazzie is a Navajo playwright and artistic director of New Native Theatre, a company devoted to producing new work by and for Native peoples. Rhiana's current projects include a book of short stories, a new children’s musical, and producing a short film.

Laura Annawyn Shamas was born in Oklahoma and is an enrolled member of the Chickasaw Nation. In 2021, she was a part of the Indigenous Writers Collaborative at Oregon Shakespeare Festival. In 2017, she won the Von Marie Atchley Award from Native Voices at the Autry for Seeds. laurashamas.com

Carolyn M. Dunn, PhD, is an Indigenous poet, playwright, editor, and publisher and the author/editor of seven books, including three books of poetry. Her first collection, Outfoxing Coyote, was recognized as Book of the Year by the Native Writers Circle of the Americas in 2002.

DeLanna Studi is a Cherokee actor/playwright. She retraced her family’s footsteps along the Trail of Tears with her father and wrote her play And So We Walked. She is the chair of SAG-AFTRA’s National Native Americans Committee and the artistic director of native voices at the Autry.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center