Sarah Ridge Polson, a young Cherokee lawyer, fights to restore her Nation’s tribal jurisdiction while confronting the ever-present ghosts of her grandfathers. Stretching from 1830s Cherokee Nation (now present-day Georgia) through Andrew Jackson’s Oval office, along the fateful Trail of Tears, to the Cherokee Nation in present-day Oklahoma – Sovereignty tells an epic tale of the powerful intersections of personal and political truths, bridging our country’s distant past and imminent future.
Featuring direction, set, costume and lighting design by Native artists as well as five Native actors, Sovereignty is a continuation of Harlequin’s commitment to rethink and reframe, not only which stories are seen on its stage, but who is presenting those stories to audiences.
In her director’s notes on the production, director Esther Almazán, who is from Tucson, writes:
…I dedicate my work at Harlequin Productions to the brothers and sisters who were forced to walk that long trail, leaving behind everything that meant home and losing thousands of loved ones along the way. I honor the Steh-Chass people on whose ancestral land we stand to tell this tale and ask their blessings for our efforts.”
In a 2021 New Yorker profile and interview of Ms. Nagle, she says that one piece of her mission as a playwright is to humanize Native people, making it more difficult to stereotype and discriminate against them. As she told profiler Daniel Pollack-Pelzner, “Most people have never seen an authentic Native person portrayed onstage. The more we become humans that non-Natives have to interact with, the more difficult it becomes to justify a legal narrative that dehumanizes us.”
WHEN: May 6 – May 28, 2022
WHERE: State Theater, 202 4th Ave East, Olympia, WA 98501
TICKETS: Tickets are available online at harlequinproductions.org, by phone at 360-786-0151, or in person 12-5:30 pm, Tuesday-Saturday at the Washington Center, and beginning 2 hours before performances at the State Theater.
Preview: Thursday, May 5 at 7:30 pm
Tickets to the Preview are $20 General Admission
Opening Night: Friday, May 6 at 7:30 pm
Pay-What-You-Can: Three performances TBA prior to opening