PRELUDE Festival 2023
Please Do Not Touch the Indians
Wednesday, October 11, 2023
Martin E. Segal Theatre Center, 5th Avenue, New York, NY, USA
This is a reading of an excerpt of the play, "Please Do Not Touch the Indians." This is a play about the history of what happened to all Indians. Two wooden Indians sit on a bench in front of a gift shop and have their picture taken by a tourist. Characters appear as images of a child lost and they share their tragic journey of historical wrongs. In the end, we see that what we have seen is what the 2 Indians see every day as they come there to remember their lost child. It is a simple tale of lost love for a child, of a lost people, joined by their memories.
Content / Trigger Description:
Joseph A. Dandurand is a member of Kwantlen First Nation located on the Fraser River about 20 minutes east of Vancouver. He resides there with his 3 children Danessa, Marlysse, and Jace. Joseph is the Director of the Kwantlen Cultural Center. Joseph received a Diploma in Performing Arts from Algonquin College and studied Theatre and Direction at the University of Ottawa. He has been the Storyteller in Residence at the Vancouver Public Library. He has published 13 books of poetry and the latest are: I WANT by Leaf Press (2015) and HEAR AND FORETELL by BookLand Press (2015) The Rumour (2018) by BookLand Press in (2018) SH:LAM (the doctor) Mawenzi Press (2019) The Corrupted by Guernica Press (2020) his children’s play: Th’owixiya: the hungry Feast dish by Playwrights Press Canada (2019) his children’s books: The Sasquatch, the fire, and the cedar basket (2020) and The Magical Sturgeon (2022) published by Nightwood Press along with his poetry manuscript: The Punishment (2022) He also is very busy Storytelling at many events and Schools.
Opalanietet is a member of the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape tribal nation of New Jersey. He is currently a PhD student at The Graduate Center at the City of University of New York (CUNY), and the Founder and Artistic Director of Eagle Project, www.eagleprojectarts.org. Upon graduating from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, Opalanietet has performed in workshops and productions at such renown New York theatrical institutions as the Public Theater, Nuyorican Poets Café, New York City Opera, and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. In November of 2020, Opalanietet made history by giving the first-ever Lenape Land Acknowledgement at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on NBC.
Founded by Opalanietet (Ryan Victor Pierce) in 2012, Eagle Project is the only Lenape-led performing arts company in New York City. Its mission is to explore the American identity through the performing arts and our Native American heritage, deciphering what exactly it means to be American while using the Native American experience as the primary means for which to conduct its investigation. Since its inception, Eagle Project has produced six full productions, numerous readings and workshops, and has collaborated with the Public Theater, Nuyorican Poets Café, Rattlestick Theater, and Ashtar Theater in Palestine. For more information, visit www.eagleprojectarts.org.