August 12, 2022

MINNEAPOLIS — When is the last time you saw a fully staged production of a full-length play by a Native playwright? If your answer is never, here’s your chance to change that. This March, Turtle Theater Collective presents the U.S. premiere of Almighty Voice and his Wife, an iconic text of the Native theater canon by Delaware playwright Daniel David Moses. Almighty Voice and His Wife tells the true story of a Cree man arrested for killing a cow. Under threat of hanging he escapes, unleashing a year-long manhunt that gives rise to his status as a martyr and a legend. The work consists of two vividly contrasting acts that explore Almighty Voice as both victim and hero. The first act is a tender and intimate portrait of him and his wife in life; the second is an outlandish white-faced vaudeville routine of the two in the afterlife.

Directed by Katherine Pardue, the play features a cast of local actors and theater-makers. Here’s what they have to say about the process of bringing this U.S. premiere to life:

Presented by Turtle Theater Collective 
March 9-11, 2018

Turtle Theater Collective presents the U.S. premiere of Almighty Voice and his Wife, an iconic text of the Native theater canon by Delaware playwright Daniel David Moses. Almighty Voice and his Wife tells the true story of a Cree man arrested for killing a cow. Under threat of hanging he escapes, unleashing a year-long manhunt that gives rise to his status as a martyr and a legend. The work consists of two vividly contrasting acts that explore Almighty Voice as both victim and hero. The first act is a tender and intimate portrait of him and his wife in life; the second is an outlandish white-faced vaudeville routine of the two in the afterlife.

Marisa Carr

Marisa Carr

“I first read the play Almighty Voice and his Wife late on a snowy night at the very beginning of 2016. I had some passing familiarity with Daniel David Moses’s work – I’d played Lena in a reading of Coyote Citywith New Native Theater a few years back and read City of Shadows – so I was excited to dive back into the canon of his writing. I fell in love with the play on impact. I adored it for its humor and intelligence and poignancy and theatricality, and for the razorsharp jabsit takes at how Native people have been(and often still are) asked or required to perform ourselves for a colonial audience – an issue that’s almost always present for me as a Native theater artist. The very clever way it reverses the gaze back onto mainstream portrayals of Native peoples make it a perfect first production for the Turtle Theater Collective – it almost serves as a thesis statement for why our mission and vision are so very necessary.”

Ajuawak Kapashesit

Ajuawak Kapashesit

“One of the things that excites me about this project is the history around it, how it comes from a true story of a Cree man caught in circumstances beyond his control. The more I have read about him and the history, as it is remembered, the more complex it becomes. Stories often change with time and it’s interesting to see how he has changed in our narratives. Beyond that, this play also brings his wife, White Girl, into the picture beyond anything else I have read or seen and gives perspective of her life and how they factor into each other’s stories. Almighty Voice didn’t stand in a vacuum in life; it makes no sense to keep the rest of his life out of the story. The characterization of White Girl is important for understanding a larger picture of what happened. This play is particularly exciting for me as it takes a look at the story of Almighty Voice and White Girl but also takes a look at how they, and other native peoplehave been portrayed.”
Performances:

Friday, March 9 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 10 at 2:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 10 at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 11 at 2:00 p.m.

Show length: 90 minutes

Tickets:

General admission: $20 in advance, $24 at the door
Students and seniors: $12
ARTshare members: Free

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