In December of 2007, as part of its Native Theater Festival, the Public Theater brought Native theater professionals from around the U.S. and Canada to New York City for a series of readings and discussions. The five-day festival included play readings, post-performance discussions, concerts, roundtables, and the performance of Darrell Dennis' 'Tales of and Urban Indian.' This video documents an interview with William S. Yellow Robe, Jr., conducted by Hanay Geiogamah as a part of a supplementary Native Theater Festival interview series.
William S. Yellow Robe, Jr. has been writing plays for over thirty years. He is a member of Assiniboine/Sioux tribes of the Fort Peck Indian reservation, located in Northeastern Montana. He is the first Assiniboine playwright to receive the 'First Book Award for Drama,' a Princess Grace Fellowship-Award (Theater fellowship), a Jerome Fellowship, a New England Theater Conference Award for Excellence. Yellow Robe's full-length play, 'Grandchildren of Buffalo Soldiers' finished its national tour produced by the Penumbra Theater Company and Trinity Repertory Company. Yellow Robe is a published playwright, poet, and short fiction writer. He is an actor and a director. He is a company member of the Ensemble Studio Theater, Penumbra Theater Company, and a member of the Board of Advisors for the Red Eagle Soaring Theater company and the Missoula Writer's Collaborative.
A member of the Kiowa-Delaware Tribes from Oklahoma, Hanay Geiogamah is a professor of theater in the School of Theater, Film and Television at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). Mr. Geiogamah is also the director of the UCLA American Indian Studies Center and for the past ten years has served as principal investigator for Project HOOP, the national initiative to promote development of Native American theater and performing arts. With an extensive background in the theater as a director, playwright and producer, he serves as the founding artistic director of the internationally-acclaimed American Indian Dance Theater. Mr. Geiogamah is the author and editor of a number of books and articles on Native American theater and performing arts and serves as series editor for the Native American Theater Series of the UCLA American Indian Studies Center Press. His first collection of plays, 'New Native American Drama,' is published by the University of Oklahoma Press and has been in print for 27 years.