In November 2008, The Public Theater in New York City was proud to present a festival of extraordinary theater from today's Native artists. In its second year, the festival featured: three free readings of new works by Native playwrights Victoria Nalani Kneubuhl, Laura Shamas, and Eric Gansworth followed by post-show discussions; a discussion with Artistic Director Oskar Eustis and a panel of Native artists on Politics and Performance that was open to the general public; a series of seven Field Discussions designed to convene artists and create an open forum to address and discuss issues facing Native Theater today; and a concert in Joe's Pub by Native and African-American singer Martha Redbone. This video, Interview with Martha Redbone, supplements the 2008 festival records, as a part of an interview series conducted by Tom Pearson.
Martha Redbone (Choctaw/Shawnee/Cherokee/Blackfeet) is a leading voice in both soul and contemporary Native music. She has been recognized with awards for both of her albums, 'Skintalk' and 'Home of the Brave,' including the 2006 Independent Music Awards Best R&B album; Best Debut Artist at the 2002 Native American Music Awards; and two consecutive Indian Summer Music Awards for Best R&B Album of 2004 and 2005. Also in 2005, Martha received the National HIV/Aids Partnership Red Ribbon Award at the UN for her community work. Currently the Brooklyn native and daughter of a Choctaw/Shawnee/Cherokee/Blackfeet mother and African-American father is working on her third album.
Tom Pearson (Creek/Eastern Band Cherokee) is a writer and artist working in a variety of media that includes contemporary dance, site-specific performance, film, visual art, and large-scale installations. Pearson received his MA in Performance Studies from New York University/Tisch School of the Arts and is currently the Co-Artistic Director of Third Rail Projects, a collective of artists based in New York City. He is the recipient of a 2008 New York Dance and Performance (Bessie) Award for choreography and a Kingsbury Award for writing. Pearson's articles on Native dance and performance have been published in Time Out New York Kids, Dance Magazine, Dance Spirit, and several online publications. In addition to his work in the contemporary arts, Tom also participates in traditional American Indian events as a dancer and singer.