From Tara Moses’ Adaptation
TIME: The year is 2176 just after the final battle in the War of Restoration to disestablish the United
States and restore full sovereignty to Native Nations.
PLACE: Fully restored Indian Territory
This production is a RARE vision and celebration of Indigenous Futurism aligned with Black Liberation.
Tara spoke a bold dream into reality and then used the plot of Othello to explore the imperfections of racial realities, and the historical/ongoing threats to Indigenous women. Tara lead the entire process with what she called Creative Sovereignty.
Each cast member and I spoke in depth about their own personal identities, tribal affiliations or racial heritage, and how they saw their characters dressed in the year 2176. Many of the choices were made together and I was able to infuse their clothing with silhouettes, symbols, and significance from their own cultural and gendered identities.
This production was RARE because no new materials were used. All costume pieces, and the renderings, were made from found/sourced items. Everything we need already exists. We must learn to work in regenerative (rather than extractive) ways if we are to honor the future generations, as well as the land, the air, and the water we share with our plant and animal cousins.
The script was infused with Native American references, language, and perspectives. The female characters were strengthened, and the violence was minimized, as a way of honoring a belief that there will be less violence in the future. Red fabric ribbons were used for blood when three flesh wounds occurred. For the three deaths, shimmering scarves pulled from the costumes, nodded to the Lakota and Cherokee practice of prayer ties.
South Dakota Shakespeare Festival
Adaptation of William Shakespeare by Tara Moses – citizen of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma
Director – Tara Moses
Scene Design and Props Artisan – Jill Clark
Lighting Design – Brian Adams
Sound Technician – Brian Adams
Costume Creator – Elizabeth Wislar
Sound Design – Tara Moses
Assistant Costume Design – Drake Wislar
Tech Director – Brian Smallwood
Stage Manager – Mickey Morstad
Actors featured in Photos
Xáalnook Erin Tripp
Chingwe Padraig Sullivan
Photographer – Aaron Packard