Laura Stegman contributed the following report:
Silver Lake resident Elizabeth Francis is an actress and Native American playwright whose new work, The Hummingbirds, an interactive, multimedia story of three musician sisters, is being featured in Native Voices at the Autry's Playwrights Retreat.
She will see her work come to llife at a free public reading on Friday, June 1, 7:30 pm, at the Autry National Center’s Wells Fargo Theatre.
Frances and her fellow playwrights Kimberly Norris Guerrero and Shyla Marlin who collaborated most often via texting and e-mail, wrote The Hummingbirds as an interactive, multimedia experience in storytelling, which involves the audience through layers of social media. The play explores whether it’s possible to maintain personal, familial, cultural, and artistic integrity in the age of Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. All three will star in the reading.
They've been participating in Native Voices' Playwright's Retreat, an intensive week-long development workshop teaming acclaimed dramaturgs and directors with the emerging and established Native American playwrights.
Illustrating Native Voices’ long-term commitment to the development process, three plays in various phases of development will be showcased at the free 2012 Festival of New Plays on Friday, June 1, 7:30 pm, and Saturday, June 2 at 2 pm and 7:30 pm. The other two plays are THE BIRD HOUSE, a dramatic tale of an evangelical preacher and his sisters as they sort through the snarls of the past and an uncertain future confronted by economic downturn, corporate greed, and big oil’s determined march to continue hydraulic fracking no matter the cost; and DISTANT THUNDER: A NATIVE AMERICAN MUSICAL, with sixteen production numbers and a cast of twenty by the mother-son team of celebrated choreographer Lynne Taylor-Corbett, Tony Award nominee for direction and choreography of Broadway’s Swing!, and Shaun Taylor-Corbett (Blackfeet*), who performed on Broadway and in the national tour of In the Heights, with music and lyrics by Shaun Taylor-Corbett and Chris Wiseman.
The Autry is located at 4700 Western Heritage Way, Los Angeles, CA 90027-1462. Readings are free, but reservations are suggested. To reserve free tickets, call 323.667.2000, ext. 354, or visit www.NativeVoicesattheAutry.org.
Look for Francis's first-person reports on the workshop and collaboration on the site.