October 2, 2017
10:00am to 2:00pm

The Autry Museum in Griffith Park
4700 Western Heritage Way
Los Angeles, CA 90027


Native Voices at the Autry is devoted to developing and producing new works for the stage by Native
American, Alaska Native, and First Nations playwrights. In our play development process, we rely
heavily on dramaturgs to facilitate writers as they develop scripts.

What is a dramaturg? Sometimes described as a script consultant, this creative theatre artist is
dedicated to supporting the growth of a new play. The dramaturg is often a sounding-board or confidant
for the playwright. The dramaturg may conduct research on the writer’s behalf, analyze characters and
the structure of the play, and help the writer outline his/her goals for the progress of the play.
Additionally, the dramaturg may present compiled research about the background of the play to the
director, cast, and design team of a production. They also may write a program note or lobby poster
highlighting aspects of the play unfamiliar to a general audience.

Native Voices currently seeks to expand our pool of dramaturgs in the greater L.A. metro area . We are
offering a one-day workshop to introduce the role of the dramaturg, discuss functions of dramaturgy in
Native Voices’ creative process, and practice dramaturging a ‘live’ Native written script.

Who should attend?
Indigenous playwrights and artists, academics, professors, or students, and LA dramaturgs with an
investment or background in literature, storytelling, narrative, creative writing, screenwriting or
playwriting, or performance (of any kind) with an interest in Native American, Alaska Native, and First
Nations theatre.
What will the workshop cover?
What is a dramaturg? What is dramaturgy?
What is new play development?
How does Native Voices’ script development process work?
How does Native Voices connect dramaturgs and playwrights from all over the continental United
States, Canada, Hawaii, and Alaska?
Native Voices at the Autry’s Dramaturgy Workshop: Plays by Native Writers in Process
How can dramaturgy be a vital part of bringing indigenous perspectives to both mainstream audiences
and Native communities?
What happens when indigenous performance forms and storytelling traditions are fused with
What does “Native” dramaturgy entail?
What are good practices for giving constructive feedback in the creative process?
What are best practices for analyzing and asking productive questions of new art?

The workshop will be led by Native Voices literary manager Jessica Ordon . Jessica
has been working with Native Voices at the Autry since 2012. She has managed the
play submission and selection process for six consecutive short play festivals, and
five consecutive playwrights’ retreats and new play festivals. She dramaturged plays
CIKIUTEKLLUKU by Holly Stanton (Yup’ik), THERE IS NO ‘I’ IN NDN by Jennifer
Bobiwash (Ojibway), TIMESTOP by Joseph Valdez (Navajo), and BINGO HALL by
Dillon Chitto (Choctaw). Ordon led the initial effort to move the Native Voices archive
to the Autry Museum, a project which included organizing more than 500 play
submissions from over 20 years of the company’s work since 1994. In addition to her work with Native
Voices, Jessica has worked in San Diego with La Jolla Playhouse, Cygnet Theatre, and Scripps Ranch
Theatre. She is currently a teaching artist for Playwrights Project. Jessica holds an M.A. in Theatre Arts
from San Diego State University, and a B.A. in Theatre from Florida State University.