Shooting Columbus (2017)

May 15, 2017

Shooting Columbus image

Upper photo: Ryan Pinto (on ground), Jules Grantham.  Lower photo, L to R: Sara Haro, T Loving, Ryan Pinto, Tessai Velasquez-Thurman. Photos by Julius Schlosburg.

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“If settlers never arrived in this land, how would your life be different?”

Borderlands Theater proudly presents Shooting Columbus, written and performed by the Fifth World Collective, a group of Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists from the state of Arizona. The work examines the consequences of time travel and the current resistance of Indigenous people in the face of continual oppression by the United States government.

Shooting Columbus is an immersive site-specific performance in which the audience walks through La Pliita Cultural Center, encountering theater, movement, soundscapes and video projection that re-imagine history and memory. The show presents poetic imaginings of a radically different past to foster dialogue about a radically different future.

Fifth World Collective:
Adam Cooper-Teran (Yaqui, Chicano)
T Loving (Black, Cherokee)
Ryan Pinto (Hopi, Omaha, Dine, Northern Ute)
Rachel Bowditch (European American)
and Denise Uyehara (Okinawan, Japanese American)

Over the past three years, the Collective has researched issues affecting Indigenous communities in the Southwest, including how the U.S.-Mexico has created an arbitrary line through Tohono O’Odham and the Yaqui (Yoeme) nations, making it difficult to travel for tribal ceremony. They also visited the Black Mesa and the Kayenta coal mine, interviewing Diné (Navajo) community members who reside there. Lead artists held multiple devising retreats in at the Global Justice Center in Tucson, Arizona State University, Tempe, and Outta Your Backpack Media, Flagstaff.

Rachel Bowditch directs, with dramaturgy and playwriting by Denise Uyehara, in collaboration with the Collective. Script informed by interviews with Marie Gladue, Fern Benally, Ross Canyon, Rosemary Tona-Aguirre, Alex Soto, and Tygel Pinto. Community insights and collaboration with Klee Benally.

Performance ensemble: Matthew Saraficio, Julianna Grantham, Gertie Lopez, Brett Boyce, Tessai Velasquez-Thurman, Sarah Haro. Borderlands Theatre (Marc David Pinate). Greg Houston (lighting), Adam Cooper Terán (sound/media), and Genevieve Heron (set), and Andy Gonzalez (stage manager).

This project is made possible, in part, through support from: MAP Fund; the Network of Ensemble Theaters’ Travel & Exchange Network (NET/TEN), supported by lead funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; Art Works/National Endowment for the Arts.

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