Decolonizing Creative Practice

Event description

  • Arts and entertainment
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Free

Decolonizing Creative Practice

Arizona State University (Tempe, Arizona) | March 13, 2024 | 6:00 pm (MST)

In-person and livestreamed

Presented by the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies

Join the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies for a dynamic conversation with theater practitioners Larissa FastHorse, author of the critically acclaimed The Thanksgiving Play, Michael John Garcés, award-winning director and playwright, and Ty Defoe, interdisciplinary artist and Grammy winner. Together they will discuss the future of humanities as it relates to building creative relationships. FastHorse, Defoe, and Garcés work together to develop creative practices that can enter Indigenous communities in a supportive and non-extractive way. They will discuss how this practice can sometimes produce a theatrical-based product, but the product is not the goal. Instead, the needs and priorities of each community shape the creative exchange unique to each place.

Larissa FastHorse (Sicangu Lakota Nation) is a 2020 MacArthur Fellow, award-winning writer/choreographer, and co-founder of Indigenous Direction, the nation’s leading consulting company for Indigenous arts and audiences. Larissa will be represented across the country in the 2023-2024 season with a revised book of the beloved Jerome Robbins Broadway musical, Peter Pan. She made her Broadway debut in the 2022-2023 season with her satirical comedy, The Thanksgiving Play making her the first known female, Native playwright to be produced on Broadway (second only to the great Lynne Riggs in the 1930s). The Thanksgiving Play has been one of the top ten most-produced plays in America for the last two seasons. She is the first Native American playwright in the history of American theater on that list.

Larissa is also one of the top twenty most-produced playwrights of last season. Additionally produced plays include For The PeopleThe Democracy ProjectWhat Would Crazy Horse Do?Landless and Cow Pie BingoAverage FamilyTeaching Disco Squaredancing to Our Elders: a Class PresentationVanishing Point and Cherokee Family Reunion. In the Fall of 2023, Larissa is a professor of practice (literature) at Arizona State University’s Department of English. 

Ty Defoe  (Giizhig) is from the Oneida and Ojibwe Nations. He is an interdisciplinary-hyphenated artist, activist, writer, cultural worker, and shape-shifter. As a two-spirit person Ty aspires to an integral approach to artistic projects, social justice, indigeneity, and environmentalism. Ty gained recognition in many circles around the world including a Grammy Award. 

Ty is a co-founder of Indigenous Direction (w/ Larissa FastHorse). His writing publications can be viewed in the Pitkin ReviewWoody Guthrie Anthology, The Thorny Locust Magazine, and Howl Round. He has received degrees from CalArts, Goddard College, NYU’s Tisch. A Theater Communications Group Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Fellow alumni and an artEquity facilitator. He guest appeared on Netflix show, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt as Young Anthony Black Elk and recently made his Broadway debut in Young Jean Lee’s Straight White Men (dir. by Anna Shapiro). Member of Dramatist Guild, Actor’s Equity, SDC, ASCAP, and First Nations Theater Guild. He lives in NYC and loves the color clear.

Michael John Garcés is a recipient of the Doris Duke Artist Award, the Princess Grace Statue, the Alan Schneider Director Award, TCG/New Generations Grant, and the Nonprofit Excellence Award from the Center of Nonprofit Management. He serves as Executive Vice President of the board of the Stage Directors and Choreography Society. Michael is a Professor of Practice (literature) at Arizona State University’s Department of English.  He is the former artistic director of Cornerstone Theater Company. 

Plays he has written include 36 Yesses and Magic Fruit (Cornerstone); TOWN (Theatre Horizon); and south (Great Plains Theatre Commons). Directing credits include For the People by Ty Defoe and Larissa FastHorse (The Guthrie Theatre); Highland Park is Here by Mark Valdez (Cornerstone and Latino Theatre Company's "Re:Encuentro 2021"); The Play You Want by Bernardo Cubria (The Road Theatre); Seize the King by Will Power (The Alliance); the just and the blind by Marc Bamuthi Joseph and composer Daniel Bernard Roumain (Carnegie Hall and The Kennedy Center); and a trilogy of plays in collaboration with Larissa FastHorse for Cornerstone: Urban Rez, Native Nation and Wicoun.  

Livestream information

This event will be livestreamed by ASU Live. The recording will be available to watch on the ACMRS YouTube channel afterwards.

Travel information

This event will take place in the Pima Auditorium of the Memorial Union (MU) which is located at 301 E. Orange St., on the ASU Tempe campus. Visitor parking is available at the Apache Blvd. Parking Structure.

Event contact

M McDonough

Wednesday, March 13, 2024


6:00 pm7:00 pm (MST)


Pima Auditorium, Memorial Union