Posted by: Through the Eyes of Women | June 20, 2016

This is an encore presentation from February 17, 2014 Host Brenda Starr Discusses Theater with her Guests Playwright Muriel Miguel and Dr. Jean O’Hara, Author of “Two-Spirit Acts: Queer Indigenous Performances”

"Two-Spirit Acts" book cover

“Two-Spirit Acts” book cover


Jean O’Hara is a Theater Arts lecturer at HSU. In completion of her PhD she compiled and edited a collection of plays entitled ‘Two Spirit Acts: Queer Indigenous Performances’ . They are four plays about being queer that are written by 4 different indigenous playwrights.These plays touch on topics of desire, identity, and community as they humorously tackle the colonial misunderstandings of Indigenous people and create a space to explore what it means to be queer and Indigenous. Includes: Agokwe by Waawaate Fobister, Hot n Soft by Muriel Miguel, and Justice of the Piece, Seance, and Taxonomy of the European Male by Kent Monkman.


Red Woman

Red Woman

Red Woman” featured the celebrated Muriel Miguel, co-founder of Obie-award-winning Spiderwoman Theater. Founded in 1976, named for the Hopi goddess of creation, the troupe is the oldest continuously operating women’s theatre collective in North America. It has featured Muriel Miguel and her two sisters, Lisa Mayo and Gloria Miguel, through much of its existence. The “storyweaving” they developed blends poetry, personal memory, and traditional Native stories, often in a cyclical presentation, full of searing wit and boisterous humor.  

Muriel Miguel

Muriel Miguel

Muriel Miguel is from the Kuna (a people of Panama and Colombia) and Rappahannock (a people of Eastern Virginia) nations. Her play ‘Hot’n’Soft  features a trickster in the form of a female coyote and focuses on sexual pleasure. her play has been performed world-wide. Miguel trained in modern dance with Alwin Nikolais and Erick Hawkins. With Joseph Chaikin’s Open Theatre, she appeared in the groundbreaking plays “Terminal,” “The Serpent,” “Mere Ubu,” and “Viet Rock.” With Spiderwoman Theater, she has performed at the Next Wave Festival at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the Walker Art Center, Theater for the New City, Dance Theatre Workshop and WOW Cafe Theatre, among countless other venues. She has also actively mentored young Indigenous performers, mostly women, at New York University, The Centre for Indigenous Theatre in Toronto, and independently. She has pioneered the teaching of Indigenous Performance through “storyweaving” and through the use of the Laban method. She has been awarded an honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts from Miami University, Ohio, and was profiled in American Women Directors of the Twentieth Century, published in 2008. She was chosen as the first Lipinsky resident (Feminist-in-Residence) at San Diego State University’s Women’s Studies Department. Along with her sisters, Gloria Miguel and Lisa Mayo, she received a Lifetime Achievement Award in February 2010 from the prestigious Women’s Caucus for Art. For more information about MURIEL MIGUEL and Spiderwoman Theater go to:

Muriel Miguel On Stage
Muriel Miguel On Stage                                          

For more information about TWO-SPIRIT ACTS: QUEER INDIGENOUS PERFORMANCES , edited by JEAN O’HARA go to:


To listen to or download Brenda’s conversation with Dr. Jean O’Hara and Muriel Miguel click the following link:     2-17-2014 Brenda Two-Spirit Acts

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