Footpaths and Bridges

Voices from the Native American Women Playwrights Archive
Edited by Shirley A. Huston-Findley and Rebecca Howard
The first anthology to showcase the rich and diverse dramatic work of Native American women


"Long overdue, this powerful collection allows Native American women to speak in their own voices—in a wide range of writing styles and covering a broad array of themes."
—Kathy A. Perkins, University of Illinois

Footpaths and Bridges celebrates the vitality and diversity of Native American women, collecting plays by leading contemporary playwrights in forms ranging from realism to dramatic poetry, from a children's story to a musical, and from full-length plays to one-acts. The collection represents the best of a burgeoning theatrical movement, with work ranging from ETHNOSTRESS—a humorous take on art and identity politics—to the biographical musical Te Ata to a retelling of the Thanksgiving story from the Wampanoag perspective. The work of these award-winning playwrights is accompanied by critical commentary that illuminates Native American women's theater practices and perspectives, highlighting the issues of heritage, identity, and changing lifestyles that the plays imaginatively tackle.

Featuring work from a wide array of tribes and geographic regions, the collection affords the artist, scholar, and general reader access to previously unheard voices that communicate the complexity and the diversity of the Native American experience. The far-ranging genres and content of the plays suggest the many possibilities for communicating the past and the present, the personal and the political, and the stunning kaleidoscope of Native American life and art.

Photo: Set from production of JudyLee Oliva's Te Ata at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, 2006. Set design by Robert Cothran; photo by Michael Bendure.

Plays in the collection include

  • ETHNOSTRESS: Women's Voices in Native American Theatre by Monique Mojica
  • Asivak's Creation Story by Jules Arita Koostachin with Jennifer Fell Hayes
  • Bring the Children Home by Marcie Rendon
  • The Girl Who Swam Forever by Marie Clements
  • Harvest Ceremony: Beyond the Thanksgiving Myth by Martha Kreipe de Montaño with Jennifer Fell Hayes
  • Letters by Denise Mosley
  • Ola Nä Iwi (The Bones Live) by Victoria Nalani Kneubuhl
  • Strength of Indian Women by Vera Manuel
  • Te Ata by JudyLee Oliva
  • Winnetou's Snake Oil Show from Wigwam City by Spiderwoman Theater

Shirley A. Huston-Findley is Associate Professor of Theater at the College of Wooster.

Rebecca Howard is Instructor of Women’s Studies at Miami University.

Praise / Awards

  • "(Footpaths & Bridges) is an auditory and visual medium; still, with good staging, the dramas are powerful. The stage directions are easy to visualize and the characters are described well, so imagination serves to follow the action readily."
    Tribal College Journal of American Indian Higher Education

Look Inside

Copyright © 2008, University of Michigan. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 304pp.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Paper
  • 2011
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-03478-9

Add to Cart
  • $41.95 U.S.