Project HOOP Publications

Project HOOP (Honoring Our Origins and People), located at the University of California, Los Angeles, is one of nine Native American arts organizations and projects participating in the Ford Foundation’s national initiative, Advancing the Dialogue on Native American Arts in Society. The initiative’s primary goal is to promote an exchange of ideas by and about the Native American arts field and to develop tools that engage the larger field in a dialogue around pluralistic roles of the arts in society. Project HOOP’s contribution to this undertaking will be the three new publications described below, marking an important expansion of the titles in the Native American Theater Series, begun by Project HOOP in 2000.


Grandchildren of the Buffalo Soldiers and Other Untold Stories
Five Plays by William S. Yellow Robe, Jr. Ed. Margo Lukens

Grandchildren of the Buffalo Soldiers and Other Untold Stories is an anthology of five plays by one of America’s leading Native American playwrights, William S. Yellow Robe, Jr. All of the selected plays—“Grandchildren of the Buffalo Soldiers,” “A Stray Dog,” “Mixed Blood Seeds,” “Better-n-Indins,” and “Pieces of Us: How the Lost Find Home”—have been produced and/or presented in readings across the country. Yellow Robe has received several requests for published plays from academic and social communities across the country. At the present time “Grandchildren of the Buffalo Soldiers” is being used in classes at Stanford University and the University of Rhode Island. Community members have also requested copies of the plays to share with their communities. Native American literature is in its infancy in America compared to the numerous publications of First Nations literature in Canada, and this anthology will help fill the gap.

William S. Yellow Robe, Jr., playwright, poet, and actor, is an enrolled Assiniboine from the Fort Peck Indian reservation. He is the artistic director of No Borders Indigenous Inter-Tribal Theatre Company, and the resident Playwright at Trinity Repertory in Providence, Rhode Island. His plays have appeared at the Public Theater/NY Shakespeare Festival, Seattle Group Theater, American Conservatory Theater, the Mark Taper Forum, and elsewhere.

Spirituality, Ritual, and Ceremony in Native American
Performance: A Creative Notebook
By Hanay Geiogamah

Approaching Native American theater as ceremonial performance comprised of centuries-old tribal traditions and aesthetic concepts, Hanay Geiogamah combines his thirty-five years of creative and experimental work and research in Native theater to illuminate the elements of myth, spirituality, and ceremony and their integration into dramatic performances. Specific observations on how ritual is constructed and activated are presented along with selected examples of the process from recent Native theater works. Other topics include spirituality as the basis for dramatic text, the techniques of the shaman as director, and the creative process of integration.

Hanay Geiogamah is a professor of theater in the UCLA School of Theatre, Film and Television and has served for the last six years as the director of the UCLA American Indian Studies Program. He has been the director of Project HOOP since its founding in 1997. He is also the founding artistic director of the internationally acclaimed American Indian Dance Theater.

American Indian Performing Arts: Critical Directions
Eds. Hanay Geiogamah and Jaye Darby

This collection of essays analyzes various aspects of Native theater and the performing arts through indigenous critical lenses. Questions to be addressed include: How do Native theater, dance, or music performances “re- present,” to borrow University of Montana Professor Kathryn Shanley’s term, American Indian history, culture, art forms, spiritual traditions, and/or contemporary issues? What role does ceremony play in performance? How do Native performing arts imagine and construct liberatory identities, community, and/or nation?

Preliminary essays under consideration for publication in this collection are:

  • Jace Weaver, University of Georgia, Preface
  • Lloyd Kiva New, “Defining Ourselves”
  • Ann Haugo, “The Development of Native American Theater”
  • Marcie R. Rendon, “my own grandmothers……”
  • Hanay Geiogamah, “Deeper Rhythms of Ritual”
  • Jaye Darby, “Native Theater and Re-Imaginings of the American West”
  • Marie Annharte Baker, “Skirting Issues: Rez Sisters Retrospective and Then What”
  • Jeff Berglund, “How shall we honor them? Empowerment and Resistance in Blackfire’s Performance Praxis”
  • Birgit Däwes, “Web/Sites: Space, Time, and Community in Contemporary Native American Performance”
  • Ines Hernandez-Avila, title TBD
  • Qwo-Li Driskill, “‘Ha’nts’: Booger Dance Rhetorics in Lynn Riggs’ The Cherokee Night”
  • Carolyn Dunn, “Super Indian on the Red Road: Humor, Healing, and a Sense of Home in the Plays of Arigon Starr”
  • Courtney Carmel Elkin, “‘We Are Not Guilty!’: The Creation of an Indigenous Theatrical Praxis”
  • Ann Haugo, “Community Responsive Performance in Tribal Communities: A Case Study in Collaboration”
  • Janis (Jan) Johnson, “Performing Excellence and Indianness, Nez Perce Jazz Bands of the Twentieth Century”
  • Julie Pearson Little Thunder, “Rosalie Jones and Native Dance”
  • Margo Lukens and William S. Yellow Robe, Jr., “Two Worlds on One Stage: working in collaboration to prevent encroachment, appropriation, and other maddening forms of imperialism—and create a shared critical voice”
  • Christy Stanlake, “The Te Ata World Premiere: Creations from a Native Play”
  • Katy Liesl Young, “‘Sweet Freedom’s Song’: Zitkala-Ša’s The Sun Dance Opera in Context”

New Native American Drama. Three Plays by Hanay Geiogamah. Introduction by Jeffrey Huntsman.

"I always had an interest in the theater. It wasn’t that the theater was an art form that I really dug, it was just something that I instinctively felt was the proper thing for me, and what I was wanting to write about my experiences and Indian Life.

"I write everything for an Indian audience. I feel that if an Indian audience regardless of what tribe, or where it’s at, or what region, if they respond to something, and they understand it and appreciate it, then I feel that what I’ve done is at least a long way down the road to succeeding." -- Hanay Geiogamah, interview from Native Arts Update.

Evening at the Warbonnet and Other Plays. By Bruce King, 2006.

The five plays in this collection by Bruce King offer a ride into an American Indian twilight zone that the author has been exploring for much of his career. The abnormal, often surreal settings of these plays provide a backdrop for his observations on the eternal struggle between good and evil and the challenge of living the proper Indian way.

Stories of Our Way: An Anthology of American Indian Plays. Edited by Hanay Geiogamah and Jaye T. Darby, 1999.

The first anthology of its kind, Stories of Our Way spans more than thirty years of American Indian theater. This distinguished group of twelve plays draws on a rich range of tribal experiences, providing a testament to an evolving American Indian theatrical aesthetic. The plays probe the often-painful past, celebrate humor and spirituality, and express the enduring values of family, community, and tribe.

American Indian Theater in Performance: A Reader. Edited by Hanay Geiogamah and Jaye T. Darby, 2000.

This comprehensive collection presents the views of leading playwrights, directors, scholars, and educators in contemporary Native theater. Locating Native theater within the rich contexts of Native communities, tribal performance traditions, and artistic innovations, the articles and interviews provide historical context and offer perspectives on directing, dramaturgy, and new play development in Native theater.

Keepers of the Morning Star: An Anthology of Native Women’s Theater. Edited by Jaye T. Darby and Stephanie Fitzgerald, 2003.

Keepers of the Morning Star showcases the exciting range of Native women’s theater today from the dynamic fusion of storytelling, ceremony, music, and dance to the bold experimentation of poetic stream-of-consciousness and Native agit-prop. While negotiating complex issues, this collection celebrates the enduring power of Native women’s traditions to heal and transform.

Hanay Geiogamah, Principal Investigator and Director
Project HOOP • UCLA American Indian Studies Center • 3220 Campbell Hall, Box 951548
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1548 • Ph: 310/825-7315 • Fax: 310/206-7060

For more information regarding our publications, please visit us online at: or call 310/825-7315.