A Colbert native and an Southeastern Oklahoma State University alumnus will bring the role of young Te Ata to life in the production of, “Te-Ata”, a play about one of America’s most beloved Native storytellers, when it comes to an Oklahoma City and Washington D.C. stage this summer.
Tana Takes Horse, who now resides in Dallas, will play Mary Frances “Te Ata” Thompson Fisher in the production of “Te Ata”.
The play will be presented June 14-17 and 21-24, 2012 at Oklahoma City University and July 5-8, 2012 at the National Museum of the American Indian Rasmuson Theatre in Washington, D.C.
The Chickasaw Nation and Oklahoma City University are collaborating to present the play inspired by the life and legacy of Te Ata, who enlightened the world about Native American history and culture by sharing the stories of her Chickasaw tribe and other indigenous people
Te-Ata achieved national and international acclaim with her one-person performances of American Indian folklore and enchanted a wide variety of audiences including, presidents, European royalty, heads of state and many more.
“Te Ata brought the beauty and wisdom of American Indian culture to the world in a way that helped develop greater appreciation for core values such as basic human kindness and respect for the natural world,” said Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby. “Her life’s work helped bring diverse cultures closer together. She is a shining example of how artistic expression can change hearts and minds.”
Te Ata, which means “bearer of the dawn,” was named the first Oklahoma Treasure 25 years ago and is also a member of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame and the Chickasaw Hall of Fame.
The production will be brought to life by award-winning Chickasaw playwright, JudyLee Oliva. Ms. Oliva holds a Master of Fine Arts in directing from the University of Oklahoma and a Ph.D. in theater and drama from Northwestern University. Her work has been seen by audiences from coast to coast including New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles. She was named the 2006 Dynamic Chickasaw Woman of the Year for her work on “Te Ata.” She has published two text books and has contributed to more than 20 other books and journals.
“Te Ata” will be directed by noted Native American scholar and director Dr. Christy Stanlake. An associate professor of English and the director of the Navy Theatre program at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. Dr. Stanlake earned a Ph.D. in theatre history, literature and criticism from Ohio State University, where she specialized in Native American dramaturgy. She earned a Master of Arts in theatre from the University of Oklahoma.
The production includes music composed by Jan Seiden.
Tickets are now available by contacting the Oklahoma City University Theatre Department at 405-208-5227 or visit the OCU website for more information at www.okcu.edu/theatre. Tickets range from $12 to $15. Students, senior citizens, Allied Art members and groups purchase for $10 each.
The Oklahoma performances will be followed by a touring production July 5-8, 2012 at the National Museum of the American Indian Rasmuson Theatre in Washington, D.C. For more information about the Washington, D.C. performance, visit http://nmai.si.edu/calendar/.
Tana Takes Horse (Young Te Ata)
Tana Takes Horse is a native of Colbert with an extensive professional and community theatre resume. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Musical Theatre from Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant. While at Southeastern, Tana was in multiple school productions including “Anything Goes”, “Jesus Christ Superstar”, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” and the world premiere of “The Ugly Duckling.” As a member of the Oklahoma Shakespearean Festival, Tana has performed in “Fiddler on the Roof”, “Grease”,” The Pirates of Penzance”, “Romeo and Juliet” and “The Two Gentlemen of Verona.” Tana was privileged to perform in the “Trail of Tears” drama in Tahlequah, twice. She has eight years of dance and vocal training and was Miss Indian Oklahoma 2005. Tana is of Chickasaw, Choctaw, Crow, Chippewa and Hidatsa decent. Most recently, Tana has been volunteering in the Dallas school district by directing two theatre productions.