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Featured Contributors, April 2018

A report on the rise of Native theatre, and a look at new accessibility technology.

Madeline Sayet. (Photo by Bret Hartman)

“It was a strange task to write about these artists formally,” confesses Madeline Sayet, a writer and director who contributed a story about the heartening ascendance of fellow Native American artists DeLanna Studi, Larissa FastHorse, and Mary Kathryn Nagle. “Stories, laughs, and 3 a.m. message threads usually seem more appropriate.” But she counts herself grateful to be part of a movement that is reclaiming Native narratives from white-dominated theatres and overcoming such racist traditions as redface, and she says she’s both honored and humbled to have the chance to reflect on it at some length. The writers she profiled, she says, “are my friends, but they are also my heroes. Choosing which quotes to include was difficult, because these women don’t waste words.”

Billy McEntee.

Arts journalist and nonprofit arts worker Billy McEntee, who lives in Brooklyn and works at Playwrights Horizons in New York City, says he’s often seen the subject of representation onstage discussed, while the matter of accessibility for theatre patrons of different abilities and backgrounds “is a less explored topic. As an able-bodied patron, it’s very easy to forget that theatregoing is not always as simple or enjoyable an experience for many audiences.” So when he heard about GalaPro, a new app developed to help Deaf, blind, and non-English-speaking audiences have full access to all theatre performances, he jumped at the chance “to investigate what is being done to enhance theatregoing experiences different from my own.”

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