ADV – Leaderboard

Mary Kathryn Nagle Is First KCRep American Crossroads Resident Playwright 

An attorney on the frontline of Native American rights, and the playwright of ‘Sovereignty’ and ‘Manahatta,’ Nagle will create a work inspired by stories of the region.

Mary Kathryn Nagle.

KANSAS CITY, MO.: Kansas City Repertory Theatre (KCRep) has launched the American Crossroads Residency, a program to support playwrights, composers, and musicians in cultivating stories that originate from Kansas City and the region, and has named playwright and attorney Mary Kathryn Nagle as the inaugural playwright resident, from whom they have also commissioned a new play. Nagle will travel to Kansas City, where she will research and create a work of theatre illuminating the real-life events, people, and history of Kansas City. Nagle will have the opportunity to work alongside a dramaturg and will receive a public reading of her work. 

The American Crossroads Residency is a part of OriginKC, a pipeline aimed at fulfilling KCRep’s mission to support diverse stories, community, and multigenerational audience. OriginKC supports artists by giving them the resources to develop an idea into a world premiere production, or provide a development process toward a second production to debut on KCRep’s stages. 

“American Crossroads Residency is a significant new initiative of our OriginKC New Works program,” said KCRep artistic director Stuart Carden in a statement. “Conceived during the pandemic and activated by director of artistic development, Hallie Gordon, American Crossroads Residency invites extraordinary playwrights, like Mary Kathryn Nagle, to be in ‘residence’ and engage with the people, events, and communities that have profoundly impacted the spirit and culture of the Kansas City region.” 

Nagle is an attorney whose work focuses on the restoration of tribal sovereignty and the inherent right of Indian nations to protect their women and children from domestic violence and sexual assault. Nagle is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation, and worked on the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization and filed several briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court, including Denezpi v. United States, United States v. Cooley, Oklahoma v. Murphy, Oklahoma v. McGirt, Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta, and Brackeen v. Haaland. 

“Having grown up in the Kansas City area, I am thrilled to return home and work with KCRep to tell a Kansas City story about the Indigenous peoples and Native nations who have shaped Kansas City into the community that Kansas City is today,” said Nagle in a statement. “It’s an incredible opportunity, and I’m excited to get started!”

Nagle previously served as the first executive director of the Yale Indigenous Performing Arts Program and is an alum of the 2013 Public Theater Emerging Writers Program. Her plays include Miss Lead (Amerinda, 59E59), Sovereignty (Arena Stage), Manahatta (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), and Return to Niobrara (Rose Theater). She has received commissions from Arena Stage, the Rose Theater, Portland Center Stage, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Yale Repertory Theatre, Round House Theater, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

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ADV – Billboard