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“For the People”, a comedy set in Minneapolis’ Native community, to debut at Guthrie Theater

“For the People”: Comedy set in Minneapolis Native community to debut at Guthrie

“For the People”: Comedy set in Minneapolis Native community to debut at Guthrie


MINNEAPOLIS — A groundbreaking comedy featuring Native American voices is debuting at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis this Saturday.

“For the People” is the first Native-created play to hit the Guthrie Theater’s big stage in its 60-year history. It’s set in the Minneapolis Native community on Franklin Avenue, also known as the American Indian Cultural Corridor.

Local Native performers star in the play, as well as iconic Native actors Wes Studi and Sheri Foster Blake. Studi, known for roles in numerous major films, is returning to the stage after 23 years.

Wes Studi returns to the stage after 23 years in “For the People”

Guthrie Theater

WCCO spoke with co-playwrights Larissa FastHorse and Ty Defoe, who worked with the Native community on Franklin Avenue for years in the leadup to the show.

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“It is the first Native-created play at the Guthrie on one of their main stages, which is unfortunate,” FastHorse said. “We chose yesterday at the beginning of tech to celebrate that, to celebrate the beginning of a new history, a new period at the Guthrie.”

The play is centered around a young Native woman, April Dakota, who returns home to Franklin Avenue with hopes of opening a wellness center for her Native community. In order for her dreams to come true, Dakota will need a grant from a task force made up of Native leaders and elders. 

The creators of the play say it examines the “myriad facets of contemporary Native life” while presenting it with humor and joy.

The cast is mix of local and out-of-state Native actors

Guthrie Theater

“There is something about this idea of narrative reparations that exists, to see our stories done by our community and to share that with other people,” Defoe said. “That’s really exciting, too.”

Watch an extended interview in the video above. “For the People” runs from Oct. 7 through Nov. 12. There are some ticket specials, including free tickets for Native elders. Visit the Guthrie Theater’s website for more

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