A first in St. Louis theater

American Indian Repertory Theatre presents award-winning play on campus

In its first performance in St. Louis, the American Indian Repertory Theatre (AIRT) will present “Weaving the Rain,” an award-winning play by Dianne Yeahquo Reyner. The play is being hosted by Washington University’s Kathryn M. Buder Center for American Indian Studies.

“We have wanted to host a native theater presentation for over a decade because of the theater’s ability to engage and move an audience while providing an education and enhanced awareness,” said Dana Klar, J.D., director of the Buder Center.

“We can think of nothing better to offer our campus community in recognition of Native Heritage Month than this inaugural AIRT performance,” Klar said.

“Weaving the Rain” follows the Two Crow family as they unravel the wall of silences and secrets that prevent them from taking their place as a family. The family comes together in a hospital waiting room after their father is brought in by an ambulance.

Reyner, a member of the Kiowa Nation, said “The Two Crow family, although fictional, is based in reality.

“It is a story about the long-term effects of policies focused on destroying Native American cultures. Native people continue to live under their shadow. Despite this, our communities grow stronger and flourish with each new generation. Native theater is a part of this growth and I am proud to be a part of this thriving tradition, and I am pleased to be able to share this story of renewal,” Reyner said.

“Weaving the Rain” was one of the six national finalists in the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival original playwriting contest in 2004.

Based in Lawrence, Kan., AIRT is a nonprofit theater production company with the purpose of providing an American Indian theatre experience for Native and non-Native audiences. The company was founded by former members of the Haskell Indian Nations University Thunderbird Theatre to make quality American Indian theater available nationally and internationally.

The Buder Center, part of the George Warren Brown School of Social Work, is one of the most respected institutes in the nation for the academic advancement and study of American Indian issues related to social work.

Performances are 8 p.m. Nov. 10 and 2 p.m. Nov. 11 in the Village Black Box Theater, located within The Village dormitory complex at the intersection of Forest Park Parkway and Big Bend Boulevard. Seating is limited to 70 for each show, and advance tickets — $8 for WUSTL students, $10 for everyone else — are available by calling 935-6288. Tickets will be $12 at the door.

The show is recommended for ages 12 and up. For more information about the performances, contact the Buder Center at 935-4510.