Coming off the successful film adaptation of Where We Belong last summer, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in association with the Folger Shakespeare Library is giving audiences around the country a chance to witness Madeline Sayet’s deeply insightful solo show with a national tour of Where We Belong directed by Mei Ann Teo.
In Where We Belong, Mohegan theatre-maker Madeline Sayet travels to England in 2015 to pursue a PhD in Shakespeare. Madeline finds a country that refuses to acknowledge its ongoing role in colonialism, just as the Brexit vote threatens to further disengage the UK from the wider world. In this exhilarating solo piece, Madeline echoes a journey to England braved by Native ancestors in the 1700s following treatise betrayals – and forces us to consider what it means to belong in an increasingly globalized world.
Woolly Mammoth’s Artistic Director Maria Manuela Goyanes says, "I loved Where We Belong from the moment I encountered it. Madeline's personal history with our country's suppression of her Indigenous language and culture is heartbreaking, and her reflections strike an exquisite balance of delightful humor and painful truth. The journey she shares speaks directly to our current moment and what it means to belong in our violent and increasingly globalized world. It’s thrilling to finally be able to share it with audiences live and in-person around the United States."
“Where We Belong is an invitation to all of us to begin our journey to understand the real impact of colonization and erasure of Indigenous peoples and cultures,” says Karen Ann Daniels, the Folger’s Director of Programming and Artistic Director of Folger Theatre. “Madeline offers us her personal history as an entry point to engage learning as individuals, communities, and cultural institutions – we are proud to support this vital conversation.”
Tour Schedule (in progress)
Philadelphia Theatre Company: April 15, 2022 - May 8, 2022
Goodman Theatre: June 24, 2022 - July 24, 2022
Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival: August 13, 2022 - August 22, 2022
Seattle Rep: September 8, 2022 - October 9, 2022
The Public Theater: Fall 2022
Tickets will be available on each of the presenting organizations’ websites.
About the Artists
Madeline Sayet (Playwright/Performer - she/her) is a Mohegan theatre maker who believes the stories we pass down inform our collective possible futures. She has been honored as a Forbes 30 Under 30 in Hollywood & Entertainment, TED Fellow, MIT Media Lab Director’s Fellow, National Directing Fellow, Drama League Director-In-Residence, NCAIED Native American 40 Under 40, and a recipient of The White House Champion of Change Award from President Obama. She serves as a Clinical Assistant Professor at ASU with the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, is the Executive Director of the Yale Indigenous Performing Arts Program (YIPAP), and is known throughout the field for her work promoting indigenous voices and decolonizing systems. Her plays include: The Neverland, Antigone or And Still She Must Rise Up, Daughters of Leda, Up and Down the River, and The Fish (in development). Recent directing work includes: Tlingit Christmas Carol (Perseverance Theatre), A Midsummer Night's Dream (South Dakota Shakespeare), Henry IV (Connecticut Repertory Theatre), Whale Song (Perseverance Theatre), She Kills Monsters (Connecticut Repertory Theatre), As You Like It (Delaware Shakespeare), The Winter’s Tale (Amerinda/HERE Arts), Poppea (Krannert Center, Illinois), The Magic Flute (Glimmerglass), Macbeth (NYC Parks), Miss Lead (59e59). madelinesayet.com
Mei Ann Teo (Director - they/she) is a queer immigrant from Singapore making theatre & film at the intersection of artistic/civic/contemplative practice. As a director/devisor/dramaturg, they create across genres, including music theatre, intermedial participatory work, reimagining classics, and documentary theatre. Teo’s international work includes Belgium's Festival de Liege (Lyrics From Lockdown, “Truly polished, meaningful and entertaining” - New York Times); Edinburgh International Fringe (MiddleFlight, “Stunning” - Scotsman); Beijing International Festival (Labyrinth - Top 8 in Beijing News); Dim Sum Warriors the Musical by Colin Goh and Yen Yen Woo, composed by Pulitzer Prize winner Du Yun for national China twenty-five city tour; Jillian Walker’s world premiere SKiNFoLK: An American Show at the Bushwick Starr (New York Times Critics Pick, New York Magazine’s Approval Matrix “Highbrow and Brilliant”); Madeline Sayet’s Where We Belong at Shakespeare’s Globe. Teo is the Visiting Professor of Directing at Carnegie Mellon University and the Artistic Director of Musical Theatre Factory.
About Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
Woolly Mammoth is “the hottest theater company in town” (Washington Post); priding itself on developing, producing, and making theatre that disrupts conventional processes and stimulates transformative experiences. For almost four decades, Woolly has held a unique position at the leading edge of the American theater, earning a reputation for staying “uniquely plugged in to the mad temper of the times” (New York Times). The co-leadership of María Manuela Goyanes (Artistic Director) and Emika Abe (Managing Director) is supported by a core company of artists that holds itself to a high standard of artistic excellence. Woolly is relentless in its desire to take risks, experiment, innovate, interrogate, and create a radically inclusive community. Located in Washington, DC, Woolly Mammoth stands upon occupied, unceded territory: the ancestral homeland of the Nacotchtank whose descendants belong to the Piscataway peoples.