Sovereignty by Mary Kathryn Nagle,
Directed by Jason Minadakis
Marin Theatre Company 415 388 5208 marintheatre.org
Sept 29- Oct 20
“Friendship formed in danger should not be forgotten” – Major Ridge, Chief, Cherokee Nation
If you enjoy history, and you know anything – or nothing – about the Cherokee people, you will thoroughly enjoy this play. Mary Kathryn Nagle has created a fascinating memoir of her people and their struggles. Life stories, historical and current legal struggles and maltreatment of the Cherokee people by the American people and government, make for a drama that moves. A romance is thrown in, much like Jack and Rose in the movie Titanic, which serves to frame the current legal struggles.
Mary Kathryn Nagle gives us the groundwork to the Trial of Tears and greater insight into conflict within the Cherokee Nation. Overall, she shares the history of a very intelligent, literate people. By the end of the play, you feel as though generations of Americans have suffered a great loss; a unique part of the heritage, that of its’ native peoples, could have been preserved and celebrated, but instead oppressed into almost non-existence.
Most of the actors play dual roles. Elizabeth Frances is a stand out as Sarah Ridge Polson, and Andrew Roa (Major Ridge/Roger Ridge Polson) is very convincing as Major Ridge, speaking the Cherokee language with such enthusiasm you’ll wonder if he’s spoken it before. Ella Dershowitz (Sarah Bird Northrup/Flora Ridge) has a lovely and genuine chemistry with Robert. Craig Marker (Andrew Jackson/Ben O’Connor) will make you love to hate him; he was magnetic as Andrew Jackson. Robert Mesa is very stoic as John Ridge. Jake Waid (John Ross/Jim Ross) time travels well between the characters. Scott Coopwood is a remarkable character actor playing more parts with aplomb than I can remember. Kholan Studi (Elias Boudinot/Watie Polson) and Adam Magill (Samuel Worchester/Mitch) bring a comedic or lighthearted element amid the drama. Annie Smart has created a brilliant set that transcends time and allows the story timelines to adjust easily while keeping the audience in the moment.
Thank you to Mary Kathryn Nagle for taking the time to share the story of the Cherokee Nation, and Jasson Minadakis for making sure the world starts to see and hear it.
2 hours 15 mins.
Tickets available at Marin Theatre Company 397 Miller Ave, Mill Valley, marintheatre.org 415 388 5208