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Leadership in Community-Based Theatre and Civic Engagement Award

ATHE’s Award for Leadership in Community-Based Theatre and Civic Engagement honors an individual or theatre company that has demonstrated sustained commitment and a significant impact in the field for a minimum of ten years. This year we recognize the following organization for their outstanding work:


Indigenous Direction

Larissa FasthorseLarissa FastHorse, co-founder of Indigenous Direction, a consulting firm for companies and artists who want to create accurate work about, for and with Indigenous Peoples'. Larissa and Ty came to this work separately as individual artists in the American theater field who constantly found themselves in the position of being consultants by virtue of being the first or only Indigenous artist in the building. Their current clients include Western Arts Alliance, Guthrie Theater, and Roundabout Theater Company. More can be learned at Artistically Larissa has been commissioned as a playwright with theaters around the country such as Playwrights Horizons, Yale Rep, Kansas City Rep, Children's Theater Company of Minneapolis, Artists Rep, Cornerstone Theater Company, Geffen Playhouse and many more. The Thanksgiving Play was named one of the top ten most produced plays in the 2019-20 season. Larissa’s awards include the PEN/ Laura Pels Theater Award for an American Playwright, NEA Distinguished New Play Development Grant, Joe Dowling Annamaghkerrig Fellowship, AATE Distinguished Play Award, Inge Residency, Sundance/Ford Foundation Fellowship, Aurand Harris Fellowship, the UCLA Native American Program Woman of the Year and numerous Creative Capital, MAP Fund, Ford, Mellon and NEA Grants. More can be learned at


Ty DefoeTy Defoe (Giizhig), Oneida and Ojibwe Nations, is an writer and interdisciplinary artist, and Grammy Award winner. Ty aspires to an interweaving approach to artistic projects with social justice, indigeneity, indiqueering, and environmentalism. Ty’s global cultural arts highlights: the Millennium celebration in Cairo, Egypt; Ankara, Turkey, International Music Festival; and Festival of World Cultures in Dubai. Awards: First American in the Arts, Global Indigenous Heritage Festival Award, a Robert Rauschenberg Artist in Residence, Jonathan Larson Award. Works created: River of Stone, Red Pine, The Way They Lived, Ajijaak on Turtle Island, Hear Me Say My Name. Ty is an artEquity facilitator, co-founder of Indigenous Direction (with Larissa FastHorse), member of All My Relations Collective-- DTWG at the Public Theater, GIZHIBAA GIIZHIG | Revolving Sky at Under the Radar's Incoming!). Publications: Casting a Movement, Pitkin Review, Thorny Locust Magazine, Howl Round, and Routledge Press. Degrees from CalArts, Goddard College, + NYU Tisch. Movement Direction: Mother Road, Dir. Bill Rauch (OSF), Manahatta, Dir. Laurie Woolery (OSF + Yale Rep), and Choreographer for Tracy Lett’s The Minutes (Broadway). He appeared on the Netflix show; Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and made his Broadway debut in Young Jean Lee’s Straight White Men, Dir. Anna Shapiro. Lives in NYC + loves the color clear. He|We|


Acceptance Speech





ATHE offers special thanks to the Leadership in Community-Based Theatre and Civic Engagement award subcommittee for their work this cycle.

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