Storytelling Workshop with Ty Defoe
On November 28, guest artist Ty Defoe visited Millikin's campus to hold a storytelling workshop and spend time with students and faculty talking about his experiences as a professional artist of Native American identity. Ty Defoe is a member of the Giizhiig, Ojibwe and Oneida nations. He is a performing artist, activist, and writer who identifies as two-spirit, a term used in many Native American nations to indicate gender fluidity, non-traditional gender roles, or queerness. With Lakota playwright and choreographer Larissa Fasthorse, Ty founded Indigenous Direction, a "consulting firm that helps organizations and individuals who want to create accurate work by, for and with Indigenous peoples." Ty has written, produced, and performed in many theatre productions, including Clouds are Pillows for the Moon, In the Cards, Heather Henson’s Flight: A Crane’s Story, Tick,Tick, and Honor +Family. Additionally, he collaborated on the Grammy Award-winning album, Come to Me Great Mystery, featuring the work of several Native American musicians. Beginning in June 2018, he, with Kate Bornstein, portrayed stage versions of themselves as "interlocutors of indeterminate gender" in the Broadway premiere of Young Jean Lee's play Straight White Men. The School of Theatre and Dance collaborated with the Office of Inclusion and Student Engagement to make this fantastic opportunity happen as part of the celebration of Native November.