YGSNA Co-Sponsors Sliver of A Full Moon at the Institute of American Indian Arts, March 23rd in Santa Fe

March 9, 2016

YGSNA, the Native American Cultural Center (NACC), and the Yale Indigenous Performing Arts Program (YIPAP) are co-sponsoring a staged reading of Mary Kathryn Nagle’s Sliver of A Full Moon in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on March 23rd.

Working in partnership with the Performing Arts Department at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA), approximately twenty Yale students, staff, and faculty are traveling to Santa Fe to work with IAIA students, staff, and faculty in the presentation of Nagle’s work. Nearly a dozen Yale and IAIA students are cast in the production which Nagle will direct.

A dramatic reenactment of the movement to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) of 2013, Sliver relays the efforts of American Indian policy leaders and domestic violence survivors to restore the authority of Indian Nations to prosecute non-Indian abusers of Native women on reservations. Three survivors—Lisa Brunner (White Earth), Billie Jo Rich (Eastern Cherokee) and Diane Millich (Southern Ute)—will be playing themselves in the production. All testified about their abuse at the hands of non-Indians in the movement to reauthorize VAWA.

Free and open to the public, the evening performance will be held at the IAIA Main Campus, an expansive, 140-acre campus fifteen minutes from downtown Santa Fe.

For more, see the below IAIA Press Release:

Sliver of a Full Moon Staged Reading
on the IAIA Campus

Public Invited to Free Event on March 23, 2016 at 7:00 pm 

SANTA FE, NM - February 29, 2016 - Performing Arts at IAIA (The Institute of American Indian Arts), in partnership with Yale Group for the Study of Native America, Yale Indigenous Performing Arts Program, and Yale Native American Cultural Center present Sliver of a Full Moon by Mary Kathryn Nagle, March 23, 2016 at 7:00 pm, in the CLE Commons, on the IAIA Campus, 83 Avan Nu Po Road, on the South Side of Santa Fe – just minutes from the intersection of Rodeo Road and Richards Avenue.   

Admission is free.  Please RSVP to: PerformingArts@iaia.edu

Sliver of a Full Moon is a powerful reenactment of the historic congressional reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in 2013: a movement that restored the authority of Tribal Governments to prosecute non-Indian abusers who assault and abuse Native women on tribal lands.  The play’s author, Mary Kathryn Nagle, is a citizen of Cherokee Nation and a partner at Pipestem Law Firm, where she works to protect and preserve the inherent sovereignty of Indian Nations to protect all of their citizens. 

The staged reading documents the legal and jurisdictional issues raised in the wake of Oliphant v. Suquamish Indian Tribe, a 1978 Supreme Court decision that stripped Indian Nations of the ability to exercise their inherent criminal jurisdiction over non-Indians who come onto tribal lands and commit crimes.  Oliphant left Native women and children at a higher risk of domestic violence than any other group in the United States.  The play then follows the bipartisan legislative battle to reauthorize VAWA in 2013 with a tribal jurisdiction provision that restored a portion of Tribes’ jurisdiction to protect Native women and children from non-Indian perpetrated violence.  In the words of survivor Lisa Brunner (White Earth Ojibwe), “The partial restoration of tribal jurisdiction in VAWA 2013 is just a sliver of the full moon we need to ensure all of our women are safe.  Until all of our Tribes’ jurisdiction is full restored, no one is safe.”


Mary Kathryn Nagle is a nationally acclaimed Playwright.  She currently serves as the Executive Director for the Yale Indigenous Performing Arts Program

Nagle was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation.  She studied theater at Georgetown University, and went on to study law at Tulane Law School, where she graduated summa cum laude and was the recipient of the Judge John Minor Wisdom Award.  Her law review articles have been published in five different journals, including the Tulane Law Review and Tulsa Law Review.  Following graduation from law school, she clerked for Judge Joseph Bataillon and Judge Laurie Smith Camp of the United States District Court, District of Nebraska, and then subsequently clerked for Judge Fortunato P.  Benavides of the United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit. She has worked as an associate at a law firm in New York for the past four years, working on litigation relating to structured finance, bankruptcy, qui tam, and federal Indian law.  She has drafted briefs in district and appellate courts, including the United States Supreme Court.

Nagle is a 2013 alumna of the Public Theater’s Emerging Writers Group.  During her tenure in the Emerging Writers Group, she wrote Manahatta.  Manahatta was performed as a staged reading as a side-event in the 2013 United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous People, and received a reading as a part of the Public’s NEW WORK NOW series.  Most recently, the Public Theater workshopped Manahatta in its first iteration of PUBLIC STUDIO (May 2014).  In December 2014, Manahatta was named a top-three Finalist for the 2014 William Saroyan Prize for Playwriting, and was named the Runner Up for the 2015 Jane Chambers Playwriting Award.  Manahatta is also on the 2015 Kilroy’s List.

Sliver of a Full Moon was recently presented as a staged reading at Yale Law School.  It has been previously presented at the United Nations, World Conference on Indigenous People, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies at Harvard University, and the Public Theater’s JOE’s PUB on September 21, 2014. 

Daniel Banks, Chair of the Performing Arts Department at IAIA remarked, “I am excited about this partnership with the Yale Group for the Study of Native America, Yale Indigenous Performing Arts Program, and Yale Native American Cultural Center. Mary Kathryn Nagle is a visionary playwright and activist. This is an exciting opportunity for our students to meet a vital artist, watch her work, and participate in the process. We very much appreciate the work of all these groups at Yale to bring such an important piece of social and political theatre to our campus and to Santa Fe.” 

Performing Arts at IAIA

“Self-expression, community building, and leadership through the Performing Arts.”

For more information, PerformingArts@iaia.edu or 505.428.5952.


About IAIA – For over 50 years, the Institute of American Indian Arts has played a key role in the direction and shape of Native expression. With an internationally acclaimed college, museum, and tribal support resource through the IAIA Land Grant Programs, IAIA is dedicated to the study and advancement of Native arts and cultures and is committed to student achievement and the preservation and progress of their communities.  IAIA is accredited by both the Higher Learning Commission and the National Association of Schools of Art & Design.  Learn more about IAIA and our mission at www.iaia.edu