Playwright Theatre Lab

Founded 2018

Program Overview

Native Indigenous Playwright Lab supports the next generation of Native writers. We invite Native Indigenous writers aged twenty-five years and younger to submit written versions of their plays for consideration, held during Red nation International Film Festival – a table read (in-person and/or virtual). The winner will receive a developmental workshop of their play and $500 prize (may include transportation and housing, if held in-person).

Each year, RNCI program consists of a workshop and staged reading of the winning youth play. Contest Winners will also have the opportunity to be mentored by a professional Native playwright.

*Attention: Applications Open August 2023

Apply. If you have any further questions, please send us an email at

The Bone Picker
Lennixx–Nickolai Treat Bad Moccasin

Congratulations to RNCI Youth Playwright Lennixx–Nickolai Treat Bad Moccasin

Ford Foundation Fellowship Award 2022 Predoctoral Fellowship Competition. The fellowship is sponsored by the Firm Foundation and administered by the Fellowships Office of the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine.

RNCI Playwright Lennixx–Nickolai Treat Bad Moccasin submitted his play WHO ARE WE for our Native Playwright Lab and stage reading in 2019. He is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and he is from Eagle Butte, South Dakota, a small town on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation.

November 21, 2021

Two Worlds:
Spider Woman Stories Virtual Stage Reading

Native Women in Theatre | Moderated by Joanelle Romero

(Virtual Event)

Written By: Christina Castro, Deanna Allison, Kim Delfina Gleason, and Maria Herrera-Bustamante

Directed By: Kim Delfina Gleason

Performed By: Kim Delfina Gleason, Christina Castro, María Teresa Herrera, and Ria Thundercloud

Produced By: Two Worlds | Languages: English, Adult Content & Explicit Language (Warning)

This performance is dedicated to Native and Indigenous Women who are finding ways to empower, celebrate, and discover what it means to be a Matriarchal Mother and Daughter in today’s society. We honor and recognize our traditional tribal lands of the Sandia Pueblo, Navajo, Jicarilla and Mescalero Apache communities, located in New Mexico. 

Spider Woman Stories is an interactive storytelling and multi-media performance featuring the narratives, experiences and cultural history of Matriarchal Native and Indegnous Women. Narrated by Spider Woman, a traditional Navajo deity; she unwebs the stories of these women who come up against everyday personal struggles, self-identity, and inequality in the world.

Watch the virtual stage reading live on Facebook at and later on YouTube at

Two Worlds: Spider Woman Stories Virtual Stage Reading
Call for submissions RNIFF 25 - draft v3


Playwright Theatre Lab

Postponed due to Pandemic.

November 5, 2019


(In Person Event)

Written By: Lennixx–Nickolai Treat Bad Moccasin

Directed By: Dillon Dean

Produced By: Joanelle Romero and Aubrey Hicks

Lennixx–Nickolai Treat Bad Moccasin is Dakota and Mnicoujou Lakota. He is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and he is from Eagle Butte, South Dakota, a small town on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation. His creative interests include playwriting, screenwriting, fiction-writing, and graphic design. Lennixx currently resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he’s a PhD student at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities.

Who We Are
The Bone Picker Cast

November 5, 2018


(In Person Event)

Written By: Carolyn Dunn

Directed By: Sarah dAngelo

Performed By: Joanelle Romero, Abe Martell (USC Alum), Sabina Zuniga Varela (USC Alum), Jennifer Bobiwash, Robert Mesa, Dillon Pierce, Kenny Ramos

Produced By: Joanelle Romero and Aubrey Hicks

A missing boy brings together a grieving mother and sister to face their fears of abandonment and guilt as they race against time to save what may be their last hope.

  • National Endowment for the Arts
  • NoVo Foundation
  • California Community Foundation
  • National Endowment for Humanities

Support for the Playwright Theatre Lab

Playwright Theatre Lab is made possible through gifts, grants and sponsorships.

Give your support to Playwright Theatre Lab program.

  • Department of Cultural Affairs City of Los Angeles
  • Gavin White Empowerment Fund
  • Joanelle Romero
  • RNCI Board of Directors

RNCI Year-Round Program Calendar

The Red Nation Celebration Institute Programs focus on the specific development of storytellers from Native and Indigenous backgrounds, encompassing feature film and episodic work. Fellows will receive hands-on support from the Institute and advisors, including one-on-one feedback sessions and roundtable discussions.

A look inside our Creative Program Labs and Intensives

to experience more documentaries visit Red Nation Television Network and RedNationFilms

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