SDSU Theater Collaborates with Native Voices at the Autry for Lying with Badgers

October 15, 2019
Lying with Badgers
Ken Jacques Photography

The SDSU School of Theatre, Television, and Film presents Lying with Badgers, a timeless story of hope, loss, identity, and wonder, from Friday, November 1 to Sunday, November 10 in SDSU’s Experimental Theatre.

Lying with Badgers is a Native play by Blackfeet playwright Jason Grasl.

“It’s my first opportunity to work on a show by a Native American in my 22-year history at SDSU,” said Director Randy Reinholz. “I’m excited to learn more about people in our country that are often left out of the narrative in popular culture.”

Reinholz is an enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and was recently awarded the SDSU Alumni Distinguished Faculty Award.

Wisecracking puppets push Russell to confront questions about his identity and the pain of his fractured family in this comedic Native play. The audience will laugh while we come to know the Badger Two Medicine Area.

“The play intermixes realism with magical realism and how native people can embrace modern ways of living and integrate their own cultural practices and language in the whole of their lives,” said Reinholz.

The student-designed sets and costumes shift the play from realism to magical realism. From a mountainside setting with northern lights and magical snow, to a spirit world portrayed through puppets and comedy.

The production is a collaboration with the LA-based theater company, Native Voices at the Autry. Reinholz is the Director and Co-Founder of Native Voices at the Autry, whose mission is to provide breakthrough plays and diverse programming, highlighting the unique points of view within Native American nations throughout North America.

“The script will be produced by Native Voices in March 2020,” said Reinholz. “Many elements from the SDSU show will inform the Los Angeles Production and a few production elements will move as well. All SDSU students involved with our production will be credited in the Los Angeles production and some students will move with the show.”

Along with the collaboration with Native Voices at the Autry, there will be the playwright, Jason Grasl, in residence to assist the students with their performance. After several performances, there will be a talk hosted by visiting scholars and Grasl.

For more information and tickets, visit

The content within this article has been edited by Lizbeth Persons.

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