The 1999 Sky Woman Festival, a celebration of Native American women's theatre, will end Sunday with the Nov. 18-21 run of Diane Glaney's The Lesser Wars. The three-week series of plays and lectures at the Henry Street Settlement's Abrons Art Center began Nov. 3.
The Lesser Wars, based around the Native American myth of Coyote as the trickster and survivor of the natural world, traces two wounded persons as they forge a relationship together.
The two other pieces featured were:
* Sara and Susie, the Yukon comedy and storytelling duo of Sharon Shorty and Jackie Bear. Both women portray Native elders and grandmothers who relate comic stories and wisdom from their lives. Sara and Susie ran Nov. 4-7.
* Marge Kane's Moonlodge presented with the performance art piece, Laura Ortman's Ragged Dog, Nov. 11-14. Set in the 1950s, Moonlodge remembers a time when Native American children were often snatched off of reservations and given to supposed "good homes" by the Children's Aid Department. This drama tells the story of Agnes, one such girl who returns to the reservation to find her true history. Ragged Dog is based on the stray dogs that populate reservations and what they represent about home and survival. Each Wednesday held a special event: a benefit performance and poetry reading Nov. 3, a reading of Marcia Rendon's play, Song Catcher, Nov. 10 and a lecture entitled "Urban Talk" by Margo Kane Nov. 17.
The Sky Woman Festival is named for the Iroquois creation myth, wherein the Sky Woman came to North America and gave birth to twins, the Good Spirit and the Bad Spirit. In her labor, she died, but her body was used by the Good Spirit to nourish the earth and become the sun, moon and stars.
Tickets to Festival productions are $12, the readings and lectures are free. For information and reservations, call (212) 465-3399. The Henry Street Settlement's Abrons Art Center is located at 466 Grand Street.
-- By Christine Ehren