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Opinion
Jodi Rave: From the Chickasaw Nation to Broadway


"Few people can be said to have entertained kings, queens and presidents or to have graced national magazine covers, or spent an afternoon having tea with Albert Einstein or lived to be nearly 100 - the exception being Chickasaw actress and storyteller Mary �Te Ata� Fisher.

Despite an impressive career, however, Fisher has been relatively unknown to the world.

�This is a story where we all said we had never heard of this woman,� said Mohawk actress Sarah D'Angelo. �For actresses, you're always looking for role models, especially Native women that have gone to Broadway and made their living at it.�

Playwright JudyLee Oliva discovered Fisher 13 years ago while doing research in a Western history collection and stumbling across 91 archived files on Fisher's life and performing arts career.

�I had never heard of her,� said Oliva, who like Fisher is also Chickasaw. �What I was trying to find was any connection between Native performers and the theater. It was a gold mine.�

The cache included 400 letters, most of them written between Fisher and her husband, Clyde Fisher, who was chief curator of New York's Hayden Planetarium. �It really gave you a sense of how they viewed the world, and that's what I tried to capture in the play,� said Oliva."

Get the Story:
Jodi Rave: A long path to the lights of Broadway (The Missoulian 8/6)

Relevant Links:
Jodi Rave - http://www.missoulian.com/jodirave

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