The Stories We Choose to Pass Down Shape Our Collective Possible Futures

Raised on traditional Mohegan stories and Shakespeare, Madeline Sayet is a director whose work is shaped by the idea of Story Medicine - the belief that every story we put into this world has the power to do real world harm or healing. What story do you wish you had heard growing up? How can theatre be used to transcend the world we are in and build a better future?

For her work as a stage director of new plays, classics, and opera - Madeline has been named a FORBES 30 UNDER 30 in Hollywood & Entertainment, a TED FELLOW, a MIT MEDIA LAB DIRECTORS FELLOWNCAIED NATIVE AMERICAN 40 UNDER 40, a recipient of THE WHITE HOUSE CHAMPION OF CHANGE AWARD from President Obama, the NATIONAL DIRECTORS  FELLOWSHIP, and a National Arts Strategies' CREATIVE COMMUNITY FELLOW. Madeline is the Executive Director of the Yale Indigenous Performing Arts Program (YIPAP) and a member of Long Wharf Theatre's artistic ensemble. Her directing work has been praised by the Wall Street Journal as "enchanting," and the New York Times admired the "transparent and almost weightless" fluidity of the worlds she builds. Her work promoting Native voices onstage has been featured in NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, GOOD Magazine, and MENTAL FLOSS.  

Her solo performance piece Where We Belong recently premiered at SHAKESPEARE'S GLOBE and RichMix in London where it received 5 STARS from The Upcoming and was called "A spiritual journey-Sayet performs with humbling passion." Another review noted,"Not only is Sayet joyfully emotional, real, and incredibly funny, she is a euphoric storyteller, with an important story."

Madeline Sayet

In addition to her work as an artist, she is widely sought after as a public speaker and educator, having spoken at the TED conference, Yale, the MIT Media Lab, NYU, SHPO, The International Festival of Arts and Ideas, etc. Please use the contact form for inquiries. 


Upcoming Events

Commissioned as part of "Play at Home"  by State Theatre of New Jersey 

Wrote a silly play for kids, "Pets Need Privacy Too" All Play at Home Plays Can be Found Here

Directed Long Wharf Theatre's 2020 Gala, "Staged At Home: A Virtual Benefit Concert"


Adapted and Directed by Madeline Sayet 

Butler University, Indianapolis, IN

Nov 4-8th 2020

Where We Belong

Written and Performed by Madeline Sayet 

Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company 

Washington DC 2021

Recent Articles and Interviews

America's Obsession with Killing Indians Hasn't Died

by Madeline Sayet 

High Country News


East West Players Artistic Leaders Roundtable


Why Shakespeare: Episode 6 Shakespeare and Colonialism


Madeline's work is a case study in "Creating a Freelance Career"

Creating a Freelance Career by Jill L. Ferguson (Chapter 2 - Case Study)

Case Study 2.1 Madeline Sayet


Madeline is featured in the Dec 2018 Issue of National Geographic Magazine 

Reclaiming Our Stories by Tristan Ahtone. December 2018 Issue of National Geographic


Going Global: Madeline Sayet Premieres Her One Woman Show in London

The Day


One to Watch: Madeline Sayet is Making Waves as a Theater Director

The Day

Cover Story for the April Issue of American Theatre Magazine

Native Women Rising

by Madeline Sayet

Episode 145: Holy Sh*t Its Madeline Sayet!

No Holds Bard: Shakespeare Podcast


NEA Art Talk with Director Madeline Sayet

National Endowment for the Arts