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 FELLOW, NCAIED 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 an Assistant Professor in the English Dept at Arizona State University, and Executive Director of the Yale Indigenous Performing Arts Program (YIPAP). 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." Where We Belong is currently playing in Chicago at The Goodman Theatre where it received 4 out of 4 stars from the Chicago Tribune.
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.
Next Performances of Where We Belong
Produced by Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
In Association with the Folger Shakespeare Library
Goodman Theatre, Chicago June 24-July 24 2022
Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival August 13-22 2022
Seattle Repertory Theatre Sept 8-Oct 9 2022
The Public Theater (NYC): Oct 28-Nov 27th 2022
Portland Center Stage: Feb 25-March 26th 2023
Oregon Shakespeare Festival: Aug 29-Oct 29 2023
Reviews are in:
"Powerful one woman performance. Where We Belong achieves what live theater does best: a deeply human connection between performer and audience. Four out of four stars."
- The Chicago Tribune
"Sayet cycles through anecdotes with pathos and a playful charm" - Washington Post
"Her Mohegan name means Blackbird and she soars in Where We Belong" - DC Metro News
"Where We Belong is glorious playwriting . . .don't miss this one" - MD Theatre Guide
"The lines drawn are impeccable and well crafted, with intricate portrayals filled with smart assertions by Sayet as she dutifully weaves together ideas that both acknowledge history alongside modern equivalence and conceptualizations." - Times Square Chronicles
"It can now stand as one of the great artistic achievements of the pandemic" - Roger Catlin Broadway World
Recent Articles and Interviews
Indigenous Theatre Imagines Forward
Why Shakespeare: Episode 6 Shakespeare and Colonialism
America's Obsession with Killing Indians Hasn't Died
by Madeline Sayet
High Country News
Madeline Sayet: The Opposite of Erasure
by Susan Gonzalez
Madeline is featured in the Dec 2018 Issue of National Geographic Magazine
Going Global: Madeline Sayet Premieres Her One Woman Show in London
Madeline's work is a case study in "Creating a Freelance Career"
Creating a Freelance Career by Jill L. Ferguson (Chapter 2 - Case Study)
One to Watch: Madeline Sayet is Making Waves as a Theater Director
Episode 145: Holy Sh*t Its Madeline Sayet!
No Holds Bard: Shakespeare Podcast