Squatters on Red Earth, Mary Swander’s latest play, explores the positive relationship that the Amana Colonies have had with the Meskwaki Indigenous people.
The Amana Inspirationists fled religious persecution in their homeland in Germany only to become part of the white settler land grab in the United States. The Inspirationists sought productive land hidden from the rest of the mainstream society in the Iowa River Valley where they encountered the Meskwakis and their long agricultural tradition. The two groups, both agrarian and communal with strong spiritual beliefs, managed to live together peacefully, with a mutual respect for the ecology and sacredness of the land.
This drama is enacted through the use of a crankie, a medieval puppetry device, designed and built by Shelley Buffalo (Meskwaki Settlement). Shadow puppets were made by Monica Leo of Eulenspiegel Puppets (West Liberty, IA). The music was composed and is performed by Laura Hudson Kitrell (Coralville, IA), and costumes were designed and made by Michele Payne Hinz (Cedar Rapids, IA). Brant Bollman from William Penn University (Oskaloosa, IA) directs. Rip Russell (Iowa City, IA) stars in the show
This drama, written by Mary Swander, features an accompanying musical score and a crankie (an old medieval puppetry device).
Mary Swander will answer questions informally after the performance.
A $10 donation is appreciated.
(Production is produced by Swander Woman Productions, a theatre company that creates and tours dramatic performances based on food, farming, and the wider rural environment.)