Sarah Ridge Polson, a young Cherokee lawyer fighting to restore her Nation’s jurisdiction, confronts the ever-present ghosts of her grandfathers. With shadows stretching from 1830s Cherokee Nation (now present-day Georgia) through Andrew Jackson’s Oval Office, along the fateful Trail of Tears, to the Cherokee Nation in present-day Oklahoma—Sovereignty travels the powerful intersections of personal and political truths; bridging our country’s distant past and imminent future.
About the playwright: Mary Kathryn Nagle is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation. She currently serves as the Executive Director of the Yale Indigenous Performing Arts Program. She is also a partner at Pipestem Law, P.C., where she works to protect tribal sovereignty and the inherent right of Indian Nations to protect their women and children from domestic violence and sexual assault. Nagle has authored numerous briefs in federal appellate courts, including the United States Supreme Court. Nagle studied theater and social justice at Georgetown University as an undergraduate student, and received her J.D. from Tulane Law School where she graduated summa cum laude and received the John Minor Wisdom Award. She is a frequent speaker at law schools and symposia across the country. Her articles have been published in law review journals including the Harvard Journal of Law and Gender, Yale Law Journal (online forum), Tulsa Law Review, and Tulane Law Review, among others. Nagle is an alumni of the 2012 Public Theater Emerging Writers Group, where she developed her play Manahatta in Public Studio (May 2014). Productions include Miss Lead (Amerinda, 59E59, January 2014), and Fairly Traceable (Native Voices at the Autry, March 2017), Sovereignty (Arena Stage), Manahatta (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), and Return to Niobrara (Rose Theater). In 2019, Portland Center Stage will produce the world premiere of Crossing Mnisose. Nagle has received commissions from Arena Stage (Sovereignty), the Rose Theater (Return to Niobrara, Omaha, Nebraska), Portland Center Stage (Mnisose), Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Yale Repertory Theatre (A Pipe for February), and Round House Theater.
"At a time when the current President of the United States thinks that the Trail of Tears is nothing more than a joke he can use as a political weapon, it is critical that Americans learn about the attempt, and failure, of President Andrew Jackson to completely eradicate my Nation and all Cherokee Nation citizens on the Trail of Tears. We are still here today, and I am so thankful that Marin Theatre Company is giving me the chance to share a story that most Americans have never heard." —Mary Kathryn Nagle