The Armory

Crossing Mnisose

Protect the water. Remember the sacrifice.

April 13 — May 5, 2019

On the U.S. Bank Main Stage

Previews Apr. 13–18 | Opening night Apr. 19
By Mary Kathryn Nagle
Directed by Molly Smith

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Crossing Mnisose (“minne-show-she”) tells the story of one of America's first feminists, Sacajawea, and draws a line from a completely original view of Lewis and Clark to the present day, as descendants of the Dakota and Lakota Nations continue their fight for the Mnisose (or what Europeans named the “Missouri River”) and the lands that contain the burials of their ancestors. From celebrated playwright, activist, and attorney Mary Kathryn Nagle (Cherokee Nation), whose Manahatta captivated audiences at Oregon Shakespeare Festival. 

Commissioned by Portland Center Stage at The Armory | World Premiere 

Run Time
Approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes, with one intermission.

Who's Who
View the Cast and Creative Team

Explore the Program

Join us for brief informational talks at 6:55 p.m. before every weeknight performance. Does not include preview performances.

Post-show discussions with cast and crew follow matinee performances April 25, 27, May 2, and 4.

Access Dates
Open Captioned - April 27, 2 p.m.
Audio Described - April 28, 2 p.m.
Sign Interpreted - May 2, 7:30 p.m.

Recommended for ages 15 and up. This production contains loud noises, combat, domestic violence, strong language, and fog/haze. Children under 6 are not permitted at any production at The Armory. Learn more by calling 503-445-3700 or emailing .

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Resource Guide:
Download resource guide (PDF)

Performance Times

Evenings: Tuesdays – Sundays at 7:30 p.m.*
Matinees: Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m., Thursdays at noon*

*Schedule may vary for some shows. Please check our season calendar to confirm.

Photos & Artwork

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An Interview with Mary Kathryn Nagle

The playwright discusses deconstructing the mythology of Lewis and Clark, learning the truth about Sacajawea, and how her experiences at the Standing Rock protests and as a lawyer fighting for Indigenous rights informed the writing of Crossing Mnisose.

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Why I Wrote This Play

In her own words: Mary Kathryn Nagle on her journey to restore the forgotten narrative of Sacajawea, connect her story to those of modern Native women survivors, and place the mythology of Manifest Destiny in the context of recent history.

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The World of the Play: "Crossing Mnisose"

Explore the world of the play.

More Info & Features

Upcoming Events

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Pre-show with Se-ah-dom Edmo and Laura John

Sat, Apr 27, 1:00 p.m.  •  FREE

Join us for a Crossing Mnisose pre-show reception and conversation with Se-ah-dom Edmo, Executive Director of McKenzie River Gathering (MRG) Foundation and Laura John, City of Portland’s Tribal Liaison.

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Not Invisible: Fighting for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

Sun, Apr 28, 4:15 p.m.  •  FREE

Please join us for a post-show conversation for Crossing Mnisose with guest panelists including founder of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women USA, Deborah Maytubee Denton-Shipman, Yakama tribal member and scholar Emily Washines, Blackfeet Nation member Lissalynn Loring and moderated by journalist and author Jacqueline Keeler.

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May First Thursday

Thu, May 2, 5:00 p.m.  •  FREE

Celebrate May First Thursday with Portland-based Native rappers Kunu Bearchum and Fish Martinez (aka Stryk-9 and 2 8 Tha Native) with a traditional pow wow dance troupe as part of an interactive, multi-media, intertribal collective of artists.

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