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Reviews of *Where We Belong*

Audience Raves

"I learned so much about indigenous people and their struggles, and to be honest, I thought I was already well-informed. [Jessica Ranville] was amazing. I didn't know what to expect, but I'd frame the show as a history lesson everyone needs to hear."

"Very powerful message and tremendous storytelling."

"I loved this play. It really spoke to me. Being a Shakespeare lover, it was such a profound topic of colonialism and allowing cultures to maintain their own boundaries."

"Jessica Ranville was amazing! Tour de force for the entire 80 minutes! The set was very innovative, almost like another character in the show."

"We loved this play! Everything about this experience is powerful." 

"Remarkable and affecting portrayal of a Native American culture we don’t think about enough. Fascinating Shakespeare connection. Rich and beautifully performed."

"I truly enjoyed learning about Native American culture and traditions from a Native American. History has, for too long, been told from only one point of view. Too many people have suffered as a result. While true change can take generations to complete, it needs to start someplace."

"Fascinating — made us see things from another perspective that facts alone cannot fully explain."

"Incredible performance — a solo show reminiscent of Frida. I learned a lot, and it piqued my interest to learn more about Mohegan culture and history." 

"One of the best performances I have seen in a long time. The set, lighting, and sound design were so incredibly waved into the story. The performer was phenomenal, and the writing deeply moving."

"Incredible. Top 5 theatre experiences in Portland — EVER. Thought-provoking, compelling, beautifully written, and masterfully performed. Gorgeous set design and staging!"

"We loved the dialogue, the single voice with so much commitment and verve. We loved this play! Everything about this experience is powerful."

Local Reviews

"I don’t think I’ve ever learned more or been as changed by eighty minutes of live theater in my life. Where We Belong somehow covers hundreds of years of culture and trauma, one modern journey of identity and purpose, and even an analysis of The Tempest, all the while making the narrative accessible to every audience member, no matter what stories were taught to us in school. And all of the heaviness is infused with so much humor and buoyancy throughout, that audience members can hold it. The show is kind in that way." –PDXParent

In the News

"I was always thinking of it as oral tradition, where it wasn’t designed to have this linear path. These are my stories, and this is how I pieced them together culturally and spiritually. I was telling parts of it, but also my ancestors were always there with me telling it." –Madeline Sayet with Portland Monthly on writing Where We Belong. View the Feature

"The play Where We Belong is Madeline Sayet’s story of going to England — to Stratford-upon-Avon, even — to pursue a Ph.D. in Shakespeare studies only to confront hard questions about colonization, ancestry, identity, belonging, and, of course, language." View the Feature 

Portland Center Stage Literary Manager Kamilah Bush joined Everyday Northwest to share more about three upcoming performances all written by women. View the Feature

Seattle Times interviews Mohegan theater artist Madeline Sayet about her solo show Where We Belong. View the Feature

"In 2018, when I moved back to the United States after living in the UK for a few years, it was the first time that my feet didn't root quite right to the ground. Before that, every time I came home I could feel my roots reaching all the way down; it was evident in my body that this was the place of my ancestors." –Madeline Sayet in an interview with Theater Mania about her solo show Where We Belong. View the Feature

Critic Reviews

“An important story — thought-provoking, respectful, and alive.” –MD Theatre Guide

“Will inspire and demand your utmost attention, from beginning to end.” –Times Square Chronicles

"Where We Belong illuminate[s] a culture, in the past and in the present, that we should know more about." –New York Theater

“There are stories of her mother, her elders, her responses to Shakespeare, and the ways she believes that her culture’s insights can transform theater.” –DC Metro Theater Arts

“Witnessing that kind of passion for storytelling on stage is theater magic.” –BroadwayWorld

"Where We Belong belongs to the realms of both theatre and lecture, cultural retrospective and personal memoir." –New York Theatre Guide

Where We Belong tells [the tale] with grace and humanity.” –Metro Weekly

National Audience Raves

"I love being challenged, educated, and exploring our world through your plays. This play will stay with me a while."

"This was a spectacular production, and I'm so, so glad I saw it."

"I love, love, loved the show. Sayet is brilliant, and this was a moving, thoughtful, sharp piece."

"Wonderful and very meaningful performance! I normally struggle with one-person shows, but this show was extremely engaging and I was riveted from start to finish."

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