A CHRISTMAS IN OCHOPEE 

New Native Theatre Presents


A CHRISTMAS IN OCHOPEE


by Montana cypress (Miccosukee) 

Directed by Julia Rosa Sosa


Cast

Bo Weetley-Thomas Draskovic (Lakhóta/Wahpé Khúte Dakhóta)

Virginia Weetley-Genevieve Lane (Lakota/Ojibwe)

Joseph "Junior" Weetley-Bradley Lewis (Acoma Pueblo)

Donnie Boy Weetley/Police Chief-David Valentine (Cree/Metis/Afro-Indigenous)

Uncle Leroy-James Harvin (Afro-Indigenous, Nahuatl & Rappahannock)

Audrey-JaLisa MeKee (Ho-Chunk)

Summer/Corrections Officer-Jacqueline Zepeda (Blackfeet)

Maria-Rebekah Crisanta de Ybarra (Maya-Lenca Nation)

Officer Patty-Roya White Eagle (Parnee Nation of Oklahoma)

Sports Announcer-Trey Porter (Kagchikel Maya & reconnecting

White Earth Nation Anishinaahe)

Tiny the Dog-Theo Koppinger (Shih Tzu/ Bichon Frise)



Artistic Director- Rhiana Yazzie

Stage Manager-Becca Wilts

Assistant Director- Charli Fool Bear (Yanktonai)

Scenic Designer-Tania Barrenechea

Lighting Designer-Ellie Simonett

Assistant Lighting Designer-Dante Benjegerdes

Costume Designer-Amber Buckanaga (Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe)

Sound Designer- Eric C. Gonzalez

Carpenter-Erin Gustafson

Fight & Intimacy Choreographer-H Ashley-

Company Elder-Inez DeCoteau (Turtle Mountain Ojibwe)

Props Designer-Trey Porter (Kagchikel Maya E reconnecting

White Earth Nation Anishinaahe)

Company Therapist-Alex Montes, LICSW SEP

Apprentice Light Designer-Rehekah Crisanta de Whavra (Maya- Lenca Nation)


Photographer-Jeff Schad Imagery

Rehearsal Photos-JRS, Becca Wilts, Trey Porter, Charli Fool-Bear, Rhiana Yazzie

‘A Christmas in Ochopee’

I can’t remember a time when I’ve giggled so much through a play as I did last weekend seeing New Native Theatre’s holiday production, “A Christmas in Ochopee.” Written by Montana Cypress, the story is set in the Florida Everglades as a Native family gathers for the holidays. A playwright and filmmaker from the Miccosukee tribe, Cypress fills the story with larger than life characters, like the proud patriarch, Bo Weetley, played with charismatic (or dare I say rizzmatic) gusto by Thomas Draskovic, and his lovable yet impetuous son Donnie Boy, played with spirited physicality by David Valentine. Donnie Boy’s brother, Junior, played by Bradley Lewis, shows up with his vegan, white fiancee, and more friends, family and a police officer enter the story as well, all while Bo’s wife, Virginia, played by Genevieve Lane, attempts to instill some sense of order amidst the chaos.


NNT presented a 10-minute version of the play for a festival back in 2018, and had planned to present the full version in 2020. The pandemic delayed things, and in the meantime, Cypress has turned the story into a film as well, which has been making the film festival circuit. NNT’s version, directed by Julia Rosa Sosa, has an endearing, goofy quality that’s hard not to love.


-By Sheila Regan | Columnist MinnPost

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'A Christmas in Ochopee'

Miccosukee playwright Montana Cypress' Florida-set show began as a 10-minute playlet in 2018 and has blossomed into a hijinks-filled contemporary Native comedy. It centers on a Christmas feast hosted by a father who keeps a pet alligator. Dinner guests include a son recently sprung from jail. A second son, a CalTech physics genius, is bringing his white girlfriend to the meal. Problem is the son's mother is trying to get him back together with his ex, who is Native American. Julia Rosa Sosa directs for New Native Theatre. "

-By ROHAN PRESTON | Star Trubune 

Photograper Ryan Stopera