Jingzi Zhao's exhibit of dance photography is available for public viewing in Hatfield Hall Tuesday–Friday, 10am–6pm, during April & May 2023.
Some Stars of Native American Comedy
Please note this event has moved from the Newmark Theatre to the Winningstad Theatre.
Some Stars of Native American Comedy (aka Some Stars), The Rez Car Broke Down, features four Native American comedy storytellers sharing their take on life, love and dream catchers from a Native perspective. The award-winning line-up takes on everything from identity politics, cultural stereotypes, dating, white guilt, and rodeos with a mix of charm, irony, dry wit and good-natured ribbing for everyone. All in all, it comes together like a good rez car, with a little bit of this, a lot of that and some out-of-the-box engineering, it runs like a work of art.
This Rez Car carries four legendary Native comics-awkward and lovable dad Jim Ruel, meta-master Taietsarón:sere “Tai”, writer for Rutherford Falls, along with traditional trickster storyteller and horse mugger Gilbert Brown with stories to regale, and the fast and the frank, quick-witted Sheila Chalakee. This is a ride you're going to want to take.
Note: No spiritual guidance will be offered at this show. Please leave sage sticks at home.
Jim Ruel, Director/Comedian
Jim Ruel is a comedian, writer, director, producer and actor. He is a member of the Bay Mills Band of Ojibwe. He grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where he spent the first ten years of his career performing in comedy clubs around the Midwest. He was a finalist in NBC’s Diversity Talent Search which led to his first television appearance on "The World Stands Up" which was taped in London. He was also featured on "Goin Native: the American Indian Comedy Slam" on Showtime and First Nations Comedy Experience on FNX. He currently tours with Another Indian Uprising.
Jim Ruel also works in film and media under Frybread Productions, a Native owned video production company. Jim Ruel is a co-host of the Hollywood NDNz podcast, highlighting careers of Native American professionals in entertainment. Jim Ruel currently lives in Los Angeles with his girlfriend and their daughter.
Gilbert Brown, Comedian
Gilbert 'The Naughty Rezdog' Brown is member of the Modoc, Klamath, Paiute and Warm Springs tribes. He's also part white but can't prove it. Gilbert's storytelling style of comedy has audiences rolling as he spins tales from rodeos, living on the rez, and just dealing with people. He's been performing professionally since 2008.
He's a mugger in Native wild horse racing. 'Mugging' involves grabbing a wild horse around the neck while the horse tries to bite your hand off. Let's just say Gilbert can relate to Frodo Baggins. You can also catch Gilbert emceeing powwows throughout NDN country.
Sheila Chalakee, Comedian
Sheila Chalakee is a registered citizen of Muscogee Creek Nation. Her work has been featured on PBS, WEtv, E! Network, Amazon Prime, Univision, and FNX. She was the recipient of the SkinsFest TV Writers Fellowship in 2021 and touted as “making history and paving the way for accurate representation of Natives in the film and TV industries” by Cherokee Nation Film Office during Women’s History Month. She has been featured internationally with Creative Manitoba and Indigenous Film Summit. She has performed sketch comedy, stand-up, theater and improvisation appearing across America at world-famous venues. She received critical acclaim from The Chicago Reader as being "Among the Best!" Multiple collaborations with BuzzFeed, YouTube, and Google included diversity consulting for Native American content, which lead to well received press from The Huffington Post, Nylon Magazine, and international outlets like CTV Nightly News in Vancouver. She has a BA in theater and creative non-fiction from Columbia College Chicago, a certification in Diversity and Inclusion from Yale School of Management and is currently attending the University of Oklahoma College of Law earning an MLS in Indigenous peoples law.
Taietsarón:sere 'Tai' Leclaire is a writer and actor on "RUTHERFORD FALLS" - the Peacock comedy by Sierra-Teller Ornelas, Mike Schur, and Ed Helms. He’s Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) and Mi’kmaq from the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawà:ke. His script "How To Deal with Systemic Racism in the Afterlife" awarded him THE 2022 SUNDANCE INSTITUTE NATIVE LAB and also THE INDIGENOUS LIST on THE BLACK LIST in partnership with Illuminatives, and The Sundance Institute. He’s currently in development and making his directorial debut with his first short film HEADDRESS - coming in 2023. He's a former house performer at UPRIGHT CITIZENS BRIGADE THEATRE New York. He’s also performed at festivals around the country including Austin Sketch fest and Philly Sketch Fest. He's currently repped by 3 ARTS ENTERTAINMENT and UTA (UNITED TALENT AGENCY).
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