TYA Plays

Rhiana is also an award winning author of plays for young audiences. Here are a few of her most recent plays and projects.

The Three Snow Bears – One hour – by Rhiana Yazzie with story created by Rhiana Yazzie, Alicia Smith and Grace Smith, produced by Stages Theatre Company, directed by Sandy Boren-Barrett. January-February, 2019. A Yupik brother and sister face climate change and have to ask why they have to move their home.

Wild Horses – 55 minutes – Rose Mary, a 12 year old Tongva Native America girl from the big city of Los Angeles, takes a fantastic journey into her city’s and family’s history as she learns to trust her recovering alcoholic father again when he suddenly announces he’s leaving for the summer to go tame wild horses in the desert. The play is brought to life through an ensemble of five actors, found object puppetry, and imaginative characterizations.
2009 Bonderman Playwriting for Youth National Symposium at Indiana Repertory Theatre
2006 The Kennedy Center’s New Visions/New Voices
2005 Commissioned by Native Voices
Available for production

Rainbow Crow, with music by Gary Rue – Musical, 1 hour – Based on a Lenape Native American story, the crow, once known for her beautiful voice and colorful feathers embarks on a journey to save her world from a new thing called “snow” Along the way, she discovers that inner beauty and loyalty are more important than appearance. 2008 Produced and commissioned by Stepping Stone Theatre in Saint Paul, MN. Available for production.

Chile Pod – 40 minutes
Like many San Diegans, Carmen and her family moved from Mexico for a better life. But unlike her classmates, Carmen speaks neither English nor Spanish: she speaks Mixtec, a language of the indigenous people of Oaxaca. Frustrated and confused, Carmen must become the hero of her own story, embracing her heritage while learning to make a home in a whole new world. Chile Pod explores one young person’s journey to a place of belonging, and celebrates diversity, compassion and Oaxacan culture. 2009 Commissioned by La Jolla Playhouse for production and tour February 2 to March 19, 2010.

Rainbow Girl and the Flowers – 30 minutes with traditional drum songs
A traditional Dakota story that explains where the flowers go in the winter time and the origins of rainbows. This play was written for the Upper Sioux Dakota Community commissioned by the Minnesota Historical Society. This is an ideal play to be done by Dakota communities and other tribal nations who can bring their knowledge of traditional drum songs to bring the play to life!