Cornerstone Theater Company

Native Nation

Native Nation is now available for touring. Visit our Native Nation touring page for more information.

Do you like the Native Nation artwork? Then check out OXDX, the Native clothing company that designed and created the Native Nation cast shirts.

Thank you for joining us for Native Nation. View press related to the production below and visit our  photo and blog series #HumansofNativeNation, sharing stories of the cast members who help make up the local community and Native Nation. Click here to view photos and follow #nativenationaz and #nativenationctc.

In April, 2019, Cornerstone Theater Company partnered with ASU Gammage in Phoenix, Arizona, where they collaborated with the local indigenous communities to create a unique immersive experience, part marketplace, cultural performance, community gathering and theater, NATIVE NATION.

Written by Larissa FastHorse and directed by Michael John Garcés, Native Nation is an Indigenous theatrical experience for the whole family with the original people of Arizona to see the world through their eyes.

A new play that will forever change the way you see this land.

Native Nation performed:

Saturday, April 20, 2019 –Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Saturday, April 27 & Sunday, April 28, 2019Steele Indian School Park near the Circle of Life

With a marketplace complete with food, entertainment, fashion and wonderful things to purchase between shows.

Original art work “Abundance” by Paul Molina – Akimal O’Otham, Pee-posh, Quechan, Pawnee, and Hispanic from the Gila River Indian Community (GRIC).

Bring Native Nation to your community

Native Nation is a timely and relevant experience that can be adapted for communities, campuses and institutions of any size. CLICK HERE for more information.



Phoenix New Times, Native Nation: Immersive New Play About Issues Facing Indigenous People by Laura Latzko

Inclusive Activism podcast, Update on Native Nation with host Rowdy

The State Press,Upcoming play ‘Native Nation’ seeks to showcase indigenous stories by Troy Hill


Larissa FastHorse

Larissa FastHorse is a Sicangu Lakota playwright, director, and choreographer whose work radically engages Indigenous collaborators to explore onstage representations of the joys and challenges that the Native community faces. Her latest comedy, The Thanksgiving Play, is a hilarious and poignant play that touches upon weighty issues such as privilege, representation and appropriation, but never loses its sense of humor.

FastHorse’s past plays include What Would Crazy Horse Do?, Urban Rez, Landless and Cow Pie Bingo, Average Family, Teaching Disco Square Dancing to Our Elders: a Class Presentation, Vanishing Point and Cherokee Family Reunion. She also directed the critically acclaimed play, Our Voices Will Be Heard at the Perseverance Theater Company, and is developing projects with an emphasis on rigorous Indigenous community engagement. FastHorse won the PEN USA Literary Award for Drama, NEA Distinguished New Play Grant, Joe Dowling Annamaghkerrig Fellowship, AATE Distinguished Play Award, Sundance/Ford Foundation Fellowship, Aurand Harris Fellowship, the UCLA Native American Woman of the Year and the Ford, Mellon and NEA Grants. She is a proud officer of the Board of Directors for Theatre Communications Group and represented by Jonathan Mills, Paradigm NY.

Michael John Garcés

Michael is Cornerstone's Artistic Director and has been an ensemble member at Cornerstone since 2006. Plays he has written for Cornerstone include Magic Fruit, the "bridge" project of the multi-year Hunger Cycle which brought together the many communities of the cycle; Consequence, out of story circles with students, teachers, administrators and parents in South Kern County; Los Illegals, created in residence with communities of day laborers and domestic workers; and The Forked Path, a collaboration with Stut Theatre and the Van der Hoeven Kliniek in the Netherlands, which was performed at the Net Even Anders Festival in Utrecht and The International Community Arts Festival in Rotterdam. Los Illegals was subsequently produced by Teatro Bravo in Phoenix; it is published in Theatre Magazine (Yale School of Drama/Duke University Press - More info on this Publication). Directing credits at the company include Urban Rez by Larissa FastHorse, California: The Tempest by Alison Carey, Plumas Negras by Juliette Carrillo, Café Vida by Lisa Loomer, and Making Paradise by Tom Jacobson, Shishir Kurup and Deborah Wicks La Puma; as well as What Happens Next by Naomi Iizuka, A La Jolla Playhouse "Without Walls" production in association with Cornerstone Theater Company. Michael is a core member of the Living Word Project in San Francisco, where he has developed and directed three works by Marc Bamuthi Joseph: /peh-LO-tah/ a futbol freedom suite (premiere at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, subsequently at the Hancher and The Kennedy Center), red, black and GREEN: a blues (various venues including The Brooklyn Academy of Music and REDCAT) and the break/s (premiere at Humana Festival and The Walker Arts Center). Directing credits at other theaters include Wrestling Jerusalem by Aaron Davidman (premiere at Intersection for the Arts; other productions include The Guthrie Theatre, Cleveland Public Theatre and Mosaic Theatre), The Arsonists by Max Frisch (Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company), District Merchants by Aaron Posner (The Folger Theatre), and Seven Spots on the Sun by Martín Zimmerman (The Theatre @ Boston Court). His full-length plays include south (Great Plains Theatre Conference), THE WEB (needtheatre), points of departure and customs (INTAR Hispanic American Arts Center) and Acts of Mercy (Rattlestick Playwrights Theater); as well as a solo performance, agua ardiente which ran Off-Broadway at The American Place Theatre as part of "Dreaming in Cuban"; and short plays include americanas (Mix Blood Theatre and MACLA - "DJ Latinidad's Latino Dance Party"), A Parable (Great Plains Theatre Conference), hymn in three parts (Chalk Rep), tostitos (EST Marathon of One-Act Plays), on edge and the ride (Humana Festival), audiovideo (The Directors Project) and sandlot ball (Mile Square). He collaborated with composer Alexandra Vrebalov on the oratorio Stations, which received its premiere at the Rhode Island Civic Chorale and Orchestra and was also performed at the NOMUS Festival in Novi Sad, Serbia. Michael is a recipient of the Rockwood Arts and Culture Fellowship, the Princess Grace Statue, the Alan Schneider Director Award, a TCG/New Generations Grant, the Non-Profit Excellence Award from the Center of Non-Profit Management, is a Southern California Leadership Network Fellow and a proud alumnus of New Dramatists. He serves as vice president of the executive board of SDC, the theatrical union for stage directors and choreographers.