“Ghost Dance”

By Annette Arkeketa

A Reader's Theatre Presented by the Lawton Arts & Humanities Council and the City of Lawton

Ghost Dance Poster 

This program was more than just the play. The cast had the opportunity to have acting classes within the rehearsal schedule. For many actors, this was the first time for them to be involved a theatre production in any capacity.


GHOST DANCE is a story of attorney Hokte Buffalo, and how she finds her way home to her family and tribe to get help for her emotional needs and healing.  Upon her return she reluctantly is drawn into her tribal community’s spiritual and legal issues regarding the repatriation of their ancestral human remains and cultural patrimony items. Once she sees the injustice of what is happening to her family and tribe, she begins to heal emotionally and regain her strength by helping her ancestors.  It is a story with ancient roots and a contemporary beat that weaves a tragic drama into an ending with hope for our future.



Annette Arkeketa, Playwright
Juanita Pahdopony, Advisor
Sharon Cheatwood, Producer
Jan Woomavoyah, Director
Sounds Impossible, Scott & Peg Hofmann, Light & Sound Design
Holly Hare, Stage Manager
Harry Mithlo, Grandpa
Georgia Morrow, Narrator
Guy Narcomy*, Larry
Carlotta Nowell, Alcohol Spirit
Brianna Del Ceillo, Narrator
Lucinda Poahway, Grandma
Hickory Star Jr., Senator James
Lebert Taunah**, Locust & Nee
Jur-Nee Faith Toahty, Girl & Plume
Brandon M. Tortalita, Boy
Kenneth Wahkinney, Johnathan
**Tracy Woody, Sherlock
Eva Yeahquo Williams, Senator Turner

* Guy has gone on to work in film as both actor and filmmaker

** Lebert and Tracy continued in community theatre appearing in "Out to Pasture"

Music graciously provided by Grammy Award winner Bill Miller and Brent Micheal David (Mohican)

Project materials such as Stage Manager book, lighting plot, photographs, and other documentation are now in the archive collection at the Musuem of the Great Plains


GHOST DANCE - Rehearsal and Classes hosted by Comanche Nation College

From Jan, the Director - "We know that you are busy and this show will require a considerable amount of your time.  We will do our best to schedule around your individual conflicts, but can only do that if we know in advance what those are.   Rehearsals are generally scheduled Monday through Friday, 7 PM – 10 PM and will begin as soon as the show is cast.  Also, the workshops may be on Saturdays."

March 6: First meeting with cast, set rehearsal schedules, & first read thru at CNC

March 8 & 9: Character Development Workshop and rehearsals with Jan Woomavoyah, CNC

March 10: 10 am-3 pm, Workshop Voice & Diction / Memorization with Dr. David Fennema, CNC

March 12 - 16: Rehearsals at CNC

March 17-24: Spring Break- No rehearsals

March 26-30: Rehearsals, CNC

April 2-5: Rehearsals, CNC

April 7: No Rehearsals due to Easter weekend.

April 9-13: Rehearsals at CNC

April 14: Workshop Stage Movement with Jan

April 16 & 17: Rehearsals at CNC

April 18: Rehearsal/Dress/Tech at MGP

April 19 & 20: Show MGP followed by discussion on Repatriation with Jimmy Arterberry and Annette Akeketa



From Lawton Info.com review, "Lights go up in the intimate setting of the auditorium of Lawton’s Museum of the Great Plains, located at 601 NW Ferris, Thursday April 19 and Friday April 20 at 7:30 p.m. both nights.

This production has a number of entities involved in getting it on stage, from the Lawton Arts & Humanities Council and Comanche Nation Funeral Home to the Lawton Philharmonic Orchestra and National Endowment for the Arts, among others.

A largely American Indian effort, music comes courtesy of Grammy Award winner Bill Miller (Mohican). Direction is by Jan Woomavoyah (Comanche). The 15 member cast includes Carolyn Balliet (Kiowa, Comanche, Fort Sill Apache), Brianna Di Cello (Choctaw), Harry Mithlo (Chiricahua Apache, Comanche) and Lucinda Poahway (Kiowa).

Light and sound doesn’t get any better than with Scott and Peg Hofmann of Sounds Impossible. Keeping it all together, as producer is Sharon Cheatwood, Arts Coordinator for the Arts & Humanities Division, City of Lawton.

Advance tickets are only $2 and can be picked up at the Arts & Humanities Division’s
office, McMahon Memorial Auditorium, 801 NW Ferris (entry is on the west side), during city business hours. Call (580) 581-3470.

Students with ID and children get in free. My own thoughts are that this could be an interesting personalized history lesson for junior high age on up. But, the topic, and for that matter the reader’s theater staging, may leave younger ones a bit antsy in their seats.  

A theatrical production about an American Indian concern, and a theatrical production of mostly tribal members is not that common in our area, even given the local numbers. The City of Lawton’s Arts & Humanities Division is to be commended. For theater patrons and those interested in both historical and contemporary American Indian issues, “Ghost Dance” is a must-see."