Madeline Easley (she/her) is a Wyandotte artist whose work as a playwright and performer converges at the intersection of magical realism and elevation of Tribal Sovereignty, the inherent right of Tribal Nations to govern themselves. Born in Kansas City, MO, and based in NYC, Madeline is a proud citizen of the Wyandotte Nation of Oklahoma (Porcupine Clan). She seeks to position her cultural inheritance within community-centric narratives to advance recognition, healing, and strength to challenge the colonial status quo that denies Indigenous history and futurisms. Madeline is the inaugural Four Directions Resident Playwright for 2023, a new partnership between Tulsa Artist Fellowship, Tofte Lake Center, Great Plains Theatre Commons (GPTC), and the Kansas City Repertory Theatre (KCREP). She is a 2022 Greenhouse Playwriting Resident at SPACE on Ryder Farm and a 2021 First Peoples Fund Cultural Capital Fellow. Madeline is one of six filmmakers who premiered short films at "We The Peoples Before'' in the summer of 2022 at the Kennedy Center. Her film The Feathered Girl was a 2022 LA SKINS FEST featured selection and made its west-coast premiere at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. Her plays include FEAST FOR THE DEAD, SHIFT, and REPRESENTATIVES FOR THOSE AT PEACE, a new play commissioned by KCREP about Lyda Conley and her protection of the Wyandot National Burying Ground in Kansas City, KS. As an actor, Madeline has performed regionally and Off-Broadway.
Plays in Development
"Oh my dear, what life can we live when they will not leave us in peace, even in death?"
The year is 1906, and the Huron Cemetery is under threat. The resting place of hundreds of Wyandot Indians, the plot sits at the center of Kansas City, Kansas, and developers are keen to get their hands on this piece of Indian land. Everything seems in order until three Wyandot sisters take up arms against the state and raise "Fort Conley" atop the cemetery. Defending the graves of their ancestors, Lyda, Helena, and Ida Conley fight in and out of the courtroom in a story that propels Lyda to take the case to the Supreme Court, becoming the first Native American woman to argue a case in front of this country's highest court.
(REPRESENTATIVES FOR THOSE AT PEACE was commissioned by the Kansas City Repertory Theatre (Stuart Carden, Artistic Director, Angela Gieras, Executive Director). Its development was supported by Four Directions, a partnership between the Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Great Plains Theatre Commons, Tofte Lake Center, and Tulsa Artist Fellowship.
(RFTAP had its first public reading at KCREP on December 2nd, 2023, and was their first sold-out ORIGIN KC play reading with over 250 audience members in attendance.)
"Madeline Easley is one of the most exciting new voices in the American theater,” Nagle stated. “Her exploration of the intersections of Wyandot culture, family, and identity with the American legal system, all through the perspective of Lyda Conley--a Native woman who broke down incredible barriers-- is exciting and exhilarating. I am honored to be able to witness Madeline's incredible new work." - Mary Kathryn Nagle (Broadway World, 2023)
Representatives for Those at Peace
First Reading at Kansas City Repertory Theatre (KCREP) - December 2023 - Photos by Don Ipock with KCREP
Directed by Tara Moses - Stage Manager: Mackenzie Goodwin Tran - Featuring: DeLanna Studi, Jen Olivares, Jennifer Bobiwash, Nicholas Stauffer, Andi Meyer, Jason Chanos, and Jennifer Attocknie
Special Thanks: Chief Judith Manthe (Wyandot Nation of Kansas), Richard Zane Smith (Wyandot Nation of Kansas)
Plays by Madeline Easley
Workshop and Public Reading of REPRESENTATIVES FOR THOSE AT PEACE at KCREP
2023 Four Directions Playwriting Residency
Playwriting commission from Kansas City Repertory Theatre (KCREP) to tell the story of Lyda Conley, the first Native American woman (and Wyandot) to argue a case in front of the Supreme Court.
Madeline spends a week at as a guest artist at Tofte Lake Center working on her KCREP commission.
"FEAST FOR THE DEAD" receives a public reading in NYC courtesy of AICH
Madeline stars as ANTIKONI in a Native retelling of Antigone at NY Classical
"THE FEATHERED GIRL" premieres at the LA SKINS FEST 2022 as a Featured Selection at the TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood.
Native Women in Film Panel with First Peoples Fund and LA SKINS FEST.
Madeline directs and performs in a staged reading of "QUANTUM" at Primary Stages.
Selected as a 2022 Greenhouse Playwriting Resident at SPACE of Ryder Farms.
Madeline performs in "FLYING BIRD'S DIARY" at Long Wharf Theatre
Madeline performs in "DÉJÀ VU: BEFORE AMERICA WAS AMERICA" at Signature Theatre with T41.
Madeline is commissioned by First Peoples Fund to create a film for "WE THE PEOPLES BEFORE" at the Kennedy Center.