Cast of 30 needed for Cherokee musical, with some principal roles available

In this 2013 photo, Nanyehi, played by Michelle Honaker, picks up her husband’s rifle after he is killed in the Battle of Taliwa during a performance of “Nanyehi – The Story of Nancy Ward” at the Northeastern State University Center for the Performing Arts in Tahlequah. 

CATOOSA – The historical Cherokee musical “Nanyehi – The Story of Nancy Ward” is hosting a casting call to support the musical’s Oct. 29-30 productions at Hard Rock Live inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa.

“Nanyehi” is the story of Nancy Ward, a Cherokee woman who was first honored in the 18th century as a war woman and later as a peacemaker during the American Revolution.

Auditions will be held from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Aug. 28 at the Fly Loft in Tulsa. Auditions will also be from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Aug. 29 at the Fly Loft, which is at 117 N. Boston Ave. in Tulsa.

Nearly 30 roles are available, Native and non-Native, including some principal roles, as well as actors, singers and dancers of all ages. All actors in principal roles will be compensated.

Those auditioning for a singing role are asked to sing a cappella or provide their own accompaniment. A keyboard and CD player will be provided. Non-singing hopefuls will read from the script, and dancers will be taught a short routine. 

The musical will feature the return of New York-based actress Michelle Honaker in the title role, Nanyehi, for the seventh time and Tahlequah native Travis Fite as Dragging Canoe for the ninth time.

“The story of Nanyehi is an important part of Cherokee history and culture, but what many don’t know is that her story is actually a very important piece of American history as well,” said Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. “We hope the public will join us as we chronicle the life of one of our beloved Cherokee women, and celebrate the impressive impact she had on Cherokees and non-Natives alike.”

The 2021 Hard Rock Live debut will mark the 11th production of “Nanyehi.” It has been presented six times in Oklahoma, twice in Tennessee and single productions in Georgia and Texas. The musical is written by Nashville-based, award-winning songwriter and recording artist Becky Hobbs and freelance director and co-playwright Nick Sweet.

Hobbs is a Cherokee Nation citizen and Bartlesville native who is a direct descendant of Nancy Ward. She was inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame in 2015, and the “Nanyehi” short film was inducted into the Oklahoma Movie Hall of Fame in 2019.

“Nanyehi” is presented by Cherokee Nation Businesses and Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa.

For information about the production or auditions, visit www.nanyehi.com or email nanyehiproductions@gmail.com.