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Following a world premiere film adaptation in 2021 and a successful 2022-23 national tour, Folger Theatre, in association with Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, announces the return of Where We Belong, written and performed by Madeline
Sayet and directed by Mei Ann Teo. Where We Belong is on stage at Folger Theatre February 15 – March 10, 2024. Tickets are available online at www.folger.edu/wwb or by calling the Folger Box Office at (202) 544-7077.

In 2015, Mohegan theater-maker Madeline Sayet traveled to England to pursue a PhD in Shakespeare. There, she found a country that refused to acknowledge its ongoing role in colonialism, just as the Brexit vote threatened to further disengage the UK from the wider world. In Where We Belong, an intimate and exhilarating solo piece, Madeline echoes a journey to England braved by Native ancestors in the 1700s following treaty betrayals. The story forces us to consider what it means to belong in an increasingly globalized world.

“Where We Belong comes to the Folger at a crucial time for the institution’s learning and growth,” says Karen Ann Daniels, Folger Director of Programming and Artistic Director of Folger Theatre. “As we prepare to reopen our doors with a newly expanded physical footprint, we are continually reflecting on our impact in DC communities. This play engages the Folger and our audiences in the important work of acknowledging the land on which we create, and in deconstructing colonialist practices.”

Where We Belong premiered at Shakespeare’s Globe in London in 2019 as part of Border Crossings’ ORIGINS Festival, the UK’s only large-scale multidisciplinary festival of Indigenous arts and culture. In 2021, Madeline adapted the original piece for the digital realm for Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company and the Folger Shakespeare Library.

“I’m grateful to close out this journey, performing Where We Belong at the Folger,” says Madeline Sayet. “It was originally written for the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare’s Globe, where it was first performed in 2019, and has a similar level of intimacy with the audience, and I’ve missed that in some of the larger venues. The fact that we’re breathing together, and that that’s ok again now. The idea that all you need is for people to share stories together in space. I hope that sharing this story in DC will be an opportunity for connection, inquiry, and healing in these ever-chaotic times.” The play was re-adapted for a live theatrical tour in October 2021 with Baltimore Center Stage and toured across the country. Where We Belong was performed at seven theaters nationwide,including Philadelphia Theatre Company, the Goodman Theatre, Hudson Valley Shakespeare
Festival, Seattle Repertory Theater, Portland Center Stage, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and
The Public Theater.

Each theater’s commitment to the tour has been led by a desire to engage in authentic, continuous, long-term relationships with both the Indigenous nations whose land each presenting theater occupies and the local Native community. These values are embodied in a Community Accountability Rider developed by playwright/performer Madeline Sayet with
support from Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company & “I loved Where We Belong from the moment I encountered it,” says Maria Manuela Goyanes, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company’s Artistic Director. “Madeline’s personal history with our
country’s suppression of her Indigenous language and culture is heartbreaking, and her reflections strike an exquisite balance of delightful humor and painful truth. The journey she shares speaks directly to our current moment and what it means to belong in our violent and increasingly globalized world. After a digital production followed by a successful multi-state tour
across the US, I’m thrilled that this show will now be performed live for DC audiences with our fantastic partners at the Folger

“Each time Madeline’s story is shared,” says director Mei Ann Teo, “even after six years and having heard it countless times, I still hear something new. To tell it again in Washington, DC is a catalyzing moment for right now: a story of what is the impact of created borders and separation, of reckoning with our history, and what happens if we don’t.”

Ticketing Information & Performance Dates:
Where We Belong is on stage at Folger Theatre from February 15 through March 10, 2024.
Tickets are $20-$84. Discounted preview performances and special rates for patrons under 35, students, seniors, members and family of the military, educators, and groups may be purchased through the Folger Theatre Box Office at (202) 544-7077 or online at www.folger.edu/wwb.

To celebrate and honor members of the Indigenous community, complimentary tickets are available through the entire run of the show to those who self-identify as part of the community. To redeem this offer, please contact the Folger Box Office.

Related Programming:
The Pay-What-You-Will performance is on Thursday, February 15, 7:30pm. Tickets will be available to the public in-person starting at 5pm. One ticket per person.

Folger Theatre’s Stage Director Talk is on Thursday, February 15 at 6:30pm. Learn about the creative process, history, staging, and vision of Where We Belong with director Mei Ann Teo and actor Emily Preis in conversation with Folger Theatre Artistic Director Karen Ann Daniels. $25, with discounts for Folger Subscribers and Members.

Inside the Season: Where We Belong is on Wednesday, February 28 at 6:30pm. Folger Shakespeare Library Director Michael Witmore engages in conversation with Chief Lynn Malerba, Mohegan Tribe Chief and US Treasurer, and Liz Malerba, Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs for the United South and Eastern Tribes, about performing Where We Belong in the nation’s capital. Tickets are $25, with discounts for Folger Subscribers and Members.

Audience members are encouraged to stay and take part in our Post-Show Discussion with the Cast of Where We Belong on Thursday, February 29. This interactive discussion follows the 7:30pm performance.

Folger Theatre has denoted select performances during the 2023/24 season as mask-required by all audience members, staff, and volunteers. Masked Performances for Where We Belong are Saturday, March 9 at 2pm and 8pm.

Open-Captioned performances are Sunday, March 10 at 2pm and 7:30pm. Please check the Folger website at www.folger.edu/wwb for a complete listing of related programming and events.

Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company will also be offering special programs related to Where We Belong. Visit their website at www.woollymammoth.net/ to learn more.

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