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Podcast: “Citizen” by Greg Sarris

January 14, 2021

|Recurring Event (See all)

San Francisco theater company Word for Word continues their New Podcast Series Word For Wordcast with the new two-part radio drama podcast of author and tribal leader Greg Sarris’ short story Citizen going up on January 14 & 21 2021, available at and on Spotify and Apple Podcasts, including “deep dive interviews” with creators/artists.

“Citizen” tells the tale of Salvador, born in the U.S., raised in Mexico; son of an American Indian mother and a Mexican father. He has returned to California to find his mother, or rather, her grave. Working in the fields and ranches around Santa Rosa, he meets his mother’s family, encountering both kindness and opportunism, as well as glimmers of hope.  An American citizen, who speaks no English, Salvador procures his proof of citizenship and begins to discover his true identity, and what it means to belong.

Author Greg Sarris is currently serving his thirteenth term as Chairman of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria. He holds the Graton Rancheria Endowed Chair in Writing and Native American Studies at Sonoma State University, and his publications include Keeping Slug Woman Alive: A Holistic Approach to American Indian Texts(1993), Grand Avenue (1994), and Watermelon Nights (1999). Greg lives and works in Sonoma County. Visit his website at

When the pandemic forced theaters to close their doors, Word for Word was invited to create a radio drama of a short story- live.This led to the creation of Word for Wordcast, a podcast series of recorded short stories in Word for Word’s unique multi-voiced style. 

Citizen by Greg Sarris Release Dates (two parts) January 14 & 21 2021.

Directed by Gendell Hing-Hernández. The cast of Citizen features Carlos Aguirre, Carolyn Dunn, Marie-Claire Erdynast, Rodrigo García, Edie Flores, Regina Morones, and Ryan Tasker*. *AEA Citizen Sound Design and Original Music by David R. Molina, with Beatbox by Carlos Aguirre and Hip-hop by Ras K’Dee.

Greg Sarris’ (author) publications include Keeping Slug Woman Alive: A Holistic Approach to American Indian Texts(1993), Grand Avenue (1994), and Watermelon Nights (1999). Greg has also written plays for Pieces of the Quilt, Intersection Theatre, and the Mark Taper Forum.  His play Mission Indians opened at Intersection Theatre in San Francisco in February 2002, receiving the 2003 Bay Area Theatre Critics Award for Best Script. He also co-produced, advised, and was featured in a sixteen part series on American literature for public television called American Passages, which won the prestigious Hugo Award for Best Documentary in 2003. Greg’s collection of children’s stories, How A Mountain Was Made, was performed in 2012 by Word for Word. He has also written two pilot scripts for Showtime and one for HBO. Greg regularly works with the Sundance Institute (reviewing and revising scripts) where he helped develop a summer writing lab for American Indians interested in film writing. He also sits on several boards including the National Video Project, and Word for Word Theatre, where he is Honorary President of their Authors Council.

Gendell Hing-Hernández, (Director) was born in Havana, immersed in its dynamic theatrical community. Since 1997 the Bay Area has been home, where he works as an actor, director, and teaching artist. Gendell brings theater education to classrooms, libraries, and jails, collaborating with Bay Area theaters. As an actor, performances include Oedipus El Rey, Arctic Requiem, Blood Wedding, Oil! Chapter One: The Ride, Beatbox: A Raparetta, and Stories by Lucia Berlin. For Word for Word, he has directed Blue Ruin by Katherine Lieban, a winner in Word for Word’s Short Story Festival last November, and the first Word for Word podcast, E.M. Forster’s The Machine Stops.

David R. Molina (Sound Designer), is a composer, multi-instrumentalist, sound artist, music producer, and instrument inventor. He has created music for all the performing arts, multimedia installations, film, and radio, nationally and internationally, for the past 24 years. He’s won many awards and residencies. His instruments and collaborations were featured at SFMOMA, The Broad Museum (L.A.), Oakland Museum of California, McLoughlin Gallery, and SOMArts. Band collaborations: TAU (Berlin), Emanative (UK), El Paso (Peru).  His bands are: Impuritan, Ghosts and Strings, and Transient. His most recent work with Word for Word was the original music and sound design for Retablos:  Stories from A Life Lived Along the Border, and sound design for Word for Word’s podcast of E.M. Forster’s The Machine Stops.

Carlos Aguirre, Beatbox

Ras K’Dee  is a Dry Creek Pomo Hip Hop artist.


Carlos Aguirre  has been performing and educating in the Bay Area for over 20 years. He has shared the stage with The Roots, Eryka Badu, Black Eyed Peas, Mary J. Blige, Jam Master Jay, and L.L. Cool J among others. He is currently producing his original rap and beatbox adaptation of Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart”. Aguirre shares his experience by teaching at various schools and at-risk environments throughout the Bay Area. Carlos is dedicated to the voice of the youth! *

Carolyn Dunn, PhD., is an indigenous poet, playwright, musician, director and actor whose identity includes Cherokee, Muskogee Creek, Seminole and Choctaw Freedman descent on her father’s side, and Tunica-Choctaw-Biloxi and French Creole on her mother’s. She is a founding member of The Mankillers, an all-women drum from Northern California whose cd’s All Woman Northern Drum and Coming to Getcha were released on Without Rezervation Records.

In addition to the award-winning Outfoxing Coyote, her books include Through the Eye of the Deer (with Carol Zitzer-Comfort) Aunt Lute Books, 1999), Hozho: Walking in Beauty (with {Paula Gunn Allen, McGraw Hill, 2002), Coyote Speaks (with Ari Berk, H.N. Abrams, 2008), Echolocation: Poems, Stories and Songs from Indian Country: L.A. (Fezziwig Press, 2013), The Stains of Burden and Dumb Luck (Mongrel Empire Press, 2017). Her plays The Frybread Queen, Ghost Dance, and Soledad have been developed and staged at Native Voices at the Autry in Los Angeles. Directing credits include The Red Road and Round Dance, both by Arigon Starr, 49 by Hanay Geoigamah, Sliver of a Full Moon by Mary Kathryn Nagle, as well as Nagle’s new play Sovereignty for Heller Theater Company at Tulsa Performing Arts Center. As an actor, she has appeared most recently Neechie itas, Missing Peace,  Perhaps the World Ends Here, and the world premiere of Distant Thunder. In February, 2019, Dr. Dunn completed a residency at the University of Michigan’s Global Theater She is currently Assistant Professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance at California State University, Los Angeles, and is Artistic Director of Oklahoma indigenous Theatre Company in Oklahoma City.

Marie-Claire Erdynast:   is an actor, director, and puppeteer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is a descendant of Cree Métis and Ojibwe peoples and is thrilled to work on an Indigenous story by Greg Sarris. Other productions include Puppeteer in Fasting Girls directed by Alexis Macnab, Kaleria in Summer People directed by Jim Edmondson, and Ann in All My Sons directed by Patrick Russell. Marie-Claire holds a B.F.A. in Performance from Southern Oregon University. For more about Marie-Claire go to

Edie Flores is stoked to get to work on such a wonderful piece in the comfort of his own home. The last show he worked on was Retablos with Word for Word! Other favorite credits include Next to Normal (Gabe), The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Frank N Furter), & Footloose (Ren). Much love to Word for Word for keeping us working! Stay safe and wear your masks!

Rodrigo García is an accomplished actor, director, and educator originally from Mexico City. Rodrigo graduated from the National Institute of Fine Arts in Mexico City and has trained with Double Edge Theater, Dell’Arte International, Le Théâtre du Soleil, Sojourn Theater, and Julian Boal. He has worked, as an actor and a director, with companies in the Bay Area including Teatro Visión, Santa Clara University, Los Altos Stage, San Jose State University, Tabia Theater, and Opera Cultura among others. He is the Artistic Director of Teatro Visión, and a founding member of Teatro Alebrijes. He is a Theater Communications Group (TCG) fellow, and a graduate of the Multicultural Arts Leadership Institute (MALI) Class of 2009. He is delighted to be working with Word by Word.

Regina Morones is a native Bay Area actor/singer, a resident artists at San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, and a company member at Oakland Theatre Project.  She was recently in Word for Word’s Retablos.  She has appeared in As You Like it (SF Shakes) and Women Laughing Alone With Salad (Shotgun Players).

Ryan Tasker most recently joined Word for Word on their first podcast, The Machine Stops. He has also acted and directed for their Off the Page series, and performed onstage in Retablos, You Know When the Men Are Gone, and Three on a Party.  He has also worked with Marin Theatre Company, American Conservatory Theater, and Livermore Shakespeare Festival, among others. *

*=Actors Equity Association


January 14, 2021


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