Photo By: Miki Galloway                    

Blog By Jessica Vanek Marketing Intern

 

Distant Thunder at Oklahoma’s First American museum is one week away from opening!

The musical, written by Lynne Taylor-Corbett and Shaun Taylor-Corbett, follows Darrell
Waters, a brash young attorney, who returns to his childhood home in Montana to broker a deal
between a large energy company and the Blackfeet Nation. He confronts his reclusive father
about their painful past, reunites with his childhood sweetheart, and rediscovers his identity.
Shaun Taylor-Corbet (he/him) is the co-creator, co-book writer and co-music/lyricist for
the show. He is also part of the producing team and portraying the lead role of “Darrell”. Taylor-
Corbett said the show not only represents his life as an indigenous person, but as an artist as well.

Jessica Vanek: How do you connect to the show?

Shaun Taylor-Corbett: This show represents a huge journey of my identity as a mixed
race, Black, Scandinavian, and Indigenous person. It is also my way to express how much
the Blackfeet community means to me and the impact that community has had on my life.
I also get to combine many different styles of music and theater in this show, which
reflects my journey as an artist.

Taylor-Corbett said having tribal communities come see this show is incredibly powerful
and significant, and that the history of the show will resonate with many Oklahomans.

JV: What is the significance of the show, specifically to Oklahomans and the Indigenous
community?

STC: Oklahoma has so many tribal nations, with histories tying them to this land and
other lands they were forced from. Our show’s cast members represent so many different
tribal nations and each person brings their unique Indigenous perspective to their roles as
well as to the creation of this show, reflecting unique histories that mirror the journeys of
all the Indigenous peoples of these lands.

Another powerful aspect of the show is its focus on the importance of keeping indigenous
culture and language alive. Taylor-Corbett his journey with Blackfeet language is fairly new in
his life.

JV: Do you speak any Indigenous languages? Did you grow up speaking these
languages? How did you learn them?

STC: I didn’t grow up speaking Blackfeet but started learning at the age of 15 and now I
am finally at a beginner’s level and recognizing how the language is formed and the
cadences of the speech. Technology has advanced in sharing classes through zoom from
the Blackfeet Community College. It takes a lot of work to keep the language going as
well as ceremonies and the understandings behind the ceremonies. The arts can help
inspire that work, and gain allies in the support of that work, as well as create
opportunities for young Indigenous artists to grow in their craft. I hope this show can
accomplish all of those things.

 

Distant Thunder runs March 23, 2022 – March 27, 2022 at the First Americans Museum.

Tickets are available HERE!

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