Muriel Miguel (Kuna/Rappahannock) is a founding member and Artistic Director of Spiderwoman Theater, the longest running Native American women’s theater company in North America. Muriel studied modern dance with Alwin Nickolai, Erick Hawkins and Jean Erdman. She was an original member of Joseph Chaikin’s Open Theater where she performed in the groundbreaking works: Terminal, The Serpent, Mere Ubu and Viet Rock.
She choreographed Throw Away Kids and She Knew She Was She at the Banff Centre for the Arts. She directed More than Feathers and Beads with Murielle Borst; The Scrubbing Project with Turtle Gals Performance Ensemble in Toronto and Evening in Paris with Raven Spirit Dance Company in Vancouver. As an actor, she was the Mary Deity in the off-Broadway hit, Taylor Mac’s Lily’s Revenge. She created the role of Philomena Moosetail in The Rez Sisters, Aunt Shadie in The Unnatural and Accidental Women by Marie Clements and Spirit Woman in BONES: An Aboriginal Dance Opera. She has created one woman shows Hot’ N’ Soft I and II, Trail of the Otter and most recently Red Mother.
Muriel was an Assistant Professor of Drama at Bard College. She teaches and directs a yearly production at the Centre for Indigenous Theatre (CIT) and is also Program Director for CIT’s three week summer intensive. She is a pioneer in the development of an Indigenous performance methodology and is active in the training of Indigenous actors and dancers in this culturally based method. She was a Program Director for the Aboriginal Dance Program at The Banff Centre and an instructor there for seven years. Muriel has lectured with Muriel Miguel: A Retrospective and facilitated Storyweaving Workshops in conservatories and universities in the US, Canada and Europe.
Muriel has been awarded an honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts from Miami University in Oxford, OH and is a member of the National Theater Conference. She has been profiled in the book American Women Stage Directors of the 20th Century. With Spiderwoman Theater, she has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Women’s Caucus for Art and the Otto René Castillo Award for Political Theatre. Muriel sits on the American Indian Community House’s Board of Directors.
Plays Published: TRAIL OF THE OTTER in Staging Coyote’s Dream: An Anthology of First Nations Drama in English Vol. II & HOT ‘N’ SOFT in TwoSpirit Acts: Queer Indigenous Performances. Her latest project is Material Witness, which explores personal and family stories of violence and the healing journeys of Indigenous women across Turtle Island.