By Julie Jensen
Cast: 2m., 2w. (Includes 1 Native American m. and 1 Native American w. May be expanded to 3m., 4w., 1 Native American m., 2 Native American w.) Dust Eaters is an intimate look at two families, one white, one Native American, living side by side in the west desert of Utah. The play covers a total of seven generations, from 1877 to the present. Each scene—a mini-drama of its own—takes place 20 years later than the one before, all in the same small house. We follow the life of Albertine who begins as a defiant 10-year-old Goshute girl living with a white family on a ranch next to her tribe's ancestral land. We trace the interdependence and resentment, the love and denial of the two families. In the end Albertine's great-grandchildren are grappling with a decision to store high-level nuclear waste on their reservation. The play is a chamber history that defines the past through everyday, intimate human detail and looks at the assumptions behind both cultural points of view. It presents history as we see our own personal history, as a life lived in the wake of seminal events. Supported by the National Theatre Artist Residency Program, funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts. Nominated by the American Theatre Critics Association for the Steinberg New Play Award for best new play produced outside New York. One set. Approximate Running Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes.