LYDA: A Play in Two Acts by Lisa V. Nelson.
Before Ruth Bader Ginsburg (RBG), there was Lyda Conley—the first indigenous lawyer in the US! Based on true events in Kansas City at the turn of the 19th century; when suddenly a decades-old treaty between the U.S. government and the Wyandot nation is no more, Lyda Conley, armed with the law and a gun, engages in an unconventional and remarkable battle alongside her sisters to save their family’s sacred burial ground from destruction. With fiery hearts and acerbic wits, the sisters dig in their heels to fight against tribal leadership, the U.S. government, and the erasure of a people.
Note from the author: I discovered Lyda while searching for a true story about a Native American heroine. However, my playwriting journey turned very special and personal upon discovering that Lyda Conley was not only was the first Native American woman attorney (my past profession) in the US, but also Wyandot. Having grown up in Ohio being told that I was of Wyandot ancestry, I took this serendipitous revelation as a sign that I was meant to bring Lyda’s wonderful story to life on the stage.
Also, available: FINDING LYDA, a one-person version of the story.
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