May 18, 2017 12:00 am

Pierce College Fort Steilacoom Theater’s spring production shines a spotlight on the stories and people surrounding the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline project. Standing Rock is a collection of 19 original plays written by students and faculty based on published articles and recorded interviews.

The Dakota Access Pipeline, located in North and South Dakota, has garnered international attention regarding disputes and concerns over the project’s potential environmental impact. Local Native American tribes asserted that the pipeline would threaten sacred burial grounds and quality of water in the area. A protest held near the Standing Rock tribe’s reservation attracted international attention, and inspired the name of the production itself.

Prof. Denise Hartley conducted interviews with members of local tribes to develop monologues featured throughout the production. Members of the Puyallup and Nisqually Tribes attended protests on the Standing Rock reservation, and their experiences inspired pieces of the production.

“This is a story that needs to be told, and should never be forgotten,” said Director Patrick Daugherty. “The first part of the show is very realistic and based on true events, and the second half is very surreal and almost spiritual. The play is a great chance to come out and support our students and not only the performers, but also the playwrights.”

Standing Rock takes place at the Pierce College Fort Steilacoom Black Box Theater on June 1, 2 and 3 at 7 p.m. Starting at 6:30 pm, there will be musical performances and recitations. Tickets are free for students with Pierce College identification, and $5 for general admission.