Muriel Miguel

Muriel Miguel

She // Her // Hers

[ID: An older Native woman with short gray hair and glasses smiles widely. She wears a pink shirt, a beaded necklace, and earrings.]

Portrait photo by Deborah Ratelle.

Theater Maker and Story Weaver
Brooklyn, NY
2024 USA Fellow

This award was generously supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

Muriel Miguel is Kuna and Rappahannock. Miguel is the founder and Artistic Director of Spiderwoman Theater, the longest running feminist Native theater company on the continent. She has directed all of Spiderwoman’s shows and has toured with them across the globe.

Miguel 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 is a director, writer, and actor. She directed The Unnatural and Accidental Women at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, ON. As an actor, she was the Mary Deity in the off-Broadway hit, Taylor Mac’s The Lily’s Revenge. She created the role of Philomena Moosetail in The Rez Sisters and Spirit Woman in BONES: An Aboriginal Dance Opera. She has written Fear of Oatmeal and one woman shows Hot’ N’ Soft, Trail of the Otter, and Red Mother.

Miguel is a 2018 Doris Duke Artist and a John S. Guggenheim Foundation Fellow. She received an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Art from Miami University in Ohio and an Honorary Doctor of Letters from Trent University in Canada. She is a member of the National Theater Conference and the Southeastern Theatre Conference where she received the 2019 Distinguished Career Award. She sits on the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission.

Miguel taught drama at Bard College and at the Centre for Indigenous Theatre in Toronto. She has developed storyweaving, an Indigenous performance practice for training First Nations actors and dancers.

Red Mother, 2012. Spiderwoman Theater. Starring Muriel Miguel as Belle; directed by Murielle Borst-Tarrant. Video by Dan English.
  • Artwork by Muriel Miguel
    Material Witness, 2016. Spiderwoman Theater, Brooklyn, NY. Photo by Wayne Eardley.
    [ID: Four performers on a stage lean their bodies forward with outstretched arms. They are eclectically dressed with many layers of textured fabrics in white, black, and red. The central figure wears a black turtleneck with small white polka dots under a white dress with large gray polka dots under an apron that mimics a red bra with silver sequins and red fringe trailing down the torso. The stage is decorated with many layers of draped fabrics.]
Artwork by Muriel Miguel