Waylon Lenk is Karuk from the villages of Ka’tim’îin and Taxasúfkara, as well as an Oregon-based dramaturg/producer. He is currently a dramaturg on the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s production of Off the Rails, and a doctoral student at the University of Oregon’s Theatre Department, where his current research involves reading indigenous North American maps as performance texts. He also teaches Introduction to Acting, and recently directed a shadow puppet adaptation of a Klamath legend in the University’s Many Nation’s Longhouse. Last season he was the Shakespeare Dramaturgy Resident at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and worked on The Winter’s Tale and Richard II. He has previously presented work at Oregon State University, Portland Public Schools, the Piggyback Fringe Festival in Wakefield, Quebec, and at the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation’s U.S. Grant Hotel. His work approaches Native theatre from his position(s) as a dramaturg and a pikváhaan, or Karuk storyteller. As a dramaturg he actively promotes the work of Native playwrights and is involved research to extend the boundaries of what is considered “Native theater.” As a pikváhaan he uses tools from the field of theatre to (re)activate his people’s body of literature. His work has been funded by Oregon State University, Advocates for Indigenous California Languages, and the Yurok Tribe. He is currently developing a piece that uses traditional Karuk pikvah and primary historical documents to grapple with the ongoing legacy of the California Genocide aka Gold Rush with funding from The Evergreen State College’s Longhouse Education and Culture Center. He holds an M.F.A. in Dramaturgy from Stony Brook University, and a B.A. from Lewis & Clark College.


This Dramaturg is currently working on: