Ty Defoe


Indigiqueer/2S+ citizen of the Oneida/Ojibwe Nations. A director, writer, interdisciplinary artist, and Grammy Award winner. Ty aspires to an interweaving and glitterizing approach to artistic projects with social justice, indiqueering, and environmental-ism.

Ty’s global cultural arts highlights: the Millennium celebration in Cairo, Egypt; International Music Festival, Ankara, Turkey; and Festival of World Cultures in Dubai.

Awards: Global Indigenous Heritage Festival Award, Jonathan Larson Award, First Peoples Cultural Capital Fellow, Helen Merrill Playwriting Award 2021, and finalist at the Cordillera International Film Festival for We Will Always Be Here.

Works created and authored: Trail and Tears (w/ Dawn Avery), River of Stone, Red Pine, The Way They Lived, Ajijaak on Turtle Island, Hear Me Say My Name, The Lesson (w/ Avi Amon and Nolan Doran), and Firebird Tattoo, among others. Current release of VR and digital media projects ANAKWAD (w/ Dov Heichemer and _alpha), CIRCLE, and Strong Like Flower (w/ Katherine Freer). An artEquity facilitator, co-founder of Indigenous Direction (w/ Larissa FastHorse). Member of All My Relations Collective, whose GIZHIBAA GIIZHIG | Revolving Sky was presented at The Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival.

Publications: Casting a Movement, Pitkin Review, Thorny Locust Magazine, HowlRound, and Routledge Press, The Methuen Drama Book of Trans Plays for the Stage. Degrees from CalArts, Goddard College, and NYU Tisch.

Director: The Winer Bear (Perseverance Theater), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Arizona Shakespeare Company).

Movement Direction: Mother Road, directed by Bill Rauch (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), Manahatta, directed by Laurie Woolery (OSF and Yale Rep); and choreographer for Tracy Letts’s The Minutes (Broadway). Ty appeared on the Netflix show Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and in Young Jean Lee’s Straight White Men, directed by Anna Shapiro (Broadway debut). Lives in NYC + loves the color clear.