I grew up picking berries on a small family farm my Squamish grandma, Dorothy Nahanee, and Filipino grandpa, Thomas Almojuela, purchased in the 1940s on Bainbridge Island, Washington. Working in marketing and editorial as a project manager for the likes of Bravo/NBC, SundanceTV, Mother Jones, Vanity Fair, ACLU-WA, and others, I took a hiatus (permanently?) to pursue dramatic writing full-time. I earned a Joint MFA degree in Creative Writing & Theatre from UBC in 2015. My thesis play, So Damn Proud, an interdisciplinary drama about a brother and sister that mixes mystery, irreverence, and comedy alongside contemporary and traditional Coast Salish inspired dance, was selected for the 2015 Native Voices at the Autry Annual Retreat & Festival of New Plays. It received its second workshop in Seattle in October 2016 with Northwest Playwrights Alliance at the Seattle Rep. My feature script, The Skins Game, a coming of age story of two Native Americans who embark on a mission to correct the insidious racism perpetrated against their culture, was an official selection screenplay of the Beverly Hills Film Festival, Oaxaca Film Festival, Evolution Mallorca Film Festival, Columbia Gorge International Film Festival, and a second round selection for Sundance Institute 2016 Screenwriters Lab. Two recent works: You Move On, is a play commissioned for UBC Players Club, focused on a pair of cousins who grew up on the Musqueam reserve adjacent to where UBC is located, also on ancestral Musqueam territory. The second work, LNG was created through Testify Indigenous, a Canadian collective of Indigenous law scholars and artists. These two dramas explore First Peoples’ relationships to the land in two uniquely contemporary ways. LNG is currently being workshopped with an Indigenous Theatre class at University of California, San Diego, and will continue to be presented as a stage reading across Canada as part of a Testify. This work has also been adapted as a limited series for television called Boundary Bay.  I have acted and collaborated in various theatre and screen projects in LA, New York, the Bay Area, Vancouver, and Seattle throughout the years. I co-founded the now-defunct Oakland Playhouse in 2000 with Jayne Entwistle presenting original plays. Currently based in Los Angeles, I am working on a new works for stage and screen.

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www.justinbneal.com

testifyindigenous.ca

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