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MANAHATTA by Mary Kathryn Nagle | The Public Theater
Anspacher Theater November 16 - December 23, 2023 1 hour and 40 minutes, no intermission

New York Premiere

By Mary Kathryn Nagle 
Directed by Laurie Woolery

A gripping journey from the fur trade of the 1600s to the stock trade of today, Mary Kathryn Nagle's MANAHATTA tells the story of Jane Snake, a brilliant young Native woman with a Stanford MBA. Jane reconnects with her ancestral Lenape homeland, known as Manahatta, when she moves from Oklahoma to New York for a banking job just before the 2008 financial meltdown. Jane’s struggle to reconcile her new life with the expectations and traditions of her family and Nation are powerfully interwoven with the heartbreaking history of the Delaware Nation's expulsion from their land. Both old and new Manahatta converge in a lesson about the dangers of living in a society where there’s no such thing as enough.

A stunning play about self-discovery, MANAHATTA was written as part of The Public’s prestigious Emerging Writers Group. Obie Award winner and The Public’s Director of Public Works, Laurie Woolery, directs.

World premiere produced by Oregon Shakespeare Festival
Artistic Director Bill Rauch
Executive Director Cynthia Rider

Dive Deeper

  • Access the MANAHATTA Playbill.
  • If you need support to process the violence or historical trauma depicted in MANAHATTA, we encourage you to seek care using the sources listed in the Resource Guide. This guide also features resources to learn more about topics and themes covered in the show.

  • Read about the current exhibition KISHUX at The Public, curated by The Lenape Center. Taken by award-winning documentarian Devin Pickering, these nine images feature the striking Lenape corn mask pole from dusk to dawn.


Image of Rainbow Dickerson

Rainbow Dickerson

Toosh-ki-pa-kwis-i / Debra

Image of Elizabeth Frances

Elizabeth Frances

Le-le-wa'-you / Jane

Image of David Kelly

David Kelly

Jonas Michaelius / Michael

Image of Jeffrey King

Jeffrey King

Peter Minuit / Dick

Image of Enrico Nassi

Enrico Nassi

Se-ket-tu-may-qua / Luke

Image of Jessica Ranville

Jessica Ranville

Understudy Toosh-ki-pa-kwis-i / Debra, Le-le-wa'-you / Jane, Mother / Bobbie

Image of Joe Tapper

Joe Tapper

Jakob / Joe

Image of Sheila Tousey

Sheila Tousey

Mother / Bobbie

Image of Rex Young

Rex Young

Understudy Jonas Michaelius / Michael, Jakob / Joe, Peter Minuit / Dick


Mary Kathryn Nagle
Laurie Woolery
Marcelo Martínez García
Scenic Design
Lux Haac
Costume Design
Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew
Lighting Design
Paul James Prendergast
Sound Design and Composition
Younghawk Bautista
Hair and Wig Design
Rachel M. F. Kenner
Prop Manager
Kelsey Rainwater
Fight and Intimacy Direction
Ty Defoe
Movement Direction
Joe Baker
Cultural Consultant
Amanda Nita Luke-Sayed
Production Stage Manager
Janelle Caso
Stage Manager


A New Play Explores The Sacred, Complex Connection To Our Ancestral Lands


‘Manahatta,’ Mary Kathryn Nagle’s Play About the Lenape, Comes Home

The New York Times

For Native American Playwright Mary Kathryn Nagle, the Past Is Present


In Manahatta, 17th Century Fur Trade and 2008 Financial Crisis Share the Stage





Generous support for MANAHATTA is provided by the Ford Foundation.