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TULSA, Okla.—An open casting call for the upcoming season of “Reservation Dogs” brought thousands of Indigenous people to audition at the Park Elementary School in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Saturday.

The production hasn’t had an open casting call since the first season, where it found several Indigenous talents who had no previous acting experience prior to Reservation Dogs. 

Distance didn’t deter many as people traveled from all over Indian Country to audition for a role. Vehicle license plates were from many Tribes in Oklahoma, but also out of state such as Minnesota, North Dakota, Texas, and New Mexico. Entire families reported to Native News Online that they made an event out of the opportunity to audition. 

“This is my first time casting,” said Claudia Little-Axe, Seneca Cayuga from Miami, Oklah., to Native News Online. “I feel really good about this and I brought my children and my niece along for the experience.” 

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Lines to audition spanned more than four city blocks around Park Elementary School, located in a residential neighborhood in Tulsa. Food vendors were selling meat pies — a dish unique to the state —  and Girl Scout cookies. As well, a food truck was set up for operation near the entrance of the school. 

The production for the show was unable to share details about the upcoming season but did share how surprised they were at the amount of people who showed up for the casting call. Previous casting calls were held in Montana, Oklahoma, and Canada, where three of the main actors on the show are from. “Cheese,” who is one of the main characters, is played by Lane Factor, who didn’t have previous acting experience said one of the producers. 

Nanette Harjo — mother of the hit show’s director and writer — Sterlin Harjo, said she was thrilled at the turnout.

“I think seeing the crowd is really exciting and I didn’t expect to see this many people,” said Nanette Harjo to Native News Online. “I’m really proud of my son, and this amazing show gets another season for our Indigenous writers and directors.” 

It’s been one heck of a ride and everyone is supporting the show in Tulsa. We feel like we have the whole community behind us.”

Reservation Dogs is the first television show to be filmed entirely in Oklahoma and the first to feature all Indigenous writers and directors. All of the show’s main characters are Indigenous. In its first two seasons, the show has been recognized by critics and award programs for outstanding achievements including a Peabody Award, two Independent Spirit Awards, and nominations for the Critics’ Choice Television Awards and the Golden Globes. 

The production said that they needed multiple positions filled from children at least 8 years old to adults.

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About The Author
Author: Darren ThompsonEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Darren Thompson (Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe) is a staff reporter for Native News Online who is based in the Twin Cities of Minnesota. Thompson has reported on political unrest, tribal sovereignty, and Indigenous issues for the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, Indian Country Today, Native News Online, Powwows.com and Unicorn Riot. He has contributed to the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Voice of America on various Indigenous issues in international conversation. He has a bachelor’s degree in Criminology & Law Studies from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.