DeLanna Studi has a powerful story to tell. She currently is telling it on the stage of the Ellyn Bye Studio at Portland Center Stage at The Armory. The 41-year-old actress/playwright has written and performs And So We Walked, An Artist’s Journey along the Trail of Tears.
Studi is Cherokee. Actually, her mother is white, but within the Cherokee Nation, if you are any part Cherokee, you’re Cherokee. “My grandmothers speak to me in my dreams,” says Studi. And some time back, after some grandmotherly intervention and soul searching, Studi invited her father to join her in her journey along the historic Cherokee Trail of Tears, a 900-mile route stretching from their tribe’s ancestral land in North Carolina to Oklahoma. The journey was life-changing for both of them.