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Artwaves: 'The Secret Life of Spantsa' on stage

Zuska Sabata as Olive Oatman in her one-woman show, 'The Secret Life of Spantsa'

Dell’Arte International MFA graduate, actor and teacher Zuzka Sabata will present her original one-woman play about 19th century historical figure Olive Oatman at six different venues across Humboldt County August 18-28.
Sabata says her play explores the life of a woman who lived in two seemingly opposing cultures. During her Artwaves interview she talks about why she was interested in catalyzing a community dialog about this individual and this subject matter.


Oatman was 14 when she was kidnapped and her family killed by a Native American tribe, possibly the Western Yavapai. She was eventually traded by that tribe to the Mohave people. After several years with the Mohave, Oatman was returned to white society, and in subsequent years she traveled the American lecture circuit and attempted to convey her personal story. She became known as the “first tattooed white woman in America,” says Sabata.

The play’s schedule:

All shows are at 8 p.m. 

Thursday  8/18 The Arcata Playhouse

Friday  8/19  Synapsis, 47 West Third Street, Eureka

Saturday 8/20 Westhaven Center for the Arts, Trinidad

Friday 8/26 The Sanctuary, 1301 J St, ArcataSaturday 8/27 Mattole Valley Community Center, Petrolia

Sunday 8/28 Beginnings, Briceland

 Sabata will be joined during the second weekend of performances by dancer and choreographer Laura Muñoz, who will present a new short work titled “Unqualified Desire.”

Tickets will be available at the door or phone (707) 834-0357 for reservations. More information is at Sabata's website.