Melissa Tantaquidgeon Zobel

Melissa Tantaquidgeon Zobel

screenwriter, novelist, playwright
MELISSA TANTAQUIDGEON ZOBEL BIO
Medicine Woman Melissa Tantaquidgeon Zobel is an enrolled member of the Mohegan Tribe of Connecticut. She was trained by Mohegan Medicine Woman Gladys Tantaquidgeon (1899-2005), who learned tribal traditions from Flying Bird (1827-1908), the protagonist of one of her award-winning scripts, Flying Bird's Diary. Melissa holds an...
screenwriter, novelist, playwright
MELISSA TANTAQUIDGEON ZOBEL BIO
Medicine Woman Melissa Tantaquidgeon Zobel is an enrolled member of the Mohegan Tribe of Connecticut. She was trained by Mohegan Medicine Woman Gladys Tantaquidgeon (1899-2005), who learned tribal traditions from Flying Bird (1827-1908), the protagonist of one of her award-winning scripts, Flying Bird's Diary. Melissa holds an MA in History and an MFA in Creative Writing. She has published several Native American novels and a biography, including "Medicine Trail: The Life and Lessons of Gladys Tantaquidgeon" (University of Arizona Press, 2000), the YA murder mystery "Wabanaki Blues" (Poisoned Pen Press, 2015), a femme fantasy called Snowy Strangeways (Urban Farmhouse Press, 2018), a speculative fiction novel "Oracles" (Univ. of New Mexico Press, 2003), and a New England Gothic "Fire Hollow" (Ravens Wing Press, 2012). She won an Emmy for her historical work on the documentary “The Mark of Uncas.” Melissa has won dozens of film festival competitions for her screenplays "Flying Bird's Diary," her short "Wolf Woman," & the femme fantasy "Snowy Strangeways." She was also a finalist in the Screencraft national competition for her sci-fi short story "Butterfly," which is also a play in development as a stage play. Her novel, "Wabanaki Blues," is a TV script in development.

Plays

  • Flying Bird's Diary
    On her first day of school, Fidelia meets puritanical teacher Miss Raymond, who believes humans are more important than animals, children should be seen and not heard, and English is more important than Native languages. Fidelia doesn’t understand these notions, and Miss Raymond beats Fidelia for speaking Mohegan and speaking her mind. Afterward, Fidelia draws strength from her tribe’s story of Wolf Woman, a...
    On her first day of school, Fidelia meets puritanical teacher Miss Raymond, who believes humans are more important than animals, children should be seen and not heard, and English is more important than Native languages. Fidelia doesn’t understand these notions, and Miss Raymond beats Fidelia for speaking Mohegan and speaking her mind. Afterward, Fidelia draws strength from her tribe’s story of Wolf Woman, a legendary ancestor who conjured inner strength in an impossible situation. Fidelia’s cousin, Henry, declares her a “language warrior” and her grandma, Nonner Martha, tells her that the woods will now be her only school. Thanks to her whaler father’s gift of a diary, Fidelia writes regularly in English and Mohegan, and immerses herself in her grandmother’s ancient woodland teachings. Throughout her life, Flying Bird faces many more obstacles but never loses sight of her goal: to save her language and culture.
  • Butterfly
    After the rising tides turn New England into New Island, teens Macky and Ket are about to be taken away to the mining camps , when the arrival of an ancient species brings hope that only Ket understands.