TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Cherokee Nation has signed Academy Award recipient Wes Studi to its October production of “Nanyehi – The Story of Nancy Ward.”   

The historical Cherokee musical is set for Oct. 11-12 at Hard Rock Live Tulsa with auditions taking place July 12-14. 

A direct descendant of Nanyehi, Studi will play the principal role of Attakullakulla, Nanyehi’s uncle. 

“The story of Nanyehi is not just Cherokee history, it’s world history,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. “Bringing on a Cherokee actor of this caliber will have a tremendous impact on this year’s production. We know that with Wes Studi’s involvement, we will have the opportunity to elevate Nanyehi’s message for peace and inspire and empower the rest of our talented cast.”  

From small-town Oklahoma native to internationally acclaimed actor and musician, Studi credits his passion and multifaceted background as inspiration for his powerful character portrayals that forever changed a Hollywood stereotype. Drawing from his rich life experience, he has moved audiences with unforgettable performances in “Dances With Wolves,” “The Last of the Mohicans,” “Geronimo: An American Legend” and “Heat,” as well as James Cameron’s “Avatar,” Paul Weitz’s “Being Flynn” and Scott Cooper’s “Hostiles.” 

More than 30 roles are still available in the production for Native and non-Native actors, singers and dancers of all ages. 

Auditions in Muskogee will be July 12, from 5-8 p.m., at the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame, located at 401 S. 3rd St. 

Auditions in Tulsa are July 13 from 2-5 p.m. and July 14 from 2-5 p.m. at Theatre Tulsa, located at 5521 S. Peoria Ave. 

Those auditioning for a singing role are asked to sing a cappella or provide their own accompaniment. A keyboard, CD player and Bluetooth speaker will be provided. Non-singing hopefuls will read from the script, and dancers are asked to bring dancing shoes as they will be taught a short routine. 

For those auditioning for a principal role and prefer to sing a song from the musical, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information, including songs, a lead sheet and tracks. 

The 2024 showing will mark the 13th production of the musical. It has been presented eight times in Oklahoma, twice in Tennessee, and single productions in Georgia and Texas. The musical is written by Nashville-based, award-winning songwriter and recording artist Becky Hobbs and playwright Nick Sweet. 

Hobbs is a Cherokee Nation citizen and Bartlesville native who is a direct descendant of Nancy Ward. As a recording and performing artist, she has performed in more than 40 countries and has had over 20 chart records. Her songs have been recorded by Alabama, Conway Twitty, George Jones, Loretta Lynn, Emmylou Harris, Glen Campbell, Wanda Jackson, John Anderson, Helen Reddy, Shirley Bassey and more. Hobbs was inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame in October 2015.    

“Nanyehi” is presented by Cherokee Nation Businesses and Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa. 

For more information about the production or a list of open positions for auditions, please visit www.nanyehi.com or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.