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PRESS RELEASE: Siwayul (Heart of a Womxn)


Contact: Nahuel Aránguiz /

Nelwat Ishkamewe Two-Spirit Theatre



By Xemiyulu Manibusan Tapepechul

Directed by Alexa Elizabeth Rodriguez & Xemiyulu Manibusan Tapepechul

Washington, DC - Unceded Piscataway Land -

Nelwat Ishkamewe Two-Spirit Theatre continues its 3rd season with the World Premiere of Siwayul (Heart of a Womxn) by Xemiyulu Manibusan Tapepechul. Co-Directed by the Director of Trans-Latinx DMV (a chapter of the TransLatin@ Coalition), Alexa Elizabeth Rodriguez, and the playwright, Siwayul (Heart of a Womxn) is performed in Spanish, English, and Nawat from April 3 through April 12, 2019 at Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, 545 7th St. SE, Washington, DC 20003. The Capitol Hill Arts Workshop is located at the corner of 7th and G Streets SE. Street parking is very challenging; using Metro is encouraged. Getting there using Metro Rail, stop at Eastern Market (Blue/Orange Lines). Limited street parking is available. This venue is not wheelchair accessible.

Siwayul (Heart of a Womxn) is a one-persxn play about reclaiming Two-Spirit identity through Indigenous Salvadoran culture and diaspora; and empowering the Ancestral Goddess within. A Native American Trans Womxn seeks her place in the world. Guided by the Ancestors, she finds herself within her heart of a Womxn- Siwayul.

“Oftentime, Transgender Womxn and Femmes are pushed aside, forgotten, or criticized for daring to exist in spaces.” Artistic Director & Playwright Tapepechul says, “For our second main stage production of the season, we want to center Transgender Womxn of Color, specifically Native American and Black Transgender Womxn, and so we are working with two Trans Womxn-led organizations, Trans-Latinx DMV & No Justice No Pride. This one-Femme play reminds the audience of the realities Trans Womxn and Femmes of Color face in a colonial nation. Our production of Siwayul (Heart of a Womxn) aims to uplift language revitalization and Ancestral healing, meanwhile celebrating the beauty and power of poetry.” This play adapted from Metzali: Siwayul Shitajkwilu, Xemiyulu Manibusan Tapepechul's first book of poetry released April 2018, produced in collaboration with the Trans Femmes of Trans-Latinx DMV and No Justice No Pride celebrating National Poetry Month, is made possible with support from the Diverse City Fund.

General Audience evening performances are on April 3, April 4, April 5, and April 6 at 8:00 PM. General Audience matinee is on April 6 at 3:00 PM. Student matinees are on April 8, April 9, April 10, April 11, and April 12 at 12:00 PM.


Xemiyulu Manibusan Tapepechul from the Nawat people of Kuskatan, the land known internationally as El Salvador, is ne Siwayul- a heart of a Womxn. She is the Director of Art & Culture of Trans-Latinx DMV, the Artistic & Development Director of Nelwat Ishkamewe, and the author of Metzali: Siwayul Shitajkwilu and My Woman Card is anti-Native & other Two-Spirit Truths. Xemi has written various plays, including: The Cosmic Twins, Timumachtikan Nawat/Aprendamos Nawat/Let’s Learn Nawat, Kanshul (Act of Faith), Protect & Preserve, Yek Tunal Kuskatan, Illegal NDN, Yultaketzalis, and Siwayul (Heart of a Womxn). Her work has been featured across various theatre companies, universities, community groups, and the internet. She can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at XemiNeSiwayul, and can be found on Patreon at


Siwayul (Heart of a Womxn) is directed by Alexa Elizabeth Rodriguez, Director of Trans-Latinx DMV, a local chapter of the national TransLatin@ Coalition, & playwright, Xemiyulu Manibusan Tapepechul.

Alexa Elizabeth Rodriguez from the Lenca people of El Salvador, makes her Directorial debut with Nelwat Ishkamewe’s Siwayul (Heart of a Womxn). She has previously produced Nelwat Ishkamewe’s The Cosmic Twins and Protect & Preserve (as part of the DC Queer Theatre Festival), and has worked on various artist revues, including Two-Spirits Belong Here.

The One-Femme play features playwright Xemiyulu Manibusan Tapepechul as Alex, Siwayul, Siwanawal, and Nantzin Paula. She was recently seen in Nelwat Ishkamewe Two-Spirit Theatre’s The Cosmic Twins as Junajpu and Kukumatz, and Protect & Preserve as Sea-Sia. She played these roles in Siwayul (Heart of a Womxn) in both stage readings of the play: DC Queer Theatre Festival 2017; Latinx Heritage Month 2018.

Choreography is by Dane Figueroa Edidi, a two-time theatreWashington Helen Hayes Award Nominee for Choreography, who previously appeared in Nelwat Ishkamewe’s Womyn of Anahuc at the 2015 DC Native American Heritage Theatre Festival, and 1519: The Arrival at the 2016 DC Native American Heritage Theatre Festival. Scenic, Light, Props, and Graphic Designs are by Emmelia Talarico, the Director of No Justice No Pride, who previously designed props for Nelwat Ishkamewe’s The Cosmic Twins (International Commedia dell’Arte Day). Hair/Makeup and Costume Designs are by Angel Garcia, who previously house managed for Nelwat Ishkamewe’s The Cosmic Twins, and performed in Trans-Latinx DMV’s Trans-Latinx Power!. Stage Management and Mask Designs are by Ahanu, the Managing Director of Nelwat Ishkamwe, who previously designed props, masks, and costumes for Nelwat Ishkamewe’s The Cosmic Twins, Protect & Preserve, and Two-Spirits Belong Here. Assistant Stage Management by ReignBeaux Xōchitl Cuahuitl, making their Nelwat Ishkamewe debut. Stage Crew is Tiara Moten, Communications Director of No Justice No Pride, making her Nelwat Ishkamewe debut. Production Community Outreach Director is Nahuel Aránguiz, who previously appeared in Nelwat Ishkamewe's Two-Spirits Belong Here.


Regular tickets are $15. Additional discounts are available for groups of 10 or more, and Black & Indigenous Transgender People of Color. To purchase tickets, email or visit --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In collaboration:

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