It’s late on a Friday afternoon at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian in Cherokee, North Carolina, and the artists gathered in the rehearsal room are about to bare their souls. At least that’s what it feels like in the room.

But first, Cherokee actress and writer DeLanna Studi asks everyone to remember the words of the renowned playwright Samuel Beckett, which are  printed on a large white board up front:

Ever tried. Ever failed.

No matter. Try again.

Fail again. Fail better.

“I want you guys to go bigger — I want you to fill this space with your beautiful voice, your being, your intention,” Studi says. “If you think you went a 10 last time, I want you to go a 20. And I have seen you guys on stage, so I know you can do it.”

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