a Los Angeles based arts journal
by Melissa Gordon
pLAywriting in the city
The Actors Circle Ensemble’s presentation of Israel Horovitz’s The Indian Wants The Bronx is an intense one-act play that dives deep into a dark, yet realistic, scene of racism that succeeds in shocking and moving audiences.
Set in New York during the 1970s, Gupta (the Indian of the title) comes to a bus stop in Bronx in order to find his way to his son’s apartment. However, his goal is interrupted by two city dwellers (Joey and Murph) that decide to poke fun at the timid foreigner using stereotypical taunts. As emotions rise and secrets begin to reveal themselves, the two young outcasts decide to exact an unnamed vengeance on this innocent foreigner.The play demonstrates important themes such as ignorance, racism, hatred, and abandonment—but most importantly, it asks us to pay attention to the gut-wrenching violence that can arise from these emotions. Winner of the 1968 Village Voice Obie Award for Distinguished Play, this show is sure to leave a lasting impression on audiences.
The play is directed by Tamiko Washington and wonderfully acted by the ensemble cast of Casey Adler, Sean Burgos, and Andre Stojka. Sean Burgo’s portrayal of Gupta proves him to be a master of subtly; he ignites empathy that transcends language barriers. Andre Stojka and Casey Adler overcome audiences with their startling portrayals of the two young outcasts that are both inhumane and painfully human. Tamiko Washington strives to exact an image of contrast between the foreigner and the outcast with concepts of fear versus confidence, sanity versus insanity, and understanding versus ignorance.
As Joey and Murph loudly sing a rendition of “Baby, No One Cares” during the opening of the play, the audience is forced to ask themselves: baby, do we really care? The Indian Wants The Bronx sheds a light on the ugliness of ignorance that still heavily applies to our current society. Head out to the Stella Adler Theater in Los Angeles to witness this striking snapshot of realism today.
The Indian Wants The Bronx is playing June 22nd & 23rd at 8 pm at the Stella Adler Theater 6773 Hollywood Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90028 $10 General Admission. For tickets go to http://www.hollywoodfringe.org/projects/822
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Melissa Gordon is a California native with a zest for the creative arts. As a student at Los Angeles Valley College, she has fostered her love for theatre by supporting small productions and acting in independent plays. Melissa is also the recipient of multiple awards for her essays, short stories, and sonnets at LAVC. Currently, she is working towards a degree in English with the hopes of becoming an English professor and writing professionally. When she is not writing or reading, Melissa works full-time as a tutor for both middle school and college students across Los Angeles.