The Indian Wants The Bronx at the Hollywood Fringe Fest

by Melissa Gordon

Guest Writer

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.

Indian Wants the Bronx by Israel Horovitz as performed by The Actor’s Circle Ensemble for the Hollywood Fringe Festival

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.

Indian Wants the Bronx by Israel Horovitz as performed by The Actor’s Circle Ensemble for the Hollywood Fringe Festival

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.

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About pLAywriting in the city

pLAywriting in the city works to expand the portfolio of arts criticism written by people of color and to cover events in and around Los Angeles that are neglected by the mainstream media but which more fittingly reflects the diversity of the city.

3 comments

  1. For the sake of accuracy, please refer to http://www.villagevoice.com/obies/serarch for the correct terminology of our awards. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter – Obies. Thanks kindly.

    This is a VILLAGE VOICE OBIE AWARD – DISTINGUISHED PLAY – 1968

    year category winner play
    1968 Best Foreign Play Vaclav Havel The Memorandum
    1968 Special Citations The Negro Ensemble Company
    for Sustained Excellence in Repertory Theatre and the development of new theatrical talent
    1968 Special Citations The Fortune Society
    for expanding public awareness of the problems of the ex-convict and the prison system in America
    1968 Special Citations San Francisco Mime Troupe
    for uniting theatre and revolution and grooving in the park
    1968 Distinguished Plays Sam Shepard “Forensic and the Navigator” and “Melodrama Play”
    1968 Distinguished Performances Roy R. Scheider Stephen D.
    1968 Best Design Robert LaVigne “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “Endecott and the Red Cross”
    1968 Distinguished Direction Rip Torn The Beard
    1968 Distinguished Performances Peggy Pope Mama
    1968 Best American Play No award given
    1968 Distinguished Performances Moses Gunn The Negro Ensemble Company repertory
    1968 Best Director Michael A. Schultz Song of the Lusitanian Bogey
    1968 Distinguished Performances Mari Gorman “The Memorandum” and “Walking to Waldheim”
    1968 Distinguished Direction John Hancock A Midsummer Night’s Dream
    1968 Distinguished Plays John Guare Muzzeka
    1968 Distinguished Performances John Cazale “Line” and “The Indian Wants the Bronx”
    1968 Distinguished Performances Jean David Istanboul
    1968 Distinguished Performances James Coco Fragments
    1968 Distinguished Plays Israel Horovitz The Indian Wants the Bronx
    1968 Best Musical Gertrude Stein and Al Carmines In Circles
    1968 Special Citations El Teatro Campesino
    for creating a workers’ theatre to demonstrate the politics of survival
    1968 Distinguished Performances Cliff Gorman The Boys in the Band
    1968 Best Actress Billie Dixon The Beard
    1968 Best Actor Al Pacino The Indian Wants the Bronx
    1968 Obie Committee
    Clive Barnes, John Lahr, Michael Smith

  2. Pingback: The Indian Wants The Bronx — Neologic Studios

  3. Pingback: pLAywriting in the city: archives « M.B. GORDON WRITES

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