January 24, 2009

Native actors in Ramona

Couple to star in ‘Ramona'

Real love: Cesaria Hernandez and Duane Minard are married off-stage, cast as leads.It is a dream come true for a real-life Hemet couple to play the star-crossed lovers Ramona and Alessandro in the 86th season of “Ramona.”

The “Ramona” pageant has long been a labor of love for first-time Alessandro actor Duane Minard and his wife, Cesaria Hernandez, now a four-time Ramona.
And:In past years, Minard said he felt the competition for the lead role was always close, but said it has been a dream to play the lead role, especially opposite his wife.

With Yurok and Paiute heritage, Minard's casting continues the recent tradition of casting American Indian men in the role of Alessandro, the Indian who falls in law with Ramona.

The role had previously been played by Whipple, who is of Navajo and Sioux heritage and who played Alessandro for 10 seasons.
Comment:  I guess Taylor Lautner was unavailable to play Alessandro as a hot young pseudo-Indian for the teen set.

Anyway, good to see that someone understands the importance of casting Natives to play Natives.

For more on the subject, see Native Plays and Other Stage Shows.

Below:  "Cesaria Hernandez, left, and Duane Minard, right, were cast to play Ramona and Alessandro in this year’s production of ‘Ramona.’ Minard said he plans to play a less-theatrical Alessandro and that he and his wife have always wanted to play opposite each other in the play."

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