March 19, 2011

An Italian American Indian

Native wisdom

By Bondo WyszpolskiLocal playwright Angelo Masino has staged several of his own works at the 2nd Story Theatre in Hermosa Beach, including “No Justice, No Peace,” “The Beast,” “The Treehouse,” and “The Runner,” but his newest, “An Italian American Indian,” seems to be on another level altogether. He began writing it while his brother was dying (“He went on a long journey, a year’s journey into death”), and within the same time frame Masino also underwent a marital meltdown. Not surprisingly, then, he says of “An Italian American Indian” that “This is my first adult play, I would almost call it, where I deal with family issues and kids and divorce.”Geronimo is apparently a spirit hovering over the action in this play:Masino says that Geronimo generated his play. He took passages from the warrior chief’s memoir, Geronimo: His Own Story, and integrated them into his text. He found Geronimo’s words relevant to his own state of mind, and he put Geronimo’s stories next to his own. “Somehow,” he says, “they connect.”

Runningfox sees the connection as well. “So I get here, and they’ve got him (Geronimo) weaving in and out of an everyday situation that every single one of us are involved in--with family, friends.” What Marco, the central character in Masino’s play, goes through, Geronimo went through as well. “He misses his home, he misses his family; he misses that land. All taken away… It’s not just an Apache situation… It runs right in line with what Goyahkla or Geronimo had to go through; he was fighting for his family. He was going through the losses.”
Comment:  For more Native plays, see The Frybread Queen Reviewed and Tombs of the Vanishing Indian Reviewed.

Below:  "Playwright Angelo Massino and actor Joseph Runningfox." (Bondo Wyszpolski)

No comments: