By Brandy McDonnell Bam
“An Inside Strait” follows two Muscogee (Creek) men employed at the tribe’s Tulsa casino. One works as a security guard, the other as a dealer, and both are struggling to make ends meet. Reasoning that the house winnings are ultimately tribal funds, they plot to rob the casino.
“But I really focus on the story first,” he said. “I try to stay away from jumping on one side or the other. I just try to tell this story, with this as the backdrop. And if it stirs up in any conversation, then that’s OK.”
Last year’s inaugural Native American New Play Festival included a staged reading of his “War Paint,” a drama set in modern-day Muskogee around Bacone College. It follows a Creek girl who is determined to prove herself in college but discovers she doesn’t have the identity she thought she did and embarks on a search for her heritage.
“I’m a lot more interested in what is going on with Native Americans right now, real issues, real problems, instead of doing history pieces,” he said. “Some of those scripts to me—and I’m not trying to be uber-critical—glorify too much and don’t look at all the wrinkles.”