Theater Review: “Not One More Foot of Land” Triumphs at the Secret Rose TheatreBy Annemarie DonkinAnyone interested in Native American History will be engrossed by Al Shulman’s fascinating and well-researched play “Not One More Foot of Land” at the Secret Rose Theatre in NoHo.
Beautifully directed by Kristina Lloyd, the historical epic recounts 50 years in the life of Cherokee leader Major Ridge, who is primarily known for signing the Treaty of New Echota in 1835 that led to the tragic “Trail of Tears.”
And:Overall, this is a high-energy epic and one of the most amazing historical theatrical productions I have seen in a long time, incorporating authentic Cherokee dress, dancing and traditional music.
In fact, it is a great way to introduce kids to some incredible, relevant yet tragic episodes in American history.New play tells story of Major Ridge, Trail of Tears“I am technically an outsider to Native American culture, without much prior exposure to Native Americans. But I’ve learned a lot from those associated with the production, as well as from my research,” Shulman said. “The Native American actors don’t treat me as an outsider. They are appreciative that a play has been written about how Native Americans were treated back then, not just the Cherokee, but many other tribes as well.”
Shulman added the play could not have been done without the contributions of many people including Hanay Geiogamah of the University of California at Los Angeles Department of Theater who was once head of the school’s Indian Studies Department.
Comment: For more on Cherokee theater
, see Cornbread and Cornbeads
and Cherokee Nominated for Grammy
Below: "From left, Cynthia Bryant, Joseph Runningfox as Major Ridge and Ayanery Reyes in Not One More Foot of Land
, at the Secret Rose Theater in North Hollywood."
The entire story of the Ridge faction strikes me as one for theater. You've got a puppet state, brother turned against brother, and ultimately a civil war (alongside the "other" civil war), leading to a purge of Ridge and his closest associates. Those are always good in a political drama.
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