August 30, 2009

Preview of Tombs of the Vanishing Indian

Native Voices at the Autry:  Tombs of the Vanishing IndianNative Voices at the Autry is proud to kick off its Tenth Anniversary Season with the return of Marie Clements' Tombs of the Vanishing Indian. Marie's one-woman play, Urban Tattoo, was Native Voices' first production at the Autry (1999) and Tombs was the company's first commissioned play (2003). The play has received three workshops and staged readings with Native Voices (2004, 2005) as well as a recent workshop and reading this past February with Native Earth Performing Arts.

Tombs of the Vanishing Indian was inspired by Marie's visit to the Southwest Museum of the American Indian, an entity of the Autry National Center. That visit, coupled with stories of those who were sent to Los Angeles in the 1950s and the ways Indians are made to vanish in society gave rise to this powerfully compelling play. Tombs weaves together the stories of three sisters who, along with their mother, were made to relocate to LA from Oklahoma only to find themselves lost down three very different tunnels. We follow each of the women as they struggle with the choices they have to make and the choices that have been forced upon them.
Comment:  The Southwest Museum does have a long underground entrance through a tunnel. And the rooms where it stores its collections are not unlike tombs. Sounds like a good use of the museum as a metaphor for locking Indians in the stereotypical past.

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

1 comment:

Jean said...

Thanks for the posting Rob! It's a great play -- and has five fantastic stories about Indian women from the past and present that it weaves together in a truly amazing and poetic way. I hope lots of folks come out to see the reading!

Thanks again, Jean