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The Indian Wants The Bronx

by Israel Horovitz

The Play

This production of Israel Horowitz's "The Indian Wants the Bronx" marked the debut of Actors Circle Ensemble. First staged in 2011 as a one act along with Jim Geoghan's "Tom & Jerry" at the Ivy Substation in Culver City, CA, this play was later remounted at the Stella Adler in Hollywood, CA.


The play centers around two abandoned youths played by company members Casey Adler (Murph) and Andre Stojka (Joey) with a twisted view on life in the hardknock streets of the Bronx, NY. The two go about a normal troubled day until they wander upon a lost foreigner from East India in search of his son played by Sean Burgos.


Sean Burgos

Casey J. Adler

Andre Stojka

Directed by

Tamiko Washington 

Written by 

Israel Horovitz


CINESNATCH by Vincent Smetana

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City noises, whistling, and chatter from offstage are overheard while bewildered Gupta (Sean Burgos), not speaking a lick of English, wears a turban, holds a suitcase, and waits worriedly by a lonely telephone booth that serves as a New York City bus stop and his unwelcome introduction to the United States.  He’s a stranger to this dangerous, anonymous part of the Bronx, while contending with two young hoods.  At first, the aggressive kids dressed in jeans and oversized, woolly thrift store sweaters appear to be all bark and no bite.  They even have a Heathers’ moment when one pins down the other and forces him to say, “[Your mother] humps turkeys,” an ironic reference to their foster mom, who they disparagingly refer to as “Pussy Face” across their neighborhood and throughout the play.  The obnoxious hooligans are not the brightest bulbs, as Murph’s (Casey Adler) argument for the nationality of their new acquaintance: “Any jerk can see it’s a definite Turk,” because “Indians don’t wear fancy hats.”  Joey (Andre Stojka), no smarter, expects the man who so clearly cannot understand the Americans to follow every word he’s saying.  The boys oscillate between respectful and abusive, as one minute they’re breaking through communication barriers by teaching him how to say “thank you” and “you’re welcome,” and the next, they’re recreating the heart-pulling scene from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom; absconding with a Polaroid of his son; or, well, much, much worse.  They have a primal perception of the world and engage in juvenile antics which includes a “spin game.”




Jordan Young (LA Examiner)


If you need to catch up on your sleep, go elsewhere. This show will keep you awake. No, that wasn’t an earthquake that jolted you out of your seat just now.



Fanny Garcia/Melissa Gordon (pLAywriting) Read Article Source


The Actors Circle Ensemble’s presentation of Israel Horovitz’s The Indian Wants The Bronx is an intense one-act play that dives deep into a dark, yet realistic, scene of racism that succeeds in shocking and moving audiences.


Set in New York during the 1970s, Gupta (the Indian of the title) comes to a bus stop in Bronx in order to find his way to his son’s apartment. However, his goal is interrupted by two city dwellers (Joey and Murph) that decide to poke fun at the timid foreigner using stereotypical taunts. As emotions rise and secrets begin to reveal themselves, the two young outcasts decide to exact an unnamed vengeance on this innocent foreigner.The play demonstrates important themes such as ignorance, racism, hatred, and abandonment—but most importantly, it asks us to pay attention to the gut-wrenching violence that can arise from these emotions. Winner of the 1968 Village Voice Obie Award for Distinguished Play, this show is sure to leave a lasting impression on audiences.


The play is directed by Tamiko Washington and wonderfully acted by the ensemble cast of Casey Adler, Sean Burgos, and Andre Stojka. Sean Burgos’s portrayal of Gupta proves him to be a master of subtly; he ignites empathy that transcends language barriers. Andre Stojka and Casey Adler overcome audiences with their startling portrayals of the two young outcasts that are both inhumane and painfully human. Tamiko Washington strives to exact an image of contrast between the foreigner and the outcast with concepts of fear versus confidence, sanity versus insanity, and understanding versus ignorance.


As Joey and Murph loudly sing a rendition of “Baby, No One Cares” during the opening of the play, the audience is forced to ask themselves: baby, do we really care? The Indian Wants The Bronx sheds a light on the ugliness of ignorance that still heavily applies to our current society. Head out to the Stella Adler Theater in Los Angeles to witness this striking snapshot of realism today.

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