News: American Indian Artists Inc. (AMERINDA) Premiere Radio Play Double-Feature, Free to Stream

Image courtesy Spin Cycle PR
American Indian Artists Inc. (AMERINDA) presents the World Premiere of It Came from Across the Big Pond and Files of the Indin Police, two plays by William S. Yellow Robe Jr., directed by John Scott-Richardson. The two short comedies were originally scheduled to be performed live on a “summer fun” double-bill this June over a run at Manhattan’s Theater for the New City. Instead, they have been adapted into radio dramas performed and recorded by the actors in isolation on their cellphones. The plays are now available to stream for free here.

Established in 1987, American Indian Artists Inc. (AMERINDA) is a community-based multi-arts organization that works to empower Native Americans and foster intercultural understanding of Native culture. Located in New York, AMERINDA is the only Native American multi-arts organization of its kind in the US, and has been widely recognized for its artistic and cultural integrity. AMERINDA Theater produces staged readings and full productions of new plays by Native American Playwrights. Past productions include BoundPowwow HighwayMangled BeamsMiss LeadFear of Oatmeal, and Thieves. In addition to continuing this vital work, AMERINDA launched the first-ever Native Shakespeare Ensemble in 2015 with Macbeth

Taking its inspiration from the 1950’s sci-fi B-movie genre, It Came from Across the Big Pond is an over-the-top comedic look at the colonization of Native America. Files of the Indin Police, meanwhile, is a darkly satirical look at appropriation and the fear of an organization of Native people patrolling communities searching for violators.

"A lot of people have been feeling so much sorrow and loss, even before Covid,” says noted AMERINDA producer Diane Fraher. “I wanted to do something that would make people smile again and feel joy if only for a little while. I knew the panacea would be our Native humor. Then, in the middle of pre-production, George Floyd was killed and the world rose up. Since then, much has been said about 'systemic racism' and the devastating effects it has had on so many people. Although it was never planned that way, these two plays reveal truths about how these things persist -- and a hope for healing -- as stories have always done for all of us.”

 It Came from Across the Big Pond and Files of the Indin Police star Nic Billey (Don’t Feed the Indians), Dylan Carusona (Julius Ceasar at The Public Theatre), Donna Couteau (Inktomi), Matthew Cross (Bound), Matt Langer (Smoke at the Signature Theater), Ina McNeil (Thunderbird American Indian Group "Indian of the Year" 1986), and Taylor Red Fox (Souls of a Kindred Flame). The production team includes Bob Schott, Sr. Audio Engineer/Producer at Studio Center NY (sound design); Jacqueline Jackson (dialogue recording); and Rob Kuhns (dialogue editor).

Author of It Came from Across the Big Pond and Files of the Indin Police William S. Yellow Robe Jr. is an Assiniboine playwright and aa founding member of the American Indian Playwrights Guild and the National American Indian Theater and Performing Arts Alliance. He is a recipient of a Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Residency (2014) and an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from the University of Montana (2020). He is a Faculty Affiliate at the University of Montana and an Adjunct Faculty member at the University of Maine. Publications of his work include Restless Spirits (2020), containing one full-length and seven one-act plays; Grandchildren of The Buffalo Soldiers and Other Untold Stories, a collection of full-length plays; and Where the Pavement Ends: New Native Drama, a collection of one-act plays.  

Director of It Came from Across the Big Pond and Files of the Indin Police John Scott-Richardson’s maternal and paternal lineage is (Saponi, Nansemond, Tuscarora), enrolled member Haliwa-Saponi Nation of North Carolina. He received his BA in Liberal Arts degree from Atlantic Christian College. He is an actor and director who began theatrical arts by writing/directing youth advocacy plays andhas a strong passion for changing the perspective of Native people through storytelling. Recently he has stepped into the role of Theater Program Director with AMERINDA. His acting work has been seen in productions on and off Broadway. His film/tv roles include The Heart Stays, The Politician (Netflix), and Banshee (Cinemax). 


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