Written by three-time Tony Award winner Arthur Kopit, the play depicts the life of master showman “Buffalo Bill” Cody. The self-promoter that organized Wild West shows, a precursor to today’s rodeo, that were staged in stadiums around the world. These performances included recreations of the Pony Express, the Battle of the Little Big Horn and the Sioux Nation. Because of his ego, ambitions and desire, Cody, who was previous a bison hunter and an American soldier, became on of the most colorful images of the Wild West.
The play spans a time period from the 1860s to 1910 and focuses on Cody’s comeback in a ghost town. Featuring humorous tall tales, the 95-minute production is a combination of Old West mythology, circus spectacle and Native American ritual, told from both in the perspective of the American cowboy and the Native American.
Shade Murray, a junior in the Northwestern University School of Communication’s MFA program, will direct the cast of 12 undergraduate students through multiple roles in the production to account for 45 characters. The students were all selected because of experience and training in dance, acrobatics and marching.
The show’s costumes, stage sets and lighting were designed and constructed on the University’s Evanston campus by a production team of students in the School of Communication’s MFA program. The body-adapting costumes are designed to fit both men and women of varying sizes since many of the roles are interchangeable.
Murray has previously directed productions at Writers’ Theatre in Glencoe and Chicago’s Strawdog, Shattered Globe and About Face theatre companies, as well as productions at the Museum of Contemporary Art and for Second City.
Performances of “Indians” began on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and will take back to the stage this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, all at 8 p.m. and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 23, in the Ethel M. Barber Theater, 30 Arts Circle Drive, on the University’s Evanston campus.
Tickets are $25 for the general public; $23 for seniors 65 and older, Northwestern staff and faculty and area teachers and administrators; and $10 for full-time students. Tickets are available through the Theatre and Interpretation Center Box Office at (847) 491-7282 or www.tic.northwestern.edu.