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Indian Wants the Bronx


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A: Israel Horovitz Pf: 1966, Waterford, Connecticut Pb: 1968 G: Drama in 1 act S: Bus stop, New York, 1960s C: 3mGupta, an ‘East’ Indian in his early fifties, is waiting for a bus. Two loud-mouthed delinquents in their early twenties, Joey (of Jewish descent) and Murph (of Irish descent), arrive and tease Gupta, imagining that he is Turkish. Gupta is frightened and alone in the big city: he speaks only Hindi, and shows the lads the address of his son in the Bronx. The youths continue to play around with a high level of aggression, then do a ‘war dance’ in the street. They play hide-and-seek, which involves Joey spinning Murphy until he is sick, then violently forcing Gupta into a hiding place. Gupta becomes so frightened that he hits Joey, who then gives him a beating. Murphy, returning from vomiting, offers to phone Gupta's son. When he gets through, however, he claims to have found an elephant wandering the streets. Gupta is desperate to speak to his son, but Murphy pushes him aside, then cuts the cord of the hand-piece. Joey goes off distraught. Murphy cuts the Indian's hand, leaving him crying, alone, in despair.

A: Israel Horovitz Pf: 1966, Waterford, Connecticut Pb: 1968 G: Drama in 1 act S: Bus stop, New York, 1960s C: 3m

With obvious affinities to Albee's Zoo Story and to the contemporaneous baby-stoning scene in Bond's Saved, this simple piece of naturalistic action encapsulates the latent violence of urban youth, not evil but bored, swaggering but insecure. The teasing of the outsider, here significantly by two people themselves from immigrant backgrounds, escalates to violence, although Horovitz creates an even greater sense of despair by leaving the victim alive and alone than by staging his death.

Subjects: Theatre — Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights).


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