Written by Janelle Meraz Hooper
Directed by Steve Railsback
Performed by Rudy Ramos
“Geronimo” is a long form narrative monologue. A history lesson and a masterful storytellers vivid recollection of his own life.
Rudy Ramos as Geronimo is spellbinding. He seems to channel this truly great and fascinating man as he walks us through the pain and the persecution, the triumphs and the interminable resilience of an icon.
We have all heard of Geronimo of course, through films and books and TV shows, but the real story of Geronimo and his people is almost too much to bear witness to. Which is why of course we must. This beautifully written play is a glimpse into his life, as he recollects the deaths of his first family at the hands of the Mexican army and his years on various reservations, as a prisoner of war and his fierce survival in the face of overwhelming odds.
It’s a story that seems all the more relevant given the current condition of our country. A native man torn from his life and brutalized into submission, all the while maintaining his dignity through his sheer force of will and his innate sense to remain absolutely himself. As a play it’s simple and elegant, with a stillness and a profound sense of strength and grace, with the help of projected images and Apache songs to keep us held in the spell of the moment.
We follow Geronimo’s journey from his freedom as a young man, all the way though to his days performing in Wild West shows. It’s a cautionary tale, full of sadness and hope and courage and one that should be absolutely compulsory at every school in every state in this nation. All countries have their shame, some more than others, but hidden that wide swath of our national shame are the stories of men and none more important that Geronimo’s. His last words were reported to be said to his nephew, “I should have never surrendered. I should have fought until I was the last man alive.”
Reason enough to listen to his own words so brilliantly and purposefully crafted together in this play. A fitting end to the Whitefire Theatres 2020 Streamfest.
For more information on the show, check out the website: http://www.geronimolifeonthereservation.com