The Indian Wants the Bronx

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The Indian Wants the Bronx is a play by American playwright, director and actor Israel Horovitz (1939-2020)[1].

The original text

Gupta, the Indian of the title, has just arrived in New York City from his native country to visit his son and speaks only a few words of English. While waiting for a bus to The Bronx, he is approached by two young punks, Joey and Murph, who begin teasing him. Name-calling taunts eventually result in acts of rage and violence.

The play was staged in conjunction with the playwright's It's Called the Sugar Plum by James Hammerstein as the opening production of the new off-Broadway Astor Place Theatre, where it opened on January 17, 1968 and ran for 177 performances. The cast included Al Pacino and John Cazale. It won the Obie Award for Best Play, Best Actor (Pacino), and Best Supporting Actor (Cazale).

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1973: First staged in South Africa (1973) as a late night presentation Upstairs at the Space (Cape Town). Directed by Mavis Taylor with Bill Flynn, Christopher Prophet and Bill Curry. Design by Jeff Shapiro and Christopher Prophet, lighting by Brian Astbury and stage management by Bee Berman.

1980: Directed by Bobby Heaney at the Laager, starring Bill Curry, Michael Richard and Jonathan Rands.

1996: Directed by Garth Anderson starring Essop Khan in the lead role, Durban.


Brian Astbury 1979. The Space/Die Ruimte/Indawo. Cape Town: Moira and Azriel Fine.

Miss Julie programme notes, 1985.

Sunday Tribune 4 July 1999.

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