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LOS ANGELES This year marks the 100th anniversary of Jim Thorpe's Olympic achievements. Jim Thorpe was a combination of Potawatomi and Sac & Fox. In 1912, Thorpe set records, won gold medals and made history as the one of the world's greatest athletes of the 20th Century. He continued his athletic talents in baseball, basketball and football. To commemorate Mr. Thorpe, Native Voices at the Autry is holding a festival of short plays with the theme "Indians in America: Native American Athletes Take the Field."
Jim Thorpe Sac & Fox/Potawatomi
The festival will take place on Saturday, November 3rd, at 3 pm at the Wells Fargo Theater at the Autry National Center. The event will feature six short plays ranging from five to fifteen minutes in length that have sports themes, inspired by a charcoal drawing of Thorpe by artist/author Christopher Canole, Sac & Fox. One of the plays will be selected for the 2012 Von Marie Atchley Excellence in Playwriting Award, a $1000 cash prize, by a national panel of judges.
"Soccer Dad," by Gary Harrington, Comanche, involves a man at his son's soccer game recalling his own experiences playing sports in Oklahoma amidst discrimination, and he begins to recognize the connecting force that sports plays in his family.
"The Record Holders, " by Dennis Tibbetts, Ojibwe, centers on a track legend whose 30 year old track record is about to be broken by a younger athlete and their struggles are not too different at all.
"Sticks," by Bret Jones, Muscogee Creek, is the story of three old friends who reunite for a friendly game of stickball that soon takes a turn for the worse.
"Champ," by Lucas Rowley, Inupiaq, follows a young gamer, while practicing for a video game competition, who tries to convince his grandfather, a Vietnam vet, that video games are a sport and that they can have a positive impact on their lives.
"They Shoot Basketballs, don't they?," by Claude A. Jackson Jr., Pima/Hopi Indian, is about an NBA scout who meets a no-name Pima basketball player with an apathetic attitude towards his game. But if geared in the right direction, he could be in for a big surprise.
"Home of the Running Brave," by Darrel Dennis, Shuswap, focuses on a would-be Olympic runner who wants to run under the sovereign flag of his tribal nation, but the Olympic Committee has other ideas.
The Short Play Festival, held in conjunction with the Autry American Indian Arts Marketplace, is free with admission to the Autry American Indian Arts Marketplace ($12, $8 for students, seniors and children; free for Autry members).
posted October 30, 2012 9:50 am edt