Trail of Tears - NEWS & PRESS



Some performance artists and writers consider the world around them, gauge popular trends, or adapt arcane books. Some have a fire in their bellies, a story they need to tell. Playwright Thomas J. Soto began “Trail of Tears” in 2013 as a series of one-night installations to honor cultures lost to genocide. Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj, the producing Artistic Director of Rebel Theatre, who created and developed the project for the stage, called this series “The Remembrance Project.” Now playing at the Nuyorican Café in Lower Manhattan, “Trail of Tears,” like “Hamilton,” takes a second look at American history but from the perspective of Native Americans. The satirical docudrama is told through story, dance, performance, movement, and testimony. It is an engrossing 90 minutes. Read More Here:

Trail of Tears - A Native American History - Woman Around Town

Rajendra and collaborator Ryan Victor “Little Eagle” Pierce of the Eagle Project gave a warm welcome to preface the show. They opened the space up by welcoming the audience to react to the actors, which is akin to call and response, a traditional Native American practice. Rajendra spoke a bit about why they chose to explore this subject with political satire – to make the ideas more digestible. They forewarned that the material could make the audience move to anger, which I found to be very true. Rajendra has been inspired by the docudrama work of theatre practitioners Anna Deavere Smith and Emily Mann, who are known for the mixing of personal stories and historical narrative. This type of docudrama theatre lends itself to activist theatre, or theatre for social change as it is more commonly called. It’s meant to be raw in its truthfulness, but ultimately empowering. - See more at: 


“This is a chance to look at the first genocide,” said director Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj as he opened last night’s performance of “Trail of Tears” at The Nuyorican Poets Café. The emotional storm of dance, song and soliloquy casts a satirical eye on the forced relocation of Native Americans in the 1830s.

Though too often forgotten, Maharaj said, the tragedy served as a precursor to the enslavement of Africans – bruises on the face of this country that have yet to heal. He quoted a long-gone English chief: “When you acknowledge the dead, the dead stand taller.” 

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BY SCOTT STIFFLER | History thrown at you like a hard left hook is the signature move of Rebel Theater Company — and they’ve scored another jarring knockout with “Trail of Tears,” currently on the boards at Nuyorican Poets Cafe, an East Village venue as steeped in art and activism as its young resident troupe.

Every show from Rebel’s ethnically, sexually and generationally diverse ensemble, assures Indo-Caribbean American director Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj, is like a church service — but don’t interpret that as an obligation to place their work in a realm where the sacred is witnessed from a respectful distance.

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