Spotlight on Indian Cultural Theft Shines at the Fringe in Minneapolis

A one-woman show about an American Indian's quest for revenge against a blonde blue-eyed wannabe will make its premiere at the Minnesota Fringe Theater Festival.

"What's An Indian Woman To Do?" is based on the poem of the same title by White Earth Anishinabe writer, Marcie Rendon. The show stars Jenn Torres (Turtle Mountain Ojibwe) as Belle, a young urban Native who seeks to humiliate her nemesis, Katrina She Who Sees The Spirit Lights. But in carrying out her plot Belle finds that she must also face unresolved conflict about her own identity as an Indian woman.

The play was written and directed by Mark Anthony Rolo (Bad River Ojibwe).

"I have always admired the 'story' in Marcie's poem - an Indian woman's angst toward white women who appropriate our languages, cultures and ceremonies," Rolo said. "In writing the play I wanted to try and answer the poem's million-dollar question: So just what is an Indian woman to do when all the white girls act more Indian than the Indians do."

According to Rendon, Indian people have been dealing with this issue for more than 500 hundred years. "Contrary to recent television and print ad scare tactics, identity theft is not a new crime on this continent," she said. "What I find extremely interesting, is that at a recent reading of Rolo's play, one audience member had the audacity to claim that cultural/identity appropriation is not violence. Of course, it made me wonder: What's an Indian woman to do?"

"What's An Indian Woman To Do?" opens Saturday, August 6, 7:00 p.m. at Interact Theatre in downtown Minneapolis.

Performance Dates:

  • Sat Aug 6 at 7 pm
  • Sun Aug 7 at 1 pm
  • Wed Aug 10, 5:30 pm
  • Fri Aug 12 at 8:30 pm
  • Sun Aug at 2:30 pm

Contact: Marcie Rendon - 612-722-9529 -

UCLA American Indian Studies Center
3220 Campbell Hall, Box 951548
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1548
310.825.7315 310.206.7060