Skull for a Skull
The play opens on the campus of an all-Native American tribal university, Haskell Indian Nations University, as a group of friends gather at the Haskell Boxing Club for practice. They discuss the legend that Prescott Bush, father of George H.W. Bush and grandfather of George W. Bush, stole the skull of the Apache war chief Geronimo to keep in the clubhouse of the Yale secret society, Skull and Bones. Skull and Bones will never give the skull back so the Boxing Club members decide to roadtrip to Prescott Bush’s grave in Connecticut to steal his skull for ransom and retribution. The final act begins with their return home and examines the social and law enforcement reactions to their actions. It is a visceral and emotional exploration of the Black Lives Matter movement, racial double standards, the efficacy of violent and non-violent protest, and what it means to be Native American in America.
Feel free to download, read, teach, distribute, or perform this play. Please let me know if you choose to use it in some capacity. I have not revised this since shortly after President Trump was elected. I am particularly interested in feedback on how events over the last four years inform a reading of this play. Does it need revision? How has it aged in light of the last four years? Unfortunately, the subject matter of the play is more relevant than ever.
Q&A with LPM
Questions and Answers with the author. Two college students studying the play, one as director and one as dramaturg, asked me these questions so I wrote up my answers. Please let me know if you have any questions that are not addressed here.
I am very interested in how people think Skull for a Skull is aging, in view of everything that's happened since it was completed in 2016. Please use the Forum to provide feedback and interact on this and related threads.
A staged reading Skull for a Skull was performed by the Thunderbird Theatre group as part of the 2016 Free State Festival in Lawrence, KS.
Skull for a Skull won the 2017 Wichita Community Theatre's Reader's Theatre award. A staged reading was performed at the WCT later that year.
Shout out to Thunderbird Theatre!
Here is a link to the amazing Thunderbird Theatre organization at Haskell Indian Nations University. Consistently year to year, one generation of Native actors to the next, an incredible group of young people.