On Saturday, April 21, at 7:00 p.m., the Har-Ber Village Event Tent in Grove, Oklahoma, becomes the setting for a dramatic presentation of Geronimo: Life on the Reservation, a play by Janelle Meraz Hooper, starring Rudy Ramos and directed by Steve Railsback.
The program fee is $20 for adults; $10 for middle and high school students, and tickets may be purchased at Har-Ber Village Museum, by calling 918-786-6446 or by going online to har-bervillage.com.
Geronimo, Life on the Reservation, is an hour-long dramatic presentation by Rudy Ramos.
This one-man show is based on Geronimo’s final stop after his last surrender. That stop was the Fort Sill Indian Reservation in Fort Sill, Oklahoma, where he spent the final 20 years of his life as a POW.
Ramos was born in Lawton, Oklahoma, which adjoins Fort Sill. Geronimo was one of his boyhood heroes, the other being Mickey Mantle, the baseball player, who is also from Oklahoma. When playing cowboys and Indians as children, Ramos always had to be Geronimo.
In this presentation, Geronimo cleverly evolves from a surrendered Indian leader into a celebrity and entrepreneur.
The program focuses on the resiliency, humor, and genius of the great Apache warrior.
Keenly aware of how to work the political system, Geronimo joins the same church that Teddy Roosevelt belongs to and rides in his Inaugural Parade. Although he isn’t successful in getting everything he wants, he certainly succeeds in making the best of his situation.
Geronimo was never beaten. He simply adapted to his present circumstances.
To Ramos, Geronimo is “the most interesting man in the world” and “I am honored to play him. Although it is the common belief that he was a ‘savage killer,’ that is only one side of the story. The white man’s story. He was, in fact, fighting for his land, his people, his life. As a young warrior his mother, his wife Alope, and his three children were brutally killed by Mexican troops who raided their camp while the men were away trading. He was so sad that he went into the wilderness to be alone. There a voice came to him and promised ‘No gun can ever kill you. I will take the bullets from their guns so they will have nothing but powder and I will guide your arrows.’ He was determined to fight for his land and his people until he was the last man standing.”
Geronimo has been the subject of movies before; Chuck Conners played Geronimo in Geronimo 1962, and in 1993 Wes Studi took on the legend in Geronimo: An American Legend. In the 1950s Desilu western television show, The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, Earp befriends Geronimo.
But no one has ever resurrected the Spirit of Geronimo, and allowed himself to become the embodiment of the Great Apache Warrior turned prisoner of war… until now.
Rudy Ramos, a Lawton, Oklahoma native, returned home to perform his one-man stage production of Geronimo, Life on the Reservation, on Saturday, May 3, 2014.
Ramos has been on the road touring with his live production of Geronimo, Life on the Reservation since that year.
Ramos’s performance before a hometown crowd at The Lawton Community Theater did not disappoint. A full house eagerly welcomed the actor home. While waiting for the show to begin, the local audience chattered amongst themselves about “how they knew Rudy.”
The chattered died down when Ramos took his place on stage for act one.
The play begins in 1886 Arizona as Geronimo prepares to surrender to the US government, and Ramos’s audience travels back in time and becomes Geronimo’s audience.
As the play progresses, it becomes apparent that Geronimo takes great pleasure in entertaining an audience.
An enraptured crowd who thought they came to see Rudy Ramos play Geronimo is instead taken on a journey through time, hosted by Geronimo, that begins at the warrior’s surrender in Arizona, and ends in Lawton, Oklahoma, 1909, shortly before his death.
Through Ramos, Geronimo is allowed to share his innermost thoughts with his audience. We see more than just another side to Geronimo. We are given access to his mind and his spirit so that we are able to understand who Geronimo really was and how he made the decision to surrender, not to give up, but to preserve the future of the Apache tribe.
Ramos’s brilliant performance was unquestionably worthy of the approval of Geronimo, himself.
To no one’s surprise, Ramos received a standing ovation and afterward was mobbed by audience members who wanted the chance to get autographs, pictures, and meet the man who took us all on a riveting journey that left every single person spellbound in the end.
The acting career of Rudy Ramos has covered six decades and started with an appearance on the television show, “Ironside” in 1969. Six months later he was cast as a series regular, playing the part of Wind the volatile half-breed Indian boy in the legendary television western “High Chaparral.” Since then he has done over sixty guest shots on episodic television including recurring roles on the hit TV show, “Hunter” in 1987-88 and “Resurrection Boulevard” in 2002-2003.
Mr. Ramos has done numerous movies for television including the groundbreaking Helter Skelter (100 million viewers over two nights) playing the part of Danny DeCarlo, Everybody’s Baby: The Rescue of Jessica McClure and Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman: The Movie as the villainous Captain Ruiz.
Feature film credits include The Enforcer with Clint Eastwood, Walter Hill’s cult classic The Driver with Ryan Oneal and Academy Award nominee French actress Isabelle Adjani, Defiance with Jan-Michael Vincent and Art Carney, Quicksilver with Kevin Bacon and Laurence Fishburne, Colors with Sean Penn and Robert Duvall and the 2001 sleeper Road Dogz directed by the up and coming talent Alfredo Ramos to name a few.
The stage has been a big part of Mr. Ramos’ life with appearances in the Los Angeles area at the Mark Taper Forum, Taper Too, The Met, Matrix Theater, Los Angeles Theatre Center, and Nosotros Theatre. He also was a member of the Los Angeles Actors Theatre and performed in the award winning hit show Shorteyes by Miguel Pinero playing the part of Cupcakes. The ensemble won the 1977 Los Angeles Drama Critics Award for Best Ensemble.