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The Story of 3 Generations of Pima Women: ‘Cashed Out’ at SF Playhouse

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Levi (Chingwe Padraig Sullivan) and Rocky (Rainbow Dickerson) share a moment. Photo by Vita Hewitt

San Francisco Playhouse just had its world premiere of the drama “Cashed Out”. It is notable for many reasons. It is written beautifully by Native American lawyer, filmmaker, and playwright Claude Jackson, Jr. The play is the story of three generations of Pima women who live on the Gila Indian Reservation in Arizona. It fearlessly takes on the difficult topic of addiction and how it damages both the family and the culture that they treasure. The production runs through February 25th.

Levi (Chingwe Padraig Sullivan) and Rocky (Rainbow Dickerson) share a moment. Photo by Vita Hewitt

Rocky Camu (played by Rainbow Dickerson) is a single mother, former basket weaver, and accountant with a gambling addiction. She and her daughter Maya (played by Louisa Kizer) live with her aunt Nan (Sheila Tousey).

Rocky (Rainbow Dickerson) tracks down her dad Buddy (Matt Kizer). Photo by Vita Hewitt

Rocky shows us a fully realized life beginning as a hopeful twelve-year-old with her best friend Levi (Chingwe Padraig Sullivan). Her mother Virginia Camu (Lisa Ramirez) is a renowned basketmaker who is battling an addiction to painkillers. Rocky’s father, Buddy (Matt Kizer) has disappeared from her life, lost to alcoholism. From this place, Rocky shows us the specter of addiction and trauma following her into adulthood.

Virginia’s (Lisa Ramirez) basket making skills are recounted by Rocky (Rainbow Dickerson) to her daughter Maya (Louisa Kizer). Photo by Vita Hewitt

“Cashed Out” is a tragedy that skillfully uses comedy to help us to swallow some bitter truths. Relying heavily on flashbacks and ancestral visitations, the plot allows the spiral of addiction to drive the story. The play is directed by Tara Moses, who is also a playwright and citizen of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma. It is perhaps the first time that a San Francisco stage company has presented a Native American Drama.

What is also rare is the fact that it portrays a female character with a gambling addiction. So often these stories are told from a male perspective. It is a brutally honest and touching narrative performed by a talented Native Cast. San Francisco Playhouse has done an insightful job of bringing these voices to the forefront by commissioning and producing this play. It is an accessible and powerful story for anyone whose life has been affected by addiction.

Rocky (Rainbow Dickerson) is confronted by memories of her friend and family. Photo by Vita Hewitt


‘Cashed Out’

By Claude Jackson Jr., presented by San Francisco Playhouse

When: February 1st through February 25

Where: San Francisco Playhouse, 450 Post St., San Francisco

Tickets: $30-$100

San Francisco Playhouse | 450 Post St. Floor 2M, San Francisco

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Vita Hewitt

Vita Hewitt

Vita is a half Chinese-Malaysian, photograph taking, plant foraging, vegetable garden growing, astronaut impersonating, conceptual art creating Bay Area human. She loves exploring the intricacies of the Bay Area Art Scene.