Live on Zoom July 18 & 29, 2020
Extended via Stream July 20-25, 2020
TSP Online Stage
DUTCHMAN is a one-act drama by Amiri Baraka, produced and published in 1964 under the playwright’s original name LeRoi Jones. DUTCHMAN presents a stylized encounter that illustrates hatred between Blacks and whites in America as well as the political and psychological conflicts facing Black American men in the 1960s. The play won an Obie Award as best American Off-Broadway play of 1964; it was made into a film in 1967.
Set on a New York Subway train, DUTCHMAN opens as a young black man, Clay, is interrupted from his thoughts by Lula, a flirtatious and slightly older white woman he smiled at through the windows when the train stopped. Their conversation, which starts as playful, slowly becomes more personal, more cruel, and reveals, from both perspectives, the many political, psychological, and physical conflicts that face Black men in America.
Content Warning: This play has racist language which may be traumatic for some audience members.
Running time: 50 minutes, followed by an informal talkback with the cast and creative team.
This play is being presented as a benefit for Black Theatre Network, a non-profit organization dedicated to the exploration and preservation of the theatrical visions of the African Diaspora. To learn more about this fantastic organization, please visit: www.BlackTheatreNetwork.org
More about DUTCHMAN (from the original production):
"A fierce and blazing talent." - N.Y. Herald Tribune
"...a pivotal play not only at a particular juncture in 20th-century American culture but also in Mr. Baraka’s increasingly politicized career." - New York Times
"The playwright's Black Nationalist leanings show through in Dutchman's incendiary take on 1960s race relations. This is a subject that never gets old, as evidenced by the audience's vocal reactions to the play's denouement." - nytheatre.com
Timothy Ware* (Clay) was last seen as Lola in the 1st National Tour of the Tony Winning Musical KINKY BOOTS after performing the role 186 times on Broadway. He is a native of Montgomery, AL where he received a BA in Theater Arts from Alabama State University under the direction of TV/Film actress, Dr.Tommie "Tonea" Stewart (In the Heat of the Night). He later studied at UCLA in the MFA Acting Program under Broadway's playwright/director, Tony Winner, Mel Shapiro (Two Gentlemen of Verona). He recently completed his MFA in Professional Screenwriting from National University. He is honored to make his acting debut with, The Seeing Place, along side his dear sweet friend, Erin Cronican.
Erin Cronican* (Lula) is an award-winning actor, producer and director who is based in New York City. She is a founding member of The Seeing Place Theater and has served as its Executive Artistic Director since 2011. She is an NYIT nominated actor for her work in TSP’s The Maids. Off Broadway: Danny and the Deep Blue Sea; Sistas; This One’s For The Girls. Favorite roles with TSP: My Name is Rachel Corrie (Rachel) Othello (Desdemona); Closer (Anna); Getting Out (Arlene); Boy Gets Girl (Theresa); A Lie of the Mind (Beth); The Laramie Project (Mercedes Herrero Track) Regional favorites: The Last Five Years; Angels in America; Camelot; South Pacific; Evita. She is thrilled be performing once again with one of her favorite actors and friends, Timothy Ware.
Eugene Barry-Hill* (Conductor) was an original Broadway cast member of THE LION KING. He just finished a 7 year run as Original Broadway cast member of KINKY BOOTS.
"Two digital productions of Amiri Baraka's allegory about the state of race in the nation prove as powerful as ever...The Seeing Place production, which starred Timothy Ware and Erin Cronican and was directed by Brandon Walker, highlighted the sexual friction between Clay and Lula. Cronican’s Lula gives Clay a lusty up and down, hungrily takes bites of her apple, a seductive smile creeping across her face. Ware’s Clay smirks gamely in response; he seems mostly unbothered by her odd diversions and casually racist remarks and appears to lust back. (Baraka’s text makes plenty of room for misogyny, drawing on a Bible tale that presents a sly, seductive and morally inferior female character; his work has also notoriously dipped into anti-Semitism, also present in “Dutchman.”) By underlining the sexual power dynamic between the man and the woman, Walker’s direction simplifies the larger reach of the play and what the characters represent. The tension becomes less about the matchup of Blackness and whiteness in society than about the interracial fraternization of one Black man and one white woman."- Maya Phillips, New York Times
"The Seeing Place's reading of Baraka's scathing work about an encounter in a New York City subway car between a white woman and a Black man premiered on the same day that civil rights leader and Congressman John Lewis died and even his colleagues' tributes unintentionally highlighted the pervasiveness of racism in America as well as the continued urgency of the kinds of conversations that productions such as Dutchman can foster...The cutting between the Zoom windows is smoothly done, and because the play mostly consists of a two-person conversation, the format adds the interesting effect of putting the audience subjectively in the positions of both Lula and Clay as it continuously alternates perspectives. Both Ware and Cronican are excellent...Dutchman has a very limited virtual run, so don't miss your chance to see it and to benefit a worthy cause while The Seeing Place helps us to think about not only what and how we see but what we are going to do about it."- John R. Ziegler and Leah Richards, Thinking Theater
"COVID-19 strikes. Everything stops including our beloved nights at the theater. But wait here comes virtual theater brought to us but our good friends at The Seeing Place Theater. Their dramatic reading of Dutchman by Amiri Baraka gives us hope that theater is indeed alive....If virtual theater is the new wave of the 21st century, although it will take some getting used to, it is reassuring to know that there is a way to fulfill our dramatic desires. We can only thank The Seeing Place for being pioneers and finding a way to give us the gift of theater."- Nicholas Linnehan, Theater That Matters
"Dutchman is so relevant at this moment of protest of Black Lives Matter and is a testament of the power of great writing of Mr. Baraka. Both actors are great, very moving and absorbing in their roles. The heat of the day and the heat of the play got to me. I loved the reading."- Bina Shariff, Hi! Drama
"I just watched DUTCHMAN via the stream and it was riveting. Very inventive use of zoom devices. And such a timely play, beautifully acted. Strongly recommended!"- Michael Colby, Facebook Patron Review
"So glad to see DUTCHMAN yesterday. Congratulations to the cast and team for a fabulous production! Thank you for performing a play that confronts so many important topics and leaves you thinking! Besides, I was really curious how a performance would work via Zoom and kudos to you for doing such a great job on that as well! Very believable scenery! Looking forward to the next production!"- Eva Kastner-Puschl, Facebook Patron Review
"I was quite shaken by this production and kept wondering when was this written. I realized I had seen this show years before and sadly to date, not much as changed. Erin and Tim were both spectacular. Thank you."- Sharon Barnett, Facebook Patron Review
"I was struck with the effectiveness of the Zoom format as used by actors in your production of "Dutchman": each character faced and spoke directly to the audience (who stood in the shoes of the other character for the duration of that speech). The audience could not turn away, or distance from what the character was saying. P. S. "Dutchman" is a play I know, and seeing it in the theatre was very different from your Zoom production. Bravi!"- Judith Johnston, Patron Review Via Email
"Amazing performances and direction! It is not easy to captivate and engage via Zoom and this was an amazing job. Congrats to all involved. So engaging."- Mary Lahti, Patron Review Via YouTube
FREE WITH YOUR TICKET - Saturday, July 18 or Sunday, July 19 (immediately following reading)
Speakers: The Cast and Creative Team of DUTCHMAN
Theme: Creating DUTCHMAN for thr Zoom Stage
This talkback will enable audience members to talk directly to the artists who created DUTCHMAN about their experiences with the play and its relevance to a modern audience.
FREE - Thursday, July 23, 2020 (6pm Eastern Time)
Speakers: Dr. Jameta Barlow and Dr. Tracey L. Walters
Theme: Race in America - Action Steps
This panel discussion with speakers Dr. Jameta Barlow and Dr. Tracey L Walters (bios below) explores the themes of the play DUTCHMAN and how we can use what the play teaches us to take positive action toward anti-racism.
Resources distributed during the panel discussion toward anti-racism:
Jameta Nicole Barlow, PhD, MPH, a Charlottesville, Virginia native, is a community health psychologist and an assistant professor of writing in the University Writing Program, as well as an affiliate faculty member in the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program and in the Milken Institute school of Public Health's Jacobs Institute of Women's Health at the at The George Washington University in Washington, DC. Dr. Barlow utilizes decolonizing methodologies to disrupt cardiometabolic syndrome and structural policies adversely affecting Black girls' and women's health, as well as intergenerational trauma. She has spent 22 years in transdisciplinary collaborations with physicians, public health practitioners, researchers, policy administrators, activists, political appointees, and community members in diverse settings throughout the world.
Tracey L. Walters, PhD is an Associate Professor of Literature in the Department of Africana Studies at Stony Brook University where she also holds an affiliate appointment with the Department of English, and Women’s and Gender Studies. Dr. Walters has published numerous articles on Black women’s literature and three books: African American Women and the Classicists Tradition: Black Women Writers from Wheatley to Morrison (2007), an edited collection Zadie Smith: Critical Essays (2008), and an ebook Zadie Smith (2012). Forthcoming: Not Your Mother’s Mammy: The Representation of the Domestic in Transatlantic Media (Rutgers Press), and Zadie Smith Decoded (forthcoming). Walters is co-host of the podcast: Black Girls with Accents.