Following the successful, award-winning 2013 co-production of Detroit ‘67 written by Dominique Morisseau, Dr. Barbara Ann Teer’s National Black Theatre (NBT) and The Classical Theatre of Harlem (CTH) officially announce their second co-production. The famed Harlem arts institutions will produce the 50th Anniversary revival of “Dutchman” by LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka) from April 30 to May 23, 2014. Carl Cofield will direct the revival. This limited engagement production of the classic political allegory of the 1960’s Black Arts Movement will pay tribute to the great Amiri Baraka and give a retrospective look at the Black Arts Movement as well as relevant current events through Community Engagements that will deepen the theatrical experience of the play.
“If ever you have seen my mom (Dr. Barbara Ann Teer) and Amiri together you would know that they had a deeply contentious relationship based on fundamental ideological differences around the liberation of their people. They would argue, famously, like cats and dogs on every public stage they shared. However, what you may not know of is their abiding love and deep respect for one another. They were Comrades until the very end. Reviving ‘Dutchman’ for its 50th anniversary in Harlem at NBT is the consecration and reconciliation of this Love Supreme,” said NBT Chief Executive Officer Sade Lythcott.
“Dutchman is a great uniquely American play, as American as juke joints and jazz—all of which can credit a measure of their existence and success to being an ‘acceptable’ expression of simmering racial tensions. But whether marginalized people should continue to equivocate, assimilate, and celebrate modest achievements instead of taking more direct action are recurring themes in 2014, when a man of color can still be targeted, provoked and ‘lawfully’ killed, proving that ‘Dutchman’ has truly withstood the test of time, ” stated CTH Producing Artistic Director Ty Jones.
The producers will curate Community Engagements to give an interactive theatrical experience to compliment the production. The goal is to expand the audience’s knowledge of the time period this seminal work was created in and how the message of the play still resonates today. The Community Engagements will be comprised of a curated lobby exhibit on public display tentatively titled, Where Are We Now? Black Arts Movement Retrospective, as well as symposia and talkbacks during the weekend shows. The exhibition will be unveiled at the Opening Night Gala on May 3, 2014. Full details on the symposia and talkbacks will be released at a later date.
Previews beginning Wednesday, April 30, 2014 to Friday, May 2, 2014. Tickets are $25 for previews only. ‘Dutchman’ has a limited performance schedule; The production opens May 3, 2014 with an Opening Night Gala that includes a reception starting at 7 pm, with the play starting at 8 pm. Performances will take place Tuesdays through Saturdays at 7:30 pm, with a Saturday matinee at 2 pm. Sunday performances will be at 4 pm. The final week will additionally include three 2 pm matinee weekday performances on May 20, 21 and 22. Tickets are $35 general admission with the following exceptions: all seats for the evening shows during the final week are $40. Opening and Closing Night Gala tickets (May 3 and May 23) are $50. Discount tickets are available for groups (10+), senior citizens, students and active military members. Tickets are available by calling (212) 722-3800, logging onto www.nationalblacktheatre.org or going to NBT’s Box Office located at 2031 Fifth Avenue between 125th and 126th Streets in Harlem; NBT’s Box Office hours are from 1:00pm to 6:00pm, Tuesday through Saturday.
Carl Cofield (Director) is a New York-based director and actor. He directed the award-winning world premiere of One Night In Miami (Huffington Post Best of L.A. 2013, N.A.A.C.P., L.A. Drama Critics Circle and others) for Rogue Machine Theater. Cofield’s New York City directing credits include: The Seven by Will Power at the Connelly Theatre, The Tuskegee Airman Project for CUNY York College, Hello, I’m Eve by Rebecca Nicholson, The Bear, and others. He assisted Molly Smith in the world premiere of Camp David by Laurence Wright at Arena Stage. He also assisted Kent Gash on Langston In Harlem at Urban Stages. www.carlcofield.com
Founded by visionary Dr. Barbara Ann Teer in 1968, National Black Theatre (NBT) is a nationally recognized cultural and educational institution. Dr. Teer pioneered “the healing art of black theatre as an instrument for wholeness in urban communities where entrepreneurial artists of African descent live and work.” In 1983, Dr. Teer expanded the vision of NBT by purchasing a 64,000 square foot building on 125th and Fifth Avenue (renamed “National Black Theatre Way” by local law in 1994). This was the first revenue-generating black arts complex in the country, an innovative arrangement through which for-profit businesses who shared NBT’s spiritual and aesthetic values rented retail space to subsidize the arts. Out of her vision, NBT houses the largest collection of Nigerian new sacred art in the Western hemisphere and is considered the authentic representation of a model whose time has come. NBT is partially supported by grants from the City Council of New York, City of New York Department of Cultural Affairs, New York State Council on the Arts, Columbia Service Society, Theatre Communications Group and Met-Life and private donations. Visit www.nationalblacktheatre.org or follow NBT on Facebook (www.facebook.com/NationalBlackTheatre ) and Twitter/Instagram (@NatBlackTheatre).
The Classical Theatre of Harlem (CTH) (Ty Jones, Producing Artistic Director; David Roberts, Managing Director), combines original adaptations, music and dance to present great classics of world literature as well as contemporary works that will stand the test of time, while being truly reflective of the diversity of ideas and racial tapestry that is America. Since its founding in 1999, CTH has presented a works ranging from traditional classical playwrights (Anton Chekhov, Euripides and William Shakespeare), to established 20th century playwrights (August Wilson, Langston Hughes and Jean Genet), to new plays by emerging playwrights. CTH also proudly provides theatre-based training and live theatre experiences to Harlem youth and their families through its arts education program, Project Classics. It engages new audiences, provides artistic development of new work and gives exposure to emerging playwrights with its free reading series Future Classics, Playwrights’ Playground and Revisited Classics. CTH is supported in part by Columbus Foundation, Ford Foundation, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, National Endowment for the Arts, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, L & N Andreas Foundation and Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone. Visit www.cthnyc.org or follow CTH on Twitter/Instagram (@classicalharlem) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/theclassicaltheatreofharlem).
Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased online at www.nationalblacktheatre.org or by calling NBT directly at (212) 722- 3800.