Yes, it’s dark. But it’s also moving, poetic, explosive… and not like anything you’ve seen before. Music, film, performance and gorgeous language tell how a simple stumble in an elevator led to aerial bombing, internment camps and utter devastation.
The Project. Following a preview run in Dallas (April 10-14 and 19-21), Diamond Dick, directed by Raphael Parry, will go to in New York City in November to take part in Soulographie: Our Genocides, at LaMaMa.
This is where you come in. We need help getting 8 actors, costumes, a set and the crew to NYC in November.
Soulographie is a 17-play cycle by Erik Ehn that explores the history of 20th century America from the point of view of genocides that took place in East African, Central America and here at home.
In NYC, All 17 plays – including Diamond Dick - will be performed in rotation, and in one 24 hour marathon. There will be opportunities for reflection and conversation about how art and poetics can bring about social change.
As a parade marches through downtown Tulsa, an African American shoe shiner, Dick Rowland, trips and falls against a white female elevator operator, Sarah Page. Rumors of rape and an arrest ensue. Dick is branded as “Diamond Dick” and the white owned newspaper calls for a lynching.
White mobs are confronted by African American veterans of WW I. Shots are fired. Forty eight hours of rampage ensue with aerial attacks and machine guns. The body count is up to 300 dead when the National Guard is called in to restore order. African Americans are rounded up into internment camps.
Year later, Dick is released from jail and meets Sarah in Kansas City. They drink coffee. The Tulsa Race Riots are buried in history in unmarked graves like many of the victims.
About Erik and Soulographie
For 15 years, Erik Ehn has been visiting the locations of genocides — collecting testimony, sharing evidence with students, and collaborating with local residents to explore how the performing arts can aid recovery.
Soulographie is a joint project across ten cities with 14 different directors, all long-time Ehn collaborators that will tell some of these stories and examine, through the lens of drama, how a society makes its way to atrocity.
Each director will stage one or more of the cycle plays in his or her home city, then converge for the festival in New York in November, 2012.
Director: Raphael Parry
Cast: Rhonda Boutte, Stormi Demerson, Jenni Pittman, Newton Pittman, Dennis Raveneau, Jeffrey Schmidt, Jamal Sterling, and Walter White.
Costume Design: Giva Taylor
Set Design: Jeffrey Schmidt
Original Composition: Newton Pittman
Lighting Design: Robert McVay
Movement and Choreography: Karen Robinson
Film and Projections Design: Julia Dyer
- (30 days)