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African American shoe shiner trips and falls against a white woman. 48 hours later hundreds are dead. We tell the story in Dallas & NYC
African American shoe shiner trips and falls against a white woman. 48 hours later hundreds are dead. We tell the story in Dallas & NYC
79 backers pledged $7,795 to help bring this project to life.

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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.

The Story

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

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    The WTH Level gets you invested with minimal outlay. You’ll get a postcard from NYC signed by cast members.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Cast members will send you a handwritten postcard from New York and you'll get a CD of original music from the show.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    You'll get a CD of original music from the show and a t-shirt with either the Project X logo or our Diamond Dick artwork.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    At The Other 1% Level you can back exactly 1% of our total campaign. You’ll get everything at the $50 level, plus a postcard from NYC signed by Erik, Raphael and the cast.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    We'll send you a CD of original music from the show, either a Project X or Diamond Dick t-shirt, and 2 tickets to either the Dallas or New York production - your choice. (Dallas production closes April 21. NY production is in November.)

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    We'll send you all of the above (postcard, CD, t-shirt and tickets)... and lunch or coffee with Erik, Raphael and other backers at this level in either Dallas (date TBD) or New York (in November during the run).

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    You'll receive all of the above, but you and a guest get Raphael and Erik all to yourselves over lunch or coffee in Dallas (date TBD) or New York (November).

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Funding period

- (30 days)