Actress TANNA FREDERICK discusses the revival of Amiri Baraka’s 1964 Obie-winning two-person play, Dutchman, co-starring Siaka Massaquoi and directed by Levy Lee Simon, July 22 & 29 at Edgemar Center for the Arts in Santa Monica.
“This has been one of my favorite pieces for many years. I love the profanity of it, the in your face-ness of it, the poeticism of it. I also love, not only Baraka’s intuition about the black man, but also his understanding of women. In fact, it is fascinating and surprising how much he understood women, despite his supposed hostility towards them. I have always wanted to play Lula and I found it incredibly ironic when my friend from college, Levy Lee Simon, called me and asked me to do a reading of this piece about a female racist on a (subway) train while I was performing in Henry Jaglom’s play, Train to Zakopane—where I played an anti-Semite…on a train. My role in Zakopane, which also deals with intense hatred, helped me play this role. Lula is very cold, jaded and shut off. She is in control, crafty, snakelike and very dangerous. In a macabre sense, she is much more fun to play. And Siaka is so supportive to work with on stage. In fact, having both Siaka and Levy has made this one of my most rewarding experiences on stage. After these performances at Edgemar, we are headed to North Carolina where we were chosen to perform Dutchman at The National Black Theatre Festival [Aug 3-9].”
Julio Martinez-hosted Arts in Review—celebrating the best in theater and cabaret in the Greater Los Angeles area—airs Fridays (2-2:30pm) on KPFK (90.7FM). On July 17, Arts in Review hosts….