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February 17 - March 4, 2017
As the 50th Anniversary passes of this seldom-produced play of the Black Arts Movement, KCMeltingPot Theatre brings to the stage Dutchman, by Amri Baraka.
On a subway car in New York city during the late 1960s Clay, a middle-class black man en route to somewhere, is forced to engage the stereotypes of black masculinity in the dominant American imagination head on when he encounters Lula, an eccentric white woman who pokes and prods at his black manhood. Written at the height of the Civil Rights and Black Arts movements in the United States, Amiri Baraka's Obie-Award Winning play Dutchman captures the nation's deepest fears from the past about race and racism in a rich, poetic dialogue, so rich that it flattens time to predict those fears in the present. In his last play as LeRoi Jones, Baraka reflects the zeitgeist of black rage and repression embedded in the fears and stereotypes of whites in the late 20th century. This timeless story boldly foretells the future of racial tensions in America in the 21st century as it turns the notion of post-raciality on its head. KC MeltingPot's production of Dutchman is directed by its Associate Artistic Director, Nicole Hodges Persley and features Laura Jacobs and Frank Oakley as Lula and Clay. Dutchman opens February 17th, 2017.
Nicole Hodges Persley is the Associate Artistic Director of the KC Meltingpot Theatre. She is a transplant to Kansas City from Los Angeles, California. Hodges Persley has directed shows at renown venues including P.S. 122 in New York, Highways Performance Space in Los Angeles and now Just Off Broadway Theatre in Kansas City. Her local directing credits include critically acclaimed productions of A Raisin in the Sun, Welcome to Arroyo’s, Sister Cities, and A Comedy of Sorrows. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre at The University of Kansas with a forthcoming book in 2017 on Hip-hop Theater entitled Sampling and Remixing Hip-hop in Contemporary Theater and Performance. Hodges Persley is a member of the SDC (Stage Director and Choreographers Society
Frank Oakley III is beyond excited to be making his KC Meltingpot Theatre debut! Frank is a Kansas City, KS Wyandotte County native, born and raised. In 2014 he earned his BA in Theatre Performance from UMKC. During the day Frank is a certified Personal Fitness Trainer at the Quality Hill YMCA downtown. You may recognize him from stage plays in town such as Justice in the Embers as Collar (The Living Room Theatre); Jitney as Youngblood (MET) and Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott as Martin Luther King Jr. (Coterie Theatre). Frank is also very fortunate to be involved in the film and television scene here in Kansas City. He has played lead, co-lead and supporting roles in films in town such as The Brutal 9; Run, My Dear; Duke; and Fifth Click to name a few.
Frank is extremely grateful to become a part of the KCMPT family. He loves that not only do they have a mission that he supports wholeheartedly, but they actually are living out their mission daily. And just like family, KCMPT takes care of their family, every single member.
Frank wants to sincerely thank his wife, family, friends and every single person in the audience for their love and support. You can keep up with Frank by visiting his homepage at frankoakleythethird.com.
Justice in the Embers
Rosa Parks and the Bus Boycott
Orlando J Newton is a native of Kansas City, Kansas. Born and raised in Wyandotte County. His acting training began at the performance arts academy at F.L Schlagle. After graduation, he studied theater at the University of Kansas where he received a BGS in Theater Performance.
Orlando appeared in KU’s 2015 production of A Raisin in the Sun and was recently seen in KCMPT’s production of A Soft Escape as Teedy Boy.
Orlando has also worked with Garmin, Hallmark and KC Fashion Week.
“Theater can be very joyful and vibrant but also very dark and enchanting which is what I think our audience needs. Something familiar, but also something unexpected. The impact and impressions we leave on our audience go beyond a source of entertainment but to a source of creativity or a new way of thinking.
I joined the KCMPT family in my debut play A Soft Escape August 26th, 2017. I love theater and enjoyed every moment of working with the cast, director and crew of A Soft Escape. I know that I can learn a lot here at the KCMPT, so to have these opportunities is a true blessing for which I'm forever grateful.”
A Raisin in the Sun
A Soft Escape
Laura Jacobs has been seen on local stages since 1990. She began her performance career as a ballet dancer at venues such as the historic Folly Theater, Music Hall, Lyric Opera, Starlight Theatre, and Yardley Hall. She has appeared in performances at Kansas City Repertory Theatre, New Theatre, Unicorn Theatre, Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre, The Living Room, The Barn Players, The Bell Road Barn Players, Leawood Stage Company, Shawnee Mission Theatre in the Park and Great River Shakespeare Festival. Her alter ego, Ivory Wilde, regularly appears with Burlesque Downtown Underground.
Kansas City Repertory Theatre
Anna Oakley works as an actor, assistant stage manager, and child wrangler throughout KC and received her BA in Theatre Performance from the University of Missouri - Kansas City. You may recognize her from Twelfth Night (Alcott Arts Center), First annual Kansas City One Minute Play Festival (One Minute Play Festival); Missing You Metropolis (InPlay Productions); No Exit (Fishtank Theatre); A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Three Sisters, Playboy of the Western World,and The Cover of Life (UMKC Theatre). Anna has a passion for connecting students with the theatre and serves as a Co-Director of Education and Community Programs with KCMPT. Although she is very familiar with behind-the-scenes work at KCMPT, she is ecstatic to make her stage debut in Dutchman. She would like to give special thanks to the KCMPT family for all they do and to Frank Oakley III for the constant encouragement and inspiration.
Missing You Metropolis
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Laura Burt is excited to be working with Melting Pot Theatre as a stage manager. In the past she has worked with Billy Blob (2016 Fringe Festival), Tradewind Arts, Relevance Productions, Olathe Civic Theatre Association and Theatrikos Theatre Company. She also has been on stage around town at City Theatre of Independence, OCTA, and The Barn Players. Some of her favorite shows that she was a part of are Dinner with Friends (stage manager), Extremities (stage manager), and Noises Off (Poppy).
Troy Cox is excited to join KC MeltingPot as Assistant Stage Manager for this production. Troy recently returned to Kansas City from Los Angeles after traveling and seeing the country and the World. He is a meditation enthusiast, Yoga instructor and has a published book 'The Why of Yoga', as well as being an actor and stage manager. Troy has acted since he was 12 in commercials, T.V., film, and stage as well as being a trained professional Stage Manager. He looks forward to meeting the wonderful community that brings this season to life.
Rana Esfandiary is currently a Ph. D. student at the university of Kansas Department of Theater. She holds an MFA degree in Scenography from the University of Kansas (2013) and has designed set, lighting and costumes for shows such as Summer and Smoke by Tennessee Williams, Adding Machine by Jason Loewith and Joshua Schmidt, Noah’s Art by Nathan Tysen and Ryan McCall and The mousetrap by Agetha Christie. Rana has served as Assistant Director on several of Dr. Hodges Persely’s productions including A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry and Welcome to Arroyo’s by Kristoffer Diaz. Dutchman is Rana’s third production for KCMPT. She was Assistant Director for A Soft Escape and Rachel. Rana is from Tehran, Iran.
David Ruis, is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of Kansas in the Department of Theatre. He holds a MA degree in Theatre History and Dramaturgy from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and a BFA in Theatre from Stephens College in Columbia, MO. At UMKC, he was the dramaturg for the Shakespeare Intensive (2014) and The Rocky Horror Show (2015). At KU, he was dramaturg for this fall’s production of Sarah Ruhl’s Late, a Cowboy Song and was the dramaturg for KC MeltingPot's production of Rachel. Across the Kansas City area, he has acted on stage at the Coterie Theatre, Missouri Repertory Theatre (now Kansas City Repertory Theatre), Theatre for Young America, and the Unicorn Theatre.
Richard Burt -is a trained actor, scenic designer, and master carpenter originally from Glendale, Arizona. This is his first production with KC MeltingPot Theatre. His most onstage recent work has been with Whim Productions (Bard on Booze: The Taming of the Shrew, After Orlando, Bard on Booze: Henry V). He has also appeared locally as an actor with The Barn Players, City Theatre of Independence, KC Fringe, Mojo Invocations, the first annual One Minute Play Festival, She & Her Productions, Summit Theatre Group, and the Olathe Civic Theatre Association (OCTA), on whose board he serves as Production Manager. He has worked as a scenic designer and master carpenter with The Barn Players, OCTA, Relevance Productions, and Summit Theatre Group.
Richard can be seen and heard in IX Productions’ upcoming films A Midsummer Night’s Dream as Oberon and Zoink as the voice of Zoink, and Tady Brothers Productions’ Sherlock Holmes: A Scandal in Bohemia as King Wilheim of Bohemia, all slated for release in 2017.
The Taming of the Shrew
Timothy Burks -is a Kansas City resident who started acting in 2002. You may recognize Tim from Old School Ghetto Gospel and JFK’s – A Ghostly Evening (KCMPT), Othello and Missing You Metropolis (InPlay Productions) and Goatsong (Westport Center for the Arts). “I love acting and theatre for the influence it has had on me and those close to me”. Tim is very grateful for the opportunity to be back on the stage with KC MeltingPot.