Jackalope Theatre presents the Midwest Premiere of DUTCH MASTERS.
Patrick Agada (Eric) holds Sam Boeck (Steve) and the audience captive for a tumultuous eighty minutes. We meet Agada on a bus. He playfully tries to start a chat with Boeck, who is trying to read a book. Agada kicks up his antics to get Boeck’s attention. He gets aggressive with a threatening tone. Boeck reacts with apologetic fear. Agada laughs off the moment by saying ‘I’m just messing with you.’ Boeck recovers by pretending to be in on the joke. This pattern continually repeats with escalating tension.
Playwright Greg Keller wrote a compelling drama. Eric antagonizes Steve and the audience. He confronts our bias. He makes Steve follow him to prove Steve isn’t racist…and we all go along for the wild roller coaster ride. In many ways, it feels like virtual reality performance art and Steve is our avatar. What is happening to Steve is happening to us. And none of us are sure what is happening.
Director Wardell Julius Clark masterfully navigates the ride. He keeps us tethered to a mesmerizing Agada. One minute, Agada is highly agitated. Next, he’s all about having fun. And still other times, he reveals information that is endearing and baffling. Agada ignites the stage with tireless and passionate emotion. He is in-our-face crushing it. With Agada’s finger on the detonator, Keller’s story continually implodes all over the stage.
I’m being purposely vague on my story description. DUTCH MASTERS is a play to be experienced in the moment. Agada won’t let up until you know the whole story. And nod out to Scenic Designer Ryan Emens for powerful transformation of the set without the aid of an intermission.
Running Time: Eighty minutes with no intermission
At Broadway Armory Park, 5917 N. Broadway
Written by Greg Keller
Directed by Wardell Julius Clark
Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays at 8pm
Sundays at 3pm and 8pm
Thru April 6th
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