The Queer Dutchman

The Queer Dutchman


Death and Taxes (Sarah Lawrence College)
The HMS Titanic sank in May of 1912. That same year, the first income tax was imposed on the American public, further sinking the arrogant aristocracy. Nurses, ice-cube trays, aquariums and music!

Fallingwater (Bowdoin College)
Using a blueprint of Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece Fallingwater, as a floor pattern for dancing, the piece explores notions of home and hearth and culminates in a precision water pouring dance, transferring H2O from one glass to another.

Suburban Tango (Princeton University)
An all American Family in a suburban split level finds their home over-run with religious and political tyrants, (the Ayatollah Khomeini has been hiding under the sofa!) proving once and for all that the political is personal and never far from home.

The Thief (Bowdoin College)
The first draft of a performance version of the 1952 Hollywood film “The Thief,” starring Ray Milland.

Twenty Futurist Plays and One Manifesto, set to the Music of Ornette Coleman (Sarah Lawrence College)
An evening of Futurist Syntesi (Synthetic Theater) by the likes of  Marinetti, Corra and Settimelli – Wise-guys who, at the turn of the last century were “the caffeine of Europe.”

Rock and a Hard Place (Sarah Lawrence College)
While spelunking in Kentucky in 1925, Floyd Collins became trapped underground, his foot wedged in place by a rock. Unable to move either forward or back, he ruminates on the concept of being stuck, while a media circus swirls above him on the surface – His family sells lemonade to tourists!

The Butterfly Project (Barnard College)
Inspired by the Ray Bradbury short story “The Veldt,” and the biography of the “father of modern archaeology” Heinrich Schliemann (who turned out to be a pathological liar in his personal life), this piece examines the effect of our activities on the future, and the far-reaching problems caused by historical revisionism.

Red Handed (Sarah Lawrence College)
The finished draft of a performance version of the 1952 Hollywood film “The Thief,” starring Ray Milland: a film so steeped in the nuclear and communist paranoia of the cold war, that for the entire duration of the film, the actors don’t even dare speak a word of dialogue.

The Murder of Mary Rogers (Barnard College)
In the summer of 1841, Mary Rogers, known locally as the “Beautiful Cigar Girl” disappeared from her home in Manhattan. Three days later, her body washed up on the shores of Hoboken. A still unsolved murder, this case marked the dawn of the age of media hype, and involved characters from Cotton Mather, to Anthony Comstock to Madame Ristell to Edgar Allen Poe.

The Jim Smith Society (Barnard College)
Jim Smith has a nightmare of identity and individuality in the hotel where the annual Jim Smith Society is convening (an actual organization who’s sole function is to bring together all the Jim Smith’s of the world).

Drink Up! Adventures in Cognitive Dissonance or Happy Birthday Piaget! (Barnard College)
Show a child two glasses of water equally full. Pour one into a tall skinny glass, and the other into a wide short glass and ask: “which glass has more water?” Inspired by Piaget’s discovery of the development of conservation of volume, the piece wonders, can you easily find uptown when you emerge from the winding subway stairs?

Waterhouse Hawkins (Created with Brian Selznick) (Sarah Lawrence College)
In 1868, scientific illustrator Waterhouse Hawkins was commissioned by New York City, to build life size concrete versions of dinosaurs for a planned “Paleozoic Museum” for Central Park. But Mayor “Boss” Tweed couldn’t find a way to make a profit from it. So he hired his goons to smash Hawkins’ models and bury the pieces in Central Park, where they remain to this day.

Billy & Han (Barnard College)
Twice the forgeries! Billy Tipton, who concealed his gender even from his own wife, until his death in 1989, and Han Van Meegeren who successfully hoodwinked the WWII art establishment into believing that nine of his paintings were original Vermeers.

The Queer Dutchman (Sarah Lawrence College)
in 1725, a sailor working for the Dutch East India Trading Company, was marooned on Ascension Island for the crime of Sodomy. While dying of thirst over the course of several months he kept a journal of his trials, which was later recovered, doctored by Daniel Defoe (to eliminate the homoerotic bits) and published.

Quintland (Sarah Lawrence College)
In the 1994 solo performance “Quintland” the lone performer plays 50 characters to tell the story of the world famous Dionne Quintuplets. This version turns the multiple-roles-equation on it’s head, as each of the 50 characters is played by 20 actors – simultaneously.

The Good Mother (Sarah Lawrence College)
Written by graduate student Karen Cellini, the play is a portrait of a family unraveling after one child is killed by a stray bullet and, as a result, another turns to heroin. The Good Mother is based on a true story, and was performed with live actors and shadow puppets.

Photo Credit:
All images at top and right: Shane Tilston

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