NewsPinellas County


American Stage's 'Dutchman' provokes powerful discussion of race relations

Amiri Baraka's play first premiered in 1964
Posted at 5:02 AM, Jul 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-19 07:40:02-04

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — St. Petersburg's American Stage is a theater company that's unafraid to provoke deep conversation and debate.

And its latest production, a modern staging of Amiri Baraka's 1964 powderkeg "Dutchman," written during the height of the Civil Rights movement, packs a true emotional wallop.

Starring Adebowale Adebiyi and Shannon Mary Keegan as combative riders on an NYC subway car — clever staging that also morphs into a ghostly slave ship — the material explodes in a jarring finale.

This is race relations "on steroids," said Shannon. "American Stage has a very interesting audience that benefits greatly from this kind of discussion."

"I hope all audiences — of all ages, races — can see both sides, so we understand why [Amiri Baraka] wrote the play and why it's still important in 2022," said Adebowale.

For ticket information and more for "Dutchman," click here.