The Dallas Design District might be known for visual art, but this weekend performance art will take center stage as Project X: Theatre opens Diamond Dick: The Tulsa Race Riots of 1921 at the Green Zone.
If the name of the play sounds familiar, you’re not having déjà vu. The play actually premiered at the Green Zone earlier this year to rave reviews from the Dallas’ theater press. It is now back for only two days — three performances — this Friday and Saturday before Project X takes the play to New York City.
Diamond Dick is part of a 17-play series by playwright Erik Ehn. The series, entitled Soulographie, composes Ehn’s interpretation and retelling of the history of genocide in the US, both instances in “which it was directly involved or in which it abetted.”
The series focuses on East Africa, Central America and Tulsa. Diamond Dick is the first play in the Tulsa series and tells the story of the Tulsa race riots of 1921. The play is the story of Dick Rowland, an African American shoe-shiner accused of sexually accosting Sarah Paige in an elevator, and the subsequent riots.
Over 300 African Americans were killed in the rioting that ensued and Diamond Dick relates the chronology of the events. Ehn uses a variety of media and methods to tell the story in the play including documentary accounts, dreamlike readings, live music and film. All of the methods come together to tell a deeply moving story concerning a dark event in American history.
Diamond Dick will be on stage in the Design District this weekend but it is only one of the 17 plays composing the series currently under production by independent theaters throughout the country. Raphael Parry is the director of the Dallas’ installment and the founder of Project X theater.
The cast and crew you’ll see on stage in the Design District this weekend head to New York after the show to stage the play in New York City. This giant leap is just an initial step in Parry and Project X’s mission to produce works specifically designed for export to the country’s top theater markets. If you’d like to monetarily support the noble aims of the Design District’s only (current) theater, you can visit www.projectxtheatre.com.
Otherwise, make plans to say farewell to the cast of Diamond Dick this weekend. Tickets are $20 in advance and $15 at the door (provided tickets remain at showtime). Shows occur on Friday, October 26 at 8 p.m. and on October 27 at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Click here for more information and enjoy the show!