The Dudley T. Dougherty Foundation

Theatrical Production of "Dutch Masters" by Greg Keller

Grant Information
Categories Arts
Location United States
Cycle Year 2011
Organization Information
Organization Name (provided by applicant) Labyrinth Theater Company
Organization Name (provided by automatic EIN validation)
Contact Information
Contact Name Brian Roff
Phone 917-570-5646
155 Bank Street
New York
Additional Information
Used for The money will be used by Labyrinth Theater Company for the continued development and support of the play “Dutch Masters” by Greg Keller, directed by Brian Roff. The grant will be used to incentivize and fund a theatrical production of the play.
Benefits The grant would go directly towards supporting the development of “Dutch Masters” and amplifying the vital and emerging theatrical voices of its writer, Greg Keller, and its director, Brian Roff. “Dutch Masters” is an important, new play about two teens (one black, one white) set in New York City in 1992. It’s a rare play in that it addresses issues of race relations and economic disparity and speaks to a new generation of urban youth who are underrepresented in theater and the arts.
Proposal Description Labyrinth Theater Company is a renowned multicultural ensemble of playwrights, actors, directors, and designers whose mission is to nurture artists and develop vital new works for the stage. We were founded in 1992 by thirteen Latino actors who wanted to create a space to work, as a platform to tell the stories of the community around them. Today, the company is made up of over 120 members from a wide array of cultural perspectives that share an artistic sensibility and a desire to create meaningful work within a supportive artistic environment.

Labyrinth’s company of artists—and the work they create—reflects a distinctly working class ethos; their stories spring from the diverse cultures and communities that make up New York City. Labyrinth has been developing “Dutch Masters” since 2009 when the play was given a first reading at the Labyrinth Summer Intensive at Bard College and a second reading the Public Theater in New York City. In May 2010, Labyrinth produced a developmental workshop of the play at the Bank Street Theater in New York City. Greg Keller and Brian Roff are both Labyrinth Company members.

The money will be used in support of a full theatrical production of the play. Labyrinth will contribute the money to a production of “Dutch Masters” at the Bank Street Theater (Labyrinth’s current home) or to a production of the play at another theater that well serves the play. The money will go directly toward actualizing the production; this includes rental of the performance space, design elements (sets, lighting, costumes, sound) and stipends for the artists.

“Dutch Masters” is a play that will spark a vital dialogue in its urban community. Set in 1992, the play takes place in a New York City that felt more dangerous and was more divided between its “good” neighborhoods and its “bad” ones. In this time, racial tensions, race riots and race-motivated killings too often made the front page. “Dutch Masters” brings the challenging issues of race and economic disparity into the foreground of conversation. Then the play goes even further to show how love, loss and grief cross all boundaries and bring us together no matter where we’re from or who we are.

Although New York City has come far since 1992, there is still a long way to go. Racial tensions still exist, and economic disparity is as present as ever (just look at Occupy Wall Street not all that far from our theater). “Dutch Masters” speaks directly to the urban youth in a way that almost no contemporary art does. Seeing themselves up onstage for the first time can have a tremendous and transformative impact, and the telling of their stories actually gives them a voice. We hope that through Labyrinth’s diverse audience, we can reach the community this play is about. To this end, we intend to make this production easily accessible to urban New York City teens that we believe will greatly benefit from this production.

Please find attached a copy of the play “Dutch Masters,” Labyrinth’s Certificate of Incorporation and proof of Labyrinth’s 501(c)(3) status.