- Arts + Music
- Upper School
“I didn’t have getting-sucked-into-a parallel-storybook-reality-with-a-French-ghost on my 2020 Bingo card.”
In a year with many bizarre and surprising events, Thomas, a creative writing major, is in his final year of college and struggling to find a great story to write. Through a crack in Zoom Thomas makes a mysterious connection to the famous author of The Three Musketeers, The Count of Monte Cristo, The Man in the Iron Mask, and countless other stories and plays - Alexandre Dumas. The characters from Dumas' books and his actual life show up in Thomas's college apartment and Thomas is now on an adventure that only the great writer himself could have imagined.
The result is The Dumas Project.
Theater Director Stevie Ray Dallimore says of the project, “The whole concept came up as a result of the events of this last summer … namely, I felt the need to look for writers of color.”
When thinking about what kind of show to do this fall, Dallimore called his friend Ty Jones, the Artistic Director of the Classical Theater of Harlem. Jones suggested that he look at Alexandre Dumas, a French writer best known for The Three Musketeers, The Man in the Iron Mask and The Count of Monte Cristo. Dallimore, who says he likes “taking on creative challenges,” decided to create something based on Dumas and “all the things going on in our country right now.”
Dallimore began the process by having his students research the writings and life of Dumas. Says Mason Calhoun ‘21, who plays the leading role of Thomas, “We had to do research about who Dumas is and stories about his life and we implemented that into our own play.” Students brought their ideas to Dallimore and local poet and guest artist Arche Twitty. Dallimore and Twitty, who appears as Dumas in the show, wrote the final script.
The show includes in-person performers interacting with actors on Zoom, and even includes virtual sword fights. “We are studying the French Revolution and it’s kinda cool how it ties into today,” says Calhoun. There are several vignettes featuring Dumas’s stories and how they have intersected with current-day events.
Alexandre Dumas may not have understood what Thomas meant when referencing his 2020 Bingo card, but the two men are able to find many universal connections between the worlds they inhabit.
The Dumas Project will be on Friday and Saturday, November 13-14, at 7:30 p.m. at the Black Box Theater. You can watch the show's trailer here.
Photos from the show are posted here.
Cast and crew members are:
Dandy Reynoso Diaz
Special guest artist: Arche Twitty
Director: Stevie Ray Dallimore