Nationally prominent director Ron Himes directs Nebraska Rep's 'Dutchman'

Ron Himes, the founder and producing director of the St. Louis Black Repertory Theatre, guest directs the Nebraska Repertory Theatre's "Dutchman." Courtesy photo.
Ron Himes, the founder and producing director of the St. Louis Black Repertory Theatre, guest directs the Nebraska Repertory Theatre's "Dutchman." Courtesy photo.

Nationally prominent director Ron Himes directs Nebraska Rep's 'Dutchman'

calendar icon01 Feb 2019    

Lincoln, Neb.--The Nebraska Repertory Theatre, Nebraska’s Actors’ Equity Association professional regional theatre, continues its 50th Anniversary year season with DUTCHMAN by LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka.

Performances are:
February 13 and 14 at 7:30 pm (preview performances)
February 15 at 7:30 pm (opening night)
February 19, 20, 21, 22 at 7:30 pm
February 16, 23 at 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm
February 17, 24 at 2:00 pm

 Performances, which will include a post-show conversation, are in the Temple Building’s Studio Theatre, 12th & R streets in Lincoln. Tickets are available by contacting the Lied Center Ticket Office at 402.472.4747 or 800.432.3231 or at the ticket office window at 301 North 12th St. between the hours of 11 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Tickets are available online 24 hours at Individual tickets are $30, $15 for students/OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) members. Subject matter may be challenging and not suitable for all audience members. Please visit for more information.

A conversation on a subway turns vicious as DUTCHMAN’s two passengers, a white woman named Lula and a young black man named Clay, flirt with race and rage. Amiri Baraka’s Obie-winning drama exerts an incendiary power as it dares to uncover the anger and fear buried below polite American decorum. Produced in partnership with the Lied Center for Performing Arts. DUTCHMAN was a momentous play in 1964, not only in American culture, but in Mr. Baraka’s career. The original run coincided with the escalation of the civil rights movement and the content helped expose tensions in American race relations. It was at this point that Mr. Baraka, dubbed the “father of the Black Arts Movement” of the 1960s, changed his name from LeRoi Jones, under which this play was originally written, to Amiri Baraka. “Known as brilliant, audacious, inflammatory, seditious, bigoted, and a luminary, Baraka was a man who made art on his own terms and who spoke truth to power. DUTCHMAN will take you on a provocative, startling journey,” (Penumbra Theatre Company)

DUTCHMAN is directed by Ron Himes.* Scenic design by Jeff Stander*, lighting by Jordan Taylor Thomas, costumes by Kendra Johnson,* and sound by Emily Callahan. Kasey Dunaski stage manages. Eugene H. Russell IV* plays Clay and Emily Raine Blythe plays Lula. Other cast members include: Alejandro Alarcon, Godelyn Anghay, Travis Banks, Tatianna Nicholle Davis, Clayton Edward, Danny Fisher, Jazmine Huertas, Shannon Jowers and Aguel Lual. *(guest artist)

“In February, we honor Black History Month by producing Amiri Baraka’s DUTCHMAN,” said The Rep’s Artistic Director Andy Park. “This riveting play first premiered in 1964 and remains shockingly relevant. Nebraska Rep is proud to announce that Ron Himes, producing director and founder of The Black Rep, will direct. The Black Rep is the largest professional African-American theatre company in the nation, and we are honored to welcome Mr. Himes.”

Ron Himes is the Founder and Producing Director of the Saint Louis Black Repertory Company, which has developed a national reputation for staging quality productions from an African-American perspective.

Ron founded the Saint Louis Black Repertory Company in 1976 while still a student at Washington University, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. The Black Rep began touring to other college campuses and, in 1981, found a home in the former sanctuary of the Greely Presbyterian Church in north St. Louis City, which the company converted and renamed the 23rd Street Theatre. In 1991, after a multi-million-dollar renovation, the company moved into the former First Congregation Church building, located in the heart of the Grand Center arts and education district in midtown, renaming it the Grandel Square Theatre.

He has produced and directed more than 100 plays at The Black Rep, including August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson, and The Black Rep’s own I Remember Harlem II. His acting credits include starring roles in Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Robert Johnson: Trick the Devil, Sty of the Blind Pig, The Meeting, When The Chickens Came Home to Roost, Boesman and Lena, and I’m Not Rappaport. Other acting credits include the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, several productions with the St. Louis’ Theatre Project Company and the MUNY. In 1993, Himes appeared as Clarence Thomas in Unquestioned Integrity: The Hill/Thomas Hearings. In 1994, The Black Rep’s production of The Meeting moved to Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Himes national theatrical credits include work for the University of South Carolina; the Delaware Theatre Company; the Goldenrod Showboat, the Indiana Rep; the Studio Theatre in Washington D.C., the University of Illinois at Champaign; the Perseverance Theatre in Juneau, Alaska; and the Old Creamery Theatre in Garrison, Iowa, the People’s Light and Theatre Company in Malvern, Pennsylvania; and the Missouri Repertory Theatre in Kansas City.

In 2003, Himes was appointed the first Henry E. Hampton, Jr. Artist-in-Residence at Washington University, a joint appointment of the Performing Arts and African American studies departments. He has received numerous honors and awards, including the St. Louis 2004 Heroes Pierre Laclede Award in 2004; The Arts & Education Council’s: Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001; The Better Family Life’s Creative Artist Award in 1997; the St. Louis Black Repertory Company’s Woodie Award for Best Direction from 1994-1997; and Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from the University of Missouri-St. Louis in 1993, and from Washington University in 1997; and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Life and Legacy Award from the National Pan-Hellenic Alumni council. In. 1993, the Ron Himes Scholarship Fund was established at Webster University in St. Louis.

Himes has served on boards, panels, and advisory councils for a number of arts organizations, including the National Endowment for the Arts; the John F. Kennedy Center; the Arts and Humanities Commission, the Missouri Alliance for Arts Education; the Missouri Arts Council; the Regional Arts Commission; the Arts and Education Council of Greater St. Louis; the Regional Commerce and Growth Association; the Lila Wallace Reader’s Digest Foundation; and the Midwest African-American Arts Alliance.

Eugene H. Russell IV, a proud Atlanta native and Tennessee State University alumnus, is thrilled to make his Nebraska Repertory debut. His regional theatre credits include Nell Gwynn (Synchronicity Theatre); 110 In The Shade (Theatrical Outfit); King Hedley II (True Colors Theatre Company); Blackberry Daze (Horizon Theatre); Memphis the Musical (Aurora Theatre); What I Learned In Paris (Alliance Theatre); and Before It Hits Home (St. Louis Black Rep), for which he received the prestigious Woodie King, Jr. Award. A voiceover artist with numerous commercial credits, Eugene’s film/TV appearances include FOX’s “Star” and CBS’s “MacGyver.” Donning his singer/songwriter hat, he composed the music for the Alliance Theatre TVY world premiere of Beautiful Blackbird, producing the now-released cast recording as well. Eugene, a musician at heart, is currently working on the follow-up to his debut solo album Starving Artist.