Capital Fringe 2014 Preview: ‘Chesapeake’ by Bill Goodman

In Tale that Starts Realistic, Turns Fantastic, Dog Triggers Profound Changes

Dexter Hamlett and Friend. Photo by Brian S. Allard.
Dexter Hamlett and Friend. Photo by Brian S. Allard.

Kerr (played by Dexter Hamlett) is a bizarre performance artist with an act that includes nudity. He’s condemned by Southern firebrand politician Therm Pooley, who says that Pooley’s government arts grant is outrageous. But Pooley’s anger turns out to be a campaign tactic rather than genuine feeling. In fact, Pooley secretly meets with Kerr and suggests that the two of them use a secret relationship of fake antagonism to get media coverage for both of them.

When Kerr learns that Pooley doesn’t really hate him, Kerr is more enraged than ever, and decides to kidnap Pooley’s dog Lucky (a Chesapeake). The kidnapping attempt is an extreme disaster and leads to an even more paradoxical situation, which is so fantastic that you normally wouldn’t believe it. But we can’t give it away here without spoiling the play for you. We’ll just say that Chesapeake is about hate, love, revenge, a new state of being, and peace, and offers ridiculous yet meaningful turns of the plot.

As producers, we searched hard for a strange play with cosmic meaning, and Chesapeake seemed a great choice. The play has tons of paradox, which delights us. Even the presence Kerr onstage is impossible according to the story he tells. Chesapeake, while sentimental, also has shrewd, adult insight. We hope you’ll leave the theatre with a lot to consider …art, destiny, politics, anger, peace, and the healing relationship between human and dog.

Dexter Hamlett is an award-winning DC area actor. Aly Ettman, a founder of Peter’s Alley Theatre Productions, directs Chesapeake.

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 Fort Fringe—Bedroom, 612 L St., NW, Washington, DC  20001

Thursday, July 10th at 8:00 PM

 Sunday, July 13th at 3:45 PM

 Saturday, July 19th at noon

 Wednesday, July 23rd at 8:45 PM

 Saturday, July 26th at 7:00 PM



This production is presented as a part of the 2014 Capital Fringe Festival, a program of the Washington, DC non-profit Capital Fringe.


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