Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

CreateTheater To Premiere DASH Online April 19

The play is based on actual events in 1976 war-torn Nigeria.

CreateTheater To Premiere DASH Online April 19

DASH, a new play by John Thorburn Hall, directed and developed by David Lamberton, will make its online world premiere on CreateTheater April 19, 2021 at 7pm EDT.

The play is based on actual events in 1976 war-torn Nigeria, when an African-American government envoy arrives on a US trade mission, as well as a personal mission to explore his racial identity. After witnessing the murder of an innocent hotel worker by a fellow American, he is forced into a crisis of conscience. The cast is composed of J. Dolan Byrnes (Lother), Alexander D Carney (Harry), Nathan Faudree (Nick), Steve Hauck (Fred), Russell Jordan (Phil), Elizabeth June (Mrs. Norgabin), Omar M'Sai (Awahla), and Tomike Ogugua (Eshu).

Although recorded on the Zoom platform with physically-isolated actors, DASH is a hybrid performance, not a typical 'Zoom Reading.' Produced by The Players of Providence Rhode Island, where both David and John are members, tickets are now available online for a $10 donation until Friday, April 23rd at .

"I think it was Mark Twain who said that 'History doesn't repeat itself, but it often rhymes'," joked David Lamberton, the director who adapted and developed a script given to him by the now-deceased playwright. "What John did in DASH is to show us how little has changed, and how much is still the same, in Lagos, Nigeria then and now." In this new production we see Nigeria through the lens of Mr. Hall, who was there as part of a US trade delegation in the 1970's. "Back then 'dash' referred to a pay-off or bribe," continued Lamberton. "Personal, political, social corruption and compromise are as much a part of Nigeria's story today as they were in 1976 - the setting of DASH. This hybrid medium experience enhances the audience's understanding of the many layers of religious, social, and political conflict that is a part of everyday life in the region."

Iben Cenholt, DASH's technical director who also functioned as assistant director, is the person behind the camera who visually pulled the show together in the editing room. "I started out by recording lots of physical footage on Zoom with physically-isolated actors each performing their own staged reading of the play." she said. "But because DASH is so much of a 'dialogue play' about the business of corruption and the soul, I needed to make each scene truthfully play out in front of the audience. The timing of the actors' responses needed to be very exact, as if they were live together in front of an audience reacting to each other." However, since Zoom's audio is limited to people speaking "serially," such timing often goes out the window. In DASH Cenholt has manipulated live action shots to create the overlapping chatter and reactions in the dialogue as well allowing pregnant pauses that would happen naturally in a live onstage performance. "The end result is more than a Zoom reading, yet not a film. It's truly pushing the form of this new hybrid medium."

John Thorburn Hall (1926 - 2002) wrote DASH in 1987. His daughter Alexandra van Schie says, "John would be thrilled that this play, one that is based on his own experience in Lagos selling computers on behalf of the US government, is premiering in this unusual and groundbreaking online format. And he would be so thankful to David Lamberton, Cate Cammarata and The Players for making it happen."

The Players, America's oldest continually operating little theater, is absolutely thrilled to be a part of this hybrid theatre/Zoom project. "The fact that DASH was written by one of our members, John Thorburn Hall, makes it even more exciting," says Peter Lamberton, Treasurer of The Players. "Congratulations and our sincerest thanks to all who have played a role in bringing DASH to life."

CreateTheater is an online theater company founded in 2016 by Off-Broadway producer, director and dramaturg Cate Cammarata to develop and produce new plays and musicals. The Monday Night Reading Series has been presenting readings of work ready for productions since March 23, 2020. For more information and to get on their mailing list go to their website at

Tickets are available on EventBrite for a suggested donation of $10. All funds will benefit The Players of Providence, RI. The link for tickets is .

Related Articles View More Off-Off-Broadway Stories

More Hot Stories For You