The Hairy Dutchman
By Andy Bragen
Over the course of the season, our assistant directors and student dramaturgs will be compiling dramaturgical resources relating to each production as it develops. Below are some links to websites which relate to the history of the play, the biography of the playwright, and sites that contextualize and, we hope, shed light on the directorial approach to the dramatic material.
We hope you find these resources of interest.
Andy Bragen (b. 1971)
The Hairy Dutchman is a new play, commissioned by the University of Rochester International Theatre Program under its New Voice Initiative. Written by playwright, Andy Bragen, and developed with UR students and URITP Artistic Director, Nigel Maister, in the fall '08 semester, the work received its world premiere in Todd Theatre in April, 2009. Read about the workshop which preceded the premiere, and read about the production.
The Hairy Dutchman takes place in Bragen’s hometown of New York, and its primary subjects are tennis and the Dutch colonial history of New York City.
The work is set on public tennis courts in New York City.
Here's a brief overview of tennis's rules of play and other relevant information.
The history of the game of tennis also looms large in the play.
The play refers to many famous tennis players, both living and dead, and primarily to Vitas Gerulaitis.
Other players mentioned include Bjorn Borg, Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors, and John McEnroe. Information on famous tennis players is available here.
Here's a brief history of the Dutch colonization of the Hudson river.
This site is an interesting resource, and includes a map of New Amsterdam as well as sound clips for the pronunciation of Dutch historical names.
This blog by historian Rick Wolff celebrates New York’s Dutch history.
Peter (Pieter/Petrus) Stuyvesant was the last Dutch Director-General of the colony of New Netherland. He had only one leg and was given the nickname of Old Peg Leg. Here's Stuyvesant's wikipedia entry.
To view other interesting, humorous, and relevant videos, see our video play list.