2016 Capital Fringe Review: ‘Rapists and Drug Dealers’

This surreal drama, by Tim Chamberlain, is a combination of modern dance and theater.


The play opens with the attempted murder of WOMAN by MAN. She is able to thwart his attempt with the help of two spirit-like characters that dance throughout the show but never talk. MAN then seems to go to WOMAN’s home. There is magic and racial hate, but the plot is an enigma. The author tells us this a story about change and that change requires bravery.

“A young woman at a crossroads. A man on the brink. Reality is not what it seems. At least not here, not now. Taking a life: is it the beginning or the end? This Spanish/English story takes you there.”

The heroine also speaks Spanish and little, if any English. Because the play was presented at Gallaudet University, the lines were flashed on the screen behind them. Her lines are only translated very briefly at the end of the play.

Even though I had a difficult time understanding the Spanish, actress Sharalys Silva was able to convey emotions and the mysterious magical talents that WOMAN possessed.

Lee Ordeman was MAN who had the task of being the only character who spoke in a language the audience could understand. His revelation of his prejudice and sense of failure was masterful.

The two dancers or movement actors were Karen Morales and Andrea Fanta. Both glided about the stage provocatively interacting with both the hero and heroine. At one point they become moving statues.

Tim Chamberlain also directed the show, and created an imaginative and beautiful production.

I do hope that a translation for WOMAN’s lines would be offered to the audience at future performances.

Rapists and Drug Dealers is the perfect Fringe offering – challenging, beautiful, well-acted, and full of emotion.

Running Time: One hour with no intermission.


Rapists and Drug Dealers is playing through Saturday, July 23, 2016 at Eastman Studio Theatre in the Elstad Annex of Gallaudet University – 800 Florida Avenue. NE, in Washington, DC. For tickets call (866) 811-4111, or purchase them online.

Check other reviews and show previews on DCMetroTheaterArts’ 2016 Capital Fringe Page.



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