Dutchman and Petra
Celebration Arts Theatre’s night of subway tales opens with a short one-man play by the company’s artistic director, James Wheatley, Petra. Wheatley alternates the role of a homeless man with Rob Anthony in a fable of hope among the downtrodden. That hope is slowly, cruelly crushed in the next play, Amiri Baraka’s Dutchman (written under the name LeRoi Jones in 1964). Clay (Jason Oler), an upwardly mobile young black man, is accosted by Lula (Kristine David), a mercurial white woman, while riding the subway. She methodically dismantles his illusions about any acceptance and respect he may have earned by invoking the reality of persistent racism. Intense and seamless, the two plays work together well for a night of thought-provoking, socially conscious theater. Th-Sa 8pm, Su 2pm. Through 8/29. $8-$15. Celebration Arts Theatre, 4469 D St.; (916) 455-2787; www.celebrationarts.net.