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Lamann Rucker appeared in the “Dutchman,” a production held in conjunction with the dedication of Howard University’s Al Freeman Jr. theatre space.

Howard University named its environmental theatre space after its former theatre department chair and renowned actor Al Freeman, Jr. To commemorate the naming, the department also produced Dutchman, a stage play, with Lamman Rucker Oct 14-15.

Freeman, who joined the university’s staff in 1991, had a career that spanned more than 30 years, best known for his role as Elijah Muhammad in MALCOLM  X.

The dedication and naming of the small theatre space was in accordance with a philanthropic gift that was bequeathed to the Department by his widow, Sevara Clemon Freeman.  A plaque and a portrait of Freeman were also unveiled.

A production of Dutchman was also held, along with a reception to commemorate the naming of the space after Freeman. Several University Fine Arts students including, Dana Coleman, Mikeisha Davis, Levern Hamer, and Emily Irizarry participated in the ensemble.

“It was the chair, Denise, you know who reached out and invited me to come out and I thought would be an awesome experience to do this and not only do it because it’s Howard University and its DUTCHMAN…and its relevance to Al Freeman, Jr., but also particularly because it was in association with and really in cooperation with the students,” Rucker said. He has starred in several Tyler Perry productions including Meet the Browns, Why Did I Get Married, and Why Did I Get Married Too?

Emily Thompson, a Pre-K teacher and graduate student in the Masters of Theater Education Program at The Catholic University of America, co-starred as Lula.

“This is all a hands-on learning experience for the young people in this program.  So I wanted to be a part of it in that regard, so as an educator as a student and as a learner, myself, I thought that was real cool,” Rucker said.

In regards to Freeman’s legacy, Rucker said he believed that he set a high bar for others to follow.

“Depending on who you ask, people will tell you different things about him.  Probably depending on which generation they are, on which movie or play they’ve seen him do…there was always a certain standard in his work that was high,” Rucker said.