Theatre makes situations palpable

and can offer a different perspective.



Lecture performance Dues


People say: Let’s have an honest conversation. What they mean is: Be assertive, but not too much. 

People say: Say what’s going on. What they mean is: But don’t let it be about me or if it really has to, say it then in a somewhat positive, sweet, non-accusatory way.

People say: Engage in dialogue with me. What they mean is: But let me be the hero of the conversation. Let me speak first, last and longest. Let me think I get it and that I am not hurting you. Let me know I am one of the good ones and still relevant.

People say: let’s have an honest conversation. That is important. If we stop having a dialogue, we are lost.


With this lecture performance Crystal Hassell explores the complexitiy of language and demonstrates how even well-intentioned invitations for dialogue often disguise barriers to real change. How can you point out inequalities to people with privileges, and invite them to collectively make society more inclusive?

Crystal Hassell does this with her performances, and has paid her dues to do so. In this lecture performance, she explores what happens when she makes those dues very explicit. And also, what happens when she pays no or less dues for it?


In total the lecture performance lasts about one hour.

This lecture performance can take place in a theatre, a boardroom or a lecture hall.
It requires 3 x 2 metres of space.

The lecture performance can be booked as a one-off event or you can also book the accompanying workshops.

What other people say about Dues:  

From the very first minute of Crystal’s performance Dues, I felt: pay attention, stay sharp; this is serious.

I also saw Only Well Meaning People and felt a sense of shame about the privileges you have based on your color and where you happen to be born. It led to confronting but enriching conversations with fellow audience members.

With Dues, there is no escaping; looking away in shame is not enough. I felt deep down that I needed to take action, to start setting things in motion in my own environment. To become a supportive ally for people in my environment who experience racism and discrimination.

As a person and as a professional confidant, I am fortunate to be able to make concrete efforts in this regard. I have learned a lot from Crystal and will carry that with me in my daily work.” 

Anne-Marie Nannen

Energy project manager and confidant

“Halfway through the performance, Crystal asks the almost entirely white audience: “Do you think this isn’t scary for me?” and you realize once again that you have taken yourself as the starting point. Crystal presses where it hurts, generously shares her knowledge, and openly shows how society is not inclusive and how that personally affects her. Guaranteed food for thought.

Marcel Bolech

Social worker, Stichting GOUD

“I have great admiration for this art form, the lecture performance by Crystal Hassell. It was personal, humorous, and sometimes a bit uncomfortable for me as a ‘highly educated young white woman’. Just the right amount of friction to go home with constructive food for thought.”

Vita Verwaaijen

Project Coordinator in the Climate Sector

“I was rendered speechless, is I think, the best description of what Crystal Hassell’s lecture performance Dues did to me. The succession of detailed situations that a person of color (in the cultural sector) is confronted with daily washed over me. Vivid and to-the-point.”

Pauline van Tuyll


“With Dues Crystal Hassell creates a compelling follow-up to Only Well Meaning People. Harsh experiences are interspersed with a loving outreach to the other, theory and anecdotes alternate. Crystal presents herself vulnerably and courageously in this new lecture performance. She makes the audience reflect on their own work practices and, most importantly, on their individual roles and responsibilities within them. Highly recommended!” 

Noortje Kessels

Programmer at Wintertuin and chaplain in training

“For me (woman of color), Dues was all about recognition. It is so special and powerful how Crystal can articulate these sensitive experiences and combine them with scientific backgrounds. This helps me to better express the things I experience and go through. I am very happy and grateful to have met Crystal!” 

Angie Leysner


“Just like Only Well Meaning People, Dues  is a beautiful, candid, personal, serious but also funny and balanced monologue. I wish I had brought my notebook to write down the three or four pieces of wisdom that punctuated the performance, so I could reread them often. Now, the only thing to do is to see Dues again. And I know a few unconsciously privileged people I’d like to take with me.” 

Joël Labadie


Dues is a powerful lecture performance about the price people of color pay in their interactions with white people. Seemingly calm, Crystal shares accessible and, at first glance, everyday personal experiences. As a white listener, you quickly realize that the experiences Crystal describes are not about you. At least, not experiencing them – but perhaps contributing to them. This makes the performance confronting and uncomfortable, and so incredibly important to see. Dues prompts reflection on how we, as white people, interact with others, what we (think we) achieve with this, and the actual effects of our behavior on the recipients on the other side.” 

Vera & Machteld Nuiver

Project Leader for Inclusion and Trainer in White Privilege

“In a sharp, personal, and loving manner, Crystal dissects the contemporary diversity and racism debate in Dues: from microaggressions to hypocritical allies – no topic is left unexamined. When you leave the room, you can’t help but take action and actively engage with this issue: silence and looking away are no longer options.” 

Linda Kokke

Employee Fundraising & Innovation, D.N.O.

“In Dues Crystal takes the audience through her experiences with everyday racism. The tone is both critical and vulnerable. The lecture performance is confronting but not paralyzing. On the contrary, the numerous examples in Dues encourage you to do better next time.” 

Felice Tauer

Art Therapist

“The wonderful DEI lecture performance by Crystal Hassell is realistic, abrasive, and confronting. With humor, she takes you through the various facets of Inclusion and Diversity that you encounter in the workplace but also in the private sphere. Highly recommended to see because you leave with food for thought.” 

Marichelle Romney

Program Advisor for Vitality, Inclusion & Diversity, Municipality of Amsterdam

“Raw and direct, Dues continues where Only Well Meaning People left off. Crystal took me through a series of situations again, the most painful aspect of which might be that they are drawn from her life. Recognizable for some, confronting for others. And with an outstretched hand to everyone: this is not okay, and you can do something about it. An impressive performance that touched and deeply moved me.”

Gert Bosgra

Educational Designer, Studio 20

“Crystal’s lecture performance Dues is a compelling, thought-provoking, and disarming reflection and analysis of various forms of privileges; crude and subtle, structural and everyday.

Using her own experiences as a starting point and her academic background, she takes you to the invisible power and influence of privileges and the urgent need for change in equality and inclusion. She presents herself vulnerably and uses humor, but at the same time, she remains strong and determined, challenging you firmly to reflect on your own behavior, thought patterns, and privileges.

Much respect for her passion and work.”

Nikos Batsois

English Teacher

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