Chasing Mehserle
Nov
29
7:00 PM19:00

Chasing Mehserle

By Chinaka Hodge

“The play examines our justice systems, our class systems and racial systems using this emblematic case study to reframe the treatment of people of color and younger generations not as targets, but as victims of these many broken systems.” – Intersections for the Arts

Chasing Mehserle is a performance piece that maps the city of Oakland’s changing demographics, morphing culture, gentrification and the communal response to the real-life tragedy of Oscar Grant.
A sequel to Hodge’s first play, Mirrors in Every CornerChasing Mesherle examines race, class, gender and privilege through the lens of fictional character, Watts, who has been agoraphobic since seeing the Rodney King beatings as a child. He makes a New Year’s resolution to finally leave the house on January 1, 2009, the same day Oscar Grant is murdered by transit officer Johannes Mehserle.

Chasing Mehserle was originally commissioned by Black Women’s Playwrights Group and co-presented by Intersection for the Arts, Hip Hop Theater Fest, The Living Word Project and MIT’s Media Lab.

This work is supported by our CRITICAL BREAKS Residency. 

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TUBMAN
Dec
16
7:00 PM19:00

TUBMAN

By Lacresha Berry

This one woman show presents the story of Harriet Tubman reimagined as a young woman growing up in Harlem through a theatrical lens. Harriet Tubman is a heroine and American legend in her own right. This session will take the story of Harriet in the 19th century and places her in the 21st century; laced with the problems facing African-American youth all over the country. And especially focusing on the mistreatment of black girls in schools. What would happen if a young woman like Harriet became a leader in this new world? Would her struggle be the same? Would she know her power? This play examines the centuries old fight with race, gender, and equality through a theatrical lens centered around the most influential woman leaders in American history.

This work is supported by our CRITICAL BREAKS residency.

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ADA: On Stage
Jan
29
7:00 PM19:00

ADA: On Stage

By Candice Iloh

ADA: ON STAGE is a live one-woman-performance depicting the life of a young woman on her way out of high school headed for the next step in her life. Thinking college will finally be her escape from a strict household and a dysfunctional family, some first time experiences as a freshman suddenly begin to hold her captive and frozen in the memory of her childhood, making it hard to adapt to a life away from everything she’s ever known. A mashup of theater, poetry and dance, ADA: On Stage is an evocative performance art experience that identifies oppressive and traumatic moments that unknowingly stick with young women as they grow as well as the ways in which a past without reflection is destined to reappear in a person’s life without warning.

Through the body of writer and dancer Candice Iloh, the audience is invited to bare witness to what happens when one young woman begins discovering ways to truly become herself. What happens when she begins to question and realize she wants a life different from what she’d been taught was best for her? What happens when she discovers she wants a future no longer dominated by the decisions of men? What happens when our memories show us we’ve had little control over who we are? Narrated in rhythmic verse, ADA: On Stage is a story many young girls know but do not tell about navigating power, shame, belief, and what the body remembers and searches for when it finds itself somewhere new.

This work is supported by our CRITICAL BREAKS residency.

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Bring the Beat Back
Nov
17
to Nov 18

Bring the Beat Back

Playwright/Producer: Derek Lee McPhatter
Director: Christopher Burris
Music Director: Dionne McClain-Freeney
Composer/Arranger: Germono Toussaint
DJ: Manchild Black

Featuring Jazmine Alexandria, Jason C. Brown, Julie Brown, Freddie Cosmo, Kalon Hayward, Julius Hollingsworth, Janet LaFontaine, Sammulous, and Armani Williams

Bring the Beat Back is a queer, black, sci-fi music-theater experience, set in a funky, futuristic, groove-centered alternative reality.  Inspired by Afrofuturism, house music and the underground ball scene, the show follows a young man struggling to reconcile his sexuality with his faith.  Our hero journeys towards spiritual affirmation and self-discovery as conservative religious authorities and an ostentatious queer subculture clash over the music at the center of his world.

This work was supported by our CRITICAL BREAKS residency.

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LA NEGRA: A Theatrical Installation / An Event to Honor Your Dead
Nov
4
7:00 PM19:00

LA NEGRA: A Theatrical Installation / An Event to Honor Your Dead

Written by Raquel Almazan
Directed by Fernando Parra Borti
Production Manager: Marina Montesanti
Art Installation by Benjamin Rojas
Cast: Raquel Almazan, Vaneik, Mariana Neward, Vaneik Echeverria, Annabel Guevara, Elia Monte Brown, and Dan Shaked

A unique space to live, reflect and immerse collectively. Dedicated to the living and dead of Mexico. 

As the Day of the Dead approaches, Drug Cartel Queen LA NEGRA takes a ritualistic journey from child prostitute to Patron Saint of Mexican outcasts - Santa Muerte. Siete, her top drug pusher lover, a Gringo tourist painter, and hundreds of street children inhabit her world towards light and peace. The citizens of Tijuana, police officers and skull figures of the night force her to face her relentless darkness. These light and dark symbolic forces within her battle for the future of Mexico itself.

This work was supported by our SCRATCH LAB residency.

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'TASHA
Oct
27
7:00 PM19:00

'TASHA

Written by Yusef Miller
Directed by Zoey Martinson

'TASHA, inspired by Sophocles' Antigone, is set in a modern republic where White Supremacy and Black Civil Disobedience, each, are at their height. The play centers on Natasha Brown, a fictional Sasha Obama. 'Tasha buries her cousin, defying the edict - 'no one shall bury a law-breaker who dies in the act of committing a crime.' The issuer is President Waters, a Trump-Clinton-like character. Will 'Tasha's death restore order or fuel injustice?
 
This work was supported by our CRITICAL BREAKS Residency.

 

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The Peculiar Patriot
Sep
13
to Oct 2

The Peculiar Patriot

Written and Performed by Liza Jessie Peterson
Directed by Talvin Wilks

The Peculiar Patriot confronts the complex and critical issue of mass incarceration. With more than 2.5 million people behind bars, America is the world’s leading prison superpower. The Peculiar Patriot examines the human impact and inhuman machinery of the prison industrial complex and shines a glaring light on the racial disparities that feed the draconian system. The play follows protagonist Betsy LaQuanda Ross, a self-proclaimed peculiar patriot, as she makes regular visits to penitentiaries to boost the morale of her incarcerated friends and family, navigating love between barbed wire. As she shares neighborhood updates and gossip and reminisces about family, Betsy delivers a shrewd indictment of the criminal justice system in her own authentic and inimitable style, with a heavy dose of humor to boot.

 

 

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DC HIP-HOP THEATER FESTIVAL
Jul
6
to Jul 13

DC HIP-HOP THEATER FESTIVAL

The DC Hip-Hop Theater Festival (DC HHTF) celebrates its seventeenth year. The festival features some of the freshest work in theater and performance reflecting the breath of Hip-Hop and urban culture.  By bringing together local and national artists, activists, and organic intellectuals the DC HHTF remains one of the premier spaces to see work that reflects and pushes the boundaries of theater, film, dance and education. For more information click here

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TRY/STEP/TRIP
Jun
27
7:00 PM19:00

TRY/STEP/TRIP

Dahlak Braithwaite's Try/Step/Trip is a timely and important piece in our CRITICAL BREAKS Residency Program. In this work, addiction, religion and the law intersect in a court-ordered drug rehabilitation program. An "anonymous" narrator re-imagines drug court in order to understand his place in what appears to be a rite of passage as a young Black male through the criminal justice system. 

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HARLEM TO HOLLYWOOD
Jun
5
to Jun 16

HARLEM TO HOLLYWOOD

As part of our CRITICAL BREAKS Residency Program Malik Yoba and Kevin Ramsey return to Hi-ARTS with their work Harlem to Hollywood.  After a first run in April 2016, both artists will continue to develop their piece at Hi-ARTS. In Harlem to Hollywood Yoba plays himself in this one-man show about his life from the crime-ridden streets of New York City in the 1960s to the colorful lights of Hollywood, portraying through words and music the many characters, adventures and tales that have shaped his life. Please note: there is no public presentation scheduled for this residency. 

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LA PALOMA PRISONER 
May
23
7:00 PM19:00

LA PALOMA PRISONER 

By Raquel Almazan

La Paloma Prisoner is a multi-disciplinary play about the reclamation of identity by incarcerated women in the Colombian prison system. This new play centers on an incarcerated killer nicknamed “La Paloma” who transcendentally soars beyond physical and societal barriers to avenge the raped women of Bogota, leading the public to believe La Paloma may have magical avenger abilities. Based on the true story of a group of female inmates selected every year as beauty queen contestants at the Buen Pastor prison in Bogota, this new play interweaves the ritualistic journey of a “parade of prisoners” with Colombia’s social, political, and spiritual history. Claiming this newfound power, the women redefine beauty, their own humanity, and their identity as criminals. La Paloma Prisoner revolutionizes not only the women’s lives, but prison society and the world beyond its walls. Unlocking Female Incarceration panel discussion to follow performance. This work is supported by our CRITICAL BREAKS Residency. * Please note - The work contains adult language and subject matter that may not be suitable for young audiences.

 

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