REDCAT and CalArts present Marc Bamuthi Joseph/The Living Word Project's "the break/s: a mixtape for stage"
Los Angeles, CA, March 31, 2009--REDCAT and California Institute of the Arts present, Marc Bamuthi Joseph/The Living Word Project's the break/s: a mixtape for stage
Wednesday, April 22 through Saturday, April 25 at 8:30pm and Sunday, April 26 at 3:00pm. Tickets are $25, with student discounts available. Seating is general admission. Tickets and information at the REDCAT box office, 213.237.2800 or www.redcat.org.
"Thunderous, expansive... Rarely do word and movement mesh so seamlessly and elegantly... [Bamuthi's] stories put sound and gesture on a single continuum of expression." The Washington Post
Deftly combining his trademark rapid-fire wordplay and poetic reveries with phenomenal physical movement, Marc Bamuthi Joseph leaves it all on stage in the break/s: a mixtape for stage, his multimedia journey across Planet Hip-Hop. The former National Poetry Slam champion takes inspiration from Jeff Chang's seminal account in Can't Stop Won't Stop, which definitively captured the birth of hip-hop as a local movement motivated by a generation's longing to make culture that impacts the world.
the break/s: a mixtape for stage is a deeply honest investigation into the conflicts between the performer's public identity as successful spoken word artist, and his private identity as young man coming of age in our globalized, multi-everything era. At turns self-deprecatingly funny and unsparingly frank, Bamuthi's dynamic, deeply felt stories track the rise of hip-hop from its homegrown local roots to a global cultural force--and the personal costs, chafing identity crises, and exacting racial and cultural expectations that came with this transformation. Directed by Michael John Garcés, the magnetic Bamuthi performs the break/s: a mixtape for stage in a percussive call-and-response format with turntablist DJ Excess and multi-instrumentalist Ajayi Jackson, accompanied by video by Eli Jacobs Fantauzzi.
Funded in part with generous support from Lillian and Jon Lovelace, Judith O. and Robert E. Rubin, and Abby Sher.
REDCAT, the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater, is located at the corner of W. 2nd and S. Hope Streets, inside the Walt Disney Concert Hall complex (631 West 2nd Street, Los Angeles, CA, 90012).
ABOUT MARC BAMUTHI JOSEPH
Marc Bamuthi Joseph is an educator, performer, and the artistic director of The Living Word Project, a theater company dedicated to the aesthetics of post-hip hop performance. In the Fall of 2007, Bamuthi graced the cover of Smithsonian Magazine after being named one of America's Top Young Innovators in the Arts and Sciences. He is the artistic director of the 7-part HBO documentary Russell Simmons presents Brave New Voices and an inaugural recipient of the United States Artists Rockefeller Fellowship. He has entered the world of literary performance after crossing the sands of "traditional" theater, most notably on Broadway in the Tony Award winning The Tap Dance Kid and Stand-Up Tragedy. His evening-length works have been presented throughout the United States and Europe and include Word Becomes Flesh, Scourge, De/Cipher and No Man's Land. Bamuthi's current solo piece, the break/s, co-premiered at the Humana Festival of New American Plays and the Walker Arts Center in the Spring of 2008. His work has been enabled by several prestigious foundation awards including grants from the Ford Foundation, the Center for Cultural Innovation, Creative Capital, the National Performance Network Creation Fund, the Wallace A. Gerbode Foundation, the Creative Work Fund, the Rockefeller MAP Fund, the NEA, the Hewlett Foundation, and a Dance Advance award from the PEW Foundation. A gifted and nationally acclaimed educator and essayist, he has lectured at more than 200 colleges and universities, been a popular commentator on National Public Radio, and has carried adjunct professorships at Stanford University, Mills College, and the University of Wisconsin. A resident at ODC Theater, YBCA, and Intersection for the Arts in San Francisco, Bamuthi's proudest work has been with Youth Speaks where he mentors 13-19 year old writers and curates the Living Word Festival for Literary Arts. Mr. Joseph's next project, red black and green: a blues performatively documents the eco-equity movement towards green collar jobs in Black neighborhoods. He proudly served as a featured artist for the NAACP's Centennial Anniversary Celebration during President Barack Obama's Inaugural Exercises.
ABOUT THE LIVING WORD PROJECT
The Living Word Project, the resident theater company of Youth Speaks, is committed to producing literary performance in the verse of our time. Aesthetically urban, pedagogically Freirean, the Living Word Project derives personal performed narratives out of interdisciplinary collaboration with an emphasis on spoken storytelling connected to important and immediate social issues and movements. The Living Word Project is the theater's connection from Shakespeare's quill to Kool Herc's turntables; from Martha Graham's cupped hand to Nelson Mandela's clenched fist: a new voice for a new politic. As Artistic Director of the Living Word Project, Marc Bamuthi Joseph, working closely with a select group of writers and performers ranging in age from 19-25, oversees the development of the company's curatorial and aesthetic vision. Under the mentorship of Bamuthi, the young artists create a series of performative non-fiction essays in which the ethos of revolution, color consciousness, or racism are deconstructed as the result of historical facts, rather than inherent or implicit conditions of the human temperament. The resulting work makes up the Living Word Project's repertory. Professional artists affiliated with The Living Word Project include Kamilah Forbes, Rennie Harris, Adia Whitaker, Sonia Sanchez, Robert Moses, Sarah Jones, Danny Hoch, The Chicano Messengers, Ellen Sebastian Chang, Ursula Rucker, Savage Jazz Dance, John Santos, SF Jazz, Cultural Odyssey, Me'Shell N'Degeocello, Blackalicious, Jeff Chang, Talib Kweli, Saul Williams, Zion I, Goapele, Ledisi, Marcus Shelby, Ishle Park, Beau Sia, and Robert Henry Johnson.
As CalArts' downtown center for innovative visual, media and performing arts, REDCAT, the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater, introduces diverse audiences to the most influential developments in the arts from around the world, and gives artists in the Los Angeles region the opportunity to reach higher levels of national and international recognition. REDCAT is a center for experimentation, discovery and charged civic discourse.
REDCAT sponsors include The Standard, Ovation TV, KCRW and LA Weekly