RISING YOUTH THEATRE AND CYPHERS CENTER FOR URBAN ARTS PRESENT
ANTONIA: A CHICANA, HIP HOP ANTIGONE
written by Josè Casas
directed by Xanthia Angel Walker
A WORLD PREMIERE PLAY ABOUT THE ELEMENTS OF HIP HOP
DECEMBER 4, 5, and 6, 2015 AT MORELAND STREET BETWEEN 2ND AND 3RD ST
(Phoenix, AZ) Rising Youth Theatre, a theatre company that creates socially relevant original plays with youth will present the world premiere of antonia: a chicana, hip hop antigone in conjunction with Cyphers Center for Urban Arts.
Playwright José Casas, director Xanthia Angel Walker, and choreographer Melissa Britt worked with Danny “Skooby” Morales of Cyphers and dozens of hip hop artists of all ages to develop the play, which is an adaptation of the classic Greek tragedy Antigone. Both the playwright and director felt that the themes of Antigone, including power, fate vs. free will, rules vs. order, and gender dynamics were relatable to hip hop culture as it relates to young people. The five elements of hip hop (Breaking, MCing, Graffiti, DJing and Knowledge/Understanding) all play a role in the storytelling. The adult performers include spoken word artist Tomas Stanton, DJ Nathaniel Hawkins (DJ Panic), dancers Anthony Kelly and Johnny Castro, and actors Osiris Cuen and Patience Briggs, working alongside a diverse ensemble of youth performers.
There is no cost to attend performances of antonia but you do need to reserve your ticket online. Tickets can be reserved at www.azantonia.eventbrite.com. On Saturday, December 5, the play will be held in conjunction with Honest Expressions, a free block party featuring exhibition battles, music, food, live art, cyphers and more.
Playwright José Casas explains that “The success of a TYA hip-hop performance is dependent on a communal form of dramaturgy that is similar to hip-hop’s cypher, or artistic gathering.” Accordingly, the way Rising Youth Theatre developed the play included multiple workshops with hip hop artists in the community and young people who participate in Cyphers programming helped to determine the direction of the script. The resulting play is one that speaks to a wide range of experiences within the hip hop community.
Fast Facts about antonia: a chicana, hip hop antigone
- Adaptation of Antigone, telling a story about young people and hip hop culture
- Produced by Rising Youth Theatre and Cyphers Center for Urban Arts
- It will be performed outside, in on Moreland Street between 2nd and 3rd street, right behind Grace Lutheran Church
- Tickets are free to the public (with donations accepted) but must be reserved ahead of time at azantonia.eventbrite.com
- For more information visit www.risingyouththeatre.org