Rising Youth Theatre Presents ANTONIA: A CHICANA, HIP HOP ANTIGONE

Antonia antonia2Rising 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 attendees do need to reserve a ticket online. Tickets can be reserved at www.azantonia.eventbrite.com. On Friday, December 4, local MCs will play a live post show. Saturday, December 5, the play will be held in conjunction with Honest Expression III, a free block party featuring exhibition battles, music, food, live art, cyphers and more. Sunday, December 6, there will be free workshops in the elements of hip hop before the show.
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.
The play will be performed outside, in on Moreland Street between 2nd and 3rd Street, right behind Grace Lutheran Church, in Downtown Phoenix.
For more information visit www.risingyouththeatre.org.

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