Photo Flash: History of the Word

The Vineyard Theatre and Queens Theatre in the Park are presenting the New York premiere of History of the Word - a multi-cultural play about the urban high school experience - written by Ben Snyder (New York Stage and Film, NYC's Hip Hop Theater Festival), and featuring the poetry/spoken word of NYC high school students.  

History of the Word, directed by award-winning actor/director Joe Morton (TV's "Eureka," Broadway's ART, Raisin and Hair), is presented through March 3 at Washington Irving High School (40 Irving Place at E. 17th Street) and from March 7 through 10 at LaGuardia Performing Arts Center at LaGuardia Community College (31-10 Thompson Avenue, Long Island City). 

"Inspired by poetry commissioned from six of the country's most talented spoken word poets and hip-hop artists, History of the Word follows four students over a single day in an urban high school as they struggle with identity, and through writing and expressing themselves, move toward empowerment and acceptance.  The play explores questions of body-image, cultural identity, violence, the war in Iraq, single-parent families, teenage pregnancy, racial tension, and the power of the word," as the show is described in press notes.  History of the Word will be presented in conjunction with an extensive educational curriculum featuring in-school poetry workshops at Washington Irving High School and at high schools in Queens.  In those schools, students will create their own spoken word poetry, some of which will be incorporated into the script during performances of the play at their schools.   

The cast of History of the Word features Utkarsh Ambudkar, Lauren Birriel, David Deblinger, Britton Jones, and Cedric Sanders.  

Visit for tickets and more information.

Photos by Carol Rosegg

Britton Jones, David Deblinger, and Cedric Sanders

Utkarsh Ambudkar and Lauren Birriel

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