THE MOST EXCELLENT (AND BUSTED) BATTLE Set for Reading at Playwrights on March 7

The newest piece from playwright, actor and hip hop artist Psalmayene 24 , THE MOST EXCELLENT (AND BUSTED) BATTLE, will be presented in an industry reading on Friday March 7th at Playwrights Horizons. Book and Lyrics are by DC Based Psalmayene 24, Music is by DJ Nick tha 1da and it is directed by Wendy C. Goldberg, the Artistic Director of the National Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center.

The reading will feature actors Segun Akande, Bobby Moreno, Deonna Bouye, Chandra Thomas, Calvin Leon Smith, Brian Quijada and Warner Miller. The reading is an UrbanLab Experiment. UrbanLab, founded in 2005 in Washington DC has previously developed THRASH (seen at Arena Stage's Downstairs Program and The O'Neill), conceived by commissioned by Arielle Tepper

THE MOST EXCELLENT (AND BUSTED) BATTLE is a new American musical that uses the birth of the 1990's East Coast/West Coast rap feud as the backdrop for a love story between a ghostwriter for a west coast label and a new vocalist with an east coast label. Inspired by the classic musical West Side Story, this "remix" uses rap, breakdancing, a live DJ, and live musicians to elegantly bridge the gap between traditional musical theater and contemporary hip-hop culture. With original music in the contrasting styles of 1990's West Coast/East Coast rap, THE MOST EXCELLENT (AND BUSTED) BATTLE creates a new theatrical experience that, at once, feels familiar and fresh. About the Creative Team: Wendy C. Goldberg is in her tenth season as Artistic Director of the National Playwrights Conference at The O'Neill. Directing credits include TRIBES multiple productions for Arena Stage, Actors Theater of Louisville, Alliance Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Denver Center, Goodman Theatre, Guthrie Theatre, and Paper Mill Playhouse, among many others. Ms. Goldberg is represented on Broadway with Rock of Ages where she served as Creative Advisor. Her collaborations with hip hop artists include: Idris Goodwin's HOW WE GOT ON (Humana Festival of New American Plays), VICTORY JONES AND THE INCREDIBLE ONE WOMAN BAND (Workshop for Denver Center), Matt Schatz's DUNKFEST 88 (Arts Nova). In addition, Wendy is currently developing and directing a new hip hop musical with Big Block Theatrical. This year, Wendy will receive UCLA's School of Theater, Film and Television's Distinguished Alumni Award and speak at graduation. Psalmayene 24 (a.k.a. Gregory Morrison) is a playwright, actor, and director. Originally from Brooklyn, New York, he currently resides in Silver Spring, Maryland. He has received playwriting commissions from The African Continuum Theater Company, Arena Stage and Imagination Stage. His one man play, Free Jujube Brown! is published in the first Hip-Hop Theater anthology, Plays from the Boom-Box Galaxy: Theater from the Hip-Hop Generation (TCG). His play Journey to the Door of No Return... has received workshops and readings at Arena Stage and Penumbra Theater and was selected to be a part of the Black Women Playwrights' Group's Cyber Narrative Project in partnership with M.I.T. and George Mason University. His play Cinderella: The Remix (the final play in his Hip-Hop Children's Trilogy) will premiere at Imagination Stage this April and tour to The New Jersey Performing Arts Center in June. Mr. 24 and his work have been supported by the Walt Disney Corporation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Maryland State Arts Council, and the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities. Nick Hernandez aka Nick Tha 1da is a hip-hop producer, performer & educator from Baltimore, MD. He has produced for local and national artists since 2003. He has successfully competed in music competitions such as Red Bull Big Tune/iStandard, & is an avid dollar bin record collector. Additionally, Nick scored the independent film Loose Change 9/11 [directed by Dylan Avery], Paige In Full [Flashpoint DC] and The Hip-Hop Children's Trilogy [Imagination Stage] with Psalmayene 24. Tha 1da has also produced segments for The Kennedy Center, The Peter Rosenberg Show [Hot 97], Vanity Fair, Fox News, & various media outlets
THE MOST EXCELLENT (AND BUSTED) BATTLE is an UrbanLab Experiment. UrbanLab, founded in 2005 in Washington DC has previously developed THRASH (seen at Arena Stage's Downstairs Program and The O'Neill), commissioned by Arielle Tepper, conceived by Wendy C. Goldberg and written by Wendy MacLeod. THRASH teamed Goldberg and MacLeod with DC skateboarder Mark Nichols.

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