Will Power's 'Honey Bo' to Tour San Diego-Area Schools

La Jolla Playhouse will once again take theatre to the schools of San Diego with its latest incarnation of the Performance Outreach Program (POP) Tour: Honey Bo and the Gold Mine. Commissioned by the Playhouse, hip-hop theatre innovator Will Power has created a new play especially for the youth of San Diego County.

"The Performance Outreach Program strives to unite the leading artists of today with the children who will become the leaders, artists and thinkers of tomorrow. Each year La Jolla Playhouse commissions an established or emerging playwright to write a 50-minute play geared toward young audiences in second through sixth grades. This new work is given a workshop with an accomplished director, professional actors and a Playhouse dramaturg. The script is then polished, the actors are rehearsed and the production goes on to tour schools and theatres in the community for six to eight weeks during the winter," state La Jolla notes.

"Ever since Des (McAnuff) and I saw Will Power perform a few years ago, we've been trying to get him to work at the Playhouse," says Shirley Fishman, Associate Artistic Director and POP Tour Dramaturg. "He is widely known as a hip-hop pioneer and an incredibly dynamic performer, but he is also an uplifting, inspiring storyteller who uses verse, DJ-mixed music and movement to tell truths about the world we live in. I can't imagine a more exciting artist to write for the children of San Diego."

"Power has created his own style of theatrical communication, fusing original music, rhymed language and dynamic choreography to produce compelling work. His adaptation of the Greek tragedy Seven Against Thebes, re-titled The Seven, recently completed a successful Off Broadway run at the New York Theater Workshop and will be presented as part of La Jolla Playhouse's 2007 season. Captivating audiences nationwide with his fresh, award-winning work as a rapper, actor, educator and playwright, Will Power developed his love for rhythm and rhyme at a very young age. He grew up in the 1980s in the predominantly black Fillmore district of San Francisco, where he fell in love with breakdancing and the power of words and theatre.

Power received the prestigious 2006 TCG Peter Zeisler Memorial Award, a 2005 Joyce Award, a 2005 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, a 2004 Jury Award for Best Theatre Performance at the HBO US Comedy Arts Festival and a 2004 Drama Desk nomination for Best Solo Performance.

Power's commission for the POP Tour, titled Honey Bo and the Gold Mine, is the adventurous tale of how a young girl finds the courage to create community and effect change. Honey Bo is just 13, but she's got the weight of the world on her shoulders. An unscrupulous land developer is threatening to bulldoze her San Diego neighborhood, and it's up to Honey Bo to find a way to save her home. In this original hip-hop musical adventure, Honey Bo travels to the Haunted Gold Mine, battling misers, soulless soul singers and her own fears to discover the gold within herself."

Honey Bo and the Gold Mine is directed by Rebecca Lynn Brown, who recently directed the World Premiere of Lynne Alvarez's Esperanza Rising at the Children's Theatre Company of Minneapolis.

Honey Bo and the Gold Mine will tour schools and community centers around San Diego County January 22 – March 11, 2007. Public performances at La Jolla Playhouse will be held Saturdays, March 3 and March 10, 2007 at 10:30 am and 1:00 pm and Sundays, March 4 and March 11, 2007 at 1:00 pm and 3:30 pm.

For schools that are unable to afford to book the POP Tour, the Adopt-A-School program was created to give individuals the opportunity to help subsidize the cost involved in bringing the POP Tour to schools. To donate to the Adopt-A-School program, contact Kristin King for more information at 858.550.1070 x117 or kking@ljp.org.

Call the Playhouse box office at 858.550.1010 to purchase tickets. Tickets are $12 for adults, $9 for children (ages 13 and under), seniors and La Jolla Playhouse subscribers.

Visit www.ljp.org for more information on the La Jolla Playhouse.

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