New Manifest Theatre Company Launches Inaugural Season With Regional Premiere

New Manifest Theatre Company brings killer rhymes, humor and heart to Austin's Mastrogeorge Theatre with the regional premier of Idris Goodwin's The Realness (a break beat play). The production, directed by Simone Alexander, runs from January 17 - 26, 2019.

The Realness is a coming-of-age love story set to the beat of hip hop history. The play tackles questions about authenticity and class collision in 1996. Idris Goodwin's script seamlessly shifts between dialogue, rap, and spoken word poetry. "He's created such a specific world for the characters to grow and strive in," Artistic Director Simone Alexander said, "Goodwin is a writer whose intention and style leap off the page."

Sound designer Malyssa Quiles incorporates both '90s hip hop and orchestral soundscapes into the production. The break beat rhythms surge like a 2pac rap while the atmospherics float like a cinematic soundtrack. "This play is almost like a movie in that there's a lot of music," Quiles said, "But it also focuses on real world sounds."

Music is an integral part to the production. Scenic designer Nehemiah Alexander incorporates large speakers into the minimalistic set and features hanging platforms full of graffiti and murals. With the help of local Austin street artists, the set takes on the bustling atmosphere of 1996 city life. The intimate space only seats 35 people, so audiences feel the energy from every angle.

Portions of the set will be included in a silent auction, so audience members have the opportunity to take home the murals after the run of the production. The auction will also feature several pieces from Austin's best muralists and street artists. Food and drinks are available for a donation.

The Realness (a break beat play) plays at 8 pm on January 17 - 19 and 24 - 26 at The Mastrogeorge Theatre, 130 Pedernales Street Suite 318B. The show runs for 90 minutes with no intermission. Tickets cost $20 for general admission and $15 for students, seniors, veterans, and artists. VIP tickets are available for $30 and include premium seating and one drink. Tickets can be purchased at the door or online at newmanifest.org.

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