HYPE MAN: A BREAK BEAT PLAY Opens 2019-2020 Season At Actors Theatre
Actors Theatre of Louisville and Artistic Director Robert Barry Fleming announce the upcoming production of Hype Man: a break beat play on stage in the Victor Jory Theatre from September 11-October 13, 2019. Jess McLeod will direct the play by Idris Goodwin, with beats and original composition by Louisville-based collective Rhythm Science Sound (artists Scz and Yared Sound). Tickets are available at ActorsTheatre.org.
Hip-hop artist Pinnacle and his back-up rapper, Verb, have been laying down tracks together since childhood. Add the skills of genius beatmaker Peep One and a television appearance to the mix, and their group might finally have it made. But when local police shoot an unarmed black teen, Verb feels called to respond-raising questions about whether it's the trio's responsibility as artists to speak out for justice.
Playwright Idris Goodwin (How We Got On, And In This Corner: Cassius Clay) shares, "Hype Man, as part of my 'break beat play' series, brings the energy and rhythm of hip-hop in its live form into the theatre space. Hip-hop was birthed from marginalized communities as an alternative to violence but along its swift commercial ascent, things grew complicated. Hype Man asks if those who use hip-hop have a responsibility to honor its roots in the struggle."
"This story is meant to motivate each of us to think about the actions we can take, the power we each have to help each other and heal this community. These characters ask us to understand that the issues facing any one of us are really affecting all of us. I know Louisville is beginning to ask those questions, so Hype Man is right on time."
Chicago-based rapper, actor and poet Mykele Deville will play rapper Verb. Deville's fourth album, Maintain, a response to the current political and social divide in America, premiered exclusively on Billboard. Shane Kenyon (alum of The Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, Studio Theatre, whose on-screen credits include Chicago Med and Chicago P.D.) will play frontman Pinnacle. Angelica Santiago will play beatmaker Peep One; Santiago was most recently on stage at Kentucky Shakespeare and as an acting apprentice with the 2018-2019 Actors Theatre Professional Training Company.
The creative team features scenic design by Sara Clement, lighting design by Lee Fiskness, costume design by Melissa Ng, sound design by Patrick Bley and movement direction by Steffan Clark.
Performances will run from September 11-October 13. Actors Theatre is committed to providing an accessible theatregoing experience and offers an open-captioned performance (September 28), a sensory-friendly performance (October 5) and an audio-described performance (October 6).
Large print and braille programs are always available at Coat Check. Supplemental materials are also available for audience members to familiarize themselves with the characters and events of the play, including moments that might be intense or surprising. Sensory packets with fidgets and noise-cancelling headphones will also be available. For more information on our facilities and all services offered, visit ActorsTheatre.org/Accessibility.
Tickets are now on sale to the public and are priced from $35. Tickets can be purchased by calling The Actors Theatre Box Office at 502.584.1205 or online at ActorsTheatre.org. Special ticket rates for groups of 10 or more are available by calling 502.585.1210.
Hype Man: a break beat play is made possible in part by series sponsor Brown-Forman, the Kentucky Arts Council and Fund for the Arts. Additionally, Actors Theatre's educational outreach for Hype Man: a break beat play is made possible by Yum! Brands Foundation and their sponsorship of Actors Theatre's Student Matinee Series.