THE HIP HOPERA OF 5P1N0K10 to Open at La MaMa This Month

'The Hip Hopera of 5P1N0K10' (Spinokio), will perform March 23rd to 26th, at La MaMa.

By: Mar. 10, 2023
THE HIP HOPERA OF 5P1N0K10 to Open at La MaMa This Month

LA MAMA will continue its 61st season with the New York City premiere performance, 'The Hip Hopera of 5P1N0K10,' created by Tarish Pipkins or "Jeghetto" - set to debut as the first production staged in its newly renovated original landmark theatre. Presented as part of its long-running puppet series, 'The Hip Hopera of 5P1N0K10' (Spinokio), will perform March 23rd to 26th, at La MaMa (74 E. 4 St., NYC) as it is announced by Mia Yoo, the company's Artistic Director.

The Club, La MaMa's legendary original venue, has not hosted a performance in five years as it underwent a $24 million renovation. La MaMa is proud to welcome audiences to this family-friendly production of 'The Hip Hopera of 5P1N0K10.' Founded in 1961 by Ellen Stewart, who was known as "Mama" by artists and community members alike, La MaMa is eager to continue its community cultivation efforts with this father and sons' endeavor.

'The Hip Hopera of 5P1N0K10,' by Jeghetto, also features an original score by Hip Hop producer Hir-O. Casting for the production is rounded out by Jeghetto's two sons, Divine Pipkins (age 20), and Tarin Pipkins (age14), as puppeteers.

This multimedia production is an Afrofuturist parable about a robot that longs to be a real boy (based on Collodi's classic 1881 Italian children's novel, "The Adventures of Pinocchio"). With magical marionettes, utilizing music and video, the show spins the story to which its title and Jeghetto's moniker refer into a post-apocalyptic future where the 5P1N0K10 universe takes place.

Created in part with generous funding from the Henson Foundation for two years in a row, the show follows the title character as he encounters various instances of racism, oppression, and police brutality along his journey.

Jeghetto refers to his work as "artivism" - a way to creatively express his views on social justice and give the audience a call to consciousness.

"I don't think politics is the answer; art is the only way to make change in the world," Pipkins says. "You have to get into people's hearts and minds. If you can hear a dope story that relates to you, that's what motivates you to think about your surroundings. People react to stories more than news and politics. Storytelling is my form of activism."

Tarish "Jeghetto" Pipkins is a poet, visual artist, and barber, who was inspired to take up the art of puppetry after a conversation with Fred Rogers of "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood." He chose the stage name "Jeghetto," a portmanteau of Geppetto and ghetto, to reflect his childhood in the projects of Pittsburgh, and their influence on his artistic vision. Using only recycled materials, he has created a world of astonishing 21st-century puppets, which include a dinosaur, a dreadlocked cellist, the Beast, and an Afro-futurist breakdancing android who wants to be a real boy.

Tarish's puppets have appeared alongside such celebrities as Missy Elliot, Pharrell Williams, and Alec Baldwin. Despite his national success, Tarish believes his most important work lies in connecting with a generation of kids who see themselves in his art more fully than they do in solely hip-hop or "Sesame Street." He taught at Durham's Just Right Academy for six years, where he used his puppets to teach social and academic skills to special needs students through creative communication.

'The Hip Hopera of 5P1N0K10; is running at La MaMa's The Club (74 E. 4th Street), March 23-26, with performances on Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 7:30PM; and Sunday at 12PM. Adult Tickets: $30; Students/Seniors: $25; First 10 tickets are $10 (Limit Qty. 2 per person). Ticket prices are inclusive of all fees.

Running time: 45 minutes; appropriate for children 10+

In addition La MaMa will present excerpts from Tarish's 'Puppet Self Portrait' as part of La MaMa Kids for ages 3+ on Saturday, March 25 at noon.

For additional performance and ticket information about The Hip Hopera of 5P1N0K10, visit: www.lamama.org.

About La MaMa

La MaMa is dedicated to the artist and all aspects of the theatre. La MaMa's 61st "Remake A World" Season believes in the power of art to bring sustainable change over time and transform our cultural narrative. At La MaMa, new work is created from a multiplicity of perspectives, experiences, and disciplines, influencing how we think about and experience art. The flexibility of our spaces, specifically the newly reimagined building at 74 East 4th Street (La MaMa's original permanent home), gives our local and remote communities access to expanded daytime programming. The digital tools embedded in the space allow artists to collaborate remotely, and audiences worldwide to participate in La MaMa's programming.

A recipient of the 2018 Regional Theater Tony Award, more than 30 Obie Awards and dozens of Drama Desk, Bessie, and Villager Awards, La MaMa has been a creative home for thousands of artists, and resident companies, many of whom have made lasting contributions to the arts, including Blue Man Group, Bette Midler, Ed Bullins, Ping Chong, Jackie Curtis, André De Shields, Adrienne Kennedy, Harvey Fierstein, Diane Lane, Playhouse of the Ridiculous, Tom Eyen, Pan Asian Rep, Spiderwoman Theater, Tadeusz Kantor, Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, Mabou Mines, Meredith Monk, Peter Brook, David and Amy Sedaris, Julie Taymor, Kazuo Ohno, Tom O'Horgan, and Andy Warhol. La MaMa's vision of nurturing new artists and new work from all nations, cultures, races and identities remains as strong today as it was when Ellen Stewart first opened the doors in 1961.




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