Presented in partnership with Young Chicago Authors, Columbia College Chicago, and the Department of Cultural Affairs Theater
Thursday, May 3, 7:30 and 10 pm
Friday, May 4, 7:30 pm
Saturday, May 5, 7:30 and 10 pm
Sunday, May 6, 2 pm
Tickets $20, MCA members $16, students $10; $5 off each additional show with a ticket to one show
Chicago Stand Up!
Following a torrent of praise and record-breaking attendance in 2006, the Hip-Hop Theater Festival rockets into its second year at the MCA with a perfect pair of headlining theatrical performers and a full bill of related roundtables, staged readings, and local appearances. The final evening of the festival, hosted by south side rapper Rhymefest, features a tribute to breakdancing and b-boy culture with Chicago's own BraveMonk and Awesome Style Konnection / F.E.W.
For more information about the Hip-Hop Theater Festival
Thursday, May 3
Hosted by Brendon Ayanbadejo of the Chicago Bears
7.30 pm: Rha Goddess: Low
In its Chicago debut, Rha Goddess's Low is a major theatrical event. Her trademark style of spoken-word delivery, known as "floetry," permeates this piece about the perils and pitfalls of low self-esteem and clinical depression. Low is a rhythmic and linguistically brilliant performance journeying through a woman's mental struggles and reunion with her spiritual and emotional strengths.
10 pm: Jerry Quickley: Live from the Front
Quickley created this potent piece of poetry during his time reporting from Baghdad as a correspondent for KPFK Radio Pacifica in Los Angeles. His unchained, un-embedded perspective as "the only b-boy in Baghdad" offers a take on the early stages of post 9/11 military action in Iraq that redefines the concept of shock and awe.
Opening night party at Funky Buddha Lounge. Complimentary admission with opening night ticket. Doors open 10 pm; 21 and over only
Friday, May 4
Hosted by MC Capital D of All Natural
7.30 pm: Jerry Quickley: Live from the Front
Saturday, May 5
Shorts: A Night of Excerpted Works
avery r. young and Young Chicago Authors
avery r. young is a local writer, performer, and teaching artist committed to expanding the conversation on gender roles in hip-hop. His poems have been published in the literary journal Callaloo, in addition to the newly released Fingernails Across the Chalkboard. For his new work, me n'em: cullud boi schitz, avery and members of Young Chicago Authors bear witness to black identity and black manhood in a concentrated montage of rhyme and song.
We Got Issues
This bold, empowered all-woman ensemble lifts the entire planet with rhyme and soul. The traveling performance arm of the New York-based Next Wave of Women and Power (NWWP), the group maintains, "We do not push for a political agenda or some sort of program for a specific type of women to feel at home; we welcome the entire population of women. Our stories are our views."
A women's story-telling and singing collective directed by Music Theatre Workshop, the members of Still Fabulous first came together at the Illinois Youth Center in Warrenville. With story and song, Still Fabulous relates experiences from both inside prison and out.
The Life & Times of PIH-POH
Hosted by Rhymefest
Featuring BraveMonk and Awesome Style Konnection / F.E.W.
Sunday, May 6
Rha Goddess: Low
with ASL interpretation for the hearing impaired
Sunday Civics - A performance-driven safe arena for open dialogue and authentic expression about mental health
As part of Sunday's performance by Rha Goddess, audience members are invited to participate in a mental health study that looks at the impact of Low on beliefs about emotional wellbeing.
Interested participants must arrive by 1:15 pm to complete a 15 minute pre-show survey, and stay immediately following the performance to engage in 30 minute community dialogue groups.
Participation in the study and in the discussion groups is completely optional and confidential. It is conducted by City College of City University New York's Program in Clinical Psychology with assistance from the Family Institute of Northwestern University.
ARTISTS UP CLOSE
Staged Reading Series
Tuesday-Wednesday, May 1-2, 7 pm; free
At the Studio Theater at Chicago Cultural Center (77 E Randolph St)
Tuesday: Idris Goodwin: The Wolfman
Wednesday: Congo Square Theater Company: The Actor's Rap
Co-presented with Public Square at the Illinois Humanities Council
Tuesday-Friday, May 1-4; Free and open to the public
Rha Goddess: Tuesday, May 1, 6-7:30 pm at Little Black Pearl (1060 E 47th) and Friday, May 4, 5-6 pm with We Got Issues at Ron's Barber Shop (6041 W North Ave, Oak Park)
We Got Issues: Thursday, May 3, 7-8 pm at Valois (1518 E 53rd) and Friday, May 4, 5-6 pm with Rha Goddess at Ron's Barber Shop (6041 W North Ave, Oak Park)
Jerry Quickley: Wednesday, May 2, 12.30-2.30 pm at the Chicago Cultural Center's Randolph Street Cafe, and 6-8 pm at Southwest Youth Collaborative (6400 S Kedzie)
First Night Postshow Talk
Thursday, May 3
Following her festival-opening performance, Rha Goddess engages the audience in a conversation.
Saturday, May 5, 2 pm; Free
Moderated by Amina Hawkins, President and Co-Founder of Chicago Hip-Hop Initiative, Jerry Quickley and MC Capital D of local hip-hop duo All Natural tackle the topic of Islam and hip-hop while anchoring a structured discussion about tribalism, faith, and how strife is conquerable through live theater and music.
We Got Issues is supported by the National Performance Network Residency Fund. The Residency Fund is sponsored by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation; The Ford Foundation; Altria Group, Inc.; and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Rha Goddess and We Got Issues are supported by a co-sponsorship grant from the Chicago Foundation for Women.