Award-winning Hip Hop Poet Marc Bamuthi Joseph’s Word Becomes Flesh Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Award-winning hip hop poet Marc Bamuthi Joseph’s powerful Word Becomes Flesh returns to Chicago, re-invented with an ensemble cast from a new generation, in a one-night-only performance, at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts Performance Hall at the University of Chicago, 915 E. 60th Street, Tuesday, August 6, at 7:30 p.m. Featuring a series of performed letters to an unborn son, Word Becomes Flesh uses spoken word, dance and live music to document nine months of pregnancy from a young single father’s perspective.
Word Becomes Flesh fuses tender stories, playful wit and, at times, purposeful rage to give voice to complexities and contradictions surrounding race and gender in America. With deep honesty and raw physicality, the play integrates hip-hop theatre and contemporary dance performance to deconstruct black male identity in the 21st century. Word Becomes Flesh critically, lyrically and choreographically shares one man’s experience of fatherhood—and in doing so examines the legacy of patriarchy and male privilege, the continuum between fathers and sons, and the relationships of women and men. Together these narratives confront the intersection between the reality and the mythology of the black male body—from the cotton field to the athletic field and all spaces in between
Originally created in 2003 by Bamuthi Joseph, who performed the work as a solo piece at the Museum of Contemporary Art in 2006, Word Becomes Flesh is as meaningful as ever. It has been recreated for a cast of six by The Living Word Project, the resident theater company of Youth Speaks Inc., a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization seeking to empower the youth through art, mostly theater and spoken-word. Written and directed by Marc Bamuthi Joseph, the work is written and performed here by Dahlak Brathwaite, Daveed Diggs, Dion Decibels, Chicago native Khalil Anthony, Michael Turner and Carvens Lissant.
Notably, this one-night-only engagement launches Youth Speaks’ 16th Annual Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival, taking place at the Logan Center and in Chicago, August 7-11. A portion of the ticket proceeds from Word Becomes Flesh will benefit the festival. For more information on Youth Speaks or the Brave New Voices International Youth Poetry Slam Festival, visit http://youthspeaks.org.
Ticket information: Marc Bamuthi Joseph’s Word Becomes Flesh will be performed at the Logan Center for the Arts Performance Hall, 915 E. 60th Street, Tuesday, August 6, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets, priced at $25 ($15 for under 21, with ID), may be purchased online atticketsweb.uchicago.edu, at the Logan Center box office, or by calling 773.702.ARTS (2787).