Monday, December 8, 2008

Remy Bumppo's thinkTank "American Ethnic"

This spring, Remy Bumppo's thinkTank returns for its third year. thinkTank features dramatic works with a focus on provoking timely conversation about a social, political or economic issue in which Chicago citizens have a stake.

We are pleased to announce the cast and topic of American Ethnic - the third annual production of thinkTank. This year's presentation features three nationally recognized spoken word artists - Idris Goodwin, Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai, and Usman Ally - who will collaborate on an original work combining hip-hop, spoken word and theater aesthetics to examine the mass media's role in perpetuating cultural norms surrounding race and gender. This world premiere production will be directed by Nick Sandys.

Tickets go on sale in January.

Click here for videos, podcasts, and more.

Idris Goodwin is an award winning hip hop playwright, break beat poet, recording artist and teacher committed to making work that incites, inspires, and engages. The National Endowment for the Arts awarded Idris a Playwright-in-Residence grant to explore hip-hop aesthetics in theater. Idris' break beat poetry was featured on HBO's "Def Poetry Jam" as well as the Spoken Word Revolution Redux Anthology. Idris frequently teaches and lectures at institutions across the country on themes of art and activism.

Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai is a Chicago-born, Brooklyn-based, Chinese Taiwanese American spoken word artist who has given over 275 performances worldwide in notable venues like the Nuyorican Poets Café, House of Blues, Apollo Theater in Harlem, Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, and three seasons on HBO's "Def Poetry Jam." Current projects include her recently released CD "Infinity Breaks" and her solo show "The Grieving Room."

Usman Ally A Pakistani national who was born and raised in Southern and Eastern Africa for 18 years, Usman made his Chicago theatre debut in Tranquility Woods at Steppenwolf Theater Company. His one man show Public Enemy was featured in Remy Bumppo's thinkTank last season. He has appeared in productions at Victory Gardens Theater, Lookingglass Theatre, and A Red Orchid Theatre. He is founder of One Nation, the first Hip Hop Theatre troupe at University of Florida.

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