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Will Power brings "Hip Hop Creation" to Kalamazoo

March 17, 2006

KALAMAZOO--University Theatre presents seven performances of "Hip Hop Creation," March 23 through April 2 at the Multiform Theatre in Western Michigan University's Gilmore Theatre Complex.

Performances are set for 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, March 23-25 and March 30-April 1, and 2 p.m. Sunday, April 2. An opening night reception sponsored by TCBY Downtown will take place after the March 23 performance.

New York director and spoken word artist Will Power has brought the magic of hip-hop theatre to Kalamazoo. Collaborating with a talented group of University Theatre actors and designers, Power is in residency to mold "Hip Hop Creation," a brand new theatre piece that centers on rhymed

"Hip Hop Creation" is an upbeat play about growing up in the 21st century, with intersecting characters who struggle to break free of their parents' world. They share their joys and fears to the accompaniment of live musicians in a story that parents and children alike can appreciate.

Hip-hop theatre is a relatively new phenomenon blending theatre traditions with popular culture, and Power is perhaps its best-know practicioner. He has been lauded for his hip-hop adaptation of Aeschylus' "Seven Against Thebes," currently running at The New York Theater Workshop, and for his original work "Flow," which was the hit in New York City in 2003. He grew up in San Francisco, and attended the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University.

The cast of Hip Hop Creation includes: WMU seniors Jessica Bocade, Joel Gelman, Rusty Northrup and J. Steadman; juniors Ghafir Akbar and Sharmaine McGinnis; and freshmen Kim Krane and Bianca Washington. The creative team includes students Ellen Rouleau, stage manager; Drew Phillips, scenic designer; Zac Law, lighting and sound designer; and Julia Kosanovich, costume designer. WMU multimedia specialist Kevin Abbott will contribute digital imagery to the production.

Tickets for "Hip Hop Creation" may be purchased by calling (269) 387-6222 or visiting the University Theatre Ticket Office weekdays noon to 5 p.m. Box offices at Miller Auditorium and the Epic Center also sell tickets to University Theatre productions.

The 2005-06 University Theatre season is made possible through a partnership with the Millennium Restaurant Group.

Media contact: Patrick Donnelly, (269) 387-6222, patrick.donnelly@wmich.edu

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