2012-13 Season 10

Word Becomes Flesh

by Marc Bamuthi Joseph

Mar 22 - 24, 2013

Special Limited Engagement
In Association with the Atlas Performing Arts Center

Acclaimed artist Marc Bamuthi Joseph leads a talented collective of performers through spoken word, dance, djing, and visuals reflecting a young single father’s thoughts and emotions in anticipation of his unborn son. As women continue to live out the pro-life vs. pro-choice debate, men live out their social right between committing to fatherhood vs. absenteeism from responsibility. Word Becomes Flesh critically and lyrically examines this domestic phenomenon within the constructs of the hip-hop culture.

Cast

Dahlak Brathwaite
Daveed Diggs
Khalil Anthony
Michael Wayne Turner III
B. Yung

Press

What They Say

“A dynamite blend of spoken word, dancing, singing, and DJ skills.”

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DC Theatre Scene

“Above and beyond the fearless presentation, the words and rhymes themselves are awesome – in the literal sense of the word – they inspire awe.”

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DC Metro Theater Arts

Word Becomes Flesh Outreach

Our Goal
To open this performance to as many young men as possible, to speak to the next generation of fathers, and to welcome their voices to the discussion.

The Effort
We gave away 120 tickets to students from 8 universities and 17 organizations that support public school students, primarily young African American men.

We held talk-backs following each performance with the actors of Word Becomes Flesh.

We held a workshop with 20 Howard University an Duke Ellington students and the actors of Word Becomes Flesh.  Through discussion,writing, and spoken word projects, they explored the performing arts as a tool for voicing their opinions, concerns, sense of identity, and calls for change.  After a dinner break, Professor Eric Ruffin facilitated a private discussion with our young artists about the lessons they learned from their own fathers, present or absent, and what they would say to their own unborn sons if they could.  The combination of the artistic workshop and a very open human discussion about the subject matter of the play formed a powerful precursor to the performance itself.

The Reaction
“Amazing! Words Becomes Flesh brought enlightenment to the taboo subject of black fathers. Yes, present, conscious and feeling images of black men were shown. This did not only empower my peers and I, but spoke volumes to the diverse audience breaking stereotypes and misconceptions. The production was entertaining and powerful and so were the workshops. Students were able to listen to other artist, and grow, we shared experience and realized that it is more important to work and find our similarities than our differences. As a young playwright, I was motivated to write, to speak my truths to the world and touch another soul.”
— Maleke Glee, Howard University ’16

Moving Forward
We formed a strong relationship with Eric Ruffin, Howard University, and Duke Ellington during this process.  We are in discussion with Eric about potential devised work that these young men might create in order to further explore their initial work with the Word Becomes Flesh artists.  Stay tuned.

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