I take for granted in any moment of consciousness that the things running through my head are filtered through a moderate lens that most people could identify with or at least not disagree.
But, that’s not always true.
While I am grateful that my friends and I regularly hold each another accountable to check our privilege as white lower middle class citizens, the truth is that I see and feel the world differently because I have never been targeted or oppressed because of my skin pigment. Now, I’ve experienced harassment, discrimination in the workplace, and personal violation as a woman, but I can recognize that in many ways those things still do not compare.
Hype Man: a break beat play, directed by Jess McLeod, takes the audience on a journey of racial revelation, challenging everyone to self-identify the character whose perspective is closest to their own, and to consider how to shift the way you see things if needed to absorb the truth within the narrative: that life is not the same for all races, even among multiple races growing up in the same neighborhoods with the same means, or lack thereof.
It’s just a fact of the world. One that cannot be allowed to remain factual in the future.
We follow the journey of three break out hip hop artists meshing their skills to create art that will elevate them from their humble origins, but the journey to stardom takes a detour when actions in response to issues of race force introspection. The hype man, Verb, played by Mykele Deville, won’t let demons lie. The front man, Pinnacle, played by Shane Kenyon, doesn’t want anything to get in the way of rising above the rubble. The mixer, Peep One, played by Angelica Santiago, feels tensions in the truth from both sides. They dance around each other swirled in burdened beats in a fast paced interactive experience that will make you a better citizen, if you let it, and make you uncomfortable as hell if you wont. Which will also make you better in the long run, if you ask me.
Get down to Actors Theatre of Louisville now through October 13th to see Hype Man: a break beat play on stage in the Victor Jory Theatre. Tickets will sell out. Don’t miss your chance to let the rhythm move you.