This Friday and Saturday only! Marc Bamuthi Joseph is back in New York for the first time since his highly acclaimed solo work Word Becomes Flesh dazzled audiences at Dance Theater Workshop last year!

Through the lens of hip-hop theater comes a powerful look at what it means to be Haitian – and American – in the 21st century.

651 ARTS and
Marc Bamuthi Joseph/
The Living Word Project
Fri. & Sat. | June 8, 9 | 8pm

Kumble Theater for the Performing Arts

LIU Brooklyn Campus, Flatbush Ave (btwn DeKalb and Willoughby)

Tickets: $20, $15 (students, seniors, DTW members)

Call 718-488-1624 |

“[Marc Bamuthi Joseph is] an electrifying performer and a great storyteller.” THE SEATTLE TIMES

Using a powerful fusion of hip-hop, spoken word, live music and movement, acclaimed performer Marc Bamuthi Joseph teams up with choreographers Rennie Harris, Stacey Printz, Adia Whitaker; composer Ajayi Jackson; director Kamilah Forbes; dramaturg Roberta Uno; and young writers from San Francisco’s Youth Speaks, to explore what it means to be Haitian in America today.

In 2004, Haiti celebrated its 200th year as an independent nation – second only to the U.S. in tenure as an independent “new world” nation – yet it languishes as the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. In Scourge, Bamuthi asks: How could Haiti and the U.S. – born of the same revolutionary spirit – spiral so dramatically in opposite directions?

Propelled by the penetrating spoken word poetry of Bamuthi and young writers from Youth Speaks, this full-length hip-hop theater production explores the quintessential American dilemma: how do we sustain meaning from the history and culture of the “old world” even as new generations rush to assimilate into the “new world” of American culture. French/Haitian artist, Maxence Denis’, documentary footage shot in Haiti serves as the backdrop while live musicians and dancers mix beat-box and hip-hop with African-Caribbean rhythms and movement. The result is a production created with a style that traverses genres and epochs, and is a timely collage that examines myth, race, experience and hope.

Marc Bamuthi Joseph is an inaugural USA Rockefeller Fellow, a National Poetry Slam champion, Broadway veteran, featured artist on Russell Simmons’ Def Poetry on HBO and a recipient of 2002 and 2004 National Performance Network Creation commissions. His previous evening-length work, Word Becomes Flesh (2004), was lauded by The New York Times as “remarkable.” Bamuthi has worked extensively with the San Francisco-based Youth Speaks, where he mentors 13 – 18 year old writers and co-curates the Living Word Festival for Literary Arts.

The Living Word Project (LWP) is the resident theater company of Youth Speaks, Inc., a San Francisco-based nonprofit dedicated to helping young people find their “voice” through programs led by experienced poets and writers; presentation opportunities; events and competitions; and collaborative experiences with other young people. LWP creates verse-based work that is spoken through the body, illustrated by visual and sonic scores, and in communication with the important social issues and movements of the immediate moment. Repertory works include No Man’s Land, Cause, Word Becomes Flesh, and Scourge.

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