On Wednesday (Oct. 4), theater director Roberta Uno and writer-performer-musician Dahlak Brathwaite will be at CalArts to present and discuss Brathwaite's current work-in-progress Try/Step/Trip (formerly Spiritrials).
Uno and Brathwaite, who worked with CalArts students last year on the piece, will continue developing Try/Step/Trip during a two-week residency this month with CalArts Center for New Performance, the professional producing arm of California Institute of the Arts. The hip-hop infused play draws from Brathwaite's music, which combines poetic verse and dialogue.
In Try/Step/Trip, addiction, religion, and the law intersect at a state sponsored rehabilitation program. The piece examines the factors that have misplaced young Black men in a rite of passage through the criminal justice system, chronicling the journey of criminalization and the struggle for vindication and decriminalization in the eyes of the law and society.
In addition to her work as a theater director, Uno is also the Director of Arts in Changing America, a five-year project on changing demographics and the arts based at CalArts. Brathwaite is a writer, educator, actor, and musician who performs and writes for the transformational space of the theater.
CalArtians working on Try/Step/Trip include performers Jasmine Gatewood (Theater MFA 18), Derek Jackson (Theater BFA 20), Frederick Ramsey Jr. (Theater MFA 18), Dante Rossi (Theater BFA 19) and Max Udell (Theater BFA 18).
The production team includes:
Choreographer: Toran Moore (Theater MFA 17);
Scenic Designer: Bora Lee (Theater MFA 19);
Lighting Designer: Bri Pattillo (Theater MFA 19);
Sound Designer: Malik Pauldon (Theater MFA 18);
Venue Managaer: Xiaoyue Zhang (Theater BFA 20);
Stage Manager: Ceton Tate (Theater MFA 18);
Assistant Sound Designer: Tanaporn Sangmanee (Theater BFA 21);
Assistant Stage Manager: Leann Dunn (Theater BFA 20); and
Producers: Megan E. Carter (Faculty) and Sophie Blumberg (Theater BFA 20).