UNIVERSES The Big Bang

ISBN 13: 9781559365086

The Big Bang

 
9781559365086: The Big Bang
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"What these brilliant wordsmiths really do . . . is nothing short of reinventing the multiplicity of mother tongues in which they negotiate their world on a daily basis."—Chicago Sun-Times

"Exuberant, insightful . . . they have created something special, a work of heart and soul that distills the essence of the city."—The New York Times

For nearly twenty years, the fiercely talented theater group UNIVERSES has pioneered a fusion of poetry, jazz, hip-hop, politics, down home blues, and Spanish boleros. Each play in this volume—which includes Ameriville, Slanguage, Party People, The Last Word, Blue Suite and One Shot in Lotus Position—uses its own unique blend of spoken word, poetry, music, and theater elements to convey its tone and story. Touching on subjects of cultural and dialectical diversity in New York City, the effects of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans, and American racial politics, The Big Bang not only challenges the tradition of theater as an art form, but our own perspective on the national climate.

UNIVERSES is an ensemble company of multi-disciplined writers and performers who create moving, challenging and entertaining theatrical works. Their other pieces include Spring Training, The Denver Project, Let Bygones Be, Live from the Edge, and The Ride. UNIVERSES has performed at venues throughout the United States and toured extensively worldwide.

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About the Author:

UNIVERSES is a New York-based ensemble company of multidisciplinary writers and performers who fuse poetry, theatre, jazz, hip hop, politics, blues, and Spanish boleros into their own unique brand of theatre-based performances. The members of UNIVERSES ensemble, Steven Sapp, Mildred Ruiz-Sapp, and William Ruiz (aka Ninja), grew up in the housing projects in New York City and started performing poetry in the spoken-word scene of the late 1990s at venues such as the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. Then they started writing their own plays, including Ameriville, Slanguage, The Ride, The Denver Project, One Shot in Lotus Position, Blue Suite, and Live from the Edge. Their work has been performed at venues around the world, including the Humana Festival and the Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival.

Review:

Praise for Ameriville"

“Rich, strong, and arresting... An intensely politicized and energetic performance collage.” – Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune

“Performance art at its best: unique, pure power with an agit-prop edge. Never preachy, but always compelling, Ameriville fulfills and inspires... So memorable is Ameriville, it leaves less of an impression and more of an imprint.” – Lauren Whalen, Chicago Theater Beat

“With its youthful brio, forward-thinking dramaturgy and out-front politics...the piece is moving, exhilarating, bombastic and badass on its own merits. The performers draw a vivid portrait of post-Katrina New Orleans’s molasses-slow recovery. From there, they expand to encompass some of the major social ills facing the country as a whole, from gentrification to homelessness to fracking, conveying information without ever lecturing. If the picture it paints of our modern country isn’t always pretty, it encourages us to get out our brushes and paint a better one.” – Time Out Chicago

“Deftly weaving humor, song and raw emotion, with an ear for beat poetry and hip-hop, Universes does not shy away from asking uncomfortable questions... Ameriville is sharply poignant, personal and moving.” – Kurt Brighton, Denver Post
Praise for Slanguage:

“Exuberant and insightful...they have created something special, a work of heart and soul that distills the essence of the city." – New York Times

“A headlong explosion of poetry, percussion, and multi-culti musical exploration that absolutely demands to be seen.” – Sandy MacDonald, Boston Globe

“The group's musical sophistication is especially surprising. Blasting through the fractured syntax of New York urban culture, the quintet exhibits the melodic veracity of a seasoned doo-wop group and the contrapuntal percussion of an adroit rhythm section.” – Julio Martinez, Variety

“Call this Stomp for the larynx... Those who have previously dismissed rap and hip-hop as bastardized and anti-intellectual will find Slanguage a captivating glimpse of a much-maligned movement. These eloquent practitioners confirm that modern poetry, so sadly marginalized in recent decades, can still resonate in our contemporary culture.” - Los Angeles Times
Praise for Party People:

“Fast, confrontational, reflective by turns, and packed with music and dance as propulsive as the years when the groups were spawned... Intense, sharply performed scenes alternate with showstopping numbers.” – Robert Hurwitt, San Francisco Gate

“An explosive theatrical event... big, bold, bombastic and particularly provocative... engrossing and entertaining, with conflicts unearthed and exhumed in every nook and cranny.” – Ashland Play Reviews

“A high-energy, vibrant, roller coaster ride.” – Ashland Daily Tidings


Praise for Ameriville"

Rich, strong, and arresting... An intensely politicized and energetic performance collage.” Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune

Performance art at its best: unique, pure power with an agit-prop edge. Never preachy, but always compelling, Ameriville fulfills and inspires... So memorable is Ameriville, it leaves less of an impression and more of an imprint.” Lauren Whalen, Chicago Theater Beat

With its youthful brio, forward-thinking dramaturgy and out-front politics the piece is moving, exhilarating, bombastic and badass on its own merits. The performers draw a vivid portrait of post-Katrina New Orleans’s molasses-slow recovery. From there, they expand to encompass some of the major social ills facing the country as a whole, from gentrification to homelessness to fracking, conveying information without ever lecturing. If the picture it paints of our modern country isn’t always pretty, it encourages us to get out our brushes and paint a better one.” Time Out Chicago

Deftly weaving humor, song and raw emotion, with an ear for beat poetry and hip-hop, Universes does not shy away from asking uncomfortable questions... Ameriville is sharply poignant, personal and moving.” Kurt Brighton, Denver Post
Praise for Slanguage:

Exuberant and insightful they have created something special, a work of heart and soul that distills the essence of the city." New York Times

A headlong explosion of poetry, percussion, and multi-culti musical exploration that absolutely demands to be seen.” Sandy MacDonald, Boston Globe

The group's musical sophistication is especially surprising. Blasting through the fractured syntax of New York urban culture, the quintet exhibits the melodic veracity of a seasoned doo-wop group and the contrapuntal percussion of an adroit rhythm section.” Julio Martinez, Variety

Call this Stomp for the larynx Those who have previously dismissed rap and hip-hop as bastardized and anti-intellectual will find Slanguage a captivating glimpse of a much-maligned movement. These eloquent practitioners confirm that modern poetry, so sadly marginalized in recent decades, can still resonate in our contemporary culture.” - Los Angeles Times
Praise for Party People:

Fast, confrontational, reflective by turns, and packed with music and dance as propulsive as the years when the groups were spawned Intense, sharply performed scenes alternate with showstopping numbers.” Robert Hurwitt, San Francisco Gate

An explosive theatrical event big, bold, bombastic and particularly provocative engrossing and entertaining, with conflicts unearthed and exhumed in every nook and cranny.” Ashland Play Reviews

A high-energy, vibrant, roller coaster ride.” Ashland Daily Tidings

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