Red Black and Green: a blues
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This performance is part of the Innovative Arts Package.


red, black & GREEN: a blues

by Marc Bamuthi Joseph for The Living Word Project
Directed by Michael John Garcés
Executive Producer: MAPP International Productions

A hybrid-theatre production about race, class, culture and the environment

Saturday, November 9, 7:30 p.m.

red, black & GREEN: a blues is a visceral, interactive and moving work that employs spoken-word poetry, storytelling, music, dance and movement to bring the stories and voices of black America into the center of a conversation about race, class, culture and the environment.

In performances ranging from deeply sad to hilariously funny, new and inspiring definitions of sustainability emerge from tales of survival and the complex beauty and struggle of human interdependence. We visit four seasons and four cities in a quest to understand the challenges of "browning the green movement." The four cast members lead us through urban realities as they unfold in shotgun houses, subway cars, park benches and father-son conversations. This poignant line from the script sums up the issues explored in the production:

"I ask a mother about environment, and she tells me of guns, of emotionally disabled boys whose green movement consists of recycling the sorry narrative of black-on-black crime."

The interactive stage set/installation designed by contemporary art star Theaster Gates is a full character in the piece, and vivid films by Eli Jacobs Fantauzzi bring the outside world into the theater. Additional collaborators include artists from Joseph's previous highly acclaimed work the breaks — choreographer Stacey Printz; musician and composer Tommy Shepherd; lighting designer James Clotfelter; and media designer David Szlasa. Joseph is joined onstage in the performance by Shepherd, dancer/actor Traci Tolmaire, and vocalist Yaw. Also joining the team is costume designer Mai-Lei Pecorari.

This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Art Works.

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Sustainability Expo

Saturday, Nov. 9, 6-7 p.m.
The Lied Center and the KU Center for Sustainability are inviting any program, business, club, or organization that has programs relating to sustainability issues to take part. These may include: renewable energy, alternative transportation, sustainable & local agriculture, social justice, as well as any other programs that relate. Learn more.

Marc Bamuthi Joseph

Marc Bamuthi Joseph, writer of red, black & GREEN: a blues, graced the cover of Smithsonian Magazine after being named one of America's Top Young Innovators in the Arts and Sciences. Joseph is one of the founders of the Living Word Project, a theater company "committed to producing literary performance in the verse of our time." As art director, Joseph works with writers between the ages of 19-25 and is responsible for overseeing the development of the company's aesthetic.

"It is a hard and obvious truth that people of color are under-represented in the environmental movement. It is also a hard and obvious truth that violent crime and poor education pose more of an imminent danger to most poor neighborhoods than environmental crisis. I personally am of the belief that the movement for social change and environmental accountability are one and the same, that focusing on steps to sustain the planet ultimately forces us to envision a pathway to sustaining humanity." — Marc Bamuthi Joseph