Joyce Foundation Awardee

Will Power with Children’s Theatre Company

Children’s Theatre Company

Hip-hop artist Will Power is an actor, rapper, playwright, and educator. Working in the new genre of hip-hop theater, Power is best known for his one man show FLOW, an urban fairy tale that chronicles the lives of seven storytellers and incorporates rap music, rhymed language, and hip-hop choreography. FLOW was chosen as one of the Top 10 Theater Performances for 2003 by The New York Times. Power has performed on Russell Simmons’ Def Poetry Jam, was a featured vocalist with the Jazz group Omar Sosa Sextet, and played the lead in Drylongso, a film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 1999. For his solo work, which includes The Gathering, a hip-hop theater journey to the meeting places of black men, Power received two AUDELCO Awards given for outstanding black plays and performers, and a Trailblazer Award from the National Black Theatre Network.

In 2001, Power was commissioned by Thick Description Theatre Company to write and compose The Seven, a hip-hop adaptation of the Greek tragedy Seven Against Thebes. The Seven was staged at the New York City Hip-Hop Theater Festival and won three Bay Area Critics Circle Awards (presented by the Theater Bay Area organization in San Francisco), including Best Book/Lyrics. The Seven is currently in development for an off-Broadway run in this season.

The Joyce Award enabled the Children’s Theatre Company to commission Power to develop a new play titled Cipher. Stemming from a conversation between Power and a young soldier on his way to Afghanistan, Cipher will tell the story of a young man who packs his Gameboy and goes off to a war with a video game soundtrack, army recruiters, embedded journalists, and offers of a steady income and a secure future.

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