Break beats first inspired me to write and recite my own raps. Years later, I approach playwriting from the same intuitive place. To this day I let rhythm drive my pen.
August Wilson’s jaw dropping Century Cycle (which presents 100 years of African American life in all its bittersweet glory) moved me to create one of my own. The Break Beat plays explore hip hop’s effect on the poly-cultural American character of the last 40 years. They fuse traditional theatrical tropes with that of hip hop music and performance.
How We Got On is the first play in the series. It’s a coming of age rap drama drawn from my own upbringing in the suburbs of the Midwest. Set in 1988, hip hop music is beginning to infiltrate the American consciousness thanks to a cable show called YO MTV RAPS. Three fifteen year olds, Hank, Julian and Luann are trying to rhyme their way out of their mundane lives. How We Got On utilizes a DJ narrator that treats the scenes of the play as if they were records to be manipulated. There are rap battles in pizza shops and epic monologues from atop water towers.
Read the rest at: http://blog.playscripts.com/blog/2014/01/the-break-beat-plays/