I am a part of a great movement known as the Urban Healing Tour. SInce 2007 I have worked closely with Artistic Director Javier Reyes on a number of projects both onstage and offstage! We have joined forces once again to co-produce the Urban Healing Tour at the world famous Nuyorican Poets Cafe during the first two weekends of May 2012. We are bringing 10 artists from the Bay Area, California to New York City with the sole purpose of creating a united front between artists who are devoted to healing and justice within urban communities across the globe!
TOY SOLDIERZ TO BE PREMIERED MAY 4-6, 11-13 AT THE NUYORICAN POETS CAFE
SPECIAL PERFORMANCE TO BENEFIT NUYORICAN POETS CAFE AND URBAN HEALING TOUR
Oakland, CA – April 22, 2012 – TOY SOLDIERZ, a multimedia production that combines hip hop, theatre, spoken word, music, dance and film has been scheduled for it’s east coast premiere May 4-6/11-13, 2012 at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. TOY SOLDIERZ tells the true story of Devon Johnson, a 4.0 high school student, gunned down on his graduation day. While in a coma state, Devon struggles with the potential loss of his dreams while coming to grips with the person who shot him and learning how to forgive in the process. This special two-week performance will benefit two non-profit organizations, NUYORICAN POETS CAFE and URBAN HEALING TOUR.
Teen violence is a growing epidemic across the nation and young people are being incarcerated in record numbers. TOY SOLDIERZ tackles these issues head on -- with heart, soul, artistry and wisdom. The Nuyorican Poets Cafe, a legendary non-profit community arts organization in Lower Manhattan, is providing the stage and facilities for this unique event.
NUYORICAN POETS CAFE (NPC) and URBAN HEALING PROJECT (UHT) have aligned and overlapping goals. The Cafe's purpose has always been to provide a stage for the artists traditionally under-represented in the mainstream media and culture; promoting their work while building an audience and providing an ongoing support system for them as they grow. UHT is a multimedia hip hop theatre platform that supports productions for social change and community advocacy coupled with arts-based workshops centered around healing and utilizing the arts in the process of recovery and learning to forgive.
Javier Reyes, UHT’s founder and creative director, wrote and directs TOY SOLDIERZ, which is based on the story of his student, Devon Johnson, who lost his life to gun violence. “Forgiveness is the theme of this piece,” says Reyes. “We need to stop the killing and start the healing. Partnering on this special event is the perfect way to display our shared vision of a better, safer future for our community through the arts.”
URBAN HEALING TOUR is a multimedia hip hop theatre platform that supports productions for social change and community advocacy coupled with arts-based workshops centered around healing and utilizing the arts in the process of recovery and learning to forgive. Projects that are produced through UHT integrate the live stage, film/video, music, dance, and spoken word. Initially the tour was a singular project in advocacy against gun violence, but the leadership saw the need and potential for expanding the vision and, in December 2010, renamed the play itself TOY SOLDIERZ serving under the umbrella of the UHT. UHT was created to be appeasing to all audiences; but primarily focuses on low-income, urban audiences particularly youth ages 13-25.
Learn more: HYPERLINK "http://www.urbanhealingtour.org" www.urbanhealingtour.com
Tickets can be purchased at: www.nuyorican.org
To schedule interviews with Javier Reyes, or for further information, please contact Kilusan Bautista, 347- 499- 0554