Addiction, religion and the law intersect in a timely and personal exploration of the criminal justice system. Sandglass Theater and Next Stage Arts Project are collaborating to present Dahlak Brathwaite’s Spiritrials on Friday and Saturday, April 8th and 9th at 7pm. Tickets are $25 general admission. 50% off promo codes are available for BIPOC attendees. The performances will take place at Next Stage Arts Project, an accessible theater located right off of I91, exit 4 in the heart of Putney, Vermont. There will also be a special post show discussion hosted by the Root Social Justice Center.
Dahlak Brathwaite’s incisive humor transforms a chilling personal story into a vital performance that layers character-driven storytelling and poetic verse with original songs to create a hybrid hip-hop drama, accompanied by beats from DJ Dion Decibels. Spiritrials chronicles the journey of Brathwaite’s own criminalization along with his struggle to be vindicated and decriminalized in the eyes of the law and society. The piece works through the personal shame of criminal stigmatization to examine the factors—both internal and external—that have misplaced him in what appears to be a cultural rite of passage.
This multidimensional play takes its inspiration and name from Dahlak’s 2013 hip-hop album to create a performance that blurs the lines between hip-hop and dramatic performance.
It’s a powerful and persuasive account of the racism and injustice the War on Drugs has wrought…humorous and poignant. – The Portland Mercury
In the first minute he shows us the problem, and at the one-minute mark, he tears the whole thing down. – UPWORTHY.COM
His presence is breathtaking, and chilling…ripping through your mind with just a microphone. – Sacramento News Review
Dahlak Brathwaite is a multi-faceted hip hop artist. Since launching onto the national spoken word scene by appearing on the last two seasons of HBO’s Russell Simmons’ presents Def Poetry Jam, Dahlak has showcased his seamless blend of hip-hop, theater, and spoken word at over 100 universities throughout the United States and Europe, SXSW, Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Smithsonian, Ars Nova, and Off-Broadway on Theatre Row, NYC. Dahlak has worked closely with Marc Bamuthi Joseph writing and performing in several of Joseph’s critically acclaimed plays, including Word Becomes Flesh – presented at The Public Theater and Lincoln Center. In 2019, Dahlak performed at the Apollo Theatre alongside T.I. and Black Lives Matter founder Alicia Garza in the reading of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between The World and Me (as now seen on HBO), directed by Kamilah Forbes. Since the premiere in 2015, Spiritrials has been performed in 20 cities around the country, including presentations at the prestigious Kennedy Center.
“I’m a writer.
I deal in words.
I create art that is
meant to be heard,
felt through vibrations,
Spiritrials is presented by Sandglass Theater and Next Stage Arts Project, as part of Sandglass Theater’s Voices of Community series. This project is supported in part by Landmark Trust USA, the Putney Food Cooperative, and is made possible in part by funding from the National Performance Network.
For tickets and more information visit nextstagearts.org.