Flow is Will Power’s percussive look at one urban community and its seven storytellers, who gossip and riff, declare and reveal, showing off their neighborhood through its stories, from trivial to tragic. Backed by a live DJ and unfolding in rhythm and rhyme, Flow is a call and response through history, from the griot tradition to the next artists who will make the tradition for their times.
On June 2, DC Public Library and Studio Theatre hosted a conversation with members of Flow’s creative team. Hear from director Psalmayene 24, actor Justin Weaks, sound designer DJ Nick tha 1da, and choreographer Tony Thomas for a discussion about the making of the show, the legacy and life of hip-hop theatre, and the role of storytellers in their communities.
Psalmayene 24 is an award-winning director, playwright, and actor. Directing credits include Native Son by Nambi E. Kelley at Mosaic Theater Company, Word Becomes Flesh (recipient of five 2017 Helen Hayes Awards, including Outstanding Direction of a Play) by Marc Bamuthi Joseph at Theater Alliance, and The Shipment by Young Jean Lee at Forum Theatre. He has received commissions from the African Continuum Theatre Company, Arena Stage, Imagination Stage, The Kennedy Center, Theater Alliance, Solas Nua, Mosaic Theater Company, and Theatrical Outfit. His one-man play, Free Jujube Brown!, is published in the anthology, Plays from the Boom Box Galaxy: Theater from the Hip-Hop Generation (TCG).
(As of June 2020)
Justin Weaks returns to Studio after appearing in last season’s production of Pipeline and Curve of Departure during the 2017-2018 season. Selected local credits include BLKS, Gloria, and Describe the Night at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company; Fences at Ford’s Theatre; Long Way Down at The Kennedy Center; Gem of the Ocean at Round House Theatre; The Christians at Theater J; Word Becomes Flesh and Still Life with Rocket at Theater Alliance; and Charm at Mosaic Theater Company. Additional regional and New York credits include work with Ensemble Studio Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Shakespeare & Company, and Barter Theatre. Justin received a Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor and Ensemble (Word Becomes Flesh at Theater Alliance) and holds an additional three nominations for his work. He is a teaching artist in the DMV area and a company member at Woolly Mammoth. He holds a BA in Theatre from Greensboro College.
(As of February 2021)
Nick "tha 1da" Hernandez is a sample-based producer, DJ, and artist. He has produced original compositions for Long Way Down at The Kennedy Center, The Hip-Hop Children's Trilogy with playwright Psalmayene 24 at Imagination Stage, Fences at Ford's Theatre, Native Son and Les Deux Noir at Mosaic Theater Company, Word Becomes Flesh (Helen Hayes Award, Outstanding Production) at Theater Alliance, and Havana Hop and All The Way Live! with sibling Paige Hernandez at Discovery Theater. Additionally, Nick has produced compositions and projects for Hot 97 FM, Red Bull Music, Netflix, DC Public Library, Arena Stage, Smithsonian Associates, and Words Beats & Life Inc. On social media at @nicktha1da.
(As of February 2021)
Tony Thomas is an independent artist working a wide range of arts and entertainment mediums. His credits include Pass Over and P.Y.G. or the Misedumacation of Dorian Belle at Studio, Native Son at Mosaic Theater Company, Caucasian Chalk Circle and Aida at Constellation Theatre Company, and The Freshest Snow Whyte and You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown at Imagination Stage. He was nominated for Outstanding Choreography by the Helen Hayes Awards in 2019 for P.Y.G. at Studio and in 2016 for Word Becomes Flesh at Theatre Alliance. Performance credits include West Side Story (Tio) National Tour, Guys & Dolls, and A Chorus Line (2014 Helen Hayes Award, Outstanding Musical Production) at Olney Theatre Center. He currently serves as Head of Dance and Artistic Supervisor (Pre-Professional Program) at Adventure Theatre MTC, sits on the board and dance faculty with Ngoma Center for Dance, and actively leads numerous workshops and coaching circuits. Tony Thomas Designs was developed in 2004, featuring Tio Diaz Studio as a premiere design house in Interior Architecture and Creative Direction.
(As of February 2021)