A unique approach to awareness and prevention of drug use among young people takes center stage at a special after-school performance of Cranked at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center on Friday, April 12 at 4:00 p.m.
Blending spoken word poetry and hip hop, the 45-minute play is presented by TPAC Education. It tells an intense, personal story about a talented rap artist’s destructive addiction to meth and his struggle to rebuild his life.
Timely and relevant to the widespread use of meth and other drugs in Tennessee, the fast-paced show will be followed by Southern Word’s 2013 Wild Card Semifinal Slam. This event will give local youth poets and spoken word artists a chance to qualify for the Mid-South Grand Slam Finals and a national competition.
Tickets are $8 and may be purchased at the door or by calling (615) 687-4288.
“Green Thumb Theatre, based in Vancouver, has earned a reputation for creating and producing plays that explore social issues head-on. The company has a mission of encouraging young people to discuss their pressures, debate the issues, and think about their personal decisions. It’s extraordinary, influential and effective work,” said Roberta Ciuffo West, Executive Vice President for Education and Outreach. “TPAC Education always presents art that is relevant to the lives and times of the students and teachers we serve. Cranked takes it one step further. This play confronts a serious challenge for children and adults in Tennessee that none of us can afford to ignore. It provides a rare opportunity to raise awareness, start conversations and help prevent drug and alcohol abuse.”
In addition to the after-school performance open to the public, Cranked will be performed in matinees for student audiences through TPAC Education’s annual season for young people.
TPAC Education has worked with a variety of community partners to engage audience members for this performance. The show also has been brought before the Tennessee Legislature as an illustration of how TPAC integrates the arts with learning experiences which are valuable to the education, health, and welfare of the citizens of the state.
Southern Word (formerly known as Youth Speaks Nashville) is a non-profit organization offering creative solutions to youth to build literacy and presentation skills through spoken word residencies, after-school workshops, open microphone performances, and competitions. The slam following the TPAC performance is the last chance for hopefuls to place in the competition. Poets, emcees, and spoken word artists interested in participating should go to southernword.org.