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‘And Ya Don’t Stop’

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Gold rope chains, break-dancing, high-top Adidas and fat shoelaces remind you of one thing: hip-hop. For lovers and fans of this creative expression, prepare yourselves for a new urban hip-hop production entitled, “And Ya Don’t Stop: A Hip-Hop Play.”

The highly anticipated show will make its debut on stage, July 24-25 at the Wheeler Arts Community Center. Audience members will also be able to give constructive criticism after the show.

Playwright and director of the show, Nicole Kearney is no stranger to bringing her thoughts and ideas to the stage, as she has written and directed over 10 stage productions.

The former east coast native selected a wide-range of cast members from Indianapolis that includes DJ’s, poets, motivational speakers, graffiti artists, and break-dancers among others, because of the easy transition it would be for them to prepare for their character roles.

“I wanted to tell a different story about hip-hop, and how influential it is, and the cast members joined me to make it happen in telling this story,” said Kearney.

For audience members who aren’t familiar with the history of the hip-hop industry, this production plans to educate the audience of the genres, as well as different styles of hip-hop that includes graffiti and break-dancing.

Attendees will be amazed at the multi-ethnic cast who will showcase their lyrical talent and emcee (rapping) skills.

One such talent is Michael Cobbs, who portrays the lead character “Supreme.” He plays an emcee in a trio that was formed with friends. “Supreme” is faced with the challenge of making a hard decision of choosing to pursue his career with, or without the group after a record label discovers his talent.

“My character works real hard, and he is faced with many challenges,” Cobbs said.

Giving Cobbs and other cast members something to move to, cast member Jaroslaw Petruniw, a local producer in Indianapolis, worked to create many of the songs and instrumentals for the show.

Kearney says the message she hopes to convey is the importance of commitment, staying focused on your dreams and being careful not to let others persuade you to change your goals.

Members of the cast have strong feelings about the production, and believe hip-hop was created to inspire youth.

“No matter how old or mature you get, hip-hop is supposed to help inspire future generations to come,” said Cobbs.

“AND YA DON’T STOP: A HIP HOP PLAY”

When: July 24-25 at 8 p.m.

Where: Wheeler Arts Community, 1035 Sanders St.

Ticket prices:

$10 in advance

$12 at the door

For more information, visit nicolekearney.com.

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR:

Nicole C. Kearney is a playwright, producer, director and speaker whose creative expressions address the issues of empowerment, encouragement, hope and healing for all, with a special emphasis on African-American women and children who often have their images maligned, distorted and misrepresented.

Since 2005, Nicole has had 13 productions on stage. She also has over 90 short stories, numerous poems and articles that have been published in literary journals, magazines, Web sites and newspapers nationally.

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