» Catalyst Series
Word Becomes Flesh
Intermedia Arts and MAPP International Productions present
Marc Bamuthi Joseph/The Living Word Project's
Performances: 10AM Friday, April 19; 8PM Thursday-Saturday, April 18-20, 2013
Tickets: $15 advance, student, senior | $18 door
Post-Show Receptions each night with light food and discussion with performers. (Writer/director Marc Bamuthi Joseph will be in attendance on Friday.)


Word Becomes Flesh is a deeply honest and raw physical performance, blending spoken word, dance and live music. This series of performed letters from a young, single father to his unborn son, fuses tender stories, playful wit—and at times, purposeful rage—to give voice to complexities and contradictions surrounding race and gender in America.
Led by an exceptionally talented cast of emerging poet-performers, with deep honesty and raw physicality, this play integrates hip-hop theater and contemporary dance performance to deconstruct black male identity in the 21st century. This show critically, lyrically and choreographically shares one man's personal experience of fatherhood—and in doing so examines the legacy of patriarchy and male privilege, the continuum between fathers and sons, and the relationships of women and men. Together these narratives confront the intersection between the reality and the mythology of the black male body—from the cotton field to the athletic field and all spaces in between.
Written and directed by Marc Bamuthi Joseph. Written and performed by Dahlak Brathwaite, Daveed Diggs, Dion Decibels, Khalil Anthony, Michael Turner and B.Yung.

Watch a preview of the show below!

Word Becomes Flesh April 18-20 @ Intermedia Arts from Intermedia Arts on Vimeo.

*Pre-sold tickets are available for pick-up through will call at Intermedia Arts on each evening. If tickets are not claimed 15 minutes after the scheduled start time of the performance, the unclaimed tickets may be released to a waiting list.

In header photo above (l to r): Dahlak Brathwaite, Michael Turner, Daveed Diggs, Khalil Anthony. Photo by Jati Lindsay/Hip-Hop Theater Festival


Nigger Mentality
Wednesday, April 17 | 10AM-12PM
Free performance & discussion; reservations required. 
Please bring a lunch
Recommended for ages 12+
In Word Becomes Flesh, the scene entitled Nigger Mentality takes audience members on a journey into the birth of the word nigger, and its accompanying mentality. The subject matter of this workshop is sensitive and demands an ability to think about the word and subject matter in a critical and mature way. This piece mythologizes the origination of the nigger mentality, and invites participants to discuss the genealogy as it is detailed through the text and performance. Led by Word Becomes Flesh artists and local, multidisciplinary artist Shá Cage. REGISTER TODAY!
Literary Devices Meets Performance Master Class
Saturday, April 20 | 11AM-2PM
$25 Master class. Limited space; reservations required.
This master class is a fusion of writing and performance, teaching artists how to take the page to the stage. Participants will gain the tools to begin the writing process and how to maintain the theme, influence content, and possible ways to finish a particular writing. Then learn to develop performance skills and their own performance style. Tools will be shared around performance prep, understanding the evolving process of performing in front of an audience, and how to continue to create meaningful work. REGISTER TODAY!

Master class participants should have extensive experience with Spoken Word and its aesthetic. They will be asked to share work they have created previously and critical feedback will be distributed in workshop setting. Dedicated artists and performers will benefit from the exchange of information and focused attention to the creative process. 

If you have any questions, please email Info@IntermediaArts.org or call 612.871.4444.


Marc Bamuthi Joseph (Writer & Director) is one of America’s vital voices in performance, arts education, and artistic curation. In the fall of 2007, Bamuthi graced the cover of Smithsonian Magazine after being named one of America’s Top Young Innovators in the Arts and Sciences. He is the artistic director of the seven-part HBO documentary “Russell Simmons presents Brave New Voices” and an inaugural recipient of the United States Artists Rockefeller Fellowship, which annually recognizes 50 of the country’s “greatest living artists”. He is the 2011 Alpert Award winner in Theater and in April 2012, he was one of 21 artists to be named to the inaugural class of Doris Duke Artists. He currently serves as Director of Performing Arts at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco.

After appearing on Broadway as a young actor, Joseph has developed several poetically based works for the stage that have toured across the U.S., Europe, and Africa. These include Word Becomes Flesh, Scourge, and the break/s, which co-premiered at the Humana Festival of New American Plays and the Walker Art Center in the spring of 2008. Joseph’s Word Becomes Flesh was re-mounted in December 2010 as part of the National Endowment for the Arts’ “American Masterpieces” initiative, and will tour throughout North America and Hawaii through 2013. In addition, Joseph wrote the commissioned libretto, Home in 7 for the Atlanta Ballet in 2011, and directed Dennis Kim’s Tree City Legends at Intersection for the Arts in 2012. A gifted and nationally acclaimed educator and essayist, he has lectured at more than 200 colleges and universities, been a popular commentator on National Public Radio, and has carried adjunct professorships at Stanford University, Lehigh University, Mills College, and the University of Wisconsin. He is Artistic Director Emeritus of Youth Speaks, where he mentored young writers and curated the Living Word Festival and Left Coast Leaning, and co-founder of Life is Living, a national series of one day festivals designed to activate under-resourced parks and affirm peaceful urban life through hip hop arts and focused environmental action. His proudest work is with his family, raising his two children and spoiling two dogs with his incredible wife in Oakland, California.

Dahlak Brathwaite (Performer) is a multi-faceted hip-hop artist who draws upon his abilities as a musician, actor, and poet to create a dynamic, spellbinding performance. Since launching into the national spoken word scene by winning the Brave New Voices international Poetry Slam, he has performed on the Tavis Smiley Radio show and the past two seasons of Russell Simmons’ presents Def Poetry Jam. This is the second time Brathwaite has worked with Marc Bamuthi Joseph, writing and performing in Scourge – a play that the Boston Globe hailed as “explosive.” As a member of the group iLL-Literacy, Dahlak has showcased his seamless blend of hip-hop, theater, and spoken word throughout the U.S. and overseas. Brathwaite is originally from Sacramento, California and is now based in Brooklyn, New York.

Daveed Diggs (Performer) is an actor, educator, composer, rap and spoken word artist who graduated with a degree in Theater Arts from Brown University in 2004. He has many California and Western regional credits including Pacific Rep Theater’s Troilus and Cressida (Troilus) and A Comedy of Errors (Duke), The SF Playhouse Six Degrees of Separation (Paul) and Jesus Hopped the A Train
(Angel). Diggs also teaches Rap and Spoken word classes at James Lick Middle School and at the Marsh Youth Theater and gives workshops throughout the Bay Area, New York City, and New Jersey. He has been a teacher in residence with the Arts Literacy Program in Providence, Rhode Island and a teaching artist for Youth Speaks. As a writer, Diggs has written several plays in verse including: Sweeter Than, a play based on the writings of Harlem Renaissance poet Jean Toomer, which was produced by Rites and Reasons theater in Rhode Island; and Big Shoes, a solo performance piece. He is also a co-writer and performer in The Living Word Project’s The One Drop Rule directed by Marc Bamuthi Joseph. In the New York area you can see Diggs perform as a new member of the improvisational theater/rap event Freestyle Love Supreme. Catch him in San Francisco with the music/super-hero squadron The Freeze.

Dion Decibels (Performer) is no stranger to music. With over nine years experience DJing, as well as working as a sound engineer, producer and teacher, he is a prominent force in the Bay Area music scene. From opera houses to night clubs across the country, there’s no environment untouchable to this dynamic DJ. Dion Decibels seamlessly mixes soul, funk, hip hop, latin and house music into his own distinguishable, eclectic sound. Not only can you catch Dion rocking live sets, but you can also hear him spin on one of his many mixtapes, and on ThinkBeat Radio, a staple radio show in the Bay area on 94.1 FM KPFA and at alldayplay.fm.

Khalil Anthony (Performer) is an Artist-Educator, working within a variety of media. His work investigates relationships between the spirit and space, the black body, sexuality, society, and the urban experience. Weaving together these artistic intentions through dance and movement, writing, painting, education, and song, his work speaks to diverse audiences and communities. Originally from Chicago, Illinois and currently living in New York City, he has taught and performed in the UK, Amsterdam, Paris, Venezuela, Brazil, Mexico, Guatemala, and throughout the continental US. His work stems from a belief and commitment in the knowledge that all human beings, and especially young people, have a voice. After being published at the young age of seven, Anthony’s work has appeared in various literary magazines and educational journals. As an Emmy winning singer-songwriter, his critically acclaimed album, Urbanfolksunshine, has been featured in five films, with international radio play in Venezuela, Brazil, and the UK. In 2009, Anthony traveled to England, and began The Visible Man Project, which works to strengthen relationships between queer/gay artists of color from the US and the UK. His most recent project, Frederic Leon, is a novel based on events in his own life when, as a teacher, he was arrested for defending his students against police brutality. Currently, Anthony is completing his second studio album, Per Se. Khalil Anthony continues to bring life to his living by creating, being, and sharing the gift of art honestly, poignantly, and without regrets.

Michael Wayne Turner III (Performer), better known as MyKeyRoc, is a poet, musician, actor, model, and classically trained dancer. Originally from Houston, Texas, MyKeyRoc has lived in New York and Los Angeles, and currently resides in the Bay Area. In 2009, he was a finalist in the Youth Speaks Bay Area Teen Poetry Slam and went on to represent the Bay Area at the Brave New Voices International Teen Poetry Slam Festival in Chicago, IL. His most recent works include a music and spoken word mixtape with phresh pham. With his poetry he has toured extensively to universities including USC, UCLA, Stanford, TSU, WKU, UK, MTSU; performance venues including San Francisco Opera House, The Chicago Theater, Art Institute of Chicago, Herbst Theater, Stanford University; and hundreds of coffee shops, museums and street corners across the country.

B. Yung (Performer) has recently become a familiar face in the American Spoken word community. After performing in LA’s Def Poetry Allstar show by Stan Lathan in 2006, he began a very successful career at his new-found craft. In 2008, B. Yung was featured in the Russell Simmons HBO documentary Brave New Voices, ranking second in the Nation with NYC’s Youth SlamTeam at the Brave New Voices National Competition. He also won first place in the Robert Redford Speak Green Competition held at The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C which earned him a chance to perform at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. In 2009, B. Yung joined the Legendary Us3 Band and traveled Europe on the Stop, Think, Run tour and his song Love of my life (produced by Geoff Wilkinson) premiered on MTV and VH1 Soul. In 2010 he ranked seventh in the Village Voice Rap Review and was featured in the Sprite Dunk Contest commercial and Reggie Bythwood’s One Night in Vegas documentary about Tupac Shakur and Mike Tyson (ESPN). He also created the LP Eye of the Prince; and performed in China, Russia, England and Japan.


MAPP International Productions is a nonprofit producing and touring organization dedicated to engaging audiences through contemporary performing arts projects and artistic experiences that offer fresh interpretations of social issues and forge connections between the artist and the community. Established in 1994 by Ann Rosenthal, and co-directed with Cathy Zimmerman since 1998, MAPP International is recognized for producing nontraditional artists who tackle complex subject matter, experiment with form and push the cultural conversation forward in society. Since its founding, MAPP International has produced 33 productions involving more than 300 artists in 42 U.S. states and 16 countries. MAPP International has also introduced the U.S. public to artists from 25 countries in Asia, Europe, Africa, Australia and the Caribbean. Current programs include New Works, Artist-Public Dialogues, MAPP on Tour, The America Project and The Africa Contemporary Arts Consortium. The common goal of these programs is to promote artistic and community engagement, and the exchange of ideas on a local, national and international stage.

Word Becomes Flesh is a touring production of MAPP International Productions
Word Becomes Flesh is a National Performance Network (NPN) Re-Creation Fund Project sponsored by La Peña Cultural Center (Berkeley, CA) in partnership with Painted Bride (Philadelphia, PA), Dance Place (Washington, DC), Youth Speaks (San Francisco, CA) and NPN. This project has been made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts as part of American Masterpieces: Three Centuries of Artistic Genius. Principal development support for Word Becomes Flesh was provided by Z Space Studio (San Francisco, CA).

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund and by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Funds for this activity are provided by the COMPAS/Travelers Arts & Diversity Program

Intermedia Arts is a NPN Partner of the National Performance Network (NPN). This project is made possible in part by support from the NPN Performance Residency Program. Major contributors of NPN include the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Ford Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts (a federal agency), the MetLife Foundation and the Nathan Cummings Foundation.


Special thanks to the Stuart and Nancy Friedell Family Foundation, Galactic Pizza, and World Street Kitchen