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ASU’s Herberger College Theatre presents “the vine,” a powerful collaboration of rap, hip-hop and theatre


February 19, 2003

WHAT: The Herberger College of Fine Arts Department of Theatre at ASU presents “the vine,”* written by Mesa resident JoséCasas and directed by professor of theatre Pamela Sterling. It explores the vibrant sub-culture of hip-hop dancing and music and explores the potential of the arts to salvage young lives.

Casas is a student in ASU’s masters program in playwriting. This is his thesis project.

Please note: This play contains some adult language and sexual content. It is appropriate for mature high school and adult audiences.

WHEN: March 14-15, 27-29, at 7:30 p.m.; March 16 and March 30 at 2 p.m. The performance on March 16 will be sign language interpreted.

WHERE: The Lyceum Theatre, 901 S. Forest Mall on the ASU campus in Tempe.

TICKETS: $14 adults, $12 seniors, faculty and staff; $5 students.

INFORMATION, TICKETS: 480-965-6447.

Rappers, hip-hop dancers and actors have joined forces at the Herberger College of Fine Arts like never before.

Professor of theatre and director Pam Sterling says, “We’re exploring new ground and stretching the boundaries of theatre. The structure of the play explores new forms, incorporating elements of hip-hop, dance, theatre, rap and slam poetry.

“The script is emotionally powerful and very funny. The cast and the production and design teams are some of the most talented, enthusiastic and committed artists I have ever had the pleasure of working with,” Sterling adds.

Playwriting graduate student José Casas wrote the play as his applied project for his master’s degree.

“‘the vine’ is important because it gives younger audiences, especially people of color, a chance to see their stories told honestly,” Casas says. “It is a raw, multi-cultural look at coming-of-age in urban America.”

Nationally known hip-hop and break-dancing movement artist bboy house* choreographs the play, which takes place in Los Angeles. The play’s lead character, Alex, is played by Robert Lopez, who teaches dance at several inner city high schools in the Valley, in addition to working with professional dance companies. Herberger College Dance student Ben Howe, founder and artistic director of the local Nebellen Dance Company, plays Casper.

Media Contact:
Tamara Underiner 
480-965-7323
Tamara.Underiner@asu.edu