Marc Bamuthi Joseph

Photo by Bethanie Hines

Aesthetically urban, pedagogically Freirean, I derive personal performed narratives out of interdisciplinary collaboration. This work as writer and performer reflects an evolving aesthetic that integrates spoken word poetry with contemporary movement to birth a new theatrical form based on hip hop aesthetics. The approach is populist, intentionally instructive, and demonstrably experimental in terms of literacy and literary form.

The aesthetic is principally non-European or “alt-white,” which is to say that I challenge models of classicism from both cultural and environmental perspectives. I seek to create space for ritual magic AS performance, and also ritual magic IN performance.

I EXPLICITLY seek to present art that reflects and inspires transformation on personal and collective levels, and that constructs safe space for this transformation to take place.

About Marc Bamuthi Joseph

Marc Bamuthi Joseph is one of America’s leading 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 7-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 has entered the world of literary performance after crossing the sands of “traditional” theater, most notably on Broadway in the Tony Award winning The Tap Dance Kid and Stand-Up Tragedy. His evening-length works have been presented throughout the United States and Europe and include Word Becomes Flesh, Scourge, De/
Cipher and No Man’s Land. Bamuthi’s current solo piece, the break/s, co-premiered at the Humana Festival of New American Plays and the Walker Arts Center in the Spring of 2008.

His work has been enabled by several prestigious foundation awards including grants from the Ford Foundation, the Center for Cultural Innovation, Creative Capital, the National Performance Network Creation Fund, the Wallace A. Gerbode Foundation, the Creative Work Fund, the Rockefeller MAP Fund, the NEA, the Hewlett Foundation, and a Dance Advance award from the PEW Foundation. 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, Mills College, and the University of Wisconsin. A resident at ODC Theater, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and Intersection for the Arts in San Francisco, Bamuthi’s proudest work has been with Youth Speaks where he mentors 13-19 year old writers and curates the Living Word Festival for Literary Arts. He proudly served as a featured artist for the NAACP’s Centennial Anniversary Celebration during President Barack Obama’s Inaugural Exercises.