UC Santa Cruz Arts & Lectures kicks off its 2007-08 season on Sunday, October 7, with Emergence-See!, a provocative one-man show created by award-winning actor Daniel Beaty.
Beaty portrays a cast of 40 characters--including a homeless man, a scientist, a Republican business executive, and an 11-year-old boy from the projects--who all react to the phenomenon of a slave ship suddenly rising out of the Hudson River in front of the Statue of Liberty in 2006.
Utilizing a surprisingly fresh and quirky approach that includes slam poetry, satire, and song, Beaty offers a stirring commentary on modern black life, as he explores what centuries of slavery have done to the pysche of humanity.
In a National Public Radio interview recently aired on All Things Considered, Beaty said he views his play as "a whole community on stage," adding, "there are so many residual feelings and emotions and issues from the experience of slavery--you can be wealthy, working in corporate America, or you could be living in the projects, and still have some of those issues haunting you."
Described by New York Magazine as "funnier than most serious plays and vastly smarter than most funny plays," Emergence-See! was honored in May with a 2007 Village Voice Obie Award--the Off-Broadway equivalent of a Tony Award--for Outstanding Writing and Performance.
Beaty has performed throughout the U.S., Europe, and Africa including appearances at The White House, The Kennedy Center, on HBO's Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry, and The Apollo Theater. His work has been showcased at such venues as The Public Theater, Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), New York Theater Workshop, La Mama, American Conservatory Theater, Yale University, and The NAACP National Convention. Beatty is also the 2004 Grand Slam Champion at the world famous Nuyorican Poets CafÃ©.
Emergence-See! is just the first in a series of 16 shows to be presented by UCSC's Arts & Lectures in the 2007-08 season. Upcoming events this fall will include performances by Grammy Award-winning violinist Hilary Hahn, Oct. 17; Ravi and Anoushka Shankar, Nov. 4; renowned Brazilian guitarist/songwriter Caetano Veloso, Nov. 16; and Senegalese vocalist Youssou N'Dour, Nov. 28.
The season opener also marks the first show for new Arts & Lectures director Jeanette Pilak, who said she is greatly anticipating the wide range of performances that UCSC will offer throughout the coming year.
"In a world where we get our 'news' from The Daily Show and our entertainment from YouTube, I am eager to experience the thought-provoking work of Daniel Beaty's Emergence-See!," Pilak noted. "I expect to be re-invigorated by the efforts of this 30-something artist, whose passion has created a work I hope all of Santa Cruz will experience."
Daniel Beaty will perform Emergence-See! on Sunday, October 7, at 8 p.m. at UCSC's Porter College Dining Hall. For more information, contact the UCSC Ticket Office at (831) 459-2159, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the Arts & Lectures web site.