By UNIVERSES (Steven Sapp, Mildred Ruiz-Sapp, and William Ruiz, aka Ninja)
Developed and directed by Liesl Tommy
Get ready for a hyperkinetic mix of live video, hip hop, jazz, rock, gospel, blues, Latin rhythms, and spoken word as the explosive theatre ensemble UNIVERSES rocks and unlocks the legacy of the Black Panthers and Young Lords. In the 1960s these activists protected their communities and provided free food and medical care—but their cries for justice were overshadowed by the radical images embedded in our mainstream history books. Based on dozens of interviews, this high-wattage fusion of story and song imagines the Panthers and Young Lords reuniting today at an art opening curated by a couple of young counterculturists—where past, present, and generations collide. Helmed by Liesl Tommy (director of our potent production of Ruined), Party People asks, what is the price of being a revolutionary, and what happens to those who come after?
—Berkeley Repertory Theater