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Passage Theatre Company presents World Premiere of "Ghetto Gods in Divineland"

originally published: 12/21/2023

Passage Theatre Company presents World Premiere of "Ghetto Gods in Divineland"

(TRENTON, NJ) -- In celebration of the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, Trenton's only professional theater company is paying homage to the Poor Righteous Teachers. Trenton's first superstar hip-hop group—the philosophers and messengers for good and for the 'hood—inspired Passage Theatre Company's upcoming show Ghetto Gods in Divineland, a brand-new play co-written by Richard Bradford and Anthony Martinez-Briggs and Directed by Ozzie Jones. The production runs from February 8-25, 2024.

Set to the vibe, energy, and music of Trenton's own Poor Righteous Teachers, Ghetto Gods in Divineland tells the story of the unheard community of Divineland and how far its residents will go for representation and reclamation of their resources.

Ghetto Gods in Divineland is an experimental afrofuturism play that will portray a vision of Trenton and Trenton’s political and social issues through the lens of the “Divineland” neighborhood—also known as the Mayor Donnelly Project Homes, where the members of PRT met and grew up. The play dramatizes the social trauma of Trenton’s Divineland using progressiveness, modern science, technology and wisdom from the ancestors. The play seeks to bring awareness to these issues, how they’ve affected the community, and show the lengths its residents will go for their truth to be heard— all skillfully presented with hip-hop beats and lyrics evoking the rich history of the Poor Righteous Teachers. Of course, Passage Theatre has cast an impressive group of performers for the production.

Tasha Holmes, most recently seen in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom at the Ritz Theatre, has been cast in Ghetto Gods in Divineland as GEKIYLA, an observant horticulturist with a penchant for urban foraging. Davon Cochran joins her on stage as AMEEN, Gekiyla’s younger brother, a passionate activist. Rounding out the principal trio is Theatre in the X co-Artistic Director Carlo Campbell playing the role of PAPI SHH, a neo-soul ‘hood spiritualist, and Gekiyla and Ameen's lifelong friend.

Completing the cast are the eponymous GHETTO GODS, portrayed by Alicia Thomas and Craig Storrod. The Ghetto Gods play multiple roles throughout the piece but primarily serve as narrators and residents of Divineland. Alicia Thomas was recently featured in Motherless, a new play by Cherise Kimoy, and Craig Storrod performed in RENT at Theatre Unspeakable.

Ghetto Gods in Divineland’s world premiere will run for twelve weekend performances, Thursdays through Sundays, from February 8-25, 2024. Tickets are on sale here.

Passage Theatre Company is committed to creating and producing socially relevant new plays and arts programming that deeply resonate with and reflect our community. Through professional productions, educational programs, and community engagement, we present diverse perspectives and new voices that inspire audiences and invigorate the art of live theatre.



 
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