Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater is excited to announce the second installment in the Arena Riffs series on March 31 at 7 p.m. The Freewheelin’ Insurgents is a pandemic-era hip-hop musical written, directed and performed by award-winning playwright, director and actor Psalmayene ‘Psalm’ 24 (Arena’s The 51st State, May 22, 2020).
The 23-minute music piece, filmed entirely in black and white, follows the story of a theatre crew assembling to rehearse in DC’s legendary Rock Creek Park. Serving as a love letter to the Black Lives Matter movement and an elegy for theater, this musical piece examines the grief and void the pandemic, combined with the nationwide reckoning on racial injustice, has created for theater artists and audiences.
The story unfolds through hip-hop and movement and explores issues of violent versus nonviolent protest, love and mental health during this unprecedented moment in history.
“It was glorious collaborating with some of my favorite artists to bring The Freewheelin’ Insurgents to life. This dream project is a distillation of enormous love — love for the Black community and love for theater. I can’t wait to share this pandemic-era hip-hop musical with Arena Stage’s audience,” states Psalmayene 24.
The cast and creative team include Othello Banaci, Ivan Basauri, Casey Danielson, Louis Davis, Michael Donnay, Shannon Dorsey, Bria Granville, Camila Franco Ribeiro Gomide, Nick “tha 1da” Hernandez, Jeremy Hunter, Gary L. Perkins, Psalmayene ‘Psalm’ 24, Danielle Preston, Gabby Sturgeon, Tony Thomas, Aaron Tucker and Justin Weaks.