Hip Hop Theater Festival


Founded in 2000, The Hip Hop Theater Festival continues to invigorate the fields of theater and Hip Hop by: nurturing the creation of innovative work within the Hip Hop aesthetic; presenting and touring American and international artists whose work addresses the issues relevant to the Hip Hop generation; and serving young, urban communities through outreach and education that celebrates contemporary language and culture.

In each of its Festival cities, New York City, Washington D.C., Chicago and San Francisco, The Hip Hop Theater Festival presents live events created by artists who stretch, invent and combine a variety of theatrical forms, including theater, dance, spoken word and live music sampling. Through open submissions and aggressive curating both nationally and internationally, the Hip Hop Theater Festival is fully dedicated to finding, developing and introducing to the public new artistic creations from a diversity of cultures and points of view.

An ongoing goal of Hip Hop Theater Festival is to encourage the manifestation of Hip Hop Theater as a recognized genre by commissioning and developing new work and helping Hip Hop Theater Festival artists build coalitions, collaborations and networks with other artists and institutions around the United States and the world.

Hip Hop Theater Festival also strives to bring new, younger audiences to the theater in large numbers, in an effort to ensure the future of live performance. To this end, Hip Hop Theater Festival is steadfast in presenting work that is accessible to everyone, regardless of race, class, age or gender. And through a creative mix of traditional marketing techniques and guerilla tactics, the Festival has enjoyed sold-out houses, educational workshops and previews filled to capacity.

Watch Past Performances

Video 7/8/2015: Spiritrials

Intersects addiction, religion, and the law in a government-sponsored drug rehabilitation program. In this timely and personal exploration of the criminal justice system, an “anonymous” narrator shifts in-and-out of four characters as he examines his place in what appears to be a cultural rite of passage. This program contains mature themes and strong language. Part of D.C. Hip-Hop Theater Festival. Free general admission tickets will be distributed in the States Gallery starting at approximately 5:30 p.m., up to two tickets per person.

Video 7/6/2015: Hip-Hop Theater Festival: Ballon the Oomph That Keeps You There

Uses theater, spoken word, music, and movement to journey through Washington, D.C’s changing neighborhoods and historic communities’ ventures. Through this multidisciplinary exploration, we discover the effects of gentrification and what it takes to survive it. Part of the Hip-Hop Theater Festival.

Video 7/12/2011: 10th Annual D.C. Hip-Hop Theater Festival

A musical jam with African hip hop artists Maimouna Youssef, Bajah + the Dry Eye Crew, acclaimed indie MC Tabi Bonney, and a 5 p.m. warm-up class with special guest dancer Rujeko Dumbutshena from Broadway’s Fela! Co-presented with the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.

Video 7/6/2010: The Foundation: DMC DJ Exhibition

Curated by Christie Z Pabon, DMC USA Producer, Hosted by Kokayi
Featuring two of the best DJs in the USA, this Millennium Stage event marks the first time the Festival will  showcase the skills behind the art form of turntablism, where the turntables, under the hands of the DJs, become instruments to rock the crowd. Special guests include legendary DJ Rockin’ Rob, from the Bronx, NYC and DMC USA Supremacy Champion, DJ I-Dee. Part of the 9th Annual DC Hip Hop Theater Festival presented in cooperation with DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities.

Hip Hop Theater Festival