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The Kennedy Center

Shaun  Neblett



Biography

In 2013, Shaun began writing “7 Homages for 7 MCs,” a collection of seven original plays that originate from the spirit of classic hip-hop albums. Currently three plays have been completed in the cycle; Homage 3: Illmatic (2013), Homage 2: The Great Adventures of Slick Rick (2016), and, Homage 5: Life After Death (2017).

Following its Off-Broadway premiere, Homage 3: Illmatic was referenced by African American scholar Dr. Michael Eric Dyson as “A great play that evokes a sense of history and a sense of intimacy with people who nurture you, surround you and are a mystery to you.”

When the rapper Slick Rick was engaged in his notorious trial against deportation from the USA, he cited Homage 2: The Great Adventures of Slick Rick as an example of his inspiration on America’s next generation of influential artists.

Billboard magazine hailed Homage 5: Life After Death as, “a street-smart production that pays homage to Biggie’s classic double-disc in both overt and subtle ways.”

Speaking on why he decided to craft a series of seven plays inspired by classic rap albums for his "7 Homages for 7 MCs" series, Shaun says, “Hip-hop is a powerful art form that played in the backdrop of my peoples’ lives. As we faced success or tragedy and created better relationships with our human spirits, hip-hop culture motivated us, provided lifelong affirmations and inspired ideas. It became very important for me to chronicle that energy in the American Theater.”

The Joseph Papp Public Theater, P.S. 122, Urban Stages, and Penumbra Theater are few of the esteemed theaters Shaun’s work has been produced at. He has been produced internationally and takes equal pride in productions of his work that happen in community venues across the country.
As the Executive Director and Owner of Changing Perceptions Theater, Shaun has created and managed multiple youth theater programs throughout low-income neighborhoods in New York City and in Newark, New Jersey. Through Changing Perceptions Theater, he has successfully created “Happy Birthday Malcolm and Lorraine!” an annual production that unites a company of established theater artists to create original plays inspired by Malcolm X and Lorraine Hansberry, who both share the same birthdate.

Shaun’s journey as a playwright is documented in his chapbook “From Playwright to MC SNEB,” which can be purchased at www.Shaunneblett.com

Watch Past Performances

Video 11/10/2018: Shaun Neblett: 7 Homages for 7 Emcees—Homage 2: The Great Adventures of Slick Rick

Shaun Neblett’s 7 Homages for 7 MCs play cycle is a collection of seven original plays that originate from the spirit of classic hip-hop albums. In commemoration of the 30th anniversary celebration ofThe Great Adventures of Slick Rick, Neblett presents his theatrical work that pays tribute to the seminal recording.

Shaun  Neblett