created and performed by The HawtPlates (Justin Hicks, Kenita Miller-Hicks, and Jade Hicks)
Waterboy and the Mighty World examines the relationship between people of color and law enforcement in America. [Who is being policed? Who is being protected? Who and what kind of people are enforcing the laws of the land?] The performance reinterprets and remixes traditional songs made famous by Odetta Holmes - the voice of the civil rights movement - with original compositions that piece together the life of legendary Bass Reeves, the first African American US Marshal. The HawtPlates have created a musical landscape that borrows from Korean pansori, mantra, dirge, gospel music, and experimental R&B that invites us to reconsider our contemporary historical moment, and honors both the folk and political history of a too often neglected American songbook. Part live concert, part concept album - Waterboy is a testament to the power of the human voice lifted in praise and protest.
Scenic Design and Art Direction: Breck Omar Brunson, Lighting Design: Hao Bai, Sound and Recording Design: Ernie Indradat, Text: Quincy Flowers, Dramaturg: Sunder Ganglani, Producer: Jennifer Harrison Newman
This project is supported in part by a commission from The Bushwick Starr, and development included a residency at NACL (North American Cultural Laboratory) in Summer 2019 as part of a new long-term partnership with The Bushwick Starr.
Photo by Cris Myers