This world premiere production of The Freshest Snow Whyte (a remix of the Grimm Brothers’ Snow-Drop tale commonly called Snow White) is my fourth play with Imagination Stage, and marks the beginning of my five-play STEAM Cycle. The goal of The STEAM Cycle is to explore science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics through the lens of Hip Hop culture in the context of Theater for Young Audiences. Having premiered all three plays of The Hip-Hop Children’s Trilogy (Zomo the Rabbit: A Hip-Hop Creation Myth, P.Nokio: A Hip-Hop Musical, and Cinderella: The Remix) at Imagination Stage, I’m ecstatic to be embarking on the first play of this new and exciting cycle at the same theater. My professional relationship with Imagination Stage has been the realization of a dream. Many theater artists struggle to attain an artistic home where their creative vision can flourish and become a reality. I feel fortunate to have this type of relationship with Imagination Stage.
At its core, The Freshest Snow Whyte is about what can happen when we lose sight of the intrinsic and equal value of all people. I wanted to shine a light on the pervasive facet of American culture that is obsessed with winning and being the best no matter the cost. In doing so, I decided to use an American Idol-type paradigm with Mira (our version of the magic mirror) as the all-powerful judge of everything, while Snow Whyte and Kanye East act as perennial contestants caught up in a seemingly ubiquitous state of competition. Additionally, I wanted to explore the relationship between technology and Hip Hop, so I included the use of “graffiti devices” in this version of the year 3000. Similar to my plays in The Hip-Hop Children’s Trilogy, we’ll be using rap and Hip Hop-based movement as storytelling devices and as a way to help create the world of The Freshest Snow Whyte.
The Freshest Snow Whyte represents a new phase in my artistic journey. Through this exploration of the elements of STEAM, I hope to inspire audiences (especially students) to look at science, technology, engineering, art, and math through the prism of Hip Hop in a way that sparks an enhanced level of interest and enthusiasm in these disciplines. I believe Hip Hop is an art form that can be universally applied to illuminate any subject or experience within the human condition. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to express Hip Hop’s boundless creative potential through The Freshest Snow Whyte. I hope you enjoy the show!
About the Director
Psalmayene 24 is an award-winning director, playwright, and actor. He is the writer/director of The Hip-Hop Children’s Trilogy (three critically-acclaimed plays for young audiences that explore the past, present, and future of Hip Hop culture). His one-man play, Free Jujube Brown!, is recognized as a seminal work in Hip Hop Theater, and is published in the anthology, Plays from the Boom-Box Galaxy: Theater from the Hip-Hop Generation (TCG). Psalm dedicates this production to Grandpa and Pop. Love to Diana.