Drama meets poetry in ‘Old School’ (via Kansas City Star)

Full Title: Drama meets poetry in ‘Old School,’ which returns to Kansas City at Just Off Broadway Theatre  (via Kansas City Star)

“Old School,” the play by Harvey Williams that established KC MeltingPot Theatre as an incubator for emerging playwrights and a platform for minority actors to reach wider audiences, is back.

And with it comes an artistic duo that helped make it a memorable event when it was first staged in 2013: Theodore “Priest” Hughes and Desmond “3-3-7” Jones, poets and actors who perform as the Recipe Poetry Guild.

They’ve been labeled slam poets, hip-hop poets, spoken-word artists — but they define themselves by their own specific genre: dramatic art and rhythm.

“We try to bring the theatrical aspect to our performance as well as what we write,” Jones said.

“Old School Ghetto Gospel,” as the play was originally called, told an inner-city fable about a street-corner philosopher named Old School who acts as a catalyst in a dramatic comedy about a family that has been affected by urban violence.

At various points in the performance, poetic interludes were performed by Hughes and Jones, charismatic performers whose verse addresses philosophical and social issues, among other topics. The pre-existing material was not directly connected to Williams’ narrative, but its gritty sensibility complemented the play.

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