Sekou Sundiata / Rhodessa Jones

Jun 27 – 29 8pm, Jun 30 3pm

Tribeca Performing Arts Center, Theater Two, 199 Chambers Street
Co-commissioned by LMCC and BMCC, presented as part of Blink Your Eyes: Sekou Sundiata Revisited
First come, first served – box office opens 45 min. prior to curtain

blessing the boats: the remix is a re-imagining of Sekou Sundiata’s acclaimed solo theater work, blessing the boats. Director Rhodessa Jones revisits Sundiata’s story of life-threatening illness and recovery as told through the unique interplay of three poet/performers: Will Power, Carl Hancock Rux, and Mike Ladd. These compelling voices revive Sundiata’s incisive writing, finding the universal in the particular and exploring the ritual, humor and compassion of his play. This remix encompasses language, music, and visual projections of healing and hope.

blessing the boats: the remix is presented as part of Blink Your Eyes: Sekou Sundiata Revisited, a city-wide retrospective produced by MAPP International Productions.

Blink Your Eyes: Sekou Sundiata Revisited celebrates Sekou Sundiata’s broad vision for bold, rigorous, multidisciplinary artistic expression that emerges from a love for one’s community, a passion for real democracy and social justice, and a vision for a better world. In venues across New York City from April to October 2013, we invite you to celebrate Sundiata’s legacy through live performances by the artists he inspired— in the places and communities that inspired him.

Video Projections: Sage Marie Carter

Set: Mimi Lien

Lighting: Roderick Murray

Sound Design: Garth MacAleavey

Costumes: Oana Botez

For more information about this retrospective:


blessing the boats: the remix CREATIVE TEAM


Rhodessa Jones is an actress, teacher, singer, and writer. Jones is the Director of the award-winning Medea Project: Theater for Incarcerated Women, a performance workshop that is designed to achieve personal and social transformation with incarcerated women. Jones was most recently selected as an “Arts Envoy” by the U.S. Department of State, Educational and Cultural Affairs Bureau to conduct an international six-week residency/workshop process inside the Naturena Women’s Prison in Johannesburg, South Africa. The residency explores an arts-based approach whose aim is empowerment and to help reduce the numbers of women returning to jail. Rhodessa’s directing credits include Lysistrata, The African American Shakespeare Company; My Life in the Concrete Jungle, The Lorraine Hansberry Theater, San Francisco; and Sekou Sundiata’s Blessing the Boats, Aaron Davis Hall, NY, among others. Jones is currently the Co-Artistic Director of the San Francisco acclaimed performance company Cultural Odyssey.


Will Power is an award-winning playwright and performer. His adaptation of the Greek tragedy Seven Against Thebes, retitled The Seven, enjoyed a successful Off-Broadway run at the New York Theater Workshop and The La Jolla Playhouse. His solo show FLOW was featured in the Hip Hop Theater Festival before touring nationally and internationally to critical acclaim. Power has received numerous awards including the United States Artist Prudential Fellowship, a Lucille Lortel Award for Best Musical, a Jury Award for Best Theatre Performance at the HBO US Comedy Arts Festival, and the Trailblazer Award from The National Black Theater Network, among others. Power’s numerous film and television appearances include The Colbert Report (Comedy Central), and Bill Moyers on Faith and Reason (PBS). Power is currently in the process of developing new works for The Dallas Theatre Center, The Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles, Hartford Stage, and The Royal Shakespeare Company.


Carl Hancock Rux is a writer and recording artist who crosses the disciplines of poetry, theater, film, music, and literary fiction. His critically acclaimed debut CD, Rux Revue, Sony Music (1999), was voted by The New York Times as one of the top ten alternative music CDs of 1998. His sophomore CD, Apothecary Rx, Giant Step Records (2002) received similar acclaim. With his powerful eleven-piece band, Rux has performed at festivals like Rencontres Trans Musicales and Central Park’s SummerStage and at venues such as the Jazz Café in London and the new Casa da Musica in Porto, Portugal. His plays and performance works have been produced and commissioned throughout the U.S. and internationally at venues including The Public Theater, the Robert E. Fischer Center for the Performing Arts, PS 122, Lincoln Center, University of Ghana at Legon, and Maison des Arts (Creteil, France), among others.

For more information about this artist:


Writer and music producer, Michael C. Ladd was born in Boston, MA. He has published in several literary magazines including Long Shot Review and Bostonia. His work is also featured in the book Swing Low, Black Men Writing and several anthologies, including, Aloud: Voices from the Nuyorican Poets Café, In Defense of Mumia, and Bum Rush The Page. Ladd is the writer and producer of ten albums, among them, Easy Listening For Armageddon (Scratchie/Mercury records). As a Fellow at the Institute for Arts and Civic Dialogue at Harvard University, Mr. Ladd produced and directed Blood Black and Blue, an audio documentary/performance about Black police officers in the United States. Most recently, Ladd has been an Artist-in-Residence at L’abbaye de Royaumont and Harlem Stage. Ladd received an M.A. in poetry from Boston University and currently lives in Paris with his wife and two children.


MAPP International Productions is dedicated to developing sustainable environments for artists to create, premiere and tour performing arts projects. We provide support and opportunities for challenging artistic voices to be fully heard and engaged by bringing together arts, humanities and public dialogue. This means not only placing live work on the stages of performing arts venues worldwide, but also creating opportunities for discussion, learning and civic engagement that encourage appreciation of different cultures and perspectives. We nurture contemporary artists who reside and create in many parts of the world, embracing multidirectional infiltration and invigoration, and contributing to the U.S.’s role as a valued partner in a global creative community.

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MAPP International Productions gratefully acknowledges the generous funders who have been instrumental in bringing Blink Your Eyes to life: Rockefeller Foundation New York City Cultural Innovation Fund, Surdna Foundation, Lambent Foundation Fund of the Tides Foundation, Leveraging Investments in Creativity, Ford Foundation, Nathan Cummings Foundation, Axe-Houghton Foundation, the New York Council for the Humanities, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.

The development and presentation of blessing the boats: the remix is supported by The Apollo Theater’s Salon Series, the Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC), Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC), and the 2013 River To River Festival. Major support for blessing the boats: the remix comes from the Ford Foundation.

blessing the boats: the remix is co-commissioned by LMCC and BMCC, presented as part of Blink Your Eyes: Sekou Sundiata Revisited as part of the River To River Festival 2013. blessing the boats: the remix was developed during a LMCC artist residency in 2012 and 2013. /