Dahlak Brathwaite & Roberta Uno


Try/Step/Trip is a fusion between choreopoem and concept musical, aesthetically influenced by hip-hop sampling and step movement. It emerges from the belief that the subjugation of Black people is an American ritual; that the criminal justice system now functions as a normalized rite of passage for too many young Black males. Try/Step/Trip offers an alternative ritual; a rite of passage orchestrated to save one of the justice system’s newest inductees from the ultimate plight of criminalization: to be remade in the image of its judgment. The story follows an anonymous narrator as he re-imagines his experience in a court-ordered drug rehabilitation program. World views are delivered within musical sequences, ancestors are conjured through step, and archetypes are sampled from pop culture and folklore, all to guide a familiar young Black man in his unique search for redemption and self-definition. Try/Step/Trip plans to launch a national tour, and aims to make full-length prison performances a regular extension of the performance residency. The ultimate goal is to have a run at a regional theater, preferably in New York, Chicago, or San Francisco.

Dahlak Brathwaite is an award-winning writer, composer, and performer. He appeared on HBO’s Russell Simmons’ Presents Def Poetry. Spiritrials, the solo play written, performed, and scored by Braithwaite, has been presented in twenty US cities.

Roberta Uno is a theater director and dramaturg, and founding Artistic Director of the New WORLD Theater in Amherst, MA. Directing credits include collaboration with James Baldwin, Chitra Divakaruni, thuy le, William Yellow Robe Jr., and dramaturgy for Alice Childress, Dionna Daniels, Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Sekou Sundiata, Crystal Truscott, and others.