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Poetic Theater Productions is an NYC theater company working with poets & playwrights to create a visceral, poetic theater

Conscious Language 2015


Join us August 26-29th for the 2nd Annual Conscious Language: Workshops, Conversations and Performances on the Power of Language featureing a 5-day generative workshop designed for poets interested in writing poetic theater and 4 evenings of performances and conversation with leaders in the field. This year, in addition to our first Conscious Artist Summit, those conversations will focus on three themes: "Conscious Lyrics," "Conscious Body"and "Conscious Language: in Practice."

6:30PM Wednesday, August 26th:  The Conscious Artist Summit is an opportunity for artists and the community to meet and talk about the current status of conscious art and its future.

7PM Thursday, August 27th: The Conscious BODY panel will focus on questions concerning how and what the body can communicate when used as the primary vehicle for art. What does the image of our body in the world relate to how we live and express our art?

7PM Friday, August 28th: The Conscious LYRICS panel will explore the importance of lyrics in language based art forms. How do the views and ideas expressed in music(lyrics)- particularly Hip Hop- influence the community in 2015?

7PM Saturday, August 29th: The Conscious Language IN PRACTICE panel will explore varying definitions of what it means to be a Conscious Artist. What- if any- responsibilities do we have to the greater community?


Poets: Accepting Applications Now for Conscious Language 2015 

A 5 day generative workshop for poets interested in writing poetic theater

Facilitated by Lauren Whitehead, Craig muMs Grant, Ryan F. Johnson and Temesgen Tocruray

Accepting applications NOW through August 5th!

Poetic Theater Productions is now accepting applications to participate in the Conscious Language workshops. Don't miss this unique opportunity to work with Poetic Theater Productions artists Craig muMs Grant (HBO's "Oz", "A Sucker Emcee", Paradox of the Urban Cliché), Lauren Whitehead, Ryan F. Johnson and Temesgen Tocruray on turning your poetry into theater.

From August 25-29th, Poetic Theater Productions presents Conscious Language: five days of events building the bridge between poets and theater makers and how they can use their words to create a socially conscious theater of language. The festival features a 5 day generative workshop for poets on turning poetry into theater which will culinate in the staged reading of 6 new 10 minute poetic plays on Saturday night, August 29th at the Wild Project theater in New York’s East Village. Evening panels and performances will showcase leaders in the hip hop, poetry and theater communities. Last years’ panels and performances included, Darian Dauchan, Maurice Decaul, Craig muMs Grant, Alex Mallory, Jessica Care Moore, Dominique Morisseau, José Rivera, Caroline Rothstein, Ursula Rucker, Lauren Whitehead and Saul Williams!  Photos from last year's Conscious Language

Full line up of this years panel participants to be announced in early August!  


To apply: Complete the application form AND

submit a 5 page sample of your poetry in PDF format (please title the PDF file with your name) to [email protected] by Midnight on Wednesday August 5th, 2015 for consideration. Please include your name and contact information.

We will announce workshop participants on Tuesday August 11th.

Please note: applicants must have availability from:

11AM-9:30PM Tuesday, August 25th through Saturday, August 29th.

Please let us know about known conflicts.



Final week of Poetic License! See what the critics are saying!

The reviews are in! Check out these great write-ups and get your tickets to the remaining performances! 

Eboni Flowers, left, and Jaime Lincoln Smith in Craig muMs Grant’s “Paradox of the Urban Cliché” 
Photo Credit Bjorn Bolinder

Paradox of the Urban Cliché
Remaining performances: February 19 at 8PM, February 21 & 22 at 3PM
Buy tickets now!

“With a fine cast of four, including W. Tré Davis in multiple roles, and a talented design team — particularly the video designer David Palmer and the sound designer Julian Evans — the new play simmers with anger about injustices both recent and historical.” - The New York Times

"The pain-filled verses flowed with an easy grace"  - The New York Times

“At least you got a chance to make the ugly beautiful,” [Ceez] says, and that’s what Mr. Grant is doing, too.” The New York Times

“It is a play you won’t soon shake off.” - StageBuddy

“ is the language that is the true pleasure here. Dense and immensely layered, Grant's script shifts mellifluously between flat-out dialogue, and heightened spoken word." - StageBuddy

"Reginald L. Douglas does incredible work, crafting a finely tuned world, and drawing great depths of emotion and finesse from his actors." - StageBuddy

"[Craig muMs Grant's] words are ingeniously singular and personal" - New York Theater Review

"Paradox acquires potent power, with thoughtfully drawn characters and some head- spinning turns into philosophy. Grant alludes to great themes — power, race, justice — without grandstanding, and he keeps the focus on the inner self in the inner city." - The Village Voice

"[Craig muMs Grant] devises fluid dialogue mixed with rhythm-driven soliloquies, and he's clearly a writer to watch." - The Village Voice


Fahim Hamid, left and Perri Yaniv in Maurice Decauls' "Between the Tigris and the Euphrates"
Photo Credit Bjorn Bolinder

Dijla Wal Furat: Between the Tigris and the Euphrates
Remaining performances: February 17, 18 and 21 at 8PM 
Buy tickets now!

"Playwright Maurice Decaul’s examination of the early stages of the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, serves as a potent reminder that war is one of the more pointless enterprises in which humanity engages with great and repetitive frequency" - Talkin' Broadway

“The performances under Alex Mallory’s direction are first-rate all around." - Talkin' Broadway

“It’s a dreamlike experience that leaves the audience contemplating the true extent and fallout of a seemingly unending conflict.” - New York Theater Review

"fresh and relevant" - New York Theater Review

"Visually stunning" -

Euphrates constantly emphasizes the fundamental unity and humanity among everyone in the war, struggling just to survive.” -

Poetic License 2015: subconscious

Poetic License is Poetic Theater Productions’ annual festival of new poetic theater, which has grown from five days to three weeks in the past four years. The fourth annual Poetic License features two fully realized productions of exciting new poetic plays written by company members, a reading series of six new works of poetic theater identified through an open submission process, and three special events: Breaking Our Silence, a celebration of LGBT voices; Love, Redefined, remixes, and re-imaginings of traditional love poems in celebration of non-commercial, non-traditional love; and Generation Now, a showcase of youth voices in poetic theater in partnership with Urban Word NYC, Girl Be Heard, Dare Tactic, viBe Theater Experience and Earsay Youth Voices.  

Click for the complete festival line-up!

The festival runs from February 5-22nd
at the Wild Project, located at 195 East 3rd Street in New York City’s East Village

About Poetic Theater Productions


Poetic Theater Productions seeks to define the modern genre of “poetic theater” by connecting and fostering a community of artists who are passionately creating relevant and accessible work and reinvigorating a conscious theater of language. Poetic Theater Productions offers resources and opportunities for poets, playwrights, and theater artists to create new work and see it through to production via educational workshops, developmental readings and performance. PTP seeks out and creates opportunities to connect with communities affected by the issues of topic within our productions, in NYC and nationwide, through collaborative projects and exchanges of art and ideas.


Who We Are:

Poetic Theater Productions started in 2010 as a way to put the work of slam poets into a theatrical setting which became a theatrical production company, and has moved into providing a platform for poetic theater artists of all backgrounds, offering resources and support to poets interested in writing for the theater and playwrights developing work with poetic influence. We exist in response to the increasing need in America for a diverse theatrical landscape of voice, subject matter and form. We respond to the need for a theatrical platform for traditionally marginalized voices and narratives kept out of mainstream because of cultural and socioeconomic conditions which result in a departure from the American theatrical tradition - i.e. hip hop, dance theater, slam poetry, oral storytelling, and ritual. Poetic Theater Productions has created and is constantly expanding its community of socially engaged, innovative poetic theater artists and actively engaged audience in productions engaging voices and narratives from Black/African-American communities, veterans, LGBT, and socioeconomically challenged youth, among others. We create space for conversations surrounding these issues to occur across boundaries of race and class, elevating the conversation on responsibility, activism and practice. By organizing the tools and resources to support new voices and styles of narrative, we are validating these other forms of storytelling within the realm of theater to communities who look to theater as a way to understand humanity.

At our core, we believe in providing space and resources to poetic theater artists to see their work realized, in encouraging our artists to continue to develop their craft and to collaborate with each other, in supporting the voices of underrepresented artists and legitimizing their work on a New York stage, and inciting conversations across generations, cultures and political viewpoints. There is stigma surrounding slam theater or hip hop theater that’s only seen as relevant to a particular community, and also of Shakespeare and verse theater which is similarly seen as exclusive towards its audience, and Poetic Theater Productions seeks to break those assumptions by putting hip hop and verse on the same stage and bringing those audiences together.

We hope to have a defining impact on the genre of Poetic Theater and add to the theatrical lexicon by strengthening the impact of heightened text that engages political, social and cultural ideas as an important theatrical form. We also hope to reach nontraditional audiences by speaking on themes important to them and using language accessible and impactful to them, and we hope to inspire more poets to use the tools of playwriting to explore and expand the potential reach and impact of their work.

Range of Programs:

Conscious Language is a series of educational workshops, panels and performance about the power of words in performance. The workshops, lead by Craig “muMs” Grant and Lauren Whitehead, teach poets how to write plays and give them an opportunity to share that work with the public. The panels engage leading artists such as Saul Williams, José Rivera and Dominique Morisseau in conversation about the role of art in activism alongside performances of works in process by artists in our community.

Poetic License is our annual festival of new poetic theater, which has grown from five days to three weeks in the past four years. The fourth annual Poetic License features two fully realized productions of exciting new poetic plays written by company members, a reading series of six new works of poetic theater identified through an open submission process, and three special events: Breaking Our Silence, a celebration of LGBT voices; Love, Redefined, remixes, and re-imaginings of traditional love poems in celebration of non-commercial, non-traditional love; and Generation Now, a showcase of youth voices in poetic theater in partnership with Urban Word NYC, Girl Be Heard, Generation Why, viBe Theater Experience and Earsay Youth Voices.

Goliath is a 45 minute, spare-set choreodrama which contends with war, atrocity, post-traumatic stress, masculinity, and homophobia in the context of the US invasion of Iraq, which continues to have relevance in this contemporary moment. Every performance of Goliath features poetry before the play begins written and performed by veterans in the community, and is followed by a moderated discussion, creating a forum for audience members to respond and converse with the creative team and cast. Goliath has been embraced by civilians, military families and veterans alike. We plan to take the show across the country in late 2015 and early 2016 to continue to engage veterans, college students and local communities in conjunction with workshops run by the artists, enabling audiences to begin having these important conversations and to witness the power of theater to heal and create conversation across divided communities.

Other programming includes Poetic Theater Productions Presents: informal presentation of 10-12 new poetic theater works in various stages of development, Uncharted: table readings of new work by Poetic Theater Productions artists, full productions of poetic theater works, sometimes as part of an external festival, and educational opportunities in the form of internships in marketing, administration, literary and production.