2pac The Man, Life, etc…
(ThyBlackMan.com) Tupac Amaru Shakur’s music has been dissected by inner city griots as well as ivory tower scholars. In light of all of the material about Tupac that is available, it is easy to believe that there in not much more to say about the rapper whose fierce fire was extinguished fifteen years ago. Such a belief can be dismissed after seeing Christina Tyler and George Carroll’s original play The Tragedy of Tupac Amaru Shakur or Who Shot Me?. After a successful first run in September 2011, The Tragedy of Tupac returns to the New York theatrical community for four shows on November 2-3, 2011. This new production provides a unique medium for exploring the rap, rage, and redemptive impact of Tupac’s lyrics, life, and death.
This collaborative effort of George and Christina, as producers and writers known as “The Entity,” is inspiring for several reasons. It is uplifting to see a male and female writing team. Both of them have a Latino heritage: George is a Texas native with Mexican roots and Christina is a native New Yorker of Puerto Rican descent. The play is directed by Jessica Jennings, a Caucasian woman, who is assisted by Shanade Hernandez, who also has a Latino background. The ages of the cast members span three decades and represent numerous racial and cultural backgrounds.
Anyone who attends the theatre or watches television or film knows that such diversity is lacking in these mediums. The Tragedy of Tupac organically brings all of these wonderful parts together in such a tightly woven manner that it should serve as a model for other productions that strive to produce art that reflects the true face of our society.
George’s inspiration to write the play started as a challenge. The 36-year-old self-described rock ‘n’ roll guy and Tupac fan was on a road trip from Austin to Corpus Christie, Texas with a friend. As he was listening to new hip-hop music, the songs bothered him because the lyrics seemed mindless. Over a series of road trips from Austin to Corpus Christie, George and his buddy played Tupac’s music.
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