The BOLDSKOOL Hip Hop Theatre Workshops are designed to offer youth a creative platform to free their original voices – combining skills training in the elements of hip hop (break-dancing, spoken word, MC’ing, beat boxing) and theatre (storytelling, movement). BOLDSKOOL connects youth with an accessible set of artistic tools for self expression, creating space for personal growth through exchange, collaborative performance, friendship, and mentorship.
BOLDSKOOL was created by hip-hop artist, actor and playwright Omari Newton, Urban Ink’s former Artistic Director Diane Roberts and Education consultant Dr. Mia Perry.
In the workshops youth:
- Find and develop their creative voices
- Discuss social issues that affect them
- Explore the use of theatre techniques in expressing themselves
- Build confidence and self-expression in a collaborative setting
- Are encouraged to talk about their relationship with their families, friends and community
- Discuss their ability to initiate and create change
Past workshops have been delivered in partnership with the Burnaby Youth Custody Services Centre, the Congress of Black Women (in honour of Black History Month), Covenant House, SFU Woodwards, Britannia Community Services Centre, Richmond Media Lab, North Shore Multicultural Society, the Ucwalmicw Centre (Lillooet BC), the Vancouver School Board Engaged Immigrant Youth Program, and various highschools in the Metro Vancouver region.
Latest Workshop: Spoken Word Hip Hop Poetry Workshop in Whitehorse for Sal Capone Tour
Next Workshop: Half Day Daybreakers Hip Hop Theatre Workshop for Burnaby School District Youth Summit conference for marginalized youth
VIDEO: BOLDSKOOL @ Burnaby Youth Custody Services Centre (2014)
VIDEO: BOLDSKOOL/ Youth Direct performance @ Roundhouse Community Centre (2014)
Omari Newton – Program Director
Montreal-born artist Omari Newton is an award winning professional actor, writer and poet whose work can be seen on television, film and stages internationally. Significant screen credits include the role of “Larry Summers” on Spike TV’s popular comedy Blue Mountain State, “Lucas Ingram” from Showcase/ SYFY USA network’s hit show Continuum, and the voice of “Jefferson” on Disney XD’s new cartoon series Max Steel. Newton’s stage work has earned him a number of awards and accolades including a best supporting actor nomination for his work in the Centaur Theatre’s production of Joe Penhal’s award winning “Blue/Orange (Soirée Des Masques). His original hip hop theater piece The Lamentable Tragedy of Sal Capone was produced by urban ink in 2013-2014 and premiered in Vancouver and Montreal in partnership with Black Theatre Workshop. He and Continuum castmate Luvia Peterson (Garza ) co-host a comedic monthly entertainment podcast called The Visible Minority report.
Rupert Common – MC/Beatbox/Improv Theatre/Breakdance Mentor
Rupert is a Hip Hop artist and teacher from Vancouver, B.C. His main form of expression is writing rap – which he performs over produced beats, beat-box loops of his own creation, or with his 4-piece band. He is also deeply involved in break-dance, training and teaching on a daily basis. A more recent foray into guitar and singing has expanded his skills a vocalist and deepened his knowledge of music. He incorporates all these elements into his workshops, and teaches an all-rounded approach to hip hop culture. Aside from his own practices and performances, Rupert puts energy into hosting events and shows. Many of these shows are free, all ages, and include open mic “cyphers.” By bringing together a diverse group of people with a range of talents, Rupert hopes to strengthen Vancouver’s Hip Hop community and help grow a style and vibe unique to the city.
Ronnie Dean Harris (aka Ostwelve) – MC/Spoken Word/Beatbox/Producer Mentor
Ronnie aka Ostwelve is a Coast Salish Multimedia Hiphop artist from the Sto:lo Territory of British Columbia. He got his first song on the radio at 14 years old and went on to be one of youngest radio hosts in Canada, hosting the When Spirits Whisper and Halkomelem language program The Speaker radio shows on Coop Radio 102.7 CFRO at the age of 15. Since then Ronnie has worked as an actor for APTN/Showcase series Moccasin Flats and film Moccasin Flats: Redemption, lead composer for APTN children’s Cree language series Nehiyawetan: Let’s Speak Cree, content manager and award-winning podcast host for RPM.fm (an Indigenous music culture website based out of Vancouver), released the award-winning rap album Anti-Gravity Dinosaurs (2008), and has performed in numerous festivals and has opened for acts such as Guru, K’naan, Asbtract Rude and Snoop Dogg to name a few. In the last 10 years Ronnie has been very active in facilitating and creating workshop programs for youth empowerment in media arts and hip-hop. In January 2012, Ronnie completed the Aboriginal Leadership Certificate program at the Justice Institute of British Columbia. Check Ostwelve on Facebook.
Kia Kadiri – MC/Vocalist Mentor
Kia has been one of Vancouver’s most respected females on the mic for almost 20 years. Her energetic performances and unique style keep her in demand as an instructor, performer, and facilitator. Kia works passionately with youth in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, mentoring & teaching rap. Her debut record “Feel This” received acclaim across the country for thought provoking lyrics, excellent production, and blend of genres. From hip hop to soul, jazz to drum & bass, Kia’s lighting speed raps and passionate delivery leave her in a class of her own.
J-kay Agudo (aka JK47)- Breakdance Mentor
JK47 is the Director of Frontlinez International Break Squad, Co-Director of the Freestyle Rap Alliance and member of the Project Soul Show Company. She is a well respected Bgirl here in Vancouver and is internationally recognized as a driving force. A full-time instructor and performer, JK dedicates herself into pushing new levels of excellence to build communities and encourages the pursuit of purpose & passion.
Dave Nelson (aka Emotionz) – Beatbox/MC/Producer Mentor
MC/Beatboxer extraordinaire, hailing from Vancouver, Canada, has performed over 1500 times through over 10 countries. His live set has become an energy filled journey through Hip Hop with its multiple genres of musical influence; Rapping, Beatboxing, Dancing and most of all spreading love on stage. He recently teamed up with Wandering Worx Music and released “On The Up & Up”, a collection of songs depicting his current musical direction of conscious lyrics with banging beats and fun songs. Check Emotionz on Facebook
Patrick Sabongui – Theatre Mentor
Patrick’s acting career spans over a decade. Born and raised in Montreal, Patrick grew up in a 3-language household speaking French, English and Arabic. Patrick was active in all facets of academic life as well as competing seriously in several sports throughout high school: 12 years of American football (including two shots at the Provincial Championship at the Collegiate level), basketball, track & field (holding the Provincial high-jump record for a year) and martial-arts (which still plays a huge part in his life) as well rock & ice climbing and mountaineering (having summited peaks across North America and the Alps). Patrick then earned a BFA in Drama for Human Development from Concordia University, a Certificate from the National Theatre Conservatory in Colorado and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Acting from the University of California. Patrick has had the opportunity to work with some of the world’s most influential directors including Steven Spielberg, Zack Snyder, Tarsem Singh, John Cassar, Yves Simoneau, Richard Donner, Joss Whedon, Drew Goddard and Roland Emmerich. On television, he has appeared on several hit shows such as “24”, Flashpoint, Covert Affairs, Psych, Smallville and Stargate: Atlantis to name a few. His athletic background and martial-arts training has also landed him work on action films “300”, Immortals, MI:4, A-Team, The Bourne Legacy, Tron: Legacy and more. His involvement in the “biz” isn’t limited to acting. As a creative artist he has also written, directed and produced several short films. Patrick is slated to direct his first feature film, Outside Chance, in the summer of 2013. His most recent theatre creation garnered him and his co-creators an award at the 2012 Vancouver Fringe Festival with their unique, site-specific play, “Felony”. Patrick is also the co- director of the not-for-profit mentorship program, Fulfilling Young Artists: an organization dedicated to helping young actors and actresses find fulfillment in their pursuit of a positive, sustainable acting career by pairing them with seasoned, well established actors who mentor them over the course of a six- month program which he helped design. As a father, artist, actor, director, producer, mentor and athlete he is the embodiment of a renaissance man in today’s entertainment industry.
Kim Villagante – MC/Spoken Word/Vocalist/Theatre Mentor
Kim Villagante (aka K!mmortal) is a multi-dimensional artist who expresses herself across many mediums. She was born in Vancouver, grew up in Surrey, and graduated in 2011 with Visual Arts and Art History from UBC. Since being forced to perform in front of her family at Filipino gatherings as a young kid, Kim has continued to express herself on stage and even love it. She strives to rep hard as a renaissance artist through visual art, singing, rapping, spoken-word, and writing. Kim is inspired by artists of colour, the history of resistance, powerful Filipinos and the smell of coffee. She will release her first album in 2014. Check K!mmortal on Facebook.