The Ringling Welcomes Dahlak Brathwaite: Spiritrials March 12 and 14 Hip-Hop Theater Addresses Addiction, Religion and Redemption

MBCC #BlackInBiz highlights Dahlak Brathwaite: Spiritrials Hip-Hop Theater Addresses Addiction, Religion, and Redemption

The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art is pleased to present Dahlak Brathwaite: Spiritrials Mar 13 and 14 in the Historic Asolo Theater.

The premise of the performance piece is drawn from Brathwaite, young African-American man, being stopped by the police without clear cause. Again and again and again. The 10th stop leads to entanglements with the courts, jail and attorneys, with potentially life-changing results. In Spiritrials, addiction, religion, and the law intersect in a court-ordered drug rehabilitation program.

Dahlak Brathwaite’s incisive humor transforms a chilling personal story into a vital performance that layers character-driven storytelling and poetic verse with original songs to create a hybrid hip-hop drama. A virtuosic and timely exploration of the criminal justice system, Spiritrials chronicles the journey of Brathwaite’s own criminalization along with his struggle to be vindicated and decriminalized in the eyes of the law and society. The piece works through the personal shame of criminal stigmatization to examine the factors—both internal and external—that have misplaced him in what appears to be a cultural rite of passage.

Spiritrials is presented as part of The Ringling’s Art of Performance series and tickets may be purchased at or by phone at 941-360-7399. Please note: This performance contains mature content and may not be suitable for all ages.

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