I’m George Walker for WFIU Arts
The Bloomington Playwrights Project opened their fall season with solo performances by rap artist Baba Brinkman. Brinkman offered his fully formed “Rap Guide to Consciousness” and his still in process “Rap Guide to Culture.” These engaging science themed shows are a bit like Ted Talks with rhymes, rhythms and a beat.
Associate Artistic Director Ben Smith got things off with a delightfully complicated game that led the audience through all of the BPPs sponsors and quite magically left us all at the same spot.
I got to see Brinkman’s farewell performance of “Rap Guide to Consciouness” before the Western Canada born artist took his act back home to his scientist wife, son Dylan and dates to bring a quintet of his Rap Guides back to the Big Apple. I mention his wife and son because she figures in his discussion of free will…she doesn’t buy it…and his son Dylan is just at the engaging innocent stage.
Brinkman worked on a bare stage in a colorfully spacy environment created by David Wade with lighting by Jackie Lee King. Joel Watson was the sound board operator coordinating the sounds with Brinkman’s images that accompanied and often illustrated the talk. The rapper frequently used the images as a sort of chalk board to explain and amplify his thoughts. Photos, diagrams, charts, graphs and even equations were a part of the evening.
Brinkman is a personable figure and he frequently involved the audience. There was applause at the end of some of his pieces. We voted on whether a zombie might have consciousness…it was close… we were surer that we had consciousness…mostly yes, and did free will exist…mixed reaction. He even solicited comments to consider and added them to a free form rap.
Coming soon to the BPP are a couple of evening of magic. Beginning this Thursday’s September 19th Max Major will be in town with ”Mind Tricks.” Then, opening on September 26 Simon Coronel returns to the theatre with two other magicians for his “… Magic Smackdown.” On the weekend of November 9 there’s the annual Ike and Julie Arnove Playoffs and beginning in December 21, its musical theatre with “Lost Letters.”
Tickets are available for all and as always the BPP is where theatre is born
At the theatre for you, I’m George Walker