Penn State Centre Stage presents 'I.D.'

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State Centre Stage will open its 2015–16 mainstage season with "I.D.," written by acclaimed playwright NSangou Njikam. Originally commissioned and produced by Penn State Centre Stage, "I.D." received its world premiere at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival in South Africa in July 2015 and will receive its U.S. premiere Sept. 8–20 in the Penn State Downtown Theatre.

What happens when you uncover your ancestry and discover the unknown? Does it change how you see yourself? Does it change how you see others? Directed by Steve Broadnax and supported with funding from the University Park Allocation Committee and the Institute for the Arts and Humanities, "I.D." is a hip-hop theatre piece that explores cultural identity utilizing dance, music and emceeing. Please note that the show includes profanity and content that may be challenging for some audience members.

The author of "I.D.," NSangou Njikam, is a member of the 2015 Emerging Writers Group at The Public Theater. His playwriting credits include "Re:Definition," "Syncing Ink," "Hands Up," and "When We Left." As an actor, NSangou's credits include "Henry V" (Classical Theatre of Harlem), "Deep Azure" (Congo Square Theatre Company), "Hands Up" (National Black Theater), "Game On" (Kennedy Center), "Re:Definition" (LaMama), "Waiting For Godot" (CTH Tour), and "Hieroglyphic Graffiti" (PS 122). NSangou is co-founder of The Continuum Project Inc., an organization devoted to the healing and empowerment of people of African descent using DNA testing and the arts. The organization has provided programming in New York and Washington, D.C., to students from middle school to college and was featured on the PBS special "Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates." NSangou received his bachelor of fine arts in acting from Howard University. After having traced his roots to Cameroon, he returned to his homeland and received the name NSangou.

“'I.D.' is a hip-hop theatre piece, and hip-hop theatre is a grassroots culture of the now, led by our youth,” said director Steve Broadnax, who is also head of the master of fine arts acting program and associate artistic director for outreach in the School of Theatre at Penn State. “The conversation of race and identity is at the very forefront in our country right now – so, to have these young artists collaborating on a work that addresses social justice issues is important to me, and I am proud to be part of the team that will bring this remarkable work to the local, national and international communities.”

Preview performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 8 and 10. Evening performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 11, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18. Matinee performances will be held at 2 p.m. on Sept. 13 and 20. Ticket prices are $18 for evening performances and $16 for preview and matinee performances. Penn State Students can purchase discounted tickets for $12 with a valid Penn State ID. An opening night reception is planned for Friday, Sept. 11 in advance of the 7:30 p.m. show. Tickets for the reception are $30 and include pre-show hors d'oeuvres and post-show desserts (show ticket not included). Doors open at 6 p.m.

For additional show information, visit www.theatre.psu.edu. Tickets are available at Penn State Tickets Downtown, the Eisenhower Box Office, Bryce Jordan Center, or by calling (814) 863-0255 or (800) ARTS-TIX. Generous student and group sales discounts are available.

Last Updated September 08, 2015