Hype Man: a break beat play

Written by Idris Goodwin
Directed by Deena Selenow
Produced by Simon Levy, Deborah Culver, James Bennett & Stephen Sachs
Starring Chad Addison, Matthew Hancock, Clarissa Thibeaux

“The Fountain Theatre continues its stellar track record of outreach with this keenly observed immersion in hip-hop culture and the social conditions that animate it.” – Los Angeles Times



HYPE MAN: a break beat play
by Idris Goodwin

RAVE! – “BELIEVE THE HYPEHEARTFELT AND CATHARTIC… director Deena Selenow elicits FIRST-RATE PERFORMANCES from her tight-knit cast… superb technical elements… an audacious choice for the Fountain Theatre. Let’s face it, most stage audiences do not appear to be of the hip-hop generation. But even those who are not fans of the genre will find “Hype Man” an overdue immersion into a cultural phenomenon.” – F. Kathleen Foley, Los Angeles Times

RAVE!WOW! an exhilarating, discussion-provoking Fountain Theatre West Coast Premiere… As exciting a Fountain Theatre production as I’ve seen, spine-tinglingly directed by Deena Selenow and thrillingly performed by a trio of young actors… The latest in a long line of Fountain Theatre winners, HYPE MAN: a break beat play has much to say about race and racism, friendship and fame, and the power of music to both unite and divide. More importantly, it says all this in the most electrifying of ways.” – Steven Stanley, StageSceneLA

RAVE! – “HYPE MAN DELIVERS A NUANCED STUDY OF PRETTY MUCH EVERYTHING AT THE FOREFRONT OF TODAY’S NEWS, including social injustice, racial identity, and gender inequality… Talented director Deena Selenow does a superb job of turning three legitimate actors into rap stars. Of course, she also has a talented trio working to reach their mutual goal… all the parts came together just right.” – Elaine Mura, LA Splash

RAVE! – “ENTIRELY HYPE-DESERVING… exciting and challenging…  knows how to crush a beat and a lyric…. by turns angry and compassionate, never short of riveting.” Evan Henerson, Curtain-Up

RAVE! – “A FAST-PACED, HYPERENEGETIC, SERIO-COMIC WONDER… brings the hip-hop scene to vivid life…  BRILLIANT DRAMAthrilling, consciousness expanding, humanizing, and educational… fast-paced direction… extraordinary performances.” — Paul Myrvold, Theatre Notes

RAVE! – “A POWERFUL, FUNNY AND MEANINGFUL DRAMA…  don’t miss this very important production, superbly directed by Deena Selenow… and there are some infectious musical numbers.” — Joan Alperin, Stage and Cinema

RAVE! – “AN ENDEARING AND HIGH-ENERGY PIECE OF ART… the trio of actors works in harmony, collaborating and feeding off of each other’s energy. Their powerful dynamic transforms the play into more than a story about activism, but of human experience… Beat Maker Romero Mosley’s masterful beats act as the heartbeat of the play; they are fun, catchy, and are not only complementary but integral to the story.” – Shelby Corley, USC Annenberg Media

RAVE! – “SENSITIVE AND CHALLENGING… continues the Fountain Theatre’s strong identification with plays about social justice.” – Eric Gordon, People’s World

RAVE! – “TIGHT, ENLIGHTENING AND AWESOME…  important new show at the Fountain… takes audiences into the world of Hip Hop — politics (racial, sexual and otherwise), ambition, and behind-the-scenes business dealings… Playwright Idris Goodwin explores the pressures of society, the music business, and the characters’ personal lives with language that crackles… The Fountain gets props for reaching out to a new, young audience with this play. Hype Man is the way it is today, and we need to listen.” — Bill Garry, Discover Hollywood

RAVE! – “FANTASTIC… well-directed… infectious… authentic… IT’S A GREAT SHOW.” – Patrick Chavis, LA Theatre Bites Podcast

RAVE! – “ELEVATES OUR STORIES… an entertaining and thought-provoking show exemplifying the high standards that are hallmarks of The Fountain Theatre… excellent cast and director.” – Ernest Kearney, The TVolution

RAVE! – “FAST-PACEDIt fits well with the Fountain Theatre’s mission of presenting plays that explore issues of social justice… Director Deena Selenow delineates the characters with sensitivity and understanding, allowing the audience to empathize with their humanity… Theater allows us to experience lifestyles that may be very different from our own. While I went to the play knowing little about the hip-hop scene, I came away with an appreciation for an art form that speaks to the identity of many young people today.” – Marilyn Tower Oliver, Los Feliz Ledger

West Coast Premiere – Winner, 2018 Elliot Norton Award

A music group is on the verge of making it big on national TV when a police shooting of a Black teen shakes the band to its core, forcing them to confront questions of race, gender, privilege, appropriation, and when to use artistic expression as an act of social protest.

Opened Feb 23
Runs thru April 14
Low-Priced & PWYW Previews Feb 20-22

Saturdays at 8pm
Sundays at 2pm
Pay What You Want Mondays at 8pm

Runs 85 minutes with no intermission

“hip hop culture as a crucible where issues of racial identity, gender inequity, ambition, and friendship collide.”
– The Boston Globe


Hype Man: a break beat play

Set Design by James Maloof
Lighting Design by Chu Hsuan Chang
Beats by Romero Mosley
Sound Design by Malik Allen
Costume Design by Michael Mullen
Props Design by Shen Heckel
Production Stage Manager: Sarah Dawn Lowry
Technical Director: Scott Tuomey


KPFK – Cast Interviewed/Perform on Breakbeats-and-Rhymes – March 25, 2019

KPFK – Michael Slate Interviews Cast – March 1, 2019

Los Angeles Times – Feature – February 22, 2019

@ThisStage Magazine – Video – February 22, 2019

HypeOffLife – PR – February 21, 2019

Intimate/Excellent – Meet the Cast – January 31, 2019

BroadwayWorld – Press Release – January 23, 2019