At A&I, Local Playwright’s Hip-Hop Musical Will Come Home

New Haven playwright and spoken-word artist Aaron Jafferis’ hip-hop musical will take center stage at his hometown arts festival.

His play will be one of dozens of attractions at this year’s Arts & Ideas Festival. Festival organizers Tuesday unveiled the full line-up for the summer arts bonanza, set for June 15 to 29.

Click here to see the full schedule.

The festival’s theme this year is “Dreaming New Worlds.” The Handspring Puppet Company’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream” will open the festival. Aaron Neville will headline opening night. The Kronos Quartet will play on June 23.

“Spanning 15 days, Festival 2013 features 21 headline events, 14 ideas lectures and conversations, and dozens of free walking, bike, exhibition, and food tours, plus family programs, concerts from noon to night on the New Haven Green, and more,” a release states.

Harold Shapiro PhotoJafferis’ piece, “Stuck Elevator,” is described as “a comic-rap-scrap metal musical prompted by the real-life experience of a Chinese restaurant delivery man trapped in a Bronx elevator for 81 hours.” Another play of his recently debuted in New York City. Jafferis (pictured) grew up in Westville, attended Hillhouse High School, then traveled the world honing his street-theater and writing skills. He also kept a home base here in New Haven, working with students at the Educational Center for the Arts and with Fair Haven’s Bregamos theater troupe. Read about some of that here and here.

Stuck Elevator has been in development for years, including a reading at the 2010 A&I festival and a workshop at the 2011 Sundance Institute Theatre Lab. This summer New Haven will see the results.

Click on the play arrow to watch a 2008 election-season video Jafferis made with ECA students.


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posted by: Stephanie FitzGerald on April 4, 2013  5:58pm

Really liked the 2008 video - powerful, energetic, with a clear message!

posted by: swatty on April 4, 2013  10:59pm

that video is really cool.

posted by: Seth Poole on April 8, 2013  9:25pm

Aaron and I go way back to our Edgewood days.  Dude has always been an intellect and has carved his own niche.  Respect dude. I am happy to see the festival invest in someone from the city.. Hopefully this is the start of something beautiful.  God bless.