Killadelphia is the brainchild of award-winning writer/solo performer Sean Christopher Lewis from NYC/Iowa, who was commissioned by Mural Arts Project and Interact Theatre of Philadelphia to create a piece addressing the epidemic murder rates Philadelphia faced in 2008. Using hip hop and documentary theater techniques, Lewis weaves together the true story of murdered teaching fellow Beau Zabel with interviews from "Lifers" at Graterford Prison in Pennsylvaniaâ"a group of men employed in prison to paint many of the 2,000 art murals seen throughout the City of Brotherly Love. Their stories are bolstered by the lyrics, speeches and thoughts of local rap artists, city officials, emergency room technicians, everyday citizens and even conservative radio personalities to present a living snapshot of an urban center in a state of emergency. Lewis plays all the characters himself.
Touring for the past two years, Killadelphia has garnered incredible national praise and awards, including the 2010 National New Play Network Smith Prize for Drama, the Central Ohio Theatre Circle Citation for Best Touring Production, and a Barrymore Nomination for Best Collaboration from the Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia. The piece has been lauded as "epicâ¦ a must see piece of theatreâ¦ brilliantly conceived to educate and entertain" (NY Theatre.com); "Killadelphia has left every other production behindâ¦it makes you laugh, cry and gawkâ¦and it all adds up to a show that can't be missed" (METROMIX Magazine); and "Lewis creates compelling characters who will leave audiences questioning their own crime convictions" (Greatest City of All ezine).
Producer Welsh first learned of Killadelphia through Dano Madden, Idaho-native playwright living in NYC, who saw the play last year and raved about how it presents, from an authentic human perspective, the complexity of crime and murder rates in our country. "One thing I love about this piece is that there aren't just good and bad sides, or wrong and right," says Madden, adding that, "Killadelphia is a great play for Boise. Boise is not Philadelphia or Chicago or New Yorkâ"places with high murder rates, but it's a city that's growing. A play like Killadelphia asks smaller cities like Boise to wrestle with the consequences of and solutions for a future of becoming a larger, racially and culturally diverse urban center before it happens. Why do big cities struggle with crime and murder? How do they become like that? Could Boise become like that?"
Playwright and performer Lewis echoes that sentiment, saying, "I wanted to create a piece that explores violence, penance and second chances in a no-holds-barred look at the Urban American Dream. Western U.S. towns like Boise have, until recently, enjoyed a sort of social homogeny, where the colors and races and values and goals of the community were essentially the same. Now, these cities are experiencing an influx of diversity really for the first time, with immigrant workers, college athletes from all over the world, and refugee populations growing in record numbers. With this influx of 'otherness' comes the need for these communities to delve deeper into the conversation of, 'how do we bridge the inevitable gaps in society before they happen?'"
1402 W. Grove St
Boise, ID 83702
|Kid Friendly: No|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: No|