Page 2 of 2   <      

D.C. Hip-Hop Theater Festival Reaches Out to All Ages

After retrieving the items through crafty methods of deception, Zomo must decide which quality has more value: power gained through deceit or friendship gained through humility. Again, he appeals to the audience for assistance.

Meron Benn, 31, said her three children liked the exchange between the actors and audience.

"Every single child loved it," said Benn, who attended the show last Thursday evening. "My daughter loved the fish. My son loved Zomo. They wanted to come back the next day."

Morrison said hip-hop has not done much to engage families, considering that some parents came of age when rap music grew from an underground fad to mainstream appeal.

"I feel there is a huge void right now in hip-hop that's available for children to consume in a healthy way," he said.

Benn and her husband, Gabriel, have attended the festival for several years but had found it difficult to bring their children because of concerns about content and time constraints.

"This is one of the first times the family has been able to go to an event in years," Benn said. "I didn't have to find a sitter for anybody. I'm looking forward to more family-friendly events."

Forbes said the initial success of hip-hop theater for D.C. families should bode well for taking the festival to New York.

"There's a possibility that we might bring it to New York," she said. "This is definitely going to be a fixture as to how we program the festival."

<       2

© 2009 The Washington Post Company