Ignited by an electric collision of theatre, breaking, and lyrical flow, How to Break tells the story of two teenage dancers battling their hospital caregivers for control over their own bodies. Small gaps in race, class, and language between Ana (a popper with leukemia), Joel (a b-boy with sickle cell), and their treatment team – a pediatric hematologist, a music therapist and a nurse with a beatboxing problem – create life-threatening rifts. Winner of the Barbour Playwrights Award.
Hip-hop playwright Aaron Jafferis – writer-in-residence at Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital – brought stories of teenagers living with cancer and sickle cell disease to beatboxer Yako 440, folk rocker Rebecca Hart, and the Mixing Texts Collective (breaking pioneers Kwikstep and Rokafella, beatboxer Adam Matta, and director Christopher Edwards), who together created an original musical exploding our notions of sickness and health.
Photo Paul Duda