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Powerhouse Traditions

Drumfolk

  • Credits

    By Step Afrika!

  • Location

    Fichandler Stage

  • Run Time

    Approximately 90 minutes including one 15 minute intermission

"poetic, choreographically rich"

— The Washington Post

Electrifying percussive dance fused with contemporary art forms fuels Step Afrika!’s latest production, Drumfolk, inspired by the Stono Rebellion of 1739 and the Negro Act of 1740 in South Carolina. State laws mandated that enslaved Africans could not assemble or use their drums which were used to signal the uprising. They took away the drums, but they could not stop the beat. This is the rich story of a movement that could not be stopped and transformed African American culture from then to the present day. The immersive production will be the first of three as part of a multi-year collaborative partnership between Step Afrika! and Arena Stage.

Prime Sponsorship for Drumfolk is generously provided by
Supporting Sponsorship for Drumfolk is generously provided by AT&T logo

The presentation of Drumfolk was made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Lead Commissioning Support provided by Arts Emerson, Hancher Auditorium, Eugene M. Lang Foundation and the Strathmore Performing Arts Center. Additional support provided by the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, The New Victory Theater, Delaware Art Museum, Meany Hall, The Soraya and the DC Commission on Arts and Humanities. Additional Production Support provided by the Publick Playhouse.

Seating

  • Please note that due to the unique staging of Drumfolk, the North Section of the Fichandler Stage will be closed for seating.
  • Please also note that select seats in the West and East Sections closest to the North Section will have obstructed sight lines. These seats are being sold at the special price of $41 for weekday performances and $51 for weekend performances. These include, in the West Section, Row F Seat 23; Row G, Seats 23, 25, 27; and Row H Seats 23, 25, 27; and, in the East Section, Row F, Seat 24; Row G Seats 24, 26, 28; and Row H, Seats 24, 26, 28. 
  • If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Arena Stage Sales Office, Tuesday – Sunday, 12 p.m. – 8 p.m., at info@arenastage.org or 202-488-3300.

Cast

CHRISTYLEZ BACON

EMANUEL "MANNY" CHACON

AGYEI KEITA EDWARDS

DIONNE ELEBY

KAYSHON HAWKINS

AKIEVIA HICKMAN

JABARI JONES

CONRAD R. KELLY II

ABDOU MUHAMMAD

AYANA OGUNSUNLADE

DUSTIN PRAYLOW

ANESIA SANDIFER

JOEL SANTIAGO

JAKARI SHERMAN

VALENCIA ODEYKA EMONNI SPRINGER

JORDAN SPRY

PELHAM WARNER

ROBERT WARNSLEY

KANYSHA WILLIAMS

Creative

STEP AFRIKA!

MFONISO AKPAN

Artistic Director

STEVEN M. ALLEN

Composer

KENDALL ARIN

Stage Manager and Assistant Production Manager

PATRICK CALHOUN

Sound Designer

YANNICK GODTS

Assistant Lighting Designer

DANIELLE MCBRIDE

Sound Engineer

MARIANNE MEADOWS

Lighting Designer and Production Manager

MISHA MICHEL

Assistant Stage Manager

KENAAN M. QUANDER

Costume Designer

JAKARI SHERMAN

Director

ERIK TEAGUE

Mask Designer

C. BRIAN WILLIAMS

Founder & Executive Director

Special Performances

Weekday Matinees:
Southwest Night:
Early Curtain:
Open Caption:
Audio Described:

Drumfolk News

Broadway World

Drumfolk, the latest polyrhythmic percussive dance production by Step Afrika! is unquestionably great art.

Maryland Theatre Guide

"a triumph, plain and simple."

DC Theater Arts

Step Afrika!’s fiery ‘Drumfolk’ dances to the beat of not-so-distant history

District Fray

How Step Afrika! Keeps It Moving

WTOP

Step Afrika! brings ‘Drumfolk’ to Arena Stage, chronicling a little-known event in African American history

Matter of Fact TV

How a Ban on Drums Inspired Hundreds of Years of Music

The Washington Post

The best things to do in the D.C. area: Drumfolk at Arena Stage

Voices of the Chesapeake Bay

Step Afrika! Founder C. Brian Williams interviews with WRNR's Voices of the Chesapeake Bay program

FOX5

Step Afrika! previews DC area show

DC Metro Theater Arts

Step Afrika!’s exuberant ‘Drumfolk’ makes DC debut

The Washington Post

Step Afrika’s Drumfolk brings the 1739 Stono Rebellion to life through the power of stepping

OnStage Blog

New York Review: New 42nd Street Presents at New Victory Theater Step Afrika!’s Drumfolk

Washington Post

"A collaboration that underlines Arena’s commendable engagement with the art makers of the capital city"

Broadway World

Arena Stage announces three-year partnership with Step Afrika! 

Images

Photo of the cast of Drumfolk by Jim Saah.
Photo of the cast of Drumfolk by Jim Saah.
Photo of the cast of Drumfolk by Jim Saah.
Photo of the cast of Drumfolk by Jacob Andrew Iwinski.
Photo of the cast of Drumfolk by Jacob Andrew Iwinski.
Photo of the cast of Drumfolk by Jacob Andrew Iwinski.
Photo of the cast of Drumfolk by Jacob Andrew Iwinski.
Photo of the cast of Drumfolk by Jacob Andrew Iwinski.
Photo of the cast of Drumfolk by Jacob Andrew Iwinski.