Hip Hop Theater Festival

Co-Hosted By: Kuumba Lynx & Chicago Park District

Produced By: Kuumba Lynx & Chicago Park District’s Night Out in the Parks

Full Festival Schedule! 

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The Chicago Hip Hop Theatre Fest is a project seeking to present, preserve, and promote critically engaging Hip Hop.  The goal of CHHTF is to cultivate a community building & performance space for Chicago’s emerging and established artists for years to come.


Mission: Grounded in critical pedagogy, original performance aesthetics, and community engagement with a commitment to professionalizing the Hip Hop Theater genre and artist development, CHHTF energizes emerging & established Hip Hop Theater artist alongside both new and seasoned audiences.



Sejahari Amaru Saulter is a nationally recognized teen poet and dancer who has performed on Chicago’s poetry/theatre stages and dance floors since the age of five. Thanks in part to his Kuumba Lynx and FootworKINGz mentors–Jae, Jacinda & Lady Sol–Sejah is an avid performer, writer and dancer who has won multiple Louder Than A Bomb, Chicago Teen Poetry Championships & performed at venues/events such as Cadillac Theater, Brave New Voices, the Red Bull Flugtag and the Coachella Music Festival, where he joined the world famous FootworKINGz dancers on the stage with international Producer/DJ Green Velvet.



  Darius Parker Writer, Director, Producer, Actor is an African American Scholar, Actor,Dancer,Slam Poet,Singer and Activist. Since he can remember he has been an admirer of the performing arts. Darius has been a member of Kuumba Lynx Performance Ensemble since 2006 and has been active in Kuumba Lynx since.

Vania Gutierrez is a young spoken word and hip-hop theater artist hailing from Chicago’s west side. Vania is a firm believer in using art as a tool for activism, and so much of her work revolves around different social justice issues. Her work also highlights her personal experiences and identity as a first generation Xicana. Vania Gutierrez is a poet who heals through her work on and off stage. She also dabbles in visual arts. Alexis Pettis is a poet, visual artist, storyteller, and activist. She uses her gifts to uplift and heal the broken. She’s an aspiring author/screenwriter and hopes to use her experiences of being a black girl from Chicago and her insanely nerdy personality to bring a fresh new wave to entertainment that’s full and diverse.

Christopher “Maddog” Thomas is an extremely motivated dancer and youth mentor. Born and raised in Chicago’s Algeld Gardens project homes he was inspired to dance at age 5 by artists such as Micheal Jackson and New Edition. Throughout his youth, he danced with local groups K-Phi 9, House Arrest II, and Second II None. Chris later joined King Charles’ footwork battle clique, Creation and in 2007 became a member of the FootworKINGz for their appearance on Ellen’s Really Big Show in Las Vegas.

Leslie Lissaint is a world traveler and international performance artist, actress, dancer, and writer. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she is an alumni of the First Wave Program -a spearheading program that recruits and awards young artists from across the U.S. with full-tuition scholarships as members of the First Wave Hip Hop Theatre Ensemble. Leslie has trained and taught ballet, tap, African, modern, Hip Hop, and contemporary dance. She has also trained as an actress at the prestigious Eugene O’Neil Theater Institute and the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre.

With passion as her pedagogy, Goldie E. Patrick is a Detroit native, working, living, and building artistic collaborations in Washington DC. Goldie is a spirited playwright, poet, performer, and teacher of hip-hop education and culture. A bold advocate for Black women and girls, Goldie has gained recognition for her work as founder, and Executive Director of F.R.E.S.H.H. Inc, Females Representing Every Side of Hip-​‐Hop, a burgeoning community based organization of Black women that uses hip-hop focused cultural analysis, intergenerational mentoring, along with a Pan-African paradigm to reveal and resolve social adversities and advocate for policies that support, protect, and advance Black women and girls.

Myriha B., from Detroit, MI, is a singer, songwriter, emcee, host, and overall BEAST. She has performed in some of Detroit’s most esteemed venues including the Detroit Music Hall, Max Fisher Theater, and Cobo Hall. Myriha recently graduated the University of Wisconsin- Madison majoring in History, Afro Am Studies, and Gender and Women Studies. At the University, she’s a member of the nation’s only full- tuition Hip-Hop/Urban Arts scholarship known as First Wave.

DW McCraven began a career in the Arts, in 2001, as a member of New World Theater’s Project 2050 youth Hip Hop Theater performance ensemble. Originally from Amherst MA, DW is presently a Chicago based Interdisciplinary artist. DW approaches art through embracing the complexities of life within an interdisciplinary landscape. They challenge their art to encourage honesty within pain, laughter, joy, and discomfort. They challenge the discomfort that lies within human identity. They challenge their own discomfort with change and ability to unlearn systemic “principles.” They challenge themselves to believe in their own potential, to be brave in their evolution, humble in their delivery, and embracing of their future. They challenge themselves to question everything, and know nothing.


 Apply for the 2017 Hip Hop Theater Festival!