Entertainment

Cranked speaks a hard truth

Kyle Cameron takes on the role as Stan, a.k.a. “definition,” a hip hop artist trying to get over a devastating crystal meth addiction in Green Thumb Theatre’s Cranked, playing at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre on Monday. - David Cooper/submitted
Kyle Cameron takes on the role as Stan, a.k.a. “definition,” a hip hop artist trying to get over a devastating crystal meth addiction in Green Thumb Theatre’s Cranked, playing at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre on Monday.
— image credit: David Cooper/submitted

Known for their touring shows that explore social issues relevant to the lives of children, youth and young adults, Green Thumb Theatre returns with a new touring production that looks at the dangers and consequences of crystal methamphetamine addiction.

Told through hip hop and spoken word, Cranked is the story of Stan, a.k.a. “definition,” a rising freestyle MC who loses it all because of his meth habit.

The play will be performed at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre on Monday.

With music provided by Vancouver hip hop artists Kyprios (of Sweatshop Union fame) and Stylust, Cranked uses the power of hip hop to viscerally connect with teens and young people.

“Using slang and pop culture that is up-to-the-minute relevant got a serious message across, while still creating something that is entertaining,” said parent John Vazquez.

In the play, Stan confronts his demons as he preps for an upcoming competition without the “fix” that has dominated his life.

Memories of the highs and the rush of music all collide as he struggles to recapture what he once had.

Written by playwright/actor Michael P. Northey,  Cranked has been performed at New York’s Duke Theatre off Broadway, at the Sydney Opera House and in theatres all over Canada and the U.S.

It has also played to schools around B.C. as part of Green Thumb’s mandate to engage young people and to celebrate the language and stories of today’s culture and generation.

“In schools, our plays provide valuable curriculum connections, present important themes and encourage inclusion, creativity and critical thinking,” said Green Thumb artistic director Patrick McDonald.

Indeed Cranked has resonated with young people as one student, Amanda, put it: “(Cranked) has to be one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen. I’m 16 and it scared the crap out of me.”

Green Thumb Theatre’s Cranked shows to the public on Monday at 7 p.m. at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre. Admission is by donation at the door.

 

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