Supplemental Materials for Say Word! > In Case You Forget
Ben Snyder is a playwright and educator. His plays have been produced at Center Stage New York, PS 122, The Harry DeJour Playhouse, Crossroads Theatre, The Apollo Theater, The Vineyard Theater, New York Stage and Film, and at HBO's U.S. Comedy Arts Festival. Ben's play History of the Word continues to tour the United States since it premiered in 2004. He is a graduate of the Tisch School of the Arts, a former Julliard Graduate Playwriting Fellow, and holds an MFA from the University of Texas at Austin. As a Teaching Artist for the last ten years, Ben has used theater to explore social issues with high school and college-aged students throughout New York City's five boroughs. Additionally, he has been a guest director at New Africa Theatre Association (NATA) in Cape Town, South Africa and a guest artist with Arts-in-Action at the University of the West Indies (UWI) in Trinidad. Ben's short film, Hector's Gonna Kill Nate will premiere this April at the Aspen ShortsFest. As a screenwriter Ben has written a half dozen scripts. Mos Def and Joy Bryant are attached to star in his adaptation of Harlem Remembers the Bronx and his original screenplay Birthright is in pre production at Boom Gen Studios.
When I was in college, a friend of mine was arrested for writing graffiti. He spent a few months in prison. When he got out, we took him out to lunch and watched him devour burger after burger. He told me how, during his first night in prison, his cellmate discovered he was an artist. My friend drew a picture in a birthday card for the man's grandson. The man, in turn, protected my friend through gang affiliations in the prison. This story inspired me to write In Case You Forget, a play exploring graffiti art, race politics, and political disillusionment.
This script would not be what it is if not for the support and involvement of Center Stage New York, Developing Artists (DATCO), LAByrinth Theater Company, The Hip Hop Theater Festival, Conservatory Theater Ensemble (CTE), RIME, SETUP, TOPER, ONETIME, KCW, Judith Snyder, Jill DeArmon, Eric DeArmon, Max DeArmon, Jeff Deamer, Maya Lawson, Dara Serber, Danny Hoch, Clyde Valentin, Salvatore Inzerillo, Stephen Adly Guirgis, and Ari Issler.
In Case You Forget was first developed in the summer of 2000 with LAByrinth Theater Company. In 2001, Developing Artists Theater Company (DATCO) produced it at Center Stage New York. That year the New York City Hip Hop Theater Festival presented it both at the Bronx Museum and P.S.122. In 2003, New York Stage and Film at produced it. In 2006 I was invited to adapt and direct the show in Cape Town, South Africa with the New Africa Theatre Association.
Photo courtesy Erin Zima.