The following is a press release from an organization unaffiliated with Voice of OC. The views expressed here are not those of Voice of OC.

Date: Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Contact: Allison Smartt, Production Manager
(973) 819­8093 |

New Narratives Series bring hip­hop theatre to UCI

IRVINE, CA — Between Donald Trump’s latest offense and nightly news’ all­white panels discussing race, the conversation about race and identity badly needs nuance and empathy. Mixed-­Race Mixtape by Irvine native and hip­hop artist Andrew “Fig” Figueroa, is just what the doctor ordered. Mixed­-Race Mixtape uses hip­hop, theater and dance to encourages people of every background to reflect on what has shaped their identity. Created and performed by a diverse team of millennials, it’s captivating, fun, and capable of moving audiences to tears.

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Fig stars in Mixed­-Race Mixtape, a hip­hop theatre performance to be presented through University of California, Irvine’s New Narratives Series. It is a one­night only performance at Crystal Cove Auditorium in the Student Center, 311 W Peltason Dr, Irvine, CA 92697 at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 19, 2016. There is an open mic beginning at 6:30pm, immediately before the performance. The performance is free ­ an RSVP is highly recommended. You can make one here:­race_mixtape.php

Figueroa, through spoken word, monologue, movement and rap, shares experiences of growing up “mixed.” A son of a white mother and Mexican father, Figueroa’s songs explore the struggle to be seen as authentic, both by himself and by others. Each song examines everyday interactions and how race and culture affects relationships with teachers, friends, family, and police. Through humor and audience interaction, Mixed­Race Mixtape takes on difficult topics while answering what it is like to be “ambiguously brown” and how to navigate that world and feel proud, authentic, and safe.

“Growing up as a mixed­Latino, I have struggled through many confusing, uncomfortable, and alienating experiences — never sure where I fit, even when I knew where I wanted to fit,” Figueroa said. “Media has a big influence on how we shape our identities and how we think we should identify others. This show p rovides positive alternative role models, and its content will start important conversations about these themes in many communities of color.”

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Figueroa wrote the show as part of his senior thesis at Hampshire College and each performance is followed by a talkback to give audience members a chance to ask deeper questions about the performance and its themes. He has been a guest on the Poncho Hour of Power Radio show on KPFK and organized and performs in the hip­hop cypher, Donald Trump’s Nightmare: The Cypher, which has thousands of online views.

For more information, call Allison Smartt, Production Manager, (973) 819­8093. Photo credit: Gabriel Balliargeon.

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