Written and Designed by Kane Smego
Directed by Jamila Reddy
April 20 and 21, 2009
the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The Spectrum is a spoken word/hip hop theater production written by National Slam Poet and Spoken Word artist Kane “Novakane” Smego. The play, sponsored by the Criminal Justice Action and Awareness Committee of Campus-Y, depicts experiences of urban youth and their dealings with the juvenile justice system, as well as examines art, and specifically hip hop, as a source of empowerment, refuge, and self-actualization for these youth who lack an outlet for their talents and creative energies.

The play follows the story of three youth, Troy, Ricky, and Vanessa, struggling to find hope in their worlds in the midst of street crime, drug addiction, domestic violence, and a family history of imprisonment. The three have artistic talents and aspirations representing three of the four elements of hip hop- Graffiti (Visual Art), Breaking/Hip Hop Dance (Dance), and the Spoken Word (Emceeing), respectively.

The play was produced by Black Poetry Theater, and professional troupe out of Durham, NC, and featured Spoken Word performances by members of the Bull City National Poetry Slam team as well as other local artists, actors, and performers.

Drawing much of its inspiration from interactions with youth in the Durham Youth Home, a local juvenile detention center, the production raised awareness about community outreach opportunities available at UNC, including weekly volunteer excursions to the DYH as well as a youth mentoring program.