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a.k.a. TheNeoGriot

"My style is a collage by Romare Bearden, un film de Souleymane Cissé, mixed fresh with some Wu-Tang, a slice of Marlon Riggs, and a dash of anime. I approach performance as a rite/right, as an art, and as a vital technology for sight, development, liberation and healing. I create art that harnesses the full potential of human energy to transform the mundane into the magical, and the prosaic into the poetic. I create art that engages with cosmic ideas, transcends the boundaries of space and time, and activates the limitless powers of the imagination. I create art that embraces the beautiful and the ugly, and is concerned with reaching minds, hearts, and spirits. I create art that is challenging yet accessible, not impenetrable. I create art with purpose, art that feels necessary. Ultimately, I seek to create art that is an answer to, rather than a mere representation of, reality."  --Mark H.

A native of Washington, DC, Mark H. is a director, performer, scholar and educator with a primary focus on physical theaters, and American and African diasporic performance. As a multidisciplinary artist, his work ranges from the classical to the experimental, from text-based to body-centric, and has been performed in spaces both traditional and unconventional. Mark is most passionate about devising new work that is site- specific, immersive, public and participatory, and is drawn to performance that is highly physical, ancient, post-dramatic, interdisciplinary, Afrosurreal, underground, queer-punk, divine, and sustainable. Mark earned his BFA in Acting with high honors from Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School of the Arts, received intensive training in classical theater at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London and is a graduate of the MFA Directing program at Columbia University School of the Arts. He is an Assistant Professor of Directing and Acting at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Artistic Director of the First Wave Hip-Hop and Urban Arts scholarship program, the only one of its kind.

What is a NeoGriot?

A NeoGriot is a griot for a new age, a modern-young-fresh take on an ancient tradition. The West African griot is a figure known to many as a storyteller, but in reality griots served numerous other important functions in society. They were artists, historians, advisers, interpreters, teachers, exhorters, warriors, witnesses, and much more. To call myself TheNeoGriot is to assume these roles and responsibilities in my work and the communities I serve.

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