“I’m passionate about em-ceeing and the art of storytelling…this is part of my story,” writes Michael Bordner, referring to a YouTube video of him performing his original song “If There Was Such a Thing,” from his play Smash/Hit! Steve Broadnax, the show’s co-writer, was inspired after listening to Bordner’s personal stories from Iraq. “He shared with me his war stories and I was moved beyond measure,” he recalls. Smash/Hit! premieres this month, and plays through May 18, at St. Louis Black Repertory Company. The story, which took six years to travel from Broadnax’s notebook to its Black Rep premiere, is about an Iraq war veteran who tackles the arrhythmic imprints of PTSD with the synco-poem narrative of hip-hop. But, as the hook warns us, crossing into the world of hip-hop can be as treacherous as crossing enemy lines.
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