Past Event

SOLO TIP: An Exploration of Hip Hop Theater and Storytelling at WBEZ's Winter Block Party

Join us for solo performances of hip hop infused theater. In Cry WolfKristiana Colon weaves a tapestry of poem, lyric, metaphor, and monologue to excavate the wolves of our imagination. Shannon Matesky’s She Think She Grown is a journey of a young girl’s womanhood that asks how womanhood is presented in the world around her. Colon and Matesky will deliver excerpts from their one-woman shows. Plus, Deja Taylor will perform soundtracks from her upcoming solo show Free Deja Taylor about how the not so average Renaissance girl fought tooth and manicured nail to become the Diva-Goddess. A post-show conversation with the artists will explore gender in hip hop and how a hip hop aesthetic informed, influenced and inspired their works. 

First come, first served. Limited seating. Doors to this segment in the Upstairs Theater open at 3pm.

More about the performers: 

HBO Def Poet Kristiana Colón is a playwright, actor, hip-hop artist, educator and Ensemble member at Teatro Luna. There her solo play cry wolf was presented as apart of the Solo Tres festival of one-woman shows exploring family and female rebellion. Her play but i cd only whisper had its world premiere at the Arcola Theater in London in autumn 2012 and her collection of short poems promised instruments was published by Northwestern University Press in January 2013. In February, she will tour the UK performing readings from the book and excerpts from cry wolf. More information about Kristiana, as well as links to samples of her work, can be found at

Shannon Matesky hails from Berkeley, California. Shannon has been seen on numerous stages across the country as a poet and actress. She was a featured spoken word artist of the Brave New Voices College Tour and the final season of HBO’s Def Poetry Jam. She has performed with many talents such as Talib Kweli, Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Danny Hoch, Rachel McKibbens, George Watsky, Rafael Casal and countless others. Shannon also features in the award winning documentary 2nd Verse: The Rebirth of Poetry (Corduroy Media) and is author of her first solo play She Think She Grown. An alumni of Depaul University’s Theatre School, Shannon holds a BFA in Acting. Some of her theatrical credits include, Welcome to Arroyo’s (ATC), Sophocles: Seven Sicknesses (The Hypocrites) and The March (Steppenwolf Theatre). Shannon also assisted Chuck Smith in directing Race by David Mamet at the Goodman Theatre. Shannon is also an activist and teacher and encourages forward movement toward personal change. Shannon has worked for organizations such as Young Chicago Authors, Youth Speaks, Step-Up Women’s Network, Kuumba Lynx and others, aiding young adults in technical and life skills. 
Déja K. Taylor  is a Superbad poet with an MC’s touch,a defiance of gravity, a knack for laughing; a Mother’s passion & a Diva’s fashion. She will be releasing her first album-styled mixtape this year featuring Soundtrack samplings of her upcoming one woman Show, FREE DEJA TAYLOR. In 2008 she placed first in chicago’s Louder Than A Bomb poetry slam competition and then went on to receive a perfect score with the same piece on Russell Simmons Presents Brave New Voices. Since making her TV debut on HBO she’s coached and mentored her own set of poets for the same competition the following year, was a Radio host on Power 92 Chicago’s Truestar radio segment as well as opening for several Grammy award winning artists:, Common, Marsha Ambrosius, Lupe Fiasco and Talib Kweli to name a few. In 2011 she was recognized by the Washington Post’s The Root as being one of the Top 30 Black Performance Poets. Her first single and video ‘Superbad’ is set to drop at the top of this year.

SOLO TIP is part of WBEZ’s Winter Block Party, an all-ages, all-city celebration of Chicago’s new and emerging artists of the hip-hop generation. Count on epic dance battles, great stories and, this year, performances by Psalm One, Add-2 and the eight piece band Sidewalk Chalk named “Best Hip Hop act in Chicago of 2010” by the Chicago Reader

To learn more about the 5th Annual Winter Block Party, click here.

This program was made possible in part by the generous support of the Joyce Foundation, improving the quality of life in the Great Lakes Region and across the country.

Free and open to the public. For more information please call 312.422.5580. 

If you need a sign interpreter or require other arrangements to fully participate, please call 312.422.5580. For parking locations near the facility, please visit