Arts on the Horizon Premieres Children's Show Space-Bop Today

Feb 10, 2016

Arts on the Horizon, the DC metro area's only theatre company dedicated exclusively to creating original work for children ages 0-6, presents its world-premiere production of SPACE-BOP, running today, February 10, through February 26, 2016 at The Athenaeum in Alexandria, Virginia, and March 5-12, 2016 at the Atlas Performing Arts Center in Washington, DC as part of the 2016 INTERSECTIONS Festival.

This innovative, nonverbal play was created and directed by Tia Shearer Bassett and will feature the beat-box stylings of GRAMMY-nominated artist Christylez Bacon. The show is specifically designed for audiences aged 0-2 and their families.

Drawing on a little one's early love of light and vocal play, SPACE-BOP follows Simon, the gentle clown, and CracklePop, his beatboxing friend, who together create the sights and sounds of a homemade starry cosmos. A melting pot of music and imagination, SPACE-BOP will pique children's ears and stimulate their minds all the way to the moon and back.

SPACE-BOP is a 20-minute, interactive, multi-sensory experience that invites babies and toddlers to look up at the stars, have a giggle, and dream along with the hip-hop beat. Space- Bop takes children on a journey to the musical cosmos accompanied by the denizens of outer space, such as a pinwheel comet and glowing star. After each performance, children are invited to interact with the performers as they explore the different props and objects used to create the playscape.

Arts on the Horizon welcomes back playwright Tia Shearer Bassett, who co-created the 2013 production of Under the Canopy and the 2012 production of Out of the Box, both with Matt Bassett. Tia has worked extensively with area children's theatres, including Imagination Stage and the Kennedy Center Theater for Young Audiences. Children's theatre has been important to her since the early 2000s, when she was chosen to help devise and perform in a multicultural storytelling show, Patchwork, with New York City's East River Theatre Company. Tia holds a B.A. in Individualized Studies from NYU and teaches acting at the National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts.

Christylez Bacon is a progressive hip-hop artist and multi-instrumentalist from Southeast, Washington, DC. Making his Arts on the Horizon debut as the composer and musician for SPACE-BOP, Christylez is no stranger to working with children, as attested by his GRAMMY- nominated Folk/Hip-Hop children's album "Banjo to Beatbox." As a performer, Christylez multi- tasks between various instruments such as the West African djembe drum, acoustic guitar, and the human beat-box (vocal percussion), all while continuing the oral tradition of storytelling through his lyrics.

Rounding out the cast is actor Seamus Miller, who is also making his Arts on the Horizon debut. Seamus has worked with a number of local theatres including Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, 1st Stage, Young Playwrights' Theater, and The Baltimore Shakespeare Festival, and has trained with the Center for Movement Theatre.

The puppets and objects used throughout the show were designed by DC's own Wit's End Puppets whose adventurous creativity was seen in Arts on the Horizon's last 0-2 piece, Under the Canopy, and most recently in their shadow puppet play, Saudade. Jessica Phillips-Silver, currently an Associate Researcher in Neuroscience at Georgetown University Medical Center with a specific focus on infant brain development, has created the parent resource guide for the show. The guide suggests ways to continue the sensory engagement children experience at the performance at home using common household items.

Performances of SPACE-BOP run at The Athenaeum, 201 Prince Street Alexandria, VA 22314: February 14, 15, and 21, 2016 at 10:00am and 11:30am; and February 10, 11, 12, 16, 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, and 26, 2016 at 10:30am. Tickets are $6 for children and adults and can be purchased online at or at the door on the day of the performance. Additionally, SPACE-BOP will also be presented at the Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St NE, Washington, DC 20002 from March 5-12, 2016. For the performances at the Atlas, tickets can be purchased at

Arts on the Horizon, founded in 2009, is a non-profit theatre with a specific focus of providing performances and education programs for the very young. Our performances are designed to take place in an intimate setting where children not only feel comfortable to learn and explore, but also are an integral part of the performance. We have the utmost respect for children and want what may be their first theatrical performance to entertain them, challenge them, spark creativity, and enhance the imaginative play in which many children this age engage. Since 2011, our nonverbal productions have been performed at the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage, Atlas Performing Arts Center, Workhouse Arts Center and other venues and schools in the Washington, DC metro area. In May 2013, the company performed at Cleveland's PlayhouseSquare as part of the national One Theatre World Festival. In addition to our performances, we also offer education programs, which provide targeted exploration of themes and ideas in order to help children enhance their language development, socialization, and fine and gross motor skills. All Arts on the Horizon programs are offered within a meaningful, nurturing environment where children can develop their sense of self and increase their knowledge and understanding of the world around them. For more information about Arts on the Horizon, visit