Open Eye Figure Theatre Presents

Khephra: A Hip Hop Holiday Story

November 30 - December 10, 2017


Produced in partnership with Tru Ruts 
Created and performed by Shá Cage
Artistic team of collaborators: E.G. Bailey (director), Rico Mendez (composer/musician), Ta-Coumba Aiken (scenic designer), Michael Sommers (puppet & prop design), Janaki Ranpura (design consultant), Edna Stevens (movement), Jamela Pettiford (vocalist), Destiny Anderson (performer), and Alissa Paris (performer)

A story of a young girl's journey from Africa to America and how she finds her true voice through poetry and hip hop.

Shá Cage.   Photo by Mark Vancleave.

Shá Cage. Photo by Mark Vancleave.

The name Khephra comes from an ancient Egyptian God (pronounced Keh-fra) representing transformation and evolution.

The story centers around a young girl, Khephra, and her mother as they move from Africa to the United States, after the child’s father passes away, to start a new life in a very new community. They adjust to the culture, acclimate, and ultimately the young woman reclaims herself and her identity through hip hop, spoken word, and African music and dance. It is about letting go, holding onto, and reclaiming. This exciting 50-minute one act, intended for families and audiences of all ages, is written in poetry and verse, integrating elements of drama, movement, and puppetry.

Destiny Anderson and Alissa Paris.   Photo by Mark Vancleave.

Destiny Anderson and Alissa Paris. Photo by Mark Vancleave.

Cage and Alissa Paris, and Destiny Anderson inhabit different characters and manipulate objects in a story that is both personal and universal, exploring home, migration, and reclamation through multiple lenses.

“Khephra ritualizes the journey from Home to Home while invoking laughter, head nods and sing-a-longs, all in the same breath." – Shá Cage

Cage has gained a reputation for her risk-taking work over the past ten years through her solo performances and community collaborations, such as her recent productions of U/G/L/Y, Testify and her curation of The Blacker the Berry, which featured more than 50 female artists of color at Intermedia Arts. While she has cultivated a loyal following for her ritually based, diasporic signature work with this new work, Khephra, she is stepping into exciting and new ground.

Additional Writing Contributions
Ibe Kaba (I Am Africa Poem), Desdamona (I Been Rap), SeeMore Perspective (Adapted Rap), Destiny Anderson (Keti Rap), Rick, Ginny, EG Bailey (12 Days of African Christmas)

Pre-show Art-Shops

Join us before the show for these free art workshops! (Space is limited, so order soon!)
6:15 - 6:40pm

Friday, Dec. 1: Move Somethin w/ Dancer Destiny Anderson
All ages dance/movement session to activate the body in wintertime.

Saturday, Dec. 2: Pattern Making  w/ Visual Artist Ana Laura Juarez
Hand-print your own gift-wrapping  paper with stamps and ink! Bilingual session (*English & Spanish) 

Thursday, Dec. 7: Role Play w/ Performer Alissa Paris
Use theater games & movement to create and become a character.

Friday, Dec. 8: So You Think You can Sing? w/ Jamela Pettiford
Rock out with Holiday Favorites (New and Old)

Saturday, Dec. 9: Call & Response w/ Sha Cage
Try your hand at Spoken Word | Stretch, Expand & add Rhythm to words & Phrases.


Canceled: Hip Hop Holiday Jam!   
Dec. 9, 8:30 - 10pm

Members of the cast will freestyle, sing, dance and spit in a special post-show dance party at Open Eye.

Tickets are $10-20 (or pay as able at the door). Proceeds benefit the production and help cover costs of Khephra. Featuring Truthmaze, Rico Mendez (DJ Don Cuco), Priestess of the Word Shá Cage, B-Girls Alissa Paris and Destiny Anderson, and Vocal Goddess Jamela Pettiford.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

$15 —  General Admission
$10  —  Seniors and Students
$5 — Children 12 and under (Under 5 free)
A limited number of $10 Economic Accessibility tickets are available online. Pay as able at the door.
View our ticketing policy

Performance Schedule
Nov. 30, 7pm Preview
Dec. 1, 7pm Opening* 
Dec. 2, 7pm*
Dec. 7, 7pm*
Dec. 8, 7pm*
Dec. 9, 4pm
Dec. 9, 7pm*
Dec. 10, 4pm

Runtime: 60 minutes
Recommended for ages 5 and up.
*Pre-show Art-Shops—full schedule below

Canceled: Hip Hop Holiday Jam 
Dec. 9, 8:30pm

Contact Open Eye at or 612-874-6338 for accessibility information.

Construction near Open Eye
Please be aware that ongoing construction on 35W, the Franklin Avenue Bridge, and Portland Avenue will affect your route to Open Eye. We recommend using map apps to navigate to the theatre, following posted detour signs, and reviewing the current detour map. Please allow extra time getting to the theatre.


Twin Cities holiday shows get funky new addition with Shá Cage's 'Khephra' - Star Tribune

Joy to the World: Shá Cage energizes audiences with holiday spirit in 'Khephra' - City Pages

‘Khephra: A Hip Hop Holiday Story’ is an enjoyable journey - Pioneer Press

Shá Cage’s new holiday play combines story and song, poetry and puppetry - MinnPost

‘Khephra,’ enlightening entertainment for all ages - Spokesman-Recorder

Shá Cage's interview with Moose Miller on Nov. 26 - WCCO's Steele Talkin'