XQ and Pop-Up Magazine Productions launch XQ SUPER SCHOOL LIVE COMING TO DENVER ON THURSDAY, MARCH 7TH & COLORADO SPRINGS ON FRIDAY, MARCH 8TH
An immersive and innovative tour across America will combine the power of storytelling and theater, inspiring communities to reimagine high schools.
Host committee includes Ava DuVernay, Sophia Bush, Jimmy Iovine, Yo-Yo Ma, Hebru Brantley, Geoff Canada, and over 100 community organizations including Denver’s Colorado Education Initiative, A+ Colorado, The HadaNō u Collective and Youth on Record.
JANUARY 28, 2019: XQ and Pop-Up Magazine Productions today announce XQ Super School Live — a new, one-of-a-kind, immersive storytelling tour to inspire people to reimagine high schools in their own community.
This innovative tour is coming to Denver’s Ogden Theater on Thursday, March 7th and Colorado Spring’s Shockley-Zalabak Theater on Friday, March 8th for a night of high school drama — full of stories, selfie confessionals, viral gratitude, and multimedia adventures that celebrate the everyday heroes transforming America’s high schools.
“From Homer to hip-hop, storytelling is one of the most powerful ways to connect people to possibilities” says Russlynn Ali, executive producer, XQ Super School Live and CEO, XQ. “XQ Super School Live will take people on a multi-media journey, using true stories to show how high schools can foster curious, creative and collaborative students. Today all too many don’t. It’s up to us to change that - for every student, no matter their race, gender or zip code. Our students deserve nothing less.”
“Pop-Up Magazine is one of the most vibrant and exciting storytelling platforms of our day,” says Marc Ecko, producer, XQ Super School Live and Chief Creative and Strategy Officer, XQ. “Bringing this blend of live performance journalism and theater to the public is powerful —especially in these times. We’re building a new platform for community engagement and civic empowerment.”
Contributors on the tour include Chris Duffy (Wyatt Cenac’s Problem Areas), Clio Chang (Splinter, New Republic), Dana Bialek (Panoply, Slate), Christina Esquivel (education activist, Communities in Schools), and Andrew Boryga (New York Times, New Yorker). Stories will be accompanied by illustration, animation, photography, an original score performed onstage by Magik*Magik Orchestra, and 17-year-old DJ Prince.
“We’re thrilled to partner with XQ on this innovative, one-of-a-kind tour that brings Pop-Up Magazine Productions’ signature storytelling to life — live, multimedia, reported — to help shape the way we think about our high schools,” says Derek Fagerstrom, producer, XQ Super School Live and Director of Special Projects at Pop-Up Magazine Productions.
Stories such as Mike Floyd, a Texas teenager who in his senior year of high school decided to run for school board. And won. Or Gary Chery, a student whose hilarious cafeteria reviews amazed his teacher — a future professional comedy writer who celebrated Gary’s creativity — but who struggled in a traditional high school environment.
“XQ Super School Live brings the power of storytelling and theater together to ignite a spirit of social change,” says filmmaker Ava DuVernay. “Stories unlock our imagination and this innovative theatre tour celebrates all those working tirelessly to transform our education system — community leaders, business leaders, parents, teachers, and students.”
From the minute the audience walks into the theater, they will be immersed in XQ Super School Live — greeted with art installations by world-renowned artist and XQ Super School Live Creative Chair Hebru Brantley. Brantley is creating special-edition versions of his iconic, youthful Flyboy and Lil Mama. Brantley’s work challenges the traditional view of the hero with his iconic characters and XQ Super School Live saw parallels with the work needed by everyday heroes to reimagine high schools. This innovative and immersive night continues, from the audience receiving an “Orientation Pack” when they enter to being integrated into the actual show (with phones off!), to a reception after the show that fosters network and community-building to help people connect and take on the work of changing our high schools.