Touring Jan-Mar, 2020

A trip to “the shop” is a magical thing. “It frames your swagger.” You know you can be anything. A manufacturer of cool. Guided by “thousands of black angels” important. You hop out of that chair looking otherworldly fresh, the best version of yourself you can ever imagine. This story is for all the black and brown boys learning to be men. And to all the rest of the world who should see what they see in that barbershop mirror—their lives matter, always have.

This poetic work presents the elevating power of community and mentorship, as we bear witness to the confidence, imagination, and self-esteem that can come from a fresh cut and a new view of ourselves. Join us in one of the only places a young man of color gets “tended to” in our society, so that we may see the magic that can come when we treat ourselves and others with respect.

THEMES: imagination, community, Black culture, self-esteem, poetry


A touring package includes a performance (35 and 45 minutes), a study guide, and book. Tours can be performed in gyms, classrooms, auditoriums, or meeting rooms for audiences ranging in size from 10-500 (maximum).

In conjunction with each performance, you have the option to add workshops for children and young adults to reinforce what they have seen. These workshops allow young people to make the leap between seeing art and creating it.

To book this show for your school or community center, call 206.428.6266 or email


Schools interested in adding a post-show workshop may do so when booking a tour. All workshops are offered for 35 students max and are determined by grade level. Workshops can be scheduled within a week of the performance.

Themes in Motion
Students enter the world of the story using voice, body, and imagination to explore themes, characters, and events. (Grades K-2, 30-45 min)

Adapt It! Stage It!
Students analyze a selection of text, adapt it in the Book-It Style, and stage it for an informal performance. (Grades 3-8, one hour)


Total Cost if the venue is within 75 miles driving distance from Seattle Center
$675 if booked prior to Oct 31; $750 if booked after

Total Cost if the venue is outside 75 miles
$875 if booked prior to Oct 31; $950 if booked after

Additional performances in the same venue, same day are $550. Scholarships available for Title One Schools

First workshop is $150; additional workshops $125 each

Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut, by Derrick Barnes, illustrated by Gordon C. James. Performed by permission of Serendipity Literary Literary Agency. All rights reserved. Illustrations © 2017 by Gordon C. James