South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center and Culture Shock Miami Present Mayhem Poets, a Trio of Performance Artists who Combine Comedy and Hip Hop with the Spoken Word

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Poets’ Thought-provoking Story-Telling Gives Audiences Insights Relevant to our Times

South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center and Culture Shock Miami present The Mayhem Poets, an evening of ideas and wisdom through mind-provoking poetry, comedy, and hip hop of three perceptive performance artists. The trio, Kyle Rapps, Scott Raven, and Mason Granger take the Black Box stage of the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center on Friday, February 17, 2017 at 8:30 PM. The Mayhem Poets are part of the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center’s Family Series presented by Mercedes-Benz of Cutler Bay.

The Mayhem Poets change the conventional concept of the poetry reading from a stuffy, staid event into a wild entertainment of fast-paced humor, driving cadence, and inspiring messages. They have been called "an amazing ride" by the New York Times and described as "The Simpsons meets Malcolm X at a Notorious B.I.G. concert."

Watch a video teaser!

The Mayhem Poets’ unique approach to spoken word has landed them feature spots on The Today Show and Eyewitness News, after winning 1st place and a grant for $100,000 in the Microsoft Idea Wins Challenge in 2006. They have been touring internationally collaborating with the likes of hip hop legends such as KRS ONE as well as world-class musicians including Greg Patillo (beat box flute) and Jane Hunt (violin). Their latest CD, Reverse Birth was hailed as one of the Top spoken word CD's of 2007 by's poetry section. Their New York City-based educational training operation Slam Chops is providing opportunities for aspiring poets of all ages.
The Mayhem Poets’ mission originated At Rutgers University in 2000, when Kyle Sutton (Kyle Rapps) and Scott Tarazevits (Scott Raven) started an open-mic on campus called Verbal Mayhem. Their idea was to find a way to access people from all walks of life with spoken word. As a result, they reached out to prisons, fraternities, churches, and hip hop/poetry fans alike to attract the most diverse poetry open-mic scene in the world. The spirit of Verbal Mayhem convinced the two young performers to craft a show and go on a mission to change people’s lives and reshape society's view of poetry.

Full price tickets are $20. These tickets are available online at or through the SMDCAC box office by calling 786-573-5300.

$5 tickets are available to 13-22 year olds and one accompanying guest, exclusively through $5 Culture Shock Miami tickets are not sold through the SMDCAC Box Office or through Culture Shock Miami ticket sales for this performance end on Thursday, February 16, 2017 at 11:59 PM. Student ID and TicketWeb confirmation is required when picking-up tickets at will call.


Kyle Rapps was born in Michigan and raised in Jersey, where he learned how to "lyrically split atoms" and "Kill-em with Concepts." His smooth flowing, hard-hitting hip-hop style and dynamic theatrical presence have garnered him poetry slam victories across the nation, and brought him all the way to the Grand Slam finals at the legendary Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York City. Under the name Black Skeptik, Kyle released 2 hip hop singles: Rent featuring rap legend KRS ONE, and Frankenstein Saves Hip Hop featuring production by Blockhead and a video with Crazy Legs of Rocksteady crew. Looking for a more cutting edge sensibility Kyle is now finishing up his debut album, which was recorded in, LA, NY, and on a Liberian refugee camp in Ghana, Africa with the new alias, Kyle Rapps. With a B.A. in Spanish from Rutgers University, Kyle can communicate with a multitude of audiences and has led writing and performance workshops around the globe. He dedicates all of his artistic endeavors to the memory of his mother, Barbara Sutton.

Scott Raven was drawn to the stage since birth, his pacifier his first microphone. As a teen he quickly became active in the local Jewish community giving Shabbat speeches and histrionic-filled haftorah portions, assuring his Jewish identity would remain an important part of his writing and career. His penchant for performance led him to Rutgers University where he studied Theater and Journalism. After graduation, he co-created The Mayhem Poets, blending his love for acting and writing. Since then he has co-authored and performed in two full length Spoken-Word Plays, Masque (2001) and New Street Poets (2005), has taken Shakespeare and Voice classes at the Stella Adler Acting Studio, and studied improvisation with the UCB. He is currently working on a collection of Shakespearean "Sconnetts", a fictional novel loosely based on his touring experiences throughout elementary and middle schools, and recently finished shooting both a commercial and two independent films.

Mason Granger Originally from Willingboro, NJ, Mason Granger took his exceptional SAT marks & perfect score on the Math section of the NJ High School Proficiency Test and rather than parlaying them into an ivy league scholarship, he took them to Rutgers University to pursue a life of poetry. Once there, Mason infused academia into his creative writings, resulting in a style that both Einstein and Emerson would admire. Sweeping thru the collegiate poetry scene like a breath of fresh air, Mason hosted the campus open mic Verbal Mayhem for 3 years, eventually becoming the poet laureate of Livingston College. He's been described as everything from "brilliant" to "a sexier version of Barack."

Mikumari Caiyhe is an established actor, emcee, spoken word poet, and arts educator. A native of Washington, DC, Mikumari graduated from the distinguished Duke Ellington School for the Arts, with a focus in Theatre. He completed his formal education at Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, as an Acting major. As an artist, Mikumari has toured internationally. Some credits include, being cast as the lead actor in the musical Revelations, while in London, England, playing the role of God/MC. In the same year, being one of the first emcees/ rappers to ever do a Hip Hop concert at Shakespeare's Globe. Most recently, member of NYC's Nuyorican Poets Cafe 2013 competitive poetry team. As an educator and arts advocate, Mikumari is independently contracted by The New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), Boys And Girls Club of America, and The YMCA to facilitate art residencies and workshops teaching literary arts, acting, and ballroom dance. Finally, it is Mikumari's ambition to use art to liberate individuals from fear, emancipate and empower the light within and illuminate forever.


The South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center is managed by the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, with funding support from the Office of the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners. The Center is dedicated to presenting and supporting arts and culture and providing access to the arts to the entire Miami-Dade County community.


CULTURE SHOCK MIAMI, a program of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, is designed to introduce the next generation of audience members to live arts and cultural experiences at the age when they are beginning to make their own entertainment decisions. Based on research that shows most people begin their appreciation for the arts at a young age, Culture Shock Miami is founded on the premise that when kids make the arts a regular entertainment choice, they are more likely to become full-price ticket buyers and subscribers of the future. Culture Shock Miami offers $5 tickets for students (ages 13-22) to performances provided by more than 100 organizations, including top music, theatre, dance, and performing arts presenters in Miami-Dade County. With each $5 student ticket, a second $5 ticket may be purchased for an accompanying guest of any age. Tickets are on sale now through CULTURESHOCKMIAMI.COM. In addition to performing arts, students can get two-for-$5 or free admission passes to many South Florida museums, landmarks, and cultural destinations. For more information about this exciting program, please call Christina Tassy-Beauvoir or Mary-Margaret Dale at 305/375-1949.

The Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council develop cultural excellence, diversity and participation throughout Miami-Dade County by strategically creating and promoting opportunities for artists and cultural organizations, and our residents and visitors who are their audiences. The Department directs the Art in Public Places program and serves its board, the Art in Public Places Trust, commissioning, curating, maintaining and promoting the County’s art collection. The Department also manages, programs and operates the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, a campus of state-of-the-art cultural facilities in Cutler Bay, as well as Miami Dade County Auditorium, Joseph Caleb Auditorium and the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center, all dedicated to presenting and supporting excellence in the arts for the entire community. Through staff, board and programmatic resources, the Department, the Council and the Trust promote, coordinate and support Miami-Dade County’s more than 1,000 not-for-profit cultural organizations as well as thousands of resident artists through grants, technical assistance, public information and interactive community planning. The Department receives funding through the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners, The Children’s Trust, the National Endowment for the Arts, the State of Florida through the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Other support and services are provided by TicketWeb for the Culture Shock Miami program, the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, the South Florida Cultural Consortium and the Tourist Development Council.


It is the policy of Miami-Dade County to comply with all of the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. To request materials in accessible format, sign language interpreters, and/or any accommodation to participate in Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs sponsored programs or meetings, please contact Francine Andersen at 305-375-4634 at least five days in advance to initiate your request. TTY users may also call 711 (Florida Relay Service.)

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Stephen Belth

Nicolle Ugarriza
Arts Marketing Network
since: 12/2011
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