Matt Sax's Acclaimed Hip-Hop Musical Clay Will Be Concert Film

By Adam Hetrick
March 15, 2013

Production is underway for a concert film of Clay, Matt Sax's one-man hip-hop musical that draws from Shakespeare's Henry IV and Falstaff, which played an Off-Broadway run at LCT3 in 2008.



Developed with director Eric Rosen, Clay centers on "Clifford, a suburban teenager who escapes his fractured family and finds a mentor in Sir John, a master of the spoken word. Under Sir John’s guidance, Clifford becomes the hip-hop star Clay, but quickly discovers that no one can escape their past." Sax plays seven different characters in the work.

The U.S. premiere of Clay was produced in 2006 by About Face Theatre and Lookingglass Theatre Company, Chicago, Illinois. It later played to acclaim at Lincoln Center Theater's new works initiative LCT3 in 2008. The piece has also played the Center Theatre Group, the Kansas City Repertory Theatre, where Rosen is artistic director, as well as the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, where it first premiered.

The creators are currently involved in a kickstarter campaign to raise funding to complete work on the project, which is in the final stages of filming. Click here to donate and learn more. James McKay is producing the film.

A target release date for "Clay Raps: The Clay Concert Film" has not been announced.

"This concert film version of Clay is both a representation of the theatrical show and a whole new chapter of its life," Sax said in a statement. "I've performed Clay for around 100,000 people over the past 8 years in 5 different cites. That's a huge audience for any show but Eric and I know it can be even bigger. Using the internet and Kickstarter, we want to share it with as large a community as possible and get even more fans to be a part of the Clay experience."

The original stage production creative team included Meghan Raham (sets), Emily Rebholz (costumes), Jason Lyons (lighting) and Josh Horvath (sound and orchestrations).

Rosen and Sax are also bringing their musical Venice to the Public Theater for a limited run this summer. 

To learn more about the film, visit clayraps.com.