GRCC Players production of 'Welcome to Arroyo's' explores family, identity through hip-hop

Nov. 1, 2019 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. The GRCC Players production of Kristoffer Diaz’s “Welcome to Arroyo’s” weaves hip-hop through the topics of family and identity.

Alumnus Sammy A. Publes will direct the comedy, which starts at 8 p.m. Nov. 7 to 9 at the Spectrum Theater, 160 Fountain St. NE. 

The story centers on a struggling lounge on New York City's Lower East Side. Characters include the lounge owner and his sister, a police officer, DJs and a graduate student. This play contains adult language and content.  

The cast includes GRCC students Marck Kiselevach, Gabi Salazar, Nio Walton, Alexus Voss, Chosun Rhodes, Trent Woodman, Sky Rodriguez, Antonio Aguilar, Jasmine Gerard and Liam Bulkowski.

Walton, who is pursuing an associate degree in communications with an entrepreneurship certificate, portrays Officer Derek. He said it is a challenging role with hidden depths. 

“I hope the audience feels more connected to the culture and art form of hip-hop, and the beauty of it,” Walton said. “It isn’t a slew of kids being reckless and promoting violence. It changes so many of us and expresses our lives that are struggling to stay afloat in our predetermined conditions.

“Hip-hop is love, therapy, social justice, hope -- and I hope the audience can better understand the reason we love it so dearly.”

GRCC will provide live audio description for audience members who are blind or have low vision during the Nov. 8 performance. The pre-show description will be read twice, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $5 for GRCC students and $12 for others. Those who would like the audio description may request a headset when they purchase their tickets. Call (616) 234-3946 for tickets and more information.

Grand Rapids Community College has been offering educational opportunities in West Michigan for more than 100 years. Established in 1914, the college offers degree courses, certification and training programs, and workshops and personal enrichment classes. Offerings are held on GRCC’s downtown Grand Rapids campus, and at several locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties, as well as through distance learning.


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