P. Nokio: A Hip-Hop Musical at the Imagination Stage

Visiting Imagination Stage to experience live theatre

I’ve always believed that there is nothing quite like the magic of live theatre to transport them and stretch their imaginations. When I took my children, ages 7 and 11, to see P. Nokio at Imagination Stage I was acutely reminded of how important it is to introduce young children to the performing arts after two years away. 

About P. Nokio: A Hip-Hop Musical

P. Nokio: A Hip-Hop Musical is a truly unique twist on the classic tale of Pinocchio.

This is a much more upbeat version, complete with interactive segments, upbeat vibes and a Graffiti Fairy. It’s infections and fantastical yet completely relatable for theatre goers of all ages.

And it has Hip-Hop!

Kids’ Experience

What child cannot relate to P. Nokio’s tough choice between heading to The Old School or the fun of an endless video arcade?

The temptation to lie so they won’t get in trouble?

Wanting to believe something too good to be true? Of course in the end, P. Nokio learns the importance of school, telling the truth and how not to get outfoxed by someone up to no good.

Eventually, he morphs from a video game character created by G. Petto into a real, live boy. 

What Went Behind Creating P. Nokio

The play also has several good lessons relevant to today. The playwright, Psalmayene24, shared before the performance I saw that as a young actor he was in a touring production of Pinocchio.

While performing in the South he experienced racism and left the production, and he did not fully heal from that trauma until he wrote his own version of P. Nokio.

It’s also a celebration of how different types of families are formed when P. Nokio and G. Petto become an inseparable duo as father and son. 

What to expect at the show as a family

Despite these heavy topics this play is above all, fun and joyful. My son could barely contain himself from shouting out during the show, wanting to steer P. Nokio in the right direction and sing along.

Before we left my son said that he hoped we could go back soon to see another play. I hope we will be back soon too! 

Good to know:

  • The show runs from February 23 – April 10, 2022
  • Performances are Saturdays and Sundays at 1:30 and 4:00
  • Best for ages 5-11
  • Tickets can be purchased here and are $28.00
  • Parking is available at meters on the street or at the parking garage on the same block. Garage parking is free on weekends.
  • Imagination Stage has a soundproof booth with a view of the stage and sound for children who may become antsy – speakers are inside so you won’t miss any dialogue! 
  • Boosters are available for little ones who may need a lift to see the stage well. 
  • There is a Sensory-Friendly performance on March 13 at 11:00 a.m.
  • There is an ASL-Interpreted performance on March 27 at 1:30 p.m.
  • After the show extend your day by eating at one of the many kid-friendly restaurants within walking distance

Covid Information:

  • All performances are capped at 50% capacity
  • Socially distanced performances: February 26 at 1:30 p.m., February 27 at 1:30 p.m. & March 6 at 4:00 p.m.
  • Proof of vaccination for 5+ Required
  • Masks Required for 2+

Review and photo by Jamie Davis Smith

Photo of author

Jamie Davis Smith

Jamie has lived in Washington, DC for more than twenty years and she loves exploring all the area has to offer with her four children.

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