Producing gritty, sexy, energetic, poetry slam competitions is how it all began nearly four years ago for the poetry collective Metaphorically Speaking. Today the group has morphed into a major player in Dayton’s arts and entertainment community. The group has moved from producing monthly poetry slam competitions to producing full stage productions to nearly sell-out crowds. On Saturday, January 28 at Victoria Theatre Metaphorically Speaking presents Love, Sex, & Poetry: ‘Til Death Do Us Part, a tale of the highs and lows of the journey to find love and the sacrifices we make to hold on to it.
Love, Sex & Poetry features Metaphorically Speaking founders/spoken word artists Tony “Ace Metaphor” Nalls and Jay Martinez. Spoken word artist Tripp Fontane, comedian BooMan, lyricist JiGi, and actress/dancer Vanae Iesha round out the cast with DJ Big Al and Musical Director Terence O. Hayes, Jr. providing the soundtrack and musical backdrop for the show. “This show is different than what our fans are used to seeing from us,” said Nalls, “It’s not a slam, it’s a production in two acts with a lot of moving parts, high and lows. We want the audience to feel every emotion possible…sad, happy, excited, and angry. We want them to feel a part of the production.”
Metaphorically Speaking has come a long way from its start as a monthly poetry slam competition. Early shows saw modest turnouts but commitment, hard work, and dedication have yielded significant growth for the group. Each performance at the Victoria Theatre has grown with 900 attending the April 2016 Battle of the Sexes. The group seeks to sell out the venue for Love, Sex & Poetry. “This journey has been amazing,” said Natasha R. Moreland Spears, the groups manager, “They say slow and steady wins the race, and Metaphorically Speaking is winning in the pursuit to bring poetry and the arts to the masses.”
Metaphorically Speaking is not a small, exclusive group of artists. It is a collective that incorporates all forms of art to support and engage the broadest aspects of the community. This is most evident in the group’s work with elementary and high school students through partnerships with the Boys & Girls Club of Dayton, HRC and Dayton Public Schools, and the Montgomery County Juvenile Department. “Poetry is an amazing form of expression,” said co-founder Jay Martinez. “It’s a place to dump your secrets, your fears, and your hopes without judgement or vulnerability.” Metaphorically Speaking is creating movement of poetry and the arts that is expanding; broadening both its artistic and academic components.
The four partners of Metaphorically Speaking, Tony Nalls, Jay Martinez, Natasha R. Moreland Spears, and Frank “Buddy” Pitts, are excite about the future of the collective. From the launch of an academic arm later this year to the growth of its entertainment endeavors, the collective is positioning itself for longevity. “We are methodically and consistently expanding our brand,” said Pitts, the company’s strategist and graphic designer. “As creatives, we are always looking at new and innovative ways to expand our territory while remaining true to who MS is and to our fans.”
Metaphorically Speaking’s Love, Sex & Poetry: ‘Til Death Do Us Part will take place from 8-11 p.m. on Saturday, January 28, at the Victoria Theatre, 138 N. Main Street in Dayton. This show is rated mature for language and adult content. Tickets range from $33.50 to $83.50 and may be purchased at www.ticketcenterstage.com. To stay up to date on all things Metaphorically Speaking, check out their Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat pages @metaphoricallyspeakingdayton.