Q&A with Brittney Chantele About Working on the Score for City Theatre’s ‘Pipeline’

Pipeline Pittsburgh
This is a slightly different version of our artist Q&A. We wanted to learn more about the production of Pipeline currently on-stage at City Theatre. This play by Dominique Morisseau is a breathtaking endeavor, exploring the school-to-prison pipeline through the story on one young man and his mother.

When I learned that 1Hood Media Academy had scored the performance, I asked if I could talk with them rather than our traditional approach of talking with playwrights and actors. Tye Clark, Director of PR and Creative Enrichment, graciously answered some of our general questions about 1Hood Media and performer Brittney Chantele then tackled questions about her work on the score.

The show runs through November 18 at City Theatre on the South Side. Every performance of PIPELINE will be followed by a 10 minute conversation. And don’t forget that City Theatre has a range of pay what you want options.

What is the 1Hood Media Academy? How does it fit with the other 1Hood projects?

1Hood Media Academy is our core program that offers media literacy and media creation training.  For high school aged youth, 1Hood Media Academy works to teach and provides a platform to showcase them.

And what about the 1Hood students? What understanding did they bring to this project and what did they take away? It’s hard to speak on everyone’s behalf, but I think they had an opportunity to flex a new artistic muscle. Writing this score was a unique experience and required the artists to stretch and really get into the heads of Pipeline’s character.

What other projects are they working on? 1Hood has quite a few programs taking place. You can learn all about these programs here. Right now, we are focused on the Artivist Academy Showcase.

Your Name: Brittney Chantele 

Your Age: 25 (Birthday: February 5th)

Your Pronouns: she/her/hers & they/their/theirs

Your Affiliation with the production of Pipeline: The song, “Pipeline” for the score, was written and performed by myself

How do you describe your identity? Queer/Lesbian, POC, & Anti-War/Anti-Military Veteran

What Pittsburgh creators – writers, musicians, poets, etc – have influenced your work? Is there anyone with whom you’d like to collaborate? Remy Vega, Jasiri-X, Blak Rapp Madusa, Kiera Zee Treble NLS, Merrow, Arie Cole, & EYE JAY have all influenced my work greatly. I’d like to collaborate with SO many artists – some Pittsburgh artists I’d like to collaborate with are: Sadsaps, Akono Miles, Djor, NVSV, Merrow, Clara Kent, Ferdinand the Bull, Beauty Slap, Starship Mantis, THOUSANDZZ OF BEEZ, Shad Ali, E.L.B.A., The Uptown Woods, My Favorite Color, & Holly Hood. =

How did you get involved with 1Hood Media Academy? Jasiri-X reached out to me after the release of my 2017 album, ‘Labels.’ I always wanted to be apart of 1Hood – He informed me of the 1Hood Media Academy and I was all for it!

Students in the 1Hood Media Academy composed the score for ‘Pipeline.’ Please tell us about that process. We met once a week to write, edit, give criticism, (maybe edit again), record, mix & master the songs for the score. It was empowering because we helped each other so much throughout this process. Everyone really put themselves in the play, into the characters, and embodied what this score should sound like.

The play confronts the school-to-prison pipeline as a facet of our society. How well do you think the average Pittsburgh resident understands this phenomenon and how it plays out for our young people and their families? I believe the majority of the people who understand this phenomenon are those who had it directly affect them, a family member, or friend. And they may not know it has a formal label, however, they know the realness of this crisis. As someone who has taught in many of our schools here in Pittsburgh, the signs and symptoms of the school-to-prison pipeline are ever-present. Teachers and other faculty and staff of schools NEED to understand and believe this issue and DO SOMETHING about it.

How do the arts offer all of us a way out from this destruction? The arts can help us see, hear, and understand each other. It can serve as a platform to utilize our voice and free our pain, trauma, suffering, and other feelings. It can serve as healing. I believe healing is the way out of destruction. We need to heal.

How can the community support their work? Following them on all social media platforms, subscribing to notifications for them, liking and sharing their posts about events, coming to events, and making direct donations.

Please tell us about the first LGBTQ person that you knew and what impact they had on your life. The first LGBTQ person I knew was actually someone I made fun of in 8th grade. I was jealous that they had the courage to come-out (or at least be their true selves). I was intimidated, and thus, transmitted those feelings into bullying. Several years ago, I reached out to them to apologize – they accepted my apology and I feel like they wrote it off as just another thing 8th graders go through – but they truly don’t understand the impact they had on my life. From learning how to check my ego, to understanding my feelings and articulating them correctly and lovingly, to being courageous and strong – being myself…even if others won’t accept me. Thank you.

What is your love song for LGBTQ youth?


Who are some of the younger openly LGBTQ artists that our readers should be listening to, but might not know about? In Pittsburgh? Kindred Blue, Princess Jafar, Dani Janae, Djor, THOUSANDZZ OF BEEZ, Moon Baby, Clay Colonna, DJ Poodle Emoji, & Anna Azizzy

Where can readers find you and 1Hood on social media?
IG: @BrittneyChantele 
Twitter: @B_Chantele
https://www.facebook.com/ brittneychantele/



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