HYPE Season One Debuts In September

The entire first season of HYPE, a new web series drama about the crossroads of rap and startup culture in Durham and whether to accept our reality or escape it, will premiere on Thursday, September 27 at Carolina Theatre.

Our story follows Smiles, an exceedingly optimistic young man who strives to buy back the childhood home of his adolescent love in the hopes of luring her back to their hometown. Through this journey, he meets an ambitious young woman named Ava whose big idea could change his fortune.

Meanwhile, two warring factions of the rap community battle over the spirit of Durham's music scene. Thanks to their business idea, Smiles and Ava become intertwined in the conflict as the rappers look to take advantage of a golden opportunity offered by their startup.

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HYPE is written and directed by Holland Gallagher, executive produced by Brendan Bradley and Jigsaw Ensemble, with additional support from RUNAWAY. After a successful Kickstarter raised just over $10,000, the show began shooting on location in Durham. The entire cast and crew are based in the Triangle area, giving the show deep local roots. This includes shooting at Durham institutions like Motorco Music Hall, Cocoa Cinnamon and American Underground. Additionally, the soundtrack is scored and produced by Gallagher with contributions from Well$, Ace Henderson, Pat Junior, and Treee City, among others.

“As a city undergoing immense change, the type of change mirrored in mid-sized cities across America, Durham is a place with new stories to tell. Hype was written to tell some (not all) of these stories, and to provide one visual perspective in a conversation about the area’s future."
- Holland Gallagher
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Free tickets to the premiere are available now. RSVP today.


HYPE is an important project and one that I am excited to see on the big screen. Holland and his team have worked tirelessly on producing this series. As he describes in the quote above, Durham is evolving and we need ways to articulate that change.

I want to thank you on behalf of the HYPE team for being a part of this project and this community in whichever way(s) you choose to participate. Durham is special and it's because of you. Cheers!