Performance arts scholars from the First Wave Hip-Hop Theater and Urban Arts Community will be joined by program alumni for this year’s expanded 9th Annual Line Breaks Festival. The free performance festival March 6 with a gallery showing of visual art from First Wave students Melana Bass, Jill Fukomoto, and Hiwot Adilow, among others. The show will open with a reception on March 6 at 6 p.m. in the Education Building, 1000 Bascom Mall and run through March 27. opens
The festival’s live performances begin Wednesday, March 11 in the Overture Center for the Arts, Promenade Hall, 201 State Street, opening with First Waves’ 8th Cohort production “Staying Hungry” and closing March 17 with a local Hip-Hop artist to be announced. Performances are nightly from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. with a Sunday matinee from 2 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. All performances are open to the public.
New this year is an Alumni Showcase on Sunday, March 15 featuring Camea Davis’ “Langley Street,” Kelsey Pyro’s “Break the Cycle” and dåko’ta Alcantara-Camacho’s Guåhu Guåhan.
The annual Line Breaks Festival provides an opportunity to bring the visions of the student artists of the First Wave program to fruition on stage. Among each performers’ exploration into identity and social issues is the critical aim of healing on topics ranging from homophobia and assimilation into American culture to change as it relates to gentrification and activism in times of agony. Each night of the festival there are breaks for talkback sessions between performances.
“There is greatness in the courageous works of this collective of young artists unearthing truths that are easily buried. This year, in this time, in the midst of chaos and agony, these students are creating work to empower and inspire us all,” — Rain Wilson, First Wave Associate Artistic Director.
An intriguing array of performances from First Wave artists will include Lala Bolander’s “SPILL,” dance and live music from Garrett Pauli in “Skeletons of Silence,” Ajanae Dawkins’ play “Atlantic,” exploring the issues of black girls through the lens of the 276 girls that disappeared in Nigeria, Zhalarina Sanders in “Rose Gold,” John Paul Alejandro’s “In the Belly of the Iron Beast,” T. Banks in “Loud and Unchained – Spiritual,” and musical performance “Labels” an a cappella-based hip-hop production that explores gender identities, by Joseph Verge.
The event also includes a series of daytime panels of First Wave students, staff, faculty and community guests to be held March 14-16 from 12pm to 2pm on the 2nd Floor MSC Lounge, Red Gym, 716 Langdon Street. Topics will include White privilege, mental health, and activism.
March 14th – “White Privilege”
March 15th – “Continuing to Carry the Torch: First Wave Alumni”
March 16th – “Facing Mental Illness: The Barriers that Students Face”
For the full schedule and more information go to www.linebreaks.wisc.edu.