MADISON —Performance arts scholars of the First Wave Hip-Hop Theater Ensemble will present their solo, duo, and ensemble works as part of the 7th Annual Line Breaks Festival in Lathrop Hall, 1050 University Avenue, from Wednesday, March 13- Wednesday, March 20. The nightly performances from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. are open to the public.
The free week-long festival is presented by UW-Madison’s Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives (OMAI) and will end with a production from guest artist DawN Crandell, who hails from New York.
Crandell is a dancer, choreographer, theatre artist, poet, grassroots cultural activist and educator, who has performed at multiple venues throughout New York City as well as stages in the UK since moving there. Her solo show, “Xenophobedelica” has been called “Powerful and compelling…chaotic and hilarious” by The Public Reviews, a UK-based theater review organization. Crandell’s show is an autobiographical story of her life-long struggle with identity as a queer, black multi-ethnic feminist, which fuses poetry, movement, storytelling burlesque and audience participation with Crandell’s life-long love of Prince. Crandell’s production will run on the two final nights of the festival, Tuesday, March 19 and Wednesday, March 20.
Crandell also will host a series of special Guest Artist workshops on Monday, March 18.
The annual Line Breaks Festival also 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. Each night of the festival has a break for talkback sessions with the performers from the first hour’s shows.
Beginning the festival on Wednesday, March 13, is the traditional introduction of the newest First Wave Scholars, the sixth cohort. The ensemble production “Welcome Mat at Capacity” will open the first night of the Festival. Then UW-Madison sophomore Natalie Cook will present her solo production, “Some May Think Light Isn’t Heavy.”
The Thursday, March 14, schedule is filled with more premier works from students ranging from their sophomore to senior year. UW-Madison senior dåko’ta Alcantara-Camacho’s one-person production “Buried Beneath: Bombs and Lattes.” Closing the night will be an encore performance “Welcome Mat at Capacity” by the newest cohort of the First Wave scholarship program, the sixth cohort.
Friday night’s performance will open with the full-length versions of a previously-debuted production are Asia Elliot. Elliot’s one woman show “Working Class” navigates through the teenage years of young woman who divides her time between high school and a series of late-night jobs at the bar below her apartment. ”
To further merge spoken word and dance, on Saturday, March 16, the festival will include a special series of B-Girl workshops by GIRLilla TACTICS in Lathrop Studio B101:
•11:30am-12:30pm, Bgirl Figet Freedom Workshop,
•12:45-1:45pm, BGirl Macca Workshop,
•2-3pm, BGirl Peppa Workshop.
On Saturday evening, March 16, UW-Madison junior Nakila Robinsonwill perform the full-length version of her one-woman show “Little Big Woman.”
Sunday night’s opening performance will feature UW-Madison junior Richard Jones, Jr., and senior Rebekah Blocker collaborating in a two-person show. “Parenting Preacher’s Kids” tells the story of a pastor’s son and a minister’s daughter, who find out they are going to have a baby.
Following the two-person production is a one woman-show by senior Erika Dickerson-Despenza. As the founder of UW-Madison’s only women of color theatre organization, The For Colored Girls Project, Dickerson is no amateur to theater production, her mixed-medium production “Cult of Blk Bodies” chronicles the contradiction of womyn’s bodies as sites of consciousness development and exile, as assets and liabilities in the Black church and the world at large.
On Tuesday, March 19, the festival begins with two theater productions that mix dancing with storytelling. Following the mid-break talkback is the closing performance from guest artist Dawn Crandell. The final night of the festival, Wednesday, March 20, will open with an encore of Crandell’s production followed by two sessions of mixed movement warm-ups with the artist Crandell and music by MC/beatboxer Baba Israel.