Yellow background with cutout images of people performing spoken word poetry with text mimicing spray paint reading "Line Breaks Hip Hop Festival."

Line Breaks Festival 2022

15th Annual Line Breaks Hip Hop Theater Festival

An OMAI tradition

OMAI’s Line Breaks Hip Hop Theater Festival consists of performances, lectures, and discussions by First Wave students and invited professional artists engaging with the Madison community, on and off campus. Inaugurated through OMAI’s sponsored Marc Bamuthi Joseph Arts Institute Residency in the spring of 2007, the Line Breaks project culminated in a final performance of student work called “Just Bust!” – an event, which has evolved into our monthly open mic, now running for 15 years.

Hip Hop where it belongs

Line Breaks Festival brings the top new aesthetics in contemporary hip hop and interdisciplinary performance art to the UW-Madison campus and the surrounding community. It has evolved into a space for the investigation of contemporary American culture through the lens of hip-hop performance.  Line Breaks is now one of the largest Hip Hop-centered performance festivals in the Midwest and continues to be a space for the cultivation and presentation of independent and collaborative work by First Wave artist-scholars. Here, unique responses to common human experiences are explored. The narratives, myths and legends, specific to these diverse communities, are unearthed, distilled and presented in an environment that encourages discussion, and continued investigation.

2022 Schedule

Fri, April 1, 2022

2:00 – 4:00 PM UW-Madison Arts Crawl in partnership with the Division of the Arts

Arts Crawl highlights a collection of arts events held over several days in the arts departments and co-curricular arts units at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Arts Crawl is an opportunity to have creative arts experiences, which may take the form of demonstrations and workshops, as well as the chance to visit arts classes, lectures, talks, performances, exhibitions, and rehearsals. The Arts Crawl will run from Thursday, March 31 – Saturday, April 2, culminating in performances at the Line Breaks Festival.

Details available at go.wisc.edu/ArtsCrawl

5:00 – 7:00 PM Line Breaks Opening Reception in the Wisconsin Studio, Overture Center

In partnership with the Wisconsin Alumni Association, the Line Breaks Opening Reception will feature refreshments, light catering, bar, and sounds by DJ Pain 1! Throughout the space, we will install an exhibition of First Wave visual and design artists to present and discuss their work with guests.

The programme for the reception will take place 5:30 – 6:30 p.m., where we will host WAA’s Wisconsin Idea Spotlight Panel, featuring key First Wave alumni Danez Smith and Erika Dickerson-Despenza; Professor Chris Walker, founding Faculty Artistic Director of OMAI and Director of the Division of the Arts; and Dr. LaVar Charleston, Deputy Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion, Vice Provost and Chief Diversity Officer at UW-Madison.

Register here!

7:00 – 9:00 PM Line Breaks Hip Hop Theater Festival Showcase in the Playhouse Theater, Overture Center

This evening showcase will include performances by First Wave 14th Cohort Ensemble, FW 12th Cohort member Jackson Neal’s Glitch, First Wave Touring Ensemble, and conclude with a debut staging of summer, somewhere by First Wave alum Danez Smith, featuring a small ensemble of First Wave scholars directed by Professor Chris Walker.

Register here!

Sat, April 2, 2022

2:00 – 4:00 PM Badger Meet Up: Line Breaks Edition

In partnership with the Wisconsin Alumni Association, UW alumni from Classes 2007 – 2017 with an interest in multicultural arts are invited for a brunch mixer with refreshments, music and performances honoring the 15th Anniversary of UW-Madison’s Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives.

6:00 – 8:00 PM Line Breaks Hip Hop Theater Festival Showcase in the Playhouse Theater, Overture Center

This evening showcase will include performances by First Wave 14th Cohort Ensemble, 12th Cohort member Dawry Ruiz’s Speakeasy, and the JVN Project’s Fashion Show. Featuring special performances by musical trio Klassik, B~Free, and Quinten Farr.

Register here!

Line Breaks performances

First Wave 14th Cohort Ensemble

The first-year of the First Wave curriculum includes a course instructed by Professor Chris Walker where the newest cohort in the First Wave community engage in Walker’s First Wave Process. Dance 259: Collaborative Arts Performance Lab is a unique course designed to further engage students in creative problem solving and devising performance processes.  Students work together under facilitation to create work and produce performances of hip hop theater, experimental theater and other collaborative performance art works for public viewing.  The course content is repeatable and the work is developed in stages in each workshop.   Students are introduced to the three pillars of the First Wave Program – Arts, Activism and Academics and how they interact with and within multiple contemporary art processes.  They work together in a creative workshop space to practice, collaborate and engage in creative research processes  using the elements of Hip Hop and the creative problem solving tools that shape them as points of engagement and departure.  The FW 14th Cohort will present their collaborative work both evenings of the Line Breaks Festival and participate in a talk back with the audience.

First Wave Touring Ensemble

The First Wave Touring Ensemble, consisting of Jackson Neal, Sarah Abbas, Azura Mizan Tyabji , and Zachary Lesmeister, fuses music, poetry, and movement to put forth new work exemplary of the First Wave collaborative experience.

Selected Line Breaks Proposals by First Wave Scholars, Creative Direction by Karl Iglesias

  1. Glitch by Jackson Neal (FW 12th Cohort), is a multimedia performing arts piece that examines the enormous pleasure of the internet and its sinister underbelly, inviting audiences to pause and consider how their own choices, when closely examined, might not be their own.
  2. Speakeasy by Dawry Ruiz (FW 12th Cohort) combines the aspects of a concert and Hip-Hop theatre to confront and explore survivors’ guilt and how our lead musician can escape the consequences that his childhood friends could not.
  3. True to the Root, produced by Corina Robinson (FW 12th cohort) for the JVN Project is a sustainable hip hop fashion show. We believe fashion is an important way to showcase hip hop; the clothes we wear reflect the culture we walk in on the daily. Hip hop is a culture that builds off itself and the people in it, we feel that emphasizing sustainable fashion (upcycling, rewearing, etc.) reflects this as well. True to the Root will be a multimedia fashion show highlighting pieces that embody the 5 elements of hip hop (breaking, DJing, MCing, graffiti, and knowledge). Other media will include a DJ, spoken word poetry, and more.

summer, somewhere

This is a section from a long poem taking place in an imagined afterlife for black men shot by the police, where, as the narrator says, “dead is the safest i’ve ever been.” Danez Smith is a slam-poetry champion as well as a recipient of several more traditional literary awards; the poetry in “Don’t Call Us Dead” reflects the strengths of each of those worlds. 

– Matthew Zapruder, New York Times, June 9, 2017

In a semester-long residency with OMAI this Spring 2022, Danez Smith and Professor Chris Walker workshopped a staging of Smith’s choreopoem summer, somewhere from the book don’t call us dead for a cast of all Black masculine presenting bodies. The residency invited current First Wave scholars to create a new work in partnership with Smith and professional artists from Walker’s company, a core educational experience of the Line Breaks Festival.

Please stay after the performance for a talk-back with the artists.

Line Breaks performer biographies

Chris Walker

Chris Walker, an artist and an experienced and influential leader in the arts on campus, has been named the new director of the Division of the Arts in summer 2021. Walker is a professor in the School of Education’s Department of Dance, as well as the founding artistic director of First Wave, a nationally prominent scholarship program known for pushing the boundaries of poetry, dance, theater and art.

Walker is a multi-hyphenate contemporary dance and performance artist. Rooted in “Resistance Aesthetics,” Walker’s work draws upon the danced rituals, mas traditions, and embodied performance history of the African diaspora. His research intersects dance choreography for the concert stage with collaborations with visual and performance artists for museum, alternate spaces, professional theatre, and video/film, as well as developed the pedagogical framework known as the First Wave Process.

LaVar Charleston

Dr. LaVar J. Charleston, an accomplished researcher, scholar and practitioner with nearly two decades of experience related to diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education and the workforce, leads the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s diversity and inclusion efforts.

Charleston is the university’s chief diversity officer, also holding the titles of deputy vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion, vice provost, and Elzie Higginbottom Director of the Division of Diversity, Equity and Educational Achievement, or DDEEA.  

As Chief Diversity Officer, Charleston provides overall leadership for the university’s efforts to create a diverse, inclusive, and successful learning and work environment for all students, faculty, staff, alumni, and others who partner with the university. As deputy vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion, he partners with schools, colleges and other administrative units across campus while overseeing the units that comprise the DDEEA as vice provost and director.  

A native of Detroit, Charleston most recently served as the inaugural associate dean for equity, diversity, and inclusion at UW-Madison’s School of Education, where he is a clinical professor of higher education in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis. Prior to that role, he served as the inaugural assistant vice chancellor for student diversity, engagement, and success at the University of Wisconsin–Whitewater.

Charleston earned a master’s degree and Ph.D. from the UW-Madison School of Education and has served in various capacities, developing and offering courses at the graduate and undergraduate level and serving as a senior level administrator.

Karl Michael Iglesias

Karl Michael Iglesias (he/him) is a Puerto Rican actor, director, and author originally from Milwaukee, WI.  A graduate of the University of Wisconsin and member First Wave’s second cohort , he continues his exploration of verse and heightened language in theater with The BARS Workshop at The Public Theater in New York, where writers/performers develop new verse for the stage. As an emcee, he has shared the stage with Anderson Paak, Mac Miller, Chance The Rapper, Ludacris, Wale and Kendrick Lamar. His poetry can also be read on The Florida Review, RHINO Poetry, Kweli Journal, The Brooklyn Review, The Madison Review, Pigeon Pages NYC and The Break Beat Poets Vol4 : Latinext (2020) to name a few and is the author of Catch a Glow, available now on Finishing Line Press.  As an actor, Karl is member of the Actor’s Equity Association as well as SAG AFTRA and has appeared in episodes of Chicago PD, The Last OG and EVIL. As a director, he has recently assistant directed Measure for Measure at The Public Theater and curated The Exchange, a workshop where artists are paid to play, with support of NYFA and the City Artists Corps grant. Karl currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with a lot of plants.

Danez Smith

Danez Smith is a Black, Queer, Poz writer & performer from St. Paul, MN. Danez is the author of Don’t Call Us Dead (Graywolf Press, 2017), winner of the Forward Prize for Best Collection, the Midwest Booksellers Choice Award, and a finalist for the National Book Award; they also wrote [insert] boy (YesYes Books, 2014), winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry. They are the recipient of fellowships from the Poetry Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, the Montalvo Arts Center, Cave Canem, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Danez’s work has been featured widely, appearing on platforms such as Buzzfeed, The New York Times, PBS NewsHour, Best American Poetry, Poetry Magazine, and on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Danez is a member of the Dark Noise Collective and is the co-host of VS with Franny Choi, a podcast sponsored by the Poetry Foundation and Postloudness. Danez’s third collection, “Homie”, was published by Graywolf in January 2020.  Find more at www.danezsmithpoet.com

Erika Dickerson-Despenza

Erika Dickerson-Despenza is a Blk queer feminist poet-playwright and cultural-memory worker from Chicago, Illinois. Awards: Susan Smith Blackburn Prize (2021), Laurents/Hatcher Foundation Award (2020), Thom Thomas Award (2020), Lilly Award (2020), Barrie and Bernice Stavis Award (2020), Grist 50 Fixer (2020), Princess Grace Playwriting Award (2019). Residencies & Fellowships: Tow Playwright-in-Residence at The Public Theater (2019-2020), U.S. Water Alliance National Arts & Culture Delegate (2019), New York Stage and Film Fellow-in-Residence (2019), New Harmony Project Writer-in Residence (2019), Dramatists Guild Foundation Fellow (2018-2019), The Lark Van Lier New Voices Fellow (2018). Communities: Grist, Ars Nova Play Group (2019-2021), Youngblood Collective (EST). Commissions: Climate Change Theatre Action, The Public Theater, Studio Theatre & Williamstown Theatre Festival. Productions: CULLUD WATTAH (The Public Theater, 2021; Victory Gardens Theater, 2022), [HIEROGLYPH] (San Francisco Playhouse/Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, 2021). Currently, Erika is developing a 10-play Katrina Cycle, including [HIEROGLYPH] and SHADOW/LAND, focused on the effects of Hurricane Katrina and its state-sanctioned, man-made disaster rippling in & beyond New Orleans.

First Wave Touring Ensemble

The First Wave Touring Ensemble is the artistic outgrowth of the First Wave Program. The ensemble was formed out of a response to requests for national performances. To lessen the impact on students’ academic schedules and ensure a manageable number for tours, an audition process was developed for representation at select national and international venues each year in response to demand for outreach, as well as multiple artistic and academic foci among First Wave scholars. We continue to use collaborative tools to unpack the personal narrative as a route to academic engagement, artistic productivity and community engagement. It is our philosophy that the arts are central to the education process. In that regard we collaborate with faculty from various disciplines that represent the broad range of majors in which our scholars are engaged and find creative ways to decode academic theory. By engaging academic theory in creative ways, students are given a platform to provide further spaces for deeper dialogue around difficult to discuss subject matter such as race, gender, religion, justice and politics in the United States.

Jackson Neal (He/They) is currently majoring in Creative Writing / Dance and is the 2019 Houston Youth Poet Laureate.

Azura Mizan Tyabji (She/Her) is currently majoring in Creative Writing / Sociology and is the 2019 Seattle Youth Poet Laureate.

Zachary Lesmeister (They/Them) is currently majoring in Creative Writing and is the 2017 St. Louis Youth Poet Laureate.

Sarah Abbas (They/Them) is currently majoring in Creative Writing and Psych and is the 2020-21 St. Louis Youth Poet Laureate.

First Wave 14th Cohort Ensemble

Adina Shaikh (IL), Adrian Cyrus (IL), Eshwer Kumar (Scotland), Grace Ruo (MO), Janae Adams (WI), Jason Hill (PA), Jelani Williams (PA), Kaleb Autman (IL), Luna Macedo Cohen (Brazil), Matthew Thompson (WI), Maxwell Saron (WI), Rayane Prado Nunes (Brazil), Selena Baker (MD), Sarah Abbas (MO).

The JVN Project

JVNP is a Madison-based, non-profit hip hop organization dedicated to using the elements of hip hop to educate youth. They are inspired by the life of John Vietnam Nyguên and their work centers on his mantra of “One Life, One Love.” Learn more about JVNP and John at thejvnproject.org. Current JVNP members currently include Ella Dietz, Dawry Ruiz, Jackson Neal, Grace Ruo, and Corina Robinson.

Pacal "DJ Pain 1" Bayley

Multi-platinum producer Pacal “DJ Pain 1” Bayley has stayed busy since his breakout production on Young Jeezy’s “The Recession” album. His journey started in the late 90’s while cultivating hip-hop sensibilities through visual art, DJing, and beat-making. He balanced a career in youth service/teaching with creating music, oftentimes marrying the two – he co-founded the first hip-hop performing arts program housed in an institute of higher education in Madison. Once he decided to focus on his production career, his resume quickly grew to include both legendary hip-hop acts (such as Public Enemy, Nas) as well as contemporary hit-makers (including Lil Baby, Pooh Shiesty). He has also garnered attention for his online video series on production and music business know-how.

Presenting partners

​​The Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives within the Division of Diversity, Equity, & Educational Achievement at the University of Wisconsin-Madison provides culturally relevant and transformative arts programming to promote positive social dialogue and to give cultural art forms an academic forum. 

The Line Breaks Hip Hop Theater Festival seeks to bring together communities on and off campus, locally and nationally, to embrace the values and guiding principles of OMAI/First Wave. In the 15th anniversary year of OMAI, the 16th annual Line Breaks Festival will be a homecoming for UW alumni involved in multicultural arts over the last 15 years and beyond. This gathering would not be possible without the generous support of our presenting partners:

  • Overture Center for the Arts
  • Wisconsin Alumni Association
  • Division of Arts, UW-Madison
  • The JVN Project

COVID-19 Event Policies

Please note that masks will be required at all indoor Line Breaks events on and off the UW-Madison campus, while vaccines and booster shots are highly encouraged. Details about UW-Madison event policies can be found at covidresponse.wisc.edu.

Additionally, to offer the safest environment possible for our patrons, artists, employees, volunteers and community, the Overture Center has implemented the following requirements for everyone who enters the building, whether visiting the ticket office and galleries or attending a show, meeting or event.

Overture Center requires proof of vaccination, including (as of March 1, 2022) a booster if eligible* along with photo ID for all who enter the building. Overture allows a one-month grace period for patrons to schedule and receive the booster and get up to date on vaccinations once eligible. Those who are not up to date with a booster or are unable to be vaccinated may show proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to entry or a negative antigen test administered by a health care or pharmacy provider taken within 24 hours of entry, along with photo ID. An at-home antigen test administered by a virtual proctor with a time and date stamped result within 24 hours will also be accepted, along with photo ID. In addition, Overture Center requires a facial mask be worn by all who enter the building and at all public performances and events.

This policy will be re-evaluated mid-March, and patrons will be informed of any changes at that time. For additional information, please visit overture.org/health.

Past Line Break Festivals

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Line Breaks - First Wave and Guest Performers 2021

The First Wave 13th cohort presents: Only Human

Line Breaks - First Wave and Guest Performers 2019

First Wave Flash Talks

Visual Arts Showcase featuring Nikolai Hagen, Joi Brenson, Isha Camara, Auzzie Dodson,

Janaé Hu, Masha Vodyanyk, and Adjua Nsoroma

First Wave Poetry Showcase featuring Natasha Oladokun, Isha Camara, and Mackenzie Berry

UpRise Poetry Collective

Thiahera Nurse Writing Workshop

James D. Gavins Movement Workshop

Feast of FlowersJamie Dawson

DAL: Stories of Black MotherhoodTiffany Ike

Citizen XRicardo Cortez de la Cruz II

Cicada, James D. Gavins

Fifth Year: A CollaborationNia Scott

The HelpJasmine Kiah

Return Home to UsSolomon Roller

Unlearning GodTiffany Ike

Love U(s) FirstDequadray White

First Wave Music Showcase

Line Breaks - First Wave and Guest Performers 2018

When I was a kid, Kenneth Dizon

Diary of  a Shapeshifter, Mariam Coker

First Wave Music Showcase, Obasi Davis, Hiwot Adilow, Dequadray White, Tehan Ketema, Chetta Hill, First Wave cypher

Louisville Lip: MC Muhammad Ali, Mackenzie Berry

Line Breaks - First Wave and Guest Performers 2017

Tearing Down the Walls, First Wave Touring Ensemble (2017)

First Wave Poetry Sharing  (2017)

First Wave 10th Cohort

Dancing Towards Change, Featured Local Dance Artists

Music Workshop, led by Nathan France, Daniel Kaplan & Eric Newble

 Love Has No Season, Featured Artist, Rain Wilson

Music Workshop, led by Nathan France, Daniel Kaplan & Eric Newble Garrett Pauli

2017 LINE BREAKS FESTIVAL PERFORMERS

Kaleidoscopes/Collide of Scopes Poster

JOHN PAUL (JP) ALEJANDRO

Kaleidoscopes/Collide of Scopes

Goddess At Your Feet Poster

JAMIE DAWSON

Goddess At Your Feet

The Sun Doesn't Always Come Out Tomorrow Poster

KENNETH DIZON

The Sun Doesn’t Always Come Out Tomorrow

Where Guilt Exists Poster

NORA HERZOG

Where Guilt Exists

Ball and Chain Poster

TIFFANY IKE

Ball and Chain

Romeo and Juliet Poster

DANIEL KAPLAN

Romeo and Juliet

Garrett Pauli Headshot

GARRETT PAULI

Maskuline

Line Breaks - First Wave and Guest Performers 2016

Line Breaks - Guest Performers (2005 - 2015)

Jessica Care-Moore (2005): Internationally renowned poet, publisher, activist, rock star, playwright, actress, educator, thespian, filmmaker, performance artist, producer, five-time Showtime at the Apollo winner, and CEO of Moore Black Press.

Kalamu ya Salaam (2005): Poet, author, filmmaker, and teacher.

Marc Bamuthi Joseph (2005, 2007, 2008, 2010): Spoken-word poet, dancer, and playwright who frequently directs stand alone hip-hop theater plays.

Jeff Chang (2007): Author of Can’t Stop Won’t Stop and Who We Be: The Colonization of America, co-founder of Culturestr/ke magazine and Coloredlines daily news site, and Executive Director of the Institute for Diversity in the Arts at Stanford University.

Dr. Rennie Harris (2007, 2008, 2014): Artistic Director, Choreographer and Director.

Sambada (2007): Brazilian band.

Alix Olson (2007): American poet and Spoken Word artist.

Kamilah Forbes (2007, 2009): Assistant Director and Artistic Director.

Danny Hoch (2007): American writer, director, and performance artist.

Dennis Kim (2007, 2008): Hip-Hop and Spoken Word artist from Chicago, and a co-founder of I Was Born With Two Tongues, an Asian American spoken word quartet, and Typical Cats, a Chicago-based hip hop collective. He is a teaching artist at Youth Speaks, Inc.

Mayda Del Valle (2007): Poet, performer, teaching artist.

Lauren Whitehead (2007): Spoken Word artist.

Rafael Casal (2007, 2009, 2011): American writer, performance poet, recording artist, educator, playwright and founding member of The Getback.

Dahlak Brathwaite (2007): musician, actor, poet, and educator

Omar Sosa (2007): composer, bandleader, and jazz pianist.

Roger Bonair-Agard (2007): Poet and Performance artist.

Willie Perdomo (2007): Poet, children’s book author, Artist-in-Residence, Workspace, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. He is co-founder/publisher of Cypher Books.
Gambian Griot Alhaji Papa Susso (2007): Griot or jeli, master kora player, and director of the Koriya Musa Center for Research in Oral Tradition.

Staceyann Chin (2008): Spoken-word poet, performing artist and LGBT rights political activist.

Rokafella & Kwikstep (2008): Hip-Hop dancers, Artistic directors of Full Circle Productions, a Hip-Hop dance theater company.

Josh Healey (2008): Award-winning writer, performer, and creative activist.

Kevin Coval (2008): Poet, playwright, educator, organizer, Artistic Director of Young Chicago Authors.

Patricia Smith (2008): Poet, spoken-word performer, playwright, author, writing teacher, and former journalist.

Wale (2009): American rapper.

Colin Munroe (2009): Canadian singer-songwriter.

First Wave Music Ensemble (2009): Student performers.

Amir Sulaiman (2009): Poet, recording artist, activist and newly appointed Harvard Fellow.

K Swift (2009): American DJ, MC, radio personality and entreprenuer.

Lemon Andersen (2009): American poet, spoken word artist and actor.

Beau Sia (2009): American Slam poet.

Christopher Walker (2009): UW-Madison assistant professor of Dance and First Wave Hip-Hop Theater Ensemble artistic director.

Janelle Monae (2010): Grammy nominated American singer, songwriter, composer, and record producer signed to Bad Boy Records, Wondaland Art Society, and Atlantic Records.

Colman Domingo (2010): Olivier, Tony, Drama Desk, and Drama League Award nominated and OBIE, Lucille Lortel, GLAAD Award winning film, stage, and television actor, playwright, and director.

Stew & Heidi (2010): A four-time Tony nominee, Stew leads, along with his collaborator Heidi Rodewald, two critically acclaimed bands: The Negro Problem and Stew. Works: Post Minstrel Syndrome (TNP 1997), Joys and Concerns (TNP 1999), Guest Host (S 2000), The Naked Dutch Painter (S 2002), Welcome Black (TNP 2002), Something Deeper Than These Changes (S 2003) and the cast album of Passing Strange (2008).

Queen GodIs (2012): International Poet, MC, Artistic Director and Performance Art Therapist whose work serves a host of communities seeking transformation through art.

Hapasan (2012): multiracial Japanese American capoeirista and house dancer based in the Bay Area.

Chanel Matsunami Govreau (2012): Performance storyteller, printmaker and costume designer.

Paul Oakley Stovall (2012): Playwright.

Brad Simmons (2012): Musical director.

GIRLilla Tactics (2013): Devan Rode, Macca, Peipei Yuan – Bgirl workshops

Dawn Crandel (2013): Performing Xenophobadelica. Dawn is a dancer, choreographer, theatre artist, poet, grassroots cultural activist and educator.

Michael Sakamoto (2014): Interdisciplinary artist active in dance, theatre, performance, photography, and media.

Jamila Woods (2015): Poet and vocalist.

Line Breaks - First Wave Performers (2008 - 2015)

First Wave 1st Cohort Ensemble (2008): Performing The Wheatley Prompt, Chisel me Man, On Loving and Learning, Puppets, I am Woman, Hear us Roar, Casualties – Casualties, The Sound Of, Yusef, Immigrante, Goodbye.

Alida Cardos-Whaley (2008): Performing Underground Rail Hop Revolution.

First Wave 2nd Cohort Ensemble (2009): Performing Boomboxed.

Ben Young (2009): Performing The Void.

Karl Iglesias (2009): Performing If a Tree Falls.

Gabriel De Los Reyes (2009): Performing Formal Introduction.

First Wave 3rd Cohort Ensemble (2010): Performing The Issue.

Danez Smith (2010): Performing The Problem With Sundays.

Camea Osborn (2010): Performing Langely Street.

Jessica Diaz-Hurtado (2010): Performing El Viejo Detras Del Escritorio or The Old Man Behind the Desk.

2nd Cohort Works (2010): Asia Elliot, Gabriel De Los Reyes & Angela Thompson – Performing Built into the Walls // Rebekah Blocker, Leslie Thomas, Camea Osborn, Dianna Harris & Asia Elliot – Performing Get a Room // Michael Sherer, Ben Young, Krystal Gartley, Rebekah Blocker, Andrew Thomas, & James Gavins – Performing Home is Where

First Wave 4th Cohort Ensemble (2011): Performing Control Alt Delete.

First Wave 1st Cohort Ensemble Show (2011): Performing Dog Years: A Wisconsin Experience

Danez Smith (2011): Performing For Those Who Pray in Closets.

Jasmine Mans (2011): Performing Bloody Mary

Asia Elliot (2011): Performing Working Class

Gayle Smaller (2011): Performing In Other News

William Giles (2011): Performing Still Born

Kelsey Van Ert (2011): Performing Birdies

Cydney Edwards (2011): Performing Get a Room

First Wave Music Ensemble (2011): Boomboxed – The Remix.

First Wave 5th Cohort Ensemble (2012): Performing Common Denominator

Shameaca Moore & Myriha Burton (2012): Performing Duo Show – Failing with an A

Ashley Street (2012): Performing The Silent Streets are Burning

Nakila Robinson (2012): Performing Little Big Woman

First Wave 2013 Touring Ensemble: Performing Shock

Dominic Nicholas & Jill Fukumoto (2012): Performing Duo Show – Forget It

First Wave 6th Cohort Ensemble (2013): Performing Welcome Mat at Capacity.

Dakota Alcantara-Camacho (2013): Performing Buried Beneath Bombs and Lattes

Asia Elliot (2013): Performing Working Class

Nakila Robinson (2013): Performing Little Big Woman

Natalie Cook (2013): Performing Some May Think Light isn’t Heavy

Gethsemane Herron-Coward (2013): Performing Witness

First Wave 2013 Touring Ensemble: Performing Kingdom Bequeath

Dominique Ricks (2013): Performing Cross-Walk

Richard Jones Jr. & Rebekah Blocker (2013) Performing duo show PPK: Parenting Preachers’ Kids

Erika Dickerson (2013): Performing Cult of Blk Bodies

Marlon Eric Lima (2013): Performing Don’t Just Stand There

Niko Tumamak (2013): Performing The S**t We Go Through

First Wave 7th Cohort Ensemble (2014): Performing Fire Under the Skin

Erika Dickerson (2014): Performing Cult of Blk Bodies

Elton Ferdinand III (2014): Performing Flounder

The Bellhops (2014): Performing Honey in my Tea

T Banks (2014): Ensemble Performing Loud and Unchained

Nakila Robinson & Ashley Street (2014): Performing Duo Show – The Miseducation of Mil Chet

First Wave 8th Cohort (2015): Performing Staying Hungry.

Hiwot Adilow (2015): mine.

Melana Bass (2015): What does In/Justice Look Like

Jill Fukomoto (2015): Liminal Creatures.

LaLa Bolander (2015): SPILL.

Zhalarina Sanders (2015): Rose Gold.

Natalie Cook (2015): Manikin.

Garrett Pauli (2015): Skeletons of Silence.

Ajanae Dawkins (2015): Atlantic.

John Paul Alejandro (2015): In the Belly of the Iron Beast.

T Banks (2015): Loud and Unchained – Spiritual.

Kelsey Pyro (2015): Break the Cycle.

Joseph Verge (2015): Labels.

FXFW: First by First Wave (2015): Featuring CRASHprez, Lord of the Fly, Broadway, Amy Alida, Sean Avery , with Special Performance of Joseph Verge’s “Labels”

Rich Robbins (2015): Opening for Jamilia Woods