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Name of Event: First Stage’s Amplify BIPOC Play Series begins with play reading of HIDDEN HEROES, presented as part of the Milwaukee Black Theater Festival
Dates, Times & Locations:
Saturday, August 13, 2022 at 1:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.
325 W. Walnut Street; Milwaukee, WI 53212
Sunday, August 14, 2022 at 2:00 p.m.
2620 W. Center Street; Milwaukee, WI 53206
Description: The third season of First Stage’s Amplify BIPOC Play Series kicks offs off Saturday, August 13 and Sunday, August 14 with the inspiring play HIDDEN HEROES by playwright Shá Cage and based on the book Hidden Human Computers: The Black Women of NASA by Sue Bradford Edwards and Duchess Harris. Published by ABDO Publishing, Minneapolis, MN. The play will be directed by First Stage Director of Artistic Inclusion and Community Engagement Samantha D. Montgomery.
“It doesn’t matter what you look like, what your size is, what your color is. You can be anything you want to, but you do have to work at it,” says Annie Easley’s mother to her young daughter. In the 1950s and ’60s, the black women of NASA fought against racial and gender discrimination for a place on the leading edge of math, science and technology. Be inspired as First Stage tells the stories of how these women were influenced as young girls to eventually make critical contributions that launched U.S. astronauts into space and returned them safely back to Earth. For families with young people ages 7 and up.
From Artistic Director Jeff Frank: “This remarkable play by Shá Cage celebrates the brilliance and creativity of these young girls as they break barriers, conquer the seemingly impossible and become the women whose work in mathematics and engineering would help make space exploration possible.”
This season’s Amplify Series will be presented as readings of three new plays, to be held at the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center and other community locations. A talkback will follow each reading, allowing audiences opportunities to share their voices with the playwright and artists – helping shape the development of the plays and potential future productions at First Stage.
The Amplify readings will also be made available on the First Stage YouTube channel for a short period following the live presentations. youtube.com/firststage
Cost: First Stage will again offer the 2022/23 Amplify Series at no cost to attendees, but registration will be required. For additional information and to register, please go to: firststage.org/events-tickets/2022-23-season/amplify-reading-series/
COVID protocols: Masks are optional at Milwaukee Youth Arts Center but be advised that the City of Milwaukee is currently under a Mask Advisory and as such encourages all folks wear a mask while indoors at a public setting. Masks will be available at the theater should you need one.
Phone: (414) 267-2961
About First Stage
First Stage is one of the nation’s leading theaters for young people and families. First Stage touches hearts, engages minds and transforms lives by creating extraordinary theater experiences through professional theater productions that inspire, enlighten and entertain. Its Theater Academy, the nation’s largest high-impact theater training program for young people, fosters life skills through stage skills and serves nearly 2,000 students each year. As Wisconsin’s leader in arts-integrated education in schools, First Stage’s dynamic Theater in Education programs promote literacy, character building and experiential learning throughout the curriculum, serving over 20,000 students each year. First Stage was selected to participate in the Partners in Education program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (2012) and was the recipient of the Milwaukee Business Journal’s Eureka Award, recognizing creativity and innovation in business, education and the arts for its Next Steps program for students on the autism spectrum (2013, 2015). First Stage is a member of TYA/USA, the American Alliance for Theatre and Education, the Wisconsin Alliance for Arts Education, Milwaukee Arts Partners and is a proud cornerstone member of the United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF). firststage.org
About 2022 Milwaukee Black Theater Festival
Black Arts MKE is proud to present the third annual Milwaukee Black Theater Festival, returning to venues across the city from August 10 – 14. The week-long celebration of Black arts and culture features free and ticketed events throughout each day including full-production and staged reading plays, an R&B and Gospel fundraiser concert, spoken word, music and dance performances, talk-back and panel discussions. This year’s theme is The Black Family: Generations Speak! Presented by generations of MKE-based Black artists, the festival includes events for the entire family, acknowledges community challenges and encourages everyone to come together now to celebrate Black theater, healing and unity. 2022 Milwaukee Black Theater Festival