First Wave Hip Hop Theater Ensemble
Blurring the boundaries of poetry, dance and theatre, First Wave Hip Hop Theater Ensemble is a groundbreaking collective of spoken word poets, MC’s, dancers, singers, actors, and hip hop artists attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison. They were twinned with Junges Theatre basel, Switzerland as part of CTW 2010.
A close-knit, dynamic campus community, the group helps members develop their craft through skill sharing and the tutorage of nationally acclaimed Hip Hop artists.
The ensemble is the performance company of the First Wave Spoken Word and Urban Arts Learning Community, founded by the Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives (OMAI). First Wave is an emerging leader on the national Hip Hop theatre scene, pushing the boundaries of poetry, dance, and theatre.
As part of the application process for Contacting the World, First Wave Hip Hop Theater Ensemble created a new collaboration through interviewing members of ‘The working class society’ at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. The groups discussed the Jail system over in America and how this affects the working class, if they are treated right, and if the penalising methods work.
During CTW the company created and perfomed their collaborative piece Turbulence: the Eve of Crashing.
We always remember the beginning and end of relationships, but what about the middle? A Hip Hop production rooted in the voice of American youth, Turbulence: The Eve Of Crashing examines what happens between that blissful point of take off and the moment it all comes crashing down.
Danez Smith, one of the members of First Wave, has since returned to Contact to perform his solo show, For Those Who Pray in Closets as part of Queer Contact 2011.