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(Be)longing

Friday, March 17, 2017, 7:30 PM
Saturday, March 18, 2017, 7:30 PM


At the Moss Arts Center, 190 Alumni Mall, Blacksburg, VA 24061
In the Street and Davis Performance Hall's Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre

$25 general admission, $10 students with ID and youth 18 and under
Music by Byron Au Yong
Libretto by Aaron Jafferis
Directed by Charlotte Brathwaite
Choreography by Ni'Ja Whitson
Production design by Ben Zamora
Produced by ArKtype/Thomas O. Kriegsmann
Music direction by Nancy Harder


This award-winning creative team presents a new, staged oratorio (featuring locally cast singers, beatboxers, and hip-hop artists) about belonging, isolation, healing, and community. Developed through research and creative residencies in Blacksburg and other locations, performances and related engagement will reflect on violence and school shootings and consider deeper ways to connect and build communities of safety and support.

Adult themes and content

(Be)longing is a commission of the Moss Arts Center and developed in partnership with International Festival of Arts & Ideas, New Haven, Connecticut. Residency development provided by Tje Flea Theater, New York City; Westminster Choir College; Montalvo Arts Center; and Weston Playhouse. (Be)longing was developed, in part, at the 2014 Sundance Institute Theatre Lab at MASS MoCA.


RELATED EVENTS
Sunday, April 16, 2017, 4 PM
STORIES OF (BE)LONGING: RESILIENCE AND REMEMBRANCE
Led by Shannon M. Turner
The Lyric Threatre, 135 College Avenue, Blacksburg, Virginia
Free admission; reservations are encouraged. To reserve your spot, visit storiesofbelonging.eventbrite.com

Thursday, April 27, 2017
PRESENTATION: THE ARTS AND SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION COURSE
Miles C. Horton Jr. Gallery
Free


PROGRAM NOTES

Advance program notes are provided online for our patrons who like to read about performances ahead of time. Printed programs will be provided to patrons at the performances. Programs are subject to change. View advance program notes here .


LEARNING GUIDE

Learn more about (Be)longing in our 2016-2017 Learning Guide .


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We combined many questions and ideas from (Be)longing into a simple rap; read the lyrics here.

Question (Be)longing

Why do young people in this country shoot each other, or get shot?
And how do I recover from losing young people I knew, or not?
And how can I and the people I love get these shootings to stop?
I don’t know. I’m asking you. A few questions are all I got.
Is it the feelings smothered? The times I was Othered?
The dumb boys who say things? The toy guns? My playthings?
The rules of gender—the roles they make me fit in?
The school agenda—the rows they make me sit in?
The label that sticks? The failure? The cliques?
Is it the media I’m glued to, the video games, the porn
so I’ve screwed and killed a million nameless people since I was born?
Is it the culture of entitlement? My parents? The shame?
The obsession with specialness: the 15 seconds of fame?
The web? The disconnect? The street cred? The disrespect?
Is it the not being heard? The dream, deferred?
The economy that’s bad? The job I wish I had?
The self-hatred, the doubt, the unloved, the unkissable?
The racism that makes someone stick out, or invisible?
The way we erase mental illness: the culture of silence?
The way we raise men to be killers? Or buy guns to stop violence?
Why do young people in this country shoot each other, or get shot?
And how do I recover from losing young people I knew, or not?
And how can I and the people I love get these shootings to stop?
I don’t know. I’m asking you. A few questions are all I got.
Do we cope with broken times with open carry? Open minds?
Close loopholes through which I buy guns and hollow tips?
Or restrict funds and lobbyists from buying into politics?
Is it teaching what to look for before someone attacks?
Reaching out to keep someone from falling through the cracks?
Is it helping a kid before he becomes dangerous,
even if welcoming him means changing us?
Do we learn how to turn loneliness into community,
ensuring you belonging doesn’t mean you’ll be excluding me?
Do we cope with this despair by sharing our brokenness?
Our hopelessness? To open this door to love, or recovery?
Or healing? Or resilience? Or mental health? Or self-discovery?
Or empathy? Or learning safety from the first responders?
Is it remembering I am more than the worst of my traumas?
Is it reminding ourselves to honor those living, and those fallen?
Or is it helping me to find or follow my own calling?
Why do young people in this country shoot each other, or get shot?
And how do I recover from losing young people I knew, or not?
And how can I and the people I love (in this room) get these shootings to stop?
I don’t know. I’m asking you. A few questions are all I got.


Learn more about how the artists got the idea for and created (Be)longing.

Music, hip-hop theatre | Deeper

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(Be)longing

Friday, March 17, 2017, 7:30 PM

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Saturday, March 18, 2017, 7:30 PM

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Inspiration

(Be)longing

Something Deeper

Nourish your craving for thought, reflection, and deeper understanding with these performances that will challenge your emotions, intellect, boundaries, and perspectives.

All performances take place in the Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre, in the Street and Davis Performance Hall, unless otherwise noted.
 

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