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Five women of color playwrights have come together to push the boundaries of storytelling with the world premier of a new production titled LINES, presented by Madison’s own Theatre LILA.

“This is about true stories of women of color and what it’s like to live in this country under this administration as a women of color,” said playwright Olivia Dawson.

The five writers include Dawson, Atra Asdou, Aidaa Peerzada, Malik’s Stampley-Johnson and Melisa Pereyra, who’s also the director.

Theater LILA puts on an original production every year as a part of its mission, and each year works are developed based on themes.

“This year’s theme being lines and boundaries came to this concept of bringing different women from different backgrounds and heritages to write a piece based on what lines are in our lives in different ways,” Peerzada said.

LINES will be a collection of poetry, dialogue, movement and music featuring an acting cast of six women of color including Peerzada and Dawson.

The importance of the show being written, directed and performed by women of color should not go unnoticed.

“I think it’s important because there are kids growing up in this world who don’t get to see themselves on TV or on stage, especially on stage,” said actor Mercedes White. “It’s important for me for this show because it allows an entire younger generation of people of color to see that they can be on the stage.”

The production will feature two student matinees on April 21 and 22 and a reduced ticket price of $20 is available to students for all showings.

The cast hopes the show will inspired women of color the most.

“This is really for us to be who we are,” Dawson said. “We want to put this out there for other women of color to seek, to empower ourselves, to empower them.”

The show will run from April 20 to April 29 at Overture Center. Each show will be followed by a talk back. General admission tickets are $35 and can be purchased through Overture Center or Theatre LILA

Written by Jordan Gaines

Jordan Gaines

Jordan Gaines is a cultural critic and Madison365 contributor.

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