'First Voice' showcases 5 artists

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"First Voice: A Pittsburgh International Black Arts Festival" showcases the achievements of the five artists picked as 2012-13 August Wilson Center Fellows. Performances and exhibitions by Nikki Young (media arts), Joshua Wilder and Nathan James (theater), Bridgette Perdue (music and interdisciplinary performance) and Marlana Vassar (visual arts) run through May 25 at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture, Downtown.

The First Voice Festival schedule:

Today: "Wake Up and Dream" is an interdisciplinary showcase written and performed by Pittsburgh native and singer/songwriter Bridgette Perdue. 8 p.m.; admission is $10.

Today: An exhibition of works reflecting visual narratives of local performances created by University of Pittsburgh graduate Marlana Adele Vassar, with a gallery talk on Thursday. Both are free.

Saturday: Performances of solo theatrical works "Still" and "Township Safari," the latter a political statement about tourism in the poorest neighborhoods of South Africa, by actor/playwright Joshua Wilder. The Philadelphia native is a recent graduate of the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama. 8 p.m.; $10.

May 24: "Things Not Seen," by Pittsburgher Nikki Young, is a staged reading and theatrical trailer premiere. Ms. Young is a graduate of Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., where she was artistic director of Black Movements Dance Theatre. Her fellowship included creating a narrative feature film script. 8 p.m., free.

May 25: "Growing Pains" by Nathan James. Mr. James, a Pittsburgh native, has performed this one-man show at The United Solo Theatre Festival in New York City. The show uses poetry, monologue and movement to explore the mentalities and stereotypes of black males in hip-hop culture. The Pitt (B.A., Africana Studies) and Penn State (M.F.A., acting) alumnus appeared as a police officer on HBO's "The Wire" and performed for the TYGA R.O.A.R Tour. 8 p.m.; $10.



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