Mother Tongue by the First Generation Ensemble of the Performance Project



United Congregational Church of Holyoke (300 Appleton St., Holyoke, MA 01040, Holyoke MA)

On Friday, May 13th at 6:00 PM the Performance Project’s First Generation Ensemble will be performing Mother Tongue at the United Congregational Church of Holyoke, at 300 Appleton, Holyoke, MA. Mother Tongue is an original multilingual physical theater performance, created by Springfield-based First Generation Ensemble. Mother Tongue is inspired by events and family stories from Congo/Tanzania, Bhutan/Nepal, South Sudan, Holyoke, and Springfield. The performance incorporates movement, music, dance, and stories in Arabic, Swahili, Nepali, and English.

The 90 minute piece incorporates themes of language, culture, identity, diaspora, hypermasculinity, transphobia, xenophobia, racism and revolution, among others. Appropriate for ages 13 and up.

The performance was developed by members of First Generation, an intergenerational arts and youth leadership development community that honors the stories and lives of youth who identify as ‘first generation’: first in their families to grow up in the US, speak English, graduate high school, go to college, be incarcerated, be an activist, be openly LGBTQ+, be a feminist, break a silence, or any other first. First Generation is a part of the Performance Project, which has been creating original theater and art in collaboration with communities in Hampshire and Hampden counties since 2000.

The ensemble is composed of seven youth: Entsar "Star” Abdelrahman, Montaser Yagoub Abdelrahman, Charlette Sostre Garcia, Monisha Gurung, Julita Hasani, Moise Jackobo, and Iliana “Lali” Quiles-Torres.

The production team includes co-directors Julie Lichtenberg, Iyawna Burnett and Lesley Farlow, Lighting Designer Brenda Cortina, and Sound Designer Tony Silva and Tyler Gorman, with original music by I-SHEA Shaikly.

For more information contact: 413-374-4938. Or Web:

Suggested Ticket price $15 (at the door) sliding scale