This year, AS220 Youth members investigated the theme of Revolution. The story of FUTUREWORLDS: UPRISING as a hip hop theater piece is influenced by the brutal killings of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Freddy Grey, Sandra Bland and the many others who died at the hands of injustice. Since these killings, the spirit of revolution and activism has engulfed AS220 Youth. We have stood up to say “ENOUGH!”. We need to make a change. Since January, we’ve taken part in rallies, gone on field trips, watched social justice plays, brought guest artists and created art that explores the meaning of revolution on both a micro and macro scale. Together, our young people and staff have transformed anger and frustration into a performance piece that we hope will impact this community in deep and long lasting way.
The two protagonists, Sattah X and Jay, live in the heart of a dystopian city of Providence, set a 100 years in the future. In this world, expression and creativity are banned, while conformity and consumerism are greatly encouraged. A conglomerate of the world’s wealthiest pharmaceutical, prison, and manufacturing corporations are run by one man, Wallace Fitzgerald. While his intentions are to create a society of suppressed consumers that the fuel the capitalists agenda, Sattah X and Jay unknowingly hold the power to create systemic revolution.
Sattah X – a 17 year old woman of color, who comes from a family that struggles with addiction. She is culturally aware and embraces her African roots. Sattah X is an “old soul” and very intelligent. Her strong sense of culture and social responsibility makes it hard for her to stay quiet when she feels that others (teachers, law enforcement) are trying to oppress her. She is a talented emcee and graffiti artist.
Jay – an 18 year old, man of color and aspiring clothing designer. Both of his parents are absent so it is up to him to raise the rest of the family. Even though Jay lives the life of a hustler drug dealer, he looks for a way out.
Rock – a 24 year old man of color who grew up on the streets and was a mentor to Jay when Jay’s parents were absent. Rock doesn’t have the skills or drive to hold a job, so he resorts to hustling. He is complacent and tries to convince Jay to stay in the hustle with him.
Wallace Fitzgerald – a middle aged Caucasian business man who was born wealthy and believes that everyone else should pull themselves up by their boot straps. He values money, power, and influence over others.
AS220 Youth is dedicated to dismantling the pipeline to prison by empowering beyond-risk and incarcerated youth through arts, culture and professional opportunities. Our mission is to raise a justice league of young leaders who use their experience, influence and creativity to build an alternative future for themselves and their communities.