Interview with the Cast of First Generation

Photos by Mia Council '16 | First Generation is based in Springfield, MA.

Photos by Mia Council ’16 | First Generation is based in Springfield, MA.


Mia Council ’16
Features Editor

First Generation is an artistic ensemble based in Springfield, MA. It brings together young adults aged 15 to 22 for “intensive artistic training, inter-generational mentoring, research, self-reflection, and dialogue,” according to  Members create powerful, “living poetry” pieces about their experiences and perspectives from all over the world.

I sat down with Veronica Israël, age 16, and Sosina Bekele, age 17, to discuss their latest piece and learn a little more about First Generation and its nonprofit mother program, The Performance Project.

Q: What is the show called? How long did it take you to develop it?

Israël:  The show is called “Fo’n ale,” Haitian Creole meaning “we must go.” We worked on it for a year now, but we started performing it after 7 months.

Q: Do you write the pieces yourselves?

Israël: All the pieces are about our lives. We wrote them with our director’s help.

Q: How did you find First Generation?

Israël: I found out about First Gen through my guidance counselor at school.

Bekele: I came to the United States on December 12…after being here for two weeks I joined First Generation. I found First Generation through my brother, Yabets, and have been here ever since.

Q: Where are you from?

Israël: I’m from Haiti.

Bekele: I am from Ethiopia.

Q: Where do you find inspiration?

Bekele: I find my inspirations from my mom and life itself.

Israël: I found inspiration through the First Gen members. Their love just keeps me inside, and in a way tells me what to do.

Q: What do you like to do when you aren’t in class or performing?

Bekele: When I am not in class or performing I like to spend more time with my guitar and sing.

Israël: Outside of school and First Gen, I go to church, and I love to dance at home and chill with my brothers and sisters.

Q: What do you envision yourself doing upon “graduating” First Generation?

Israël: That’s it. I don’t know yet what I wanna be.

Bekele: I really envision myself in the medical field.

“Fo n’Ale”  will be performed at Hampshire College at the Music and Dance Center on Sunday, September 29th at 4pm. Admission is free for Hampshire students and $10 for everyone else.

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