The Z’s annual Proteus Festival is a multi-day celebration of creative experiences. The Proteus artists present over forty performances in six days and foster the creation of a dozen new works. The Z becomes a continual hub of new experiences. The unique, the unknown, and the unforgettable take the stage in an explosion of Protean spirit in Neptune’s city. Proteus Festival serves all creative arts, but highlights three in particular: music, theater, and film.
Documentary film. On April 30, 2014, Dontre Hamilton, a black, unarmed man diagnosed with schizophrenia, was shot 14 times and killed by a Milwaukee police officer responding to a non-emergency wellness check in a popular downtown park. Filmed over the course of three years in the direct aftermath of Dontre's death, this intimate verite documentary follows his family as they struggle to find answers and challenge a criminal justice system stacked against them.
The unsettled West of the 1860s provides a new life and new dreams for Blue, a run-away slave, who escapes from slavery to Texas to become one of America’s first Black Cowboys. This compelling tale of freedom integrates fiction with historical fact, and each song presents a different page in this complicated chapter of American History.
No Holds Bard is a community-driven Shakespeare festival. From a newly-imagined Macbeth set in post-earthquake Haiti circa 2010 through our centerpiece bootleg-style presentation of Romeo and Juliet, we are calling on the support and participation of not only our local artists, but of anyone who has ever felt the glow of the limelight and the call of the boards. There is a little something for everyone in The Z’s Shakespeare festival. In addition to the afore-mentioned plays, we are presenting a concert of some of Shakespeare’s dozens of lyrics set to original music by local composers and songwriters and an evening of re-contextualized and newly-paraphrased classic scenes. Imagine Tybalt and Mercutio dueling it out in high-stakes poker, or young Henry exhorting his band of brothers to make one final pizza delivery.
Documentary film. From the streets of Minneapolis, the aboriginal lands of Australia, and the killing fields of Cambodia come the powerful stories of three people who had the courage to step out of the haunting, tragic darkness of the past, risking everything to reach the light of their own compassion.