Makin' Cake with Dasha Kelly Hamilton

March 10 & 11, 2023 | The Playhouse at Overture

Slice into a Community Conversation on Culture, Class, Race, & Cake

Dasha Kelly Hamilton describes herself as a “writer, performer, facilitator, mother, daughter, sister, builder, dreamer, phenomenon and change agent.” Therefore, it is no coincidence that she was named Wisconsin Poet Laureate and Milwaukee’s Artist of the Year in 2021.

In her show, Makin’ Cake, she slices into American history exploring race, culture, and class in a refreshing and fun way.  It is storytelling in layers and filled with aha-moments and poignant vignettes, digital media, and a supporting cast of two on-stage bakers.  The show serves up an experience and a conversation about equity in America.  Part history lesson, part social science revelation, Makin’ Cake is a short story about America's sweet tooth and pathway to salvation and leaves room for dessert and dialogue with a cake reception immediately following the performance.

Makin’ Cake was initially commissioned by the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, and included Kelly Hamilton facilitating arts-based conversations on race and class throughout the community. She continues to develop Makin’ Cake and to pursue dialogues about human and social wellness.

Performances are Friday, March 10 and Saturday, March 11 at 7:30 pm in The Playhouse at Overture.

Tickets on sale through the Overture Center Box Office in person, at (608) 258-4141, or online.

Support provided by the Great Performance Fund for Theater, a component fund of the Madison Community Foundation, and the Pleasant Rowland Foundation and W. Jerome Frautschi Foundation.

Artist Bio

Dasha Kelly Hamilton is a writer, performance artist, and creative change agent, applying the creative process to facilitate dialogues around human and social wellness. She is the author of two novels, three poetry collections, four spoken word albums, and one collection of personal vignettes. She has taught at colleges, conferences, and classrooms and curated fellowships for emerging leaders. An Arts Envoy for the U.S. Embassy, Dasha has facilitated community building initiatives in Botswana, Toronto, Mauritius, and Beirut. Her touring production, Makin’ Cake, uniquely engages communities in a forward dialogue on race, class, and equity. Dasha is a national Rubinger Fellow and, concurrently, Poet Laureate for the City of Milwaukee and the State of Wisconsin.

Learn more.


Dasha crafted an event that filled the theatre with learning, discussion, laughter, and applause!
Props to Dasha for creating and delivering a meaningful message that applies to all of us.

~Christy Schwan, President
Ozaukee County (WI) League of Women Voters

Loved the show. A history lesson delivered in poetry. You absolutely commanded the story. And best of all, there was something baking during the production that was better than cake. And that was the sense of community. I left feeling closer to the person next to me. And I think we could all use a second helping of that these days. Bravo.

~Scottie Lee Myers Journalist, Milwaukee PBS

A roller coaster of emotions with different flavors along the way, they all taste good because it is the truth. You can feel the hard work and commitment that went into makin' cake, and Dasha's way of telling a slice of America's history is captivating and makes the bad ingredients a little easier to swallow because they too are a part of the cake.

~Bregetta Wilson, audience member

Dasha Kelly Hamilton