WHAT TO SEND UP WHEN IT GOES DOWN
written by Aleshea Harris (IS GOD IS)
directed by Whitney White (MACBETH IN STRIDE)
*performances November 13th - December 9th
WHAT TO SEND UP WHEN IT GOES DOWN where the boundaries of a traditional play intertwine with ritual, poetry, pageantry, and protest into one experience. It is a play-pageant-ritual-homegoing celebration in response to the physical and spiritual deaths of Black people as a result of racialized violence. Meant to disrupt the pervasiveness of anti-blackness and acknowledge the resilience of Black people throughout history, this theatrical work uses parody, song, movement and audience participation to create a space for catharsis, reflection, cleansing and healing.
We invite you to SHOW UP! To scream, to laugh, to cry but most importantly to heal and honor those lost to racialized violence; to bravely reimagine our world as a place where Black bodies are not just safe, but uplifted.
Art challenges. Art heals. Art transcends.
Let’s face it, the world is a tough place right now.
We may be a theater company but everything we do is about imagining and creating a more just world. By creating brave and bold spaces for folks of color to share their stories and be affirmed we get one step closer to the just world of our imagination.
Written in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin's killer, Aleshea has written a piece that is useful, compelling, viscerally engaging with the issues at hand and is as radically absurd in its content and structure as the normalization of anti-blackness is in this country. It shakes us out of this political moment to MOVE together and see that the healing we desire is within ourselves and our community. As Aleshea says, “every marginalized population needs tools for coping, and I [WE!] hope this can be one for black people.”
These two women are holding it DOWN!
Meet Playwright, ALESHEA HARRIS, and Director, WHITNEY WHITE
Cal Arts Grad, 2016 Relentless Award Winner and Obie winner for Is God Is, playwright and performer ALESHEA HARRIS (playwright) has been presented at Soho Rep., Playfest at Orlando Shakespeare Theater, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the Skirball Center and REDCAT to name a few. Harris has enjoyed residencies at MacDowell Colony, Hedgebrook, Djerassi and SPACE on Ryder Farm. Her play, Is God Is garnered her a 2017 Obie Award for playwriting, won the 2016 Relentless Award, was a finalist for the 2017 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and made The Kilroys List of “the most recommended un-and underproduced plays by trans and female authors of color” for 2017. When asked about the piece she says, “The goal is healing through expression, expulsion and movement. Have fun but don’t play.” www.bagofbeans.net
NYTW 2050 Fellow, Brown/Trinity Rep AND Nortwestern Alum, an actor/director/musician extraordinaire WHITNEY WHITE (director) brings her unmistakable grit, imagination and aesthetic to this work. Hailing from Chicago but based in Brooklyn, Whitney’s work has been developed and presented at Vineyard Theatre, Trinity Rep, New York Theatre Workshop, Julliard, The Tank, The Lark, Playwrights Realm, Page 73 and more! Whitney is currently in residence with Ars Nova as part of their 2018 Makers Lab, where she is developing Definition an original concert musical, and The Drama League as part of their Next Wave Residency where she is developing an original adaptation of Anton Chekov’s Three Sisters with music. She is an Artistic Associate at The Roundabout and was a 2050 fellow at New York Theatre Workshop. www.whitney-white.com
And The Movement is holding them UP
Social Justice is at the heart of it all