The newest work by Aleshea Harris, the Relentless Award- and Obie-winning playwright of Is God Is, will premiere at A.R.T./New York Theatres with direction by Whitney White (Macbeth in Stride) Off-Broadway this fall. Titled What to Send Up When it Goes Down, the new piece is described as a community ritual created in response to the deaths of Black people as a result of racialized violence.
The world premiere will play in the Jeffrey and Paula Gural Theatre in a production from The Movement Theatre Company. Performances will begin November 11 for a limited run through December 8. Opening night is November 19, and casting will be announced at a later date.
In What to Send Up When it Goes Down a series of vignettes build to a climactic moment where performance and reality collide, highlighting the absurdity of anti-blackness in society. Lines will be blurred—between characters and actors, and observers and observed.
“What to Send Up When it Goes Down creates a space that honors the inherent value of Black people and centers our unfiltered feelings about anti-blackness,” says Harris. “You could call it a celebratory clapback; we have fun but don't play.”
You can now donate to the production's kickstarter campaign online here. Funds will help support TMTC's Radical Hospitality initiative, which will secure a minimum of 10 tickets to each performance as "pay what you can".
The production will feature sets by Yu-Hsuan Chen (The Homecoming Queen), costumes by Andy Jean (Scraps), lighting by Cha See (Cute Activist), and sound design by Sinan Refik Zafar (And She Would Stand Like This). The production stage manager will be Genevieve Ortiz (Seven Spots on the Sun). Nissy Aya and Melanie Greene will serve as the Community Engagement Team.
"With this piece we are thrilled to continue our commitment to creating work collaboratively that centers the narratives of people of color in a reflective and affirming space," adds the producing artistic leadership team of The Movement Theatre Company, made up of David Mendizábal, Deadria Harrington, Eric Lockley, and Taylor Reynolds.
For more information visit TheMovementTheatrecompany.org.