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 8th
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
At The Movement we create an artistic social movement by developing and producing new work by artists of color. From GO GREEN, where artists create site-specific work without paper, to our last production AND SHE WOULD STAND LIKE THIS, which used the performative conventions of voguing and ball culture to examine the growing rates of HIV/AIDS, our programming cultivates a vision that puts diversity at the forefront and embraces dialogue as a means of community building. By presenting contemporary, multicultural material by fresh talent through a collaborative artistic process, our work empowers and enlightens our community as it engages them. Let us MOVE you. www.themovementtheatrecompany.org
We can’t do it without YOU!
How much does it cost to produce a show anyway?
From theater and rehearsal space rentals to artist fees, insurance and production materials WHAT TO SEND UP will be our biggest production yet coming in at $130,000. We’re asking you to MOVE with us as we strive to raise $25K (just 20% of our budget!).
As a small Harlem-based organization we are excited to expand our reach by doing 27 performances, more than we have ever done and compensating our hard-working artists more than we have ever been able to before. It’s no secret that the arts are underfunded but that’s where you come in. With a project that can expand imagination, deliver healing and incite necessary and urgent conversation, your contribution can change the lives of an audience-member, an actor, a designer or even a person directly affected by racialized violence.
It’s more than butts in seats
At The Movement we strive for accessibility in every sense of the word. To make sure everyone can attend we have our Radical Hospitality initiative where a minimum of 10 tickets to each performance are available as pay what you can, to ensure regardless of economic status this show has the greatest reach possible. Want to get involved? Check out the rewards below that will go directly to this initiative.
A Seat for You, A Seat for Me - with a gift of $75 you can sponsor a ticket and get a free ticket of your own.
Sponsored Performance - Feeling really generous? Donate $3000 to sponsor an entire performance for one of our community partner organizations.
With your support we can provide tickets for those who need them most!
What’s at stake
Producing is hard - long days, nights and mornings, but supporting our artists as fully as possible is what we do. Sometimes equipment breaks or an actor gets sick, but the show must go on and with your financial support we’ll be prepared for whatever the universe has to throw at us.
But most of all, the biggest risk is this work not reaching our community. In a moment, when more often than not we see tragedy and hate on the news, creating a space centered on love and justice is vital to keep The Movement going.
Meet The Movement
Behind the scenes are these 4 fierce creative producers who not only make up the Producing Artistic Leadership Team but are artists creating their own work.
DEADRIA HARRINGTON is a New York City based creative producer, artist and member of the Producing Artistic Leadership Team of The Movement Theatre Company. With The Movement she has developed numerous new works by emerging artists of color, most recently And She Would Stand Like This by Harrison David Rivers, directed by David Mendizábal and choreography by Kia LaBeija. Producing credits include: The Architechture of Becoming (WP Theater), At Buffalo (NYMF, UB Buffalo Creative Arts Initiative, CAP21), Alligator (New Georges). Harrington was a Time Warner Foundation Fellow of the 2012-2014 Producers Lab at Women’s Project Theater, a Next Generation Leader of Color at the 2014 Latinx Theatre Commons National Convening and is currently the Producing and Management Associate at New Georges.
DAVID MENDIZÁBAL is a director, designer, and one of the Producing Artistic Leaders of The Movement Theatre Company. He currently serves as the Artistic Associate at Atlantic Theater Company. Directing credits include: And She Would Stand Like This, Look Upon Our Lowliness, Bintou (The Movement), On the Grounds of Belonging (Public Theatre), Tell Hector I Miss Him (Atlantic Theater Company, Drama League Nomination for Outstanding Production), The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (A.C.T.), Evensong (APAC), and Locusts Have No King (INTAR). David is a participant in the Leadership U: One-on-One program, funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and administered by Theatre Communications Group. He is a Founding Member and Artistic Producer of The Sol Project, a member of the Latinx Theatre Commons Steering Committee, Rattlestick Literary Team, and Wingspace. Alumnus of The Drama League, Lincoln Center Director's Lab, LAByrinth Intensive Ensemble, NALAC Leadership Institute, and artEquity. BFA NYU/Tisch. www.davidmendizabal.com
ERIC LOCKLEY is an award-winning actor, writer, comedian, producer, and is a founder and Producing Artistic Leader of The Movement Theatre Company and OBIE award-winning, Harlem9. With his organizations Eric has produced critically acclaimed productions and festivals, published anthologies of new plays and created initiatives that highlight the complexity and diversity of people of color. Spearheading video content for The Movement, Eric has ensured increased visibility, brand consistency and audience development. Lockley has performed in works by prestigious contemporary playwrights Tarell Alvin McCraney, Marcus Gardley and Idris Goodwin. Recent screen credits include First Reformed, starring Ethan Hawke, and a role in Season 2 of Luke Cage on Netflix. His inspirational short film, The Jump, is available to watch on Amazon.com. With a passion for #blackboyjoy, Eric regularly creates comedic content for his social media platforms and he is featured weekly at The People’s Improv Theater (The PIT), performing musical improv with his team Elevator Talk. Stay connected and learn more: iamericlockley.com
TAYLOR REYNOLDS is a New York-based director from Chicago and one of the Producing Artistic Leaders of The Movement Theatre Company in Harlem. She has worked as a director, assistant, and collaborator with companies including Clubbed Thumb, Radical Evolution, Ally Theatre Company, The Atlantic Acting School, Single Carrot Theatre, NY Madness, JAG Productions, The United Solo Festival, and The 24 Hour Plays. Selected directing credits: PLANO by Will Arbery, ALLOND(R)A by Gina Femia, Think Before You Holla (creator/deviser), An Informal Presentation…(Or, BURN) by Pascale Smith, FOOD by Rhonda Marie Khan, The Body Unbound (co-devised with Deadria Harrington), Accidental Burlesque by Gina Femia (developed through the Audrey Residency at New Georges). She is a member of NY Madness and the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab, a New Georges Affiliated Artist, and a 2017-2018 Clubbed Thumb Directing Fellow. BFA, Carnegie Mellon University. iamtaylorreynolds.com
Our Fiscal Sponsor
Thanks to New Georges, your donation is tax-deductible!
NEW GEORGES invests in artists (who are women) and their adventurous, boundary-pushing, exuberantly theatrical new plays. They support New York City's largest ongoing working community of women theater artists – women of all kinds and gender-nonconforming artists – with The Room, their workspace, and opportunities that launch and sustain careers.
Risks and challenges
The Movement is 11 years strong with 3 successful Main Stage productions under our belt and has a strong network of supporters, mentors and partner organizations that will help make sure this work happens.
BIG thanks to the following organizations that have already committed their support: The Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York, New Georges, The Time Warner Foundation, The Puffin Foundation and The Jandon Foundation.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)