Playwrights Horizons to Present Aleshea Harris' WHAT TO SEND UP WHEN IT GOES DOWN

By: Jan. 03, 2020
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Playwrights Horizons to Present Aleshea Harris' WHAT TO SEND UP WHEN IT GOES DOWN

Playwrights Horizons (Artistic Director Tim Sanford, Managing Director Leslie Marcus) will present a return engagement of the The Movement Theatre Company (Producing Artistic Leadership Team David Mendizábal, Deadria Harrington, Eric Lockley, Taylor Reynolds) staging of Aleshea Harris' What to Send Up When It Goes Down, directed by Whitney White.

The production runs June 24 - July 19, 2020 (opening June 30, 2020) at Playwrights Horizons' Peter Jay Sharp Theater (416 West 42 Street).

"It's an honor to include this extraordinary piece in our Redux Series, which expands the audience reach for vital new plays that premiered to limited runs elsewhere," Playwrights Horizons Associate Artistic Director Adam Greenfield said. "Aleshea Harris' play is an urgent, visceral, kaleidoscopic reckoning with racialized police violence in America-and a theatrical experience that demands our attention."

Playwrights Horizons' Redux production of What to Send Up When It Goes Down furthers the list of prestigious national theaters who have produced Harris' powerful work. Woolly Mammoth (October 30-November 10, 2019) and American Repertory Theatre (November 14-24, 2019) have produced the work to great acclaim, and it will soon enjoy its sold-out limited run in The Public Theater's 2020 Under the Radar Festival (January 10-19, 2020).

Playwrights Horizons presents What to Send Up... as part of its Redux Series, through which the organization remounts recent productions that have had a very limited run to bring them to a wider audience. These include Jaclyn Backhaus's Men on Boats, which had been presented by Clubbed Thumb at the Wild Project, and Miles for Mary, which its creators, The Mad Ones, had previously produced at the Bushwick Starr.

What to Send Up When It Goes Down is a play-pageant-ritual-homegoing celebration in response to the physical and spiritual deaths of Black Americans 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 facilitated conversation, parody, song, and movement in a series of vignettes to create a space for catharsis, reflection, cleansing, and healing. Boundaries between performers and the audience blur as audiences are asked not only to observe the performance, but to participate in the ritual as well.

The Movement Theatre production of What to Send Up When It Goes Down features set design by Yu-Hsuan Chen, lighting design by Cha See, costume design by Andy Jean, sound design by Sinan Refik Zafar, and original songs by Aleshea Harris. Genevieve Ortiz is the Production Stage Manager. Casting will be announced at a later date.

Tickets are now on sale. To purchase seats and view the full performance schedule, please visit

Aleshea Harris' (Playwright) play Is God Is (Soho Rep.) won the 2016 Relentless Award, an Obie Award for playwriting, and the Helen Merrill Playwriting Award; was a finalist for the 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. It will be produced at the Royal Court in London in the summer of 2020 and has been published by 3Hole Press and Samuel French. Harris is under commission with Center Theatre Group and Playwrights Horizons.

Whitney White (Director) is a director and musician based in New York. Recent credits include Our Dear Dead Drug Lord by Alexis Scheer, WP Theater/a??Second Stage; for all the women who thought they were Mad by Zawe Ashton, Soho Rep.; A Human Being, of a Sort by Jonathan Payne (starring Andre Braugher and Frank Wood), Williamstown Theatre Festival; Jump, PlayMakers Rep, NNPN Rolling World Premiere; Canyon (LA Times Critics' Choice), IAMA; An Iliad, Long Wharf; Rita También Rita, Juilliard; Othello, Trinity Rep; and Br'er Cotton, Endstation. White's original musical Definition was part of the 2019 Sundance Theatre Lab, and her musical look at Macbeth, Macbeth in Stride, was part of the 2019 Under the Radar Festival (The Public Theater). Her credits as an associate director include Marvin's Room, Broadway; If I Forget, Roundabout; and The Secret Life of Bees, Atlantic Theater. White is an Associate Artist at Roundabout and a current recipient of the Susan Stroman Directing Award. Past fellowships: 2050 NYTW Fellow, Ars Nova, Drama League, the Inaugural Roundabout Directing Fellowship, and Colt Coeur. Education/Training: BA, Northwestern; MFA, Brown University/a??Trinity Rep.


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