The Kennedy Center Presents A World Premiere Commission: LONG WAY DOWN

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The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts presents a world premiere Kennedy Center commission, Long Way Down, running October 27 - November 4, 2018 in the Family Theater. Based on Jason Reynolds's New York Times best-selling book, this timely and compelling production follows Will, a fifteen year-old whose brother has just been murdered. Told entirely in free-form poetry, Long Way Down captures the potent minute Will spends in an elevator as he decides whether or not to take revenge. On the ride down, mysterious guests appear at each floor, and Will realizes there might be a bigger story to be told.

The stage production of Long Way Down utilizes the beautifully wrought text of Reynolds's Newbery Honor-winning novel with direction by Timothy Douglas and stage adaptation/dramaturgy by Martine Kei Green-Rogers. After appearing in the 2017 world premiere of Bud, Not Buddy, Justin Weaks returns to the Kennedy Center as Will.

The production includes scenic design by Tony Cisek, lighting design by William K. D'Eugenio, costume design by Danielle Preston, projection design by Michael Redman, music composition and sound design by Nick Hernandez, and properties by Tim Jones.

Long Way Down is presented as a part of the Kennedy Center's season-long exploration of The Human Journey, which seeks to promote deeper understanding of the migration of people and the resilience of humankind to overcome conflict, adversity, prejudice, and injustices. Audiences are encouraged to stay after all performances and engage with special guest experts to unpack the themes presented on stage and continue the conversation. This production is most enjoyed by age 12 and up.

Long Way Down will be performed on Saturday, October 27 at 1:30 and 4 p.m.; Sunday, October 28 at 1:30 and 4 p.m.; Thursday, November 1 at 7 p.m.; Friday, November 2 at 7pm, Saturday, November 3 at 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m.; and Sunday, November 4 at 1:30 and 4 p.m. Tickets for the performance range from $25­­ - $35 and are currently on sale. For more information please visit the Kennedy Center website, in-person at the Kennedy Center box office, or call (202) 467-4600 or (800) 444-1324.

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is the national champion for arts learning and creativity. Committed to increasing opportunities for all people to participate in, learn about, and understand the arts, Education at the Kennedy Center offers programs and events that strive to reflect the nation and communities and that are accessible and inclusive for all. From performances and exhibits on the Center's stages and in the community, to classroom and community partnerships, including the recent addition of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities Turnaround Arts initiative, to online resources accessible nearly anywhere, the Center serves the burgeoning artist, the exploring student of any age, the teacher and teaching artist, and even the local and national infrastructure-any person interested in arts learning and utilizing the arts for positive change. As an essential component of the living memorial to President Kennedy, the Center's Education utilizes the arts to embrace the ideals of service, justice, freedom, courage, and gratitude, and to activate and support the Citizen Artists in all our audiences. For more information, please visit

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