THE MOVEMENT THEATRE COMPANY AND WOOLLY MAMMOTH ANNOUNCE WHAT TO SEND UP WHEN IT GOES DOWN TOUR IN DC THIS FALL
(Washington, DC) The Movement Theatre Company’s production of WHAT TO SEND UP WHEN IT GOES DOWN by Aleshea Harris is making its DC debut in partnership with Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company. The play “unapologetically pries open a space for people of color in the theater with a community ritual that is by, for, and about Black people,” says Woolly Mammoth Artistic Director María Manuela Goyanes. To honor the work’s intent, the production will be moving throughout DC, beginning with venues operating at the intersection of black social and cultural life, before landing at Woolly. The full tour will run October 12, 2019 – November 10, 2019.
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 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, and movement in a series of vignettes to create a space for catharsis, reflection, cleansing and healing.
“The idea was to hold people accountable, be confrontational, let it be messy, let it be angry, and let it tread as absurdly as the idea that a Black person could be killed on camera unarmed and the person who killed them get away with it. That is an absurd reality. I wanted to mirror that absurdity in the form of the play.”
– Aleshea Harris
Boundaries blur as the audience is asked to not only observe the performance, but participate in the ritual as well. The tour begins in mid-October at Duke Ellington School of the Arts (October 12-13), travels to Howard University (October 17-20), THEARC (October 24-27), and concludes its run at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company (October 30-November 10).
What to Send Up When It Goes Down made its world premiere at A.R.T./New York Theatres in 2018 and many of original production team and cast members are returning for the DC remount.
The cast includes Alana Raquel Bowers, Rachel Christopher, Ugo Chukwu, Kambi Gathesha, Denise Manning, Javon Q. Minter, Beau Thom, and newcomer Nemuna Ceesay.
The production is directed by Whitney White. Additional members of the production team include Yu-Hsuan Chen (scenic design), Andy Jean (costume design), Cha See (lighting design), Sinan Zafar (sound design), Tyler Thomas (associate director), and Genevieve Ortiz (stage manager).
“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.“
– The Movement Theatre Company
What To Send Up When It Goes Down is being produced as a continuation of the conversation that was started with Woolly Mammoth’s season opener, 2019 Pulitzer Prize winner, Fairview by Jackie Sibblies Drury. Fairview starts the conversation about the ways in which watching isn’t passive while Harris’ work sets out activate the audience. The two works are not only in dialogue thematically and programmatically, but are connected by an initiative to put the messages of those pieces into action through The Love Drive; led locally by Woolly Mammoth and Lil Soso Productions.
The idea is simple: The Love Drive invites people from all walks of life to write a love letter to Black people living in this anti-Black society. The collected love letters will become part of the set for What To Send Up When It Goes Down. The letters will then travel with the piece as it tours to Boston and New York, where The Love Drive will continue. Woolly is also creating an archive of the campaign so that following the tour, the love lives on! To help us reach our goal of 1,000 letters, we invite anyone and everyone to participate in this collective effort to bring healing through the arts.
Instructions for those interested in participating in the Love Drive:
- Visit a Love Drive Collection Station and write a letter!
In addition to Love Drive Collection Stations at Woolly Mammoth, and in the lobby of each of the tour venues on performance days of What to Send Up When it Goes Up, there are collection stations at the following campaign partner locations:
Brown Beauty Co-Op
Busboys and Poets (all locations)
Calabash Tea & Tonic
Prince George’s African American Museum and Cultural Center
Prince George’s Community College
Solid State Books
New campaign partners and locations may be added, so check www.woollymammoth.net for an updated list.
- Take a selfie using the tags #LoveDrive #WhatToSendUp @woollymammoththc
What To Send Up When It Goes Down runs October 12 and October 13 at Duke Ellington School for the Arts, October 17 – 20 at Howard University, October 24 – 27 at THEARC, and
October 30 – November 10 at Woolly Mammoth.
Duke Ellington School of the Arts
October 12, 2019: Performance at 2 pm and 7:30 pm
October 13, 2019: Performance at 2 pm and 7:30 pm
October 17, 2019: Performance at 8:15 pm
October 18, 2019: Performance at 8:15 pm
October 19, 2019: Performance at 2 pm and 8:15 pm
October 20, 2019: Performance at 2 pm
October 24, 2019: Performance at 7:00 pm
October 25, 2019: Performance at 2 pm and 7:00 pm
October 26, 2019: Performance at 2 pm and 7:00 pm
October 27, 2019: Performance at 2 pm and 7:00 pm
Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
October 30, 2019: Performance at 8 pm
October 31, 2019: Performance at 8 pm
November 1, 2019: Performance at 8 pm
November 2, 2019: Performances at 3 pm and 8 pm
November 3, 2019: Performances at 2 pm and 7 pm
November 5, 2019: Performance at 8 pm
November 6, 2019: Performance at 8 pm
November 7, 2019: Performance at 8 pm
November 8, 2019: Performance at 8 pm
November 9, 2019: Performances at 3 pm and 8 pm
November 10, 2019: Performances at 2 pm and 7 pm
Tickets to WHAT TO SEND UP WHEN IT GOES DOWN at Duke Ellington, Howard, and THEARC range from $5-15 depending on location.
Tickets to WHAT TO SEND UP WHEN IT GOES DOWN at Woolly start at $29. Tickets to every venue are available online at woollymammoth.net, by phone at (202) 393-3939, via email at [email protected], or in person at the Box Office, located at 641 D Street NW.
Patrons who are 30-years-old and younger may, at any time, purchase Section C tickets for $20 to any Woolly Mammoth performance. There are also discounts available for educators, first responder men and women and active US military personnel, spouses, and veterans. More information is available at woollymammoth.net.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION
Facebook.com/WoollyMammothTC, TMTCHarlem, DukeEllingtonDC, HowardU, TheArcDC, LilSoSoProductions
Twitter: @WoollyMammothTC, @TMTCHarlem, @DukeEllingtonDC, @HowardU, @IAMTHEARC, @LSP_OnTheGo
Instagram: @woollymammothtc, @tmtcharlem, @dukeellingtondc, @howard1867, @thearc_dc, @lsp_onthego
Woolly Mammoth is “the hottest theater company in town” (Washington Post); priding itself on developing, producing, and making theatre that disrupts conventional processes and stimulates transformative experiences. For almost four decades, Woolly has held a unique position at the leading edge of the American theater, earning a reputation for staying “uniquely plugged in to the mad temper of the times” (New York Times). The co-leadership of María Manuela Goyanes (Artistic Director) and Emika Abe (Managing Director) is supported by a core company of artists that holds itself to a high standard of artistic excellence. Woolly is relentless in its desire to take risks, experiment, innovate, interrogate, and create a radically inclusive community.
ABOUT THE MOVEMENT THEATRE COMPANY
The Movement Theatre Company is led by David Mendizábal, Deadria Harrington, Eric Lockley, and Taylor Reynolds. Their mission is to create an artistic social movement by developing and producing new work by artists of color. Their work engages audiences in a rich theatrical dialogue, enlightens communities to the important issues affecting our world, and empowers artists to celebrate the many sides of their unique voice.
ABOUT LIL SOSO PRODUCTIONS
LiL SoSo Productions is a boutique company that deals in what founder Risikat “Kat” Okedeyi refers to as “cultural architecture.” She and her team create a range of experiences, produce digital media, and work with creatives and arts organizations to highlight Black excellence in the form of culture.