What to Send Up When it Goes Down

A SAMUEL FRENCH, INC. TITLE

What to Send Up When it Goes Down

Full-Length Play, Drama  /  4f, 4m

What to Send Up When it Goes Down is a community ritual created in response to the deaths of Black people as a result of racialized violence.

Image: Ahron R. Foster

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    4f, 4m
  • Duration
    Duration
    120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    Adult, Teen (Age 14 - 18)
Licence details
  • Minimum Fee: £55 per performance plus VAT when applicable.

Details

Summary

As lines between characters and actors – as well as observers and observed – blur, a dizzying series of vignettes builds to a climactic moment in which performance and reality collide, highlighting the absurdity of anti-Blackness in our society. Through facilitation and dialogue we must decide how to cope, resist and move forward.

Watch playwright Aleshea Harris and director Whitney White discuss What to Send Up When it Goes Down in the June 2021 session of Concord Theatricals' Read More Plays Club.

History
What To Send Up When It Goes Down premiered at the Movement Theatre Company at A.R.T./New York Theatres in New York City on November 11, 2018.
Cast Attributes
  • Role(s) for Black Actor(s)
Performing Groups
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups

All Black. There may be doubling.

ONE / MADE – W
TWO – M
THREE – W
FOUR – W
FIVE / MAN / DRIVER – M
SIX / MISS – M
SEVEN – M
EIGHT – W

Author's Note: Gender breakdown indicates what has happened in prior productions. I believe it works best if MISS, DRIVER, and MADE are portrayed by participants who identify with these specified gender designations. All other roles are completely fluid.

  • Additional Features Audience Participation/Interactive, Play w/ Music
  • Duration 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Cautions
    • Intense Adult Themes

Media

“An electric, uncompromising, and powerfully moving work that will rock you to your core.” – The Boston Globe

“If you’re a lover of theater, looking for signs of fresh and original and in-the-moment life on the American stage, you need to see What to Send Up.” – The New York Times

“This is theatre as art, exorcism, balm, and battle cry.” – The New Yorker

“Harris created something that is as much a church service as it is a production — a goad to action, a place for fellowship, a series of spiky parables that teach the congregation.” – Helen Shaw, New York Magazine

Videos

  • RMPC: Aleshea Harris and Whitney White on WTSU

  • What to Send Up - Public TheaterNY Promo

  • What to Send Up - ART Promo

  • What to Send Up - 2016 Promo

Photos

  • What to Send Up When it Goes Down

    Image: Ahron R. Foster

  • What to Send Up When it Goes Down

    Image: Ahron R. Foster

Materials

Scripts

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Authors

Aleshea Harris

Aleshea Harris’s play Is God Is won the 2016 Relentless Award, garnered her an Obie Award for playwriting in 2017, was a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and made The Kilroys' List of “the most recommended and underproduced plays by trans and female authors of col ...

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