Mar 31st 2022

GRAY, Congo Square Theatre Company, and Theaster Gates’s Rebuild Foundation are proud to jointly present the Chicago premiere of What to Send Up When It Goes Down, the critically acclaimed play by award-winning playwright, Aleshea B. Harris. The performance will be presented at GRAY Chicago (2044 West Carroll Avenue) from March 31 through April 16, 2022, and Rebuild Foundation’s Stony Island Arts Bank from April 21 through May 1, 2022.

Described as a play-pageant-ritual-homegoing celebration, What to Send Up When It Goes Down responds to the gratuitous loss of Black lives and interrupts discourses that enable the ubiquity of racialized violence in our society. The play intends to create a space for Black-identifying audience members, but all are welcome.

What to Send Up When It Goes Down is a participatory, shapeshifting experience intent on creating space for collective catharsis, cleansing and healing. The performance unfolds as a series of vignettes which employ a variety of forms including parody, song, movement, and facilitated dialogue. Breaking the fourth wall, cast members enact the script differently in each performance as members of the audience are invited not only to behold the piece as spectators, but to become part of the current that holds the story together.

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Artwork: Jamie Melton.

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