Already closed | 1h 40m | Midtown W

What to Send Up When it Goes Down

From 12 member  reviews
Members say: Resonant, Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Intense, Great staging

About the show

"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. More…

As lines between characters and actors, observers and observed blur, a dizzying series of vignettes build to a climactic moment where 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.

Member Reviews (12)


Resonant, Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Intense, Great staging

Thought-provoking, Resonant, Relevant, Motivational

See it if participate in a moving group-circle experience to honor and remember those killed in racial shootings in the U.S. A call to help

Don't see it if you don't like participatory theater

Absorbing, Must see, Profound, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if you are genuinely interested in engaging with ritual, confronting the nature of oppression, and making yourself small when necessary

Don't see it if you enjoy escapist entertainment

Also Aleshea Harris has created a sacred space. Although I felt that I was ... Read more Read less

Powerful, Engaging, Uplifting, Resonant, Enchanting

See it if you need to process today's racial climate; to understand safe spaces; to be a non-black ally; to experience compelling performances.

Don't see it if you want pure escapism; you really hate audience participation; you don't want something "intense."

Also This is the first theatrical piece I've seen that puts the Equity, Div... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Edgy, Great acting, Great staging, Resonant

See it if you’re not afraid of truth, you don’t know how to process recent events/climate

Don't see it if you’re easily made uncomfortable either physically or emotionally.

Absorbing, Ambitious, Clever, Aleshea harris is god

See it if You want to have a moment of collective healing, if you want the chance to be in a room full of Black people celebrating themselves.

Don't see it if You're uninterested in Black people and I really mean that.

Also Aleshea Harris has crafted a ritual that is dedicated to the broken bl... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Great singing, Great staging, Profound

See it if You appreciate ritual, holding space for the black community, you are comfortbale with an interactive experience

Don't see it if You are only interested in narrative, fourth-wall drama

Ambitious, Intense, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great acting

See it if You want to see experimental theater that illustrates the black experience with great actors and writing

Don't see it if You are a white person that would be uncomfortable being called out or want to see a traditional play

Must see, Masterful, Profound, Relevant, Resonant

See it if you like relevant, meaningful, thought-provoking theater that sticks with you long after the "curtain goes down."

Don't see it if you don't like to be challenged by what you see.

Also What a potent combination–The Movement Theatre Company and Aleshea Har... Read more Read less

Epic, Intense, Great staging, Ambitious

See it if You seek a space to commune with the Black community, to greive, celebrate, memorialize, remember & cry out against injustice & oppression.

Don't see it if You're white and can't deal with feeling uncomfotable. Or don't like audience participation.

Thought-provoking, Intense, Intelligent, Great staging, Ambitious

See it if You like extraordinary directing and are interested in work that speaks to the Black experience in America today.

Don't see it if You don't like intimate spaces where you have to participate and own your racial identity.

During previews
Thought-provoking, Rigorous, Uneven, Resonant, Fragmented

See it if you want to take part in a commemoration of black people killed because they were black, & witness a community expressing its rage & sorrow.

Don't see it if you do not want to participate: the piece begins with a commemoration ritual to which performers & audience alike contribute.

Also This is a hybrid form of ritual, testimony, drama, dance & song. If yo... Read more Read less

November 19th, 2018
"If 'What to Send Up' is a receptacle for the rage that is part and parcel of life for many African-Americans, a piece that encourages its audience to respond with cathartic yells and tears, it is also shaped by a rarefied theatrical intelligence...Harris has a gift for pushing the familiar to su...
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November 19th, 2018
"We pass a talking rock around a participation circle; we share a primal shout. For some, this will be nourishing, even if the therapy dynamic is an awkward fit with its theatrical surrounding. You don’t usually pay for church...The members of the ensemble, thrumming with electricity, perform qui...
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November 19th, 2018
"The writing itself is richly musical; the stark poetry and driving rhythms Harris mines in language, enhanced by repetition, lend power to 'What to Send On' from the beginning...Most of the characters are recognizably modern and less specific in design, functioning more to represent the dilemmas...
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November 25th, 2018
"This is theater that sets out to do something...A rapidly paced, often eviscerating series of scenes that almost overlap as one takes over from the next, returning again, sometimes as a clear continuation, sometimes as repetition with difference...It carries that slightly unfinished quality comm...
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