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Congo Square Theatre's 'What to Send Up When It Goes Down' at Lookingglass on Sept. 24-Oct. 16
-- From a press release
2022-08-10

This article shared 914 times since Wed Aug 10, 2022
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CHICAGO (Aug. 10, 2022)—Congo Square Theatre Company, one of the nation's premier African American ensemble theater companies, and Lookingglass Theatre Company announce that single tickets are now on sale for the remount of Congo Square's production of What to Send Up When It Goes Down in residence at Lookingglass Theatre Company's historic Water Tower Water Works theater, 821 N Michigan Ave.

What to Send Up When It Goes Down will be performed Sept. 24 - Oct. 16, Wednesday-Saturday evenings at 7 p.m., with matinees Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. Official opening night is Sept. 29. All tickets are $35 and can be purchased at lookingglasstheatre.org/event/what-to-send-up-when-it-goes-down.

Congo Square first presented the Chicago premiere of playwright Aleshea Harris' powerful play-pageant-healing ritual What to Send Up When It Goes Down this past Spring, with performances on the West side at GRAY Chicago and on the South side at Stony Island Arts Bank. While in residence at Lookingglass Theatre Company, Congo Square extends its citywide tour into the heart of downtown Chicago; continuing Congo Square's commitment to community engagement, half of the tickets for each performance will again be donated to local community groups.

New this fall, throughout the run of What to Send Up When It Goes Down, Congo Square will debut The Celebration of Healing Initiative, a program that provides audiences with a curated space for individual and community healing. Celebration of Healing events include discussions with community members and organizations in addition to workshops in other healing modalities including yoga, meditation, and restorative healing practices. The mission of The Celebration of Healing Initiative is to offer the community practical tools for their healing journey while destigmatizing the impacts of trauma on mental, physical, and emotional well-being. Celebration of Healing events are free and open to all audience members.

Designed to help Black communities heal from American racialized violence, 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.

This intimate, interactive 90-minute work is co-directed by Congo Square Artistic Director Ericka Ratcliff and Ensemble member Daniel Bryant. Members from the original production cast and creative team will be joined by newcomers in this iteration of the production tour.

Celebration of Healing programming

(All take place at Lookingglass Theatre)

Saturday, October 1, 5p.m. (between performances)

Healing our Body

A facilitated restorative yoga and meditation session

Saturday, October 8, 5p.m. (between Performances)

Talk Forward: Healing our Communities

Panel discussion on practical steps for racial restorative justice as a means of community healing and development

Sunday, October 9, 4:30p.m. (post-show)

Talk Forward: Healing in the Workplace

Post-performance conversation around IDEAJ efforts in community and workplaces

Health and Safety

Audience members will need to provide proof of current FDA or WHO authorized vaccination upon entry. Lookingglass will continue to monitor the public health situation and communicate any COVID-19 protocols prior to your visit to the theatre. Please refer to the health and safety page for more information about our current policies and safety measures regarding COVID-19.

Accessibility

Lookingglass Theatre offers ground floor and balcony seats for all patrons who use a wheelchair or a scooter, or patrons who cannot walk stairs. Assistive listening devices are available at the patron's request. Dates for shows for hearing and visually impaired audiences to be announced.

About Congo Square Theatre Company

Congo Square Theatre Company is an ensemble dedicated to producing transformative work rooted in the African Diaspora. We are a haven for artists of color to challenge and redefine the theatrical canon by amplifying and creating stories that reflect the reach and complexities of Black Culture. Congo Square is one of only two African American Actors' Equity theater companies in Chicago. Founded in 1999, Congo Square aimed to provide a platform for Black artists to present works that exemplified the majesty, diversity, and intersectionality of stories from the African Diaspora.

Congo Square has risen to become one of the most well-respected African American theaters in the nation. Previously mentored by two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson, Congo Square would go on to cultivate talents such as playwright Chadwick Boseman (Marvel Studio's Black Panther), who penned the 2006 Jeff nominated play Deep Azure, and playwright Lydia Diamond, who penned the massively successful Stick Fly, a critically acclaimed play that explores race, class, and familial friction. Stick Fly ultimately ran on Broadway and is currently being developed into a full-length series for HBO with Alicia Keys serving as a producer. Congo Square also produced the widely praised Seven Guitars, which would eventually go on to win top honors for best ensemble, best direction, and best production at the 2005 Joseph Jefferson Awards. This would earn the theater company the distinction of being the first African American theater company to receive such an honor.

Congo Square's Community Engagement and Education programs bring the impact of theater to young audiences. Its outreach programs, CORE (Curriculum Objectives Residency Enrichment), and CAST (Congo After School Theater), present and teach theater arts by providing classroom and after-school residencies that provide Teaching Artists to build upon already established Chicago Public Schools literature and art curriculums. CORE and CAST impact students, schools, and community organizations located on the South and West sides of Chicago.

Congo Square Theatre continues its 2022-23 season with Season Two of the digital radio drama series The Clinic, Season Three of the online sketch comedy series Hit 'Em on the Blackside, and the world premiere of Lisa Langford's afro-futurist play How Blood Go. For more information on Congo Square's 2022-23 Season, visit www.congosquaretheatre.org .

About Lookingglass Theatre Company

Inventive. Collaborative. Transformative. Lookingglass Theatre Company, recipient of the 2011 Regional Theatre Tony Award, was founded in 1988 by eight Northwestern University students. Now in its 35th Season, Lookingglass is home to a multi-disciplined ensemble of artists who create story-centered theatrical work that is physical, aurally rich and visually metaphoric. The Company, located in Chicago's landmark Water Tower Water Works, has staged 70 world premieres, received 161 Joseph Jefferson Award Nominations, and produced work all across the United States. In 2016, Lookingglass received the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions and in 2017, was the recipient of the League of Chicago Theatres' Artistic Achievement Award.

Lookingglass continues to expand its artistic, financial, and institutional boundaries under the guidance of Artistic Director Heidi Stillman, Executive Director Rachel L. Fink, a 29-member artistic ensemble, 22 artistic associates, an administrative staff, and a dedicated board of directors led by Chair Diane Whatton. For more information, visit lookingglasstheatre.org .


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