Performance Practice

Hands Up: 7 Playwrights, 7 Testaments

by Dennis A. Allen II, Idris Goodwin, Nambi E. Kelley, Nathan James, Nathan Yungerberg, Eric Holmes, Nsangou Njikam

Directed by Kevin Jones
Dramaturgy by Catherine Ming T’ien Duffly

August Wilson Red Door Project, Portland OR

Hands Up: 7 Playwrights, 7 Testaments is a play composed of seven monologues by black playwrights, that explores the experiences of being black in America in the current context of racialized violence and institutionalized racism. The play was commissioned by New York-based theatre organization The New Black Fest following the police shooting of a young, unarmed black man, Michael Brown, and the protests and violent police response that followed in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014.

Hands Up premiered in Portland, OR, on 14 April 2016, directed by Kevin Jones and produced by Portland’s August Wilson Red Door Project, an organization “committed to changing the racial ecology of Portland through the arts.” Hands Up asks the audience to bear witness to both the pain and the resilience of black Americans in a context of white supremacy and institutional violence.