In response to national conversations on racial justice and equality, Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre is producing THE NEW PLAY FEST’S HANDS UP: SEVEN PLAYWRIGHTS, SEVEN TESTAMENTS as part of its Hertz Stage series this month. Though it runs in-person just through October 31, it will continue streaming on through November 14.

Take a look at photos from the show below!

The Alliance’s production is one of the winning projects from its Reiser Atlanta Artists Lab.  The play will be presented as a full ensemble performance, with all ensemble members contributing to the telling of each monologue.  HANDS UP is co-directed by Spelman College professor Keith Arthur Bolden and Spelman alumna and former Alliance Spelman Fellow Alexis Woodard. Woodard and Bolden worked on productions of HANDS UP previously as student and professor at Spelman College and beyond. 

“[Seeing] HANDS UP at the Atlanta University Center was the first time that I’d ever seen theater that felt as if it spoke to me and my experience,” said Woodard. “It felt genuine and moving and real in a way that I had never experienced in a theater before. And I said, ‘Wow, I have to be involved in this somehow.’ And here we are.”

About Hands Up

Originally commissioned by the New Black Fest in 2015 in response to events in Ferguson, MO, where a police officer fatally shot Michael Brown, an unarmed Black teenager, HANDS UP includes separate monologues written by seven Black playwrights.  The play depicts the condition of Black America and illuminates the perspective of Black people of varying genders, sexual orientation, skin tones, and socioeconomic backgrounds to create a holistic compilation of realistic Black American experiences.  The collection of monologues includes Superiority Fantasy by Nathan James; Holes in My Identity by Nathan Yungerberg; They Shootin! Or I Ain’t Neva Scared… by Idris Goodwin; Dead of Night… The Execution of… by Nambi E. Kelley; Abortion by Nsangou Njikam; Walking Next to Michael Brown by Eric Holmes; and How I Feel by Dennis Allen II. 

About the Team

The cast members of the Alliance’s production are Brandon Burditt, Marlon Andrew Burnley, London Carlisle, Sean M. Dale, Charence Higgins, Marcus Hopkins-Turner, Jessenia Ingram, Kala Ross, and Josh Turner. 

In addition to the co-directors, the creative team includes Set Designers Isabel A. Curley-Clay and Moriah Curley-Clay, Costume Designer Pamela Rodriguez Montero, Lighting Designer Ben Rawson, Associate Projection Designer Ryan Bradburn, Sound Designers Chris Lane and Lorenzo Moore, Projection Designer Milton Cordero, and Movement Consultant Morgan Hawkins. 

The production support team includes Stage Manager R. Lamar Williams, Stage Management Production Assistant Brea Walker, Line Producer Jody Feldman, and COVID Coordinator Haylee Scott. 

About those tickets…

Tickets and information are available at  Ticket prices range from $25 – $45. The Alliance’s production of HANDS UP will also be available to stream online through November 14, 2021, on the Alliance’s streaming platform, Alliance Theatre Anywhere, here

About Sally Henry Fuller

A theatre aficionado with a passion for telling people's stories, Sally Henry Fuller is a performing arts journalist. She has had the privilege of interviewing both local theatre professionals and multi-award-winning celebrities including Carol Burnett, Matthew Morrison, Vanessa Williams, Josh Gad, and Taylor Hicks. With theatre journalism experience since 2011, her work has also been featured on, the Huffington Post, and the Kennedy Center's American College Theatre Festival.

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