Three Bone Theatre’s “HANDS UP” explores being Black in America

The virtual production, inspired by the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, runs Nov. 19-21.

“HANDS UP: 7 Playwrights, 7 Testaments,” a play that explores Blackness in a culture of institutional profiling, opens tonight with a live virtual performance.

Three Bone Theatre enlisted On Q Productions founder and artistic director Quentin Talley to direct the all-Black cast of local actors bringing life to the timely topics of social justice and police violence.

New York-based theater movement The New Black Fest originally commissioned seven Black playwrights to write a collection of monologues inspired by the 2014 police killing of Michael Brown. The featured “testaments” include:

  • “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 Micha Holmes
  • “How I Feel” by Dennis A. Allen II

“It gives another perspective on what Blackness means and the complexities of Blackness, especially in America,” Talley told us about his Three Bone directorial debut.

Each actor in the Three Bone production will perform one of the 10 to 15-minute monologues live from the Duke Energy Theatre at Spirit Square. Because of Covid, there won’t be an in-person audience.  

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The play runs nightly at 8 p.m. through Saturday, Nov. 21. Tickets are available through BookTix at $20 per device for general admission and $10 per device for students and educators. Due to adult language and themes, including discussions of trauma, the show is recommended for audiences 16 and older.

Charlotte cast and presenting monologues:

  • Nick Johnson – “Superiority Fantasy”
  • Jay Ward – “Holes in My Identity”
  • Mason Parker – “They Shootin! Or I Ain’t Neva Scared…”
  • LeShea Nicole – “Dead of Night… The Execution of…” 
  • Gerard Hazelton – “Abortion”
  • Laurence Maher – “Walking Next to Michael Brown”
  • Sultan Omar El-Amin – “How I Feel”

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