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The New Black Fest’s HANDS UP: 7 Playwrights, 7 Testaments - Collection / Anthology, Drama

The New Black Fest’s HANDS UP: 7 Playwrights, 7 Testaments

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

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Collection / Anthology, Drama

6m, 1f

ISBN: PMS0000000155

“[A] stirring and often raw compilation." – Broad Street Review

More Information Below:

Description | Characters | Media | Author(s) | Reviews
Pre-Publication Manuscript

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Acting Edition

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Minimum Fee: $100 per performance
$45 per play individually


Collection / Anthology


Time Period - Present Day, New Millennium/21st Century


Bare Stage/Simple Set


Intense Adult Themes, Strong Language, Mild Adult Themes




College Theatre / Student, Community Theatre, Professional Theatre, Reader's Theatre, Shoestring Budget, Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups

In light of the police shootings of Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and John Crawford III in Beavercreek, Ohio, among others, The New Black Fest commissioned 7 emerging black playwrights to write 10-15 minute monologues that explore their feelings about the well-being of black in a culture of institutional profiling. 

The collection includes:

Superiorty 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
How I Feel by Dennis A. Allen II


“[A] stirring and often raw compilation. – Broad Street ReviewRead More

“These short monologues chronicle each author's encounters with the daily indecencies of racial profiling, stop-and-frisk, harassment, and casual racism inflicted by police, media, and society in general…each author delivers a brutally honest telling of their own experience.” – Philly.com, Read More 

Hands Up: 7 Playwrights; 7 Testaments makes the idea of "conversation" more than a hopeful shibboleth. With community involvement baked in, it responds directly to the world.” – Indy WeekRead More

Hands Up received its world premiere at Flashpoint Theatre Company at the University of the Arts on June 13, 2015, directed by Joanna Settle.



6m, 1f


Role(s) for Black Actor(s)

  • Hands Up at the National Black Theatre

Dennis A. Allen II

Dennis A. Allen II

Dennis A. Allen II is an actor, playwright, and New York native, who takes his mantra from Paulo Coehlo’s The Alchemist: “To realize one’s destiny is a person’s only real obligation.” After receiving his BA in Communications, Dennis tried his hand at acting, thinking it would be a hobby, and auditioned for a local repertory company. He landed the role of Moon in a production of Tom Stoppard’s The ... view full profile

Other Dennis A. Allen II titles:

Idris Goodwin

Idris Goodwin

Idris Goodwin is a playwright, Hip Hop artist, spoken word performer and essayist. He is the author of the award winning and widely produced play How We Got On (Playscripts, 2013) and the pushcart nominated essay collection These Are The Breaks (Write Bloody, 2011). He’s performed on HBO and Sesame Street. His two latest plays And in this corner….Cassius Clay (for StageOne Family Theater) and ... view full profile

Other Idris Goodwin titles:

Nambi E. Kelley

Nambi E. Kelley

Nambi has penned plays for Steppenwolf, Goodman Theatre, and Court Theatre/American Blues Theater in Chicago, Lincoln Center in New York, and internationally internationally with LATT Children’s Theatre/Unibooks Publishing Company (South Korea) Teatri Sbagliati (Italy), and The Finger Players (Singapore) where she also performed in the co-adapted production in Singapore of The Book of Living and ... view full profile

Nathan James

Nathan James

Nathan James is a proud native of Pittsburgh, PA, where he began his career with Kuntu Repertory Theater. He has most recently appeared Off-off Broadway in a one man show written and performed by Nathan, Growing Pains, at The Gene Frankel Theater. Prior to Growing Pains, he appeared as Ellis in August Strindberg’s “Easter”, (in which The New York Times considered him a “Standout actor”) and ... view full profile

Other Nathan James titles:

Nathan Yungerberg

Nathan Yungerberg

Nathan Yungerberg lives between Brooklyn and Oakland. His plays: The Son of Dawn and Pousada Azul have had readings at the Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis, The Lorraine Hansberry Theater and Z Below in San Francisco, The National Black Theater, Classical Theater of Harlem and the Blackboard Reading Series in NYC. Nathan was a season 4 playwright for The Fire This Time festival, which ... view full profile

Other Nathan Yungerberg titles:

Eric Holmes

Eric Holmes

Eric Micha Holmes is a playwright based out of Brooklyn, NY whose work has been seen and developed at MCC Theater (“Pornplay, Or Blessèd Are The Meek,”) Rattlestick Playwrights Theater (“World Without Names,”) New York Theatre Workshop (“Nimpsey Pink,”) The Lark Play Development Center (“Wolf/Paper/Sky,”) SPACE at Ryder Farm (“The Stick Up,”) and The Actors Studio Playwright/Director Unit ... view full profile

Other Eric Holmes titles:

Nsangou Njikam

Nsangou Njikam

NSangou Njikam is an actor and playwright originally from Baltimore, MD. He is the author of Syncing Ink, Re:Definition, I.D., When We Left, Search For The Crystal Stairs, and one of the authors of “Hands Up: 6 Plays, 6 Testimonials.” His work has been developed by The Public Theater, Penn State University, The Flea Theater, Hip Hop Theatre Festival, UNIVERSES theatre company, The New Black Fest ... view full profile

Other Nsangou Njikam titles:

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