Wilma Theater to stream James Ijames’ KILL MOVE PARADISE to benefit Black Lives Matter Philly

-Bryan Buttler Media Relations, LLC
Photo: Brandon Pierce, Avery Hannon, Anthony Martinez-Briggs, and Lindsay Smiling in James Ijames’ Kill Move Paradise. By Johanna Austin, http://www.AustinArt.org.

To support the ongoing Justice for George Floyd and Black Lives Matter movements, The Wilma Theater in Philadelphia will stream their 2018 production of James Ijames’ KILL MOVE PARADISE from today, June 8, 2020, to June 21, 2020, featuring members of the Wilma’s HotHouse Company.  The play, a New York Times Critics Pick, and winner of the Whiting Award and the Kesselring Prize, is inspired by the ever growing list of slain unarmed Black people in America.  100% of the proceeds from the streaming event will benefit Black Lives Matter Philly.

“The streaming of this production of KILL MOVE PARADISE is an opportunity for us to use what we do best to raise awareness and money for Black Lives Matter Philly, which is working tirelessly towards transformative justice,” said playwright and Wilma Co-Artistic Director James Ijames.  “This play contains a lot of pain, a lot of sorrow, but I hope it also offers my own community a space of healing and hope.”

Directed by Artistic Director Blanka Zizka during the Wilma’s 2018-19 season, KILL MOVE PARADISE tells the story of Isa (Lindsay Smiling), Daz (Brandon J. Pierce), Grif (Anthony Martinez-Briggs) and Tiny (Avery Hannon), four black men who find themselves stuck in a cosmic waiting room in the afterlife. The play depicts these men as symbols of life and hope. Gone but never forgotten, KILL MOVE PARADISE illustrates the possibilities of collective transformation and radical acts of joy.

To stream the production, virtual audience members will be asked to make a contribution of any size to Black Lives Matter Philly.  Black Lives Matter was created by co-founders Patrisse Kahn-Cullors, Alicia Garza, and Opal Tometi, in response to Trayvon Martin’s murderer, George Zimmerman, being acquitted for his crime. It gained more traction On August 9, 2014, when Officer Darren Wilson murdered 18 year old Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. That same summer, local Black activists and organizers in St. Louis issued a call for Black organizers, healers, artists, attorneys, and independent media folks to come to Ferguson to demand justice for Mike Brown. On August 28, a Northeast contingency of about 30 activists bused for 20 hours from New York City to Ferguson, Missouri for the Black Life Matters Freedom Ride. Months after the life-changing experience in Ferguson, BLM Northeast held their first of several meetings. Soon after, they began exploring more city-based meetings. In February of 2015, two of the original Ferguson Freedom Riders decided to form Philadelphia’s official chapter. Months later in May, BLM Philly held the first local chapter meeting at the St. Paul’s Baptist Church. Since then, the chapter has flourished and launched a number of initiatives, including letter campaigns, Black Joy and Healing circles, vigils, and forums.

For information, or to watch the streaming performance, please visit wilmatheater.org.  Donations to Black Lives Matter Philly can be made here: https://tickets.wilmatheater.org/donate/i/killmoveparadise.  Additionally, the Wilma will be sharing additional resources to support the movements, protests, and to educate audiences about anti-racism efforts.

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