BULL DURHAM, TUCK EVERLASTING and More to Premiere at Alliance Theatre in 2014-15

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BULL DURHAM, TUCK EVERLASTING and More to Premiere at Alliance Theatre in 2014-15

Atlanta's nationally acclaimed Alliance Theatre and Jennings Hertz Artistic Director Susan V. Booth are pleased to announce a minor change to the 2014/15 Season lineup for the Alliance Stage. The 46th season includes seven exciting world premieres, including two new American musicals.

"The 2014/15 season is full of people, stories and human moments that are simply larger than life," said Susan V. Booth, Jennings Hertz Artistic Director. "Because life lived large takes you all over the emotional map, we've got a season that does the same, spanning passion, epiphany, history, humor and mortality."

The 2014/15 Alliance Stage season will begin on September 3, 2014, with BULL DURHAM, the story of three lives brought together by America's two favorite pastimes - baseball and romance. Based on the popular 1988 film which Sports Illustrated called the "#1 Greatest Sports Movie of All-Time," BULL DURHAM has a book by Academy Award-nominee Ron Shelton (director and screenwriter of the BULL DURHAM movie) and music and lyrics by folk musician Susan Werner, whom the Chicago Tribune called, "one of the most innovative songwriters working today."

Also on the Alliance Stage this season is STEEL MAGNOLIAS, the celebrated Southern classic of family and friendship. STEEL MAGNOLIAS will be directed by legendary two-time Tony Award winner Judith Ivey (Steaming, Hurlyburly), perhaps best known for her role on the popular CBS series Designing Women.

In January 2015, the Alliance will produce the world premiere musical TUCK EVERLASTING, based on the beloved, best-selling, award-winning novel by Natalie Babbitt. TUCK EVERLASTING will be brought to life on stage in a wholly original production, directed and choreographed by Tony Award® winner Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon, The Drowsy Chaperone, Spamalot), featuring a book by Tony Award® nominee Claudia Shear (Dirty Blonde) and music and lyrics by Chris Miller and Nathan Tysen (The Burnt Part Boys).

The Alliance Stage season will close with BLUES FOR AN ALABAMA SKY by beloved Atlanta author and playwright Pearl Cleage (What I Learned in Paris, The Nacirema Society Requests...). The drama is a timeless look at hopeful dreams during the twilight of the Harlem Renaissance, and is a celebration of its world premiere on our stage 20 years ago.

The 2014/15 Hertz Stage season will include three world premieres and a partnership production with Atlanta's favorite improv company, Dad's Garage. The Hertz season will open on September 26 with the World Premiere of NATIVE GUARD, a staging of U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey's Pulitzer Prize winning collection of poems by the same name. NATIVE GUARD juxtaposes the deeply personal experiences of Trethewey, a child of a then illegal marriage between her black mother and white father living in 1960s Mississippi, with the experience of a soldier in the Native Guard, the first African-American Union troop in the Civil War who was charged with guarding white Confederate captives. The Alliance's production of NATIVE GUARD is part of the National Civil War Project, an initiative between theatres and universities across the country to create new theatrical works commemorating the 100th anniversary of the American Civil War.

Also on the Hertz will be IT'S A WONDERFUL LAUGH, a holiday production by Dad's Garage where the audience will choose a pop culture figure to "invade" the telling of the Christmas classic It's a Wonderful Life, as well as the world premiere of EDWARD FOOTE, a Southern Gothic mystery told against the backdrop of folk-songs and haunting shape note singing. EDWARD FOOTE is written by Phillip DePoy, a pillar of the Atlanta theatre community with a long tenure directing University theatre programs.

The Alliance is pleased to announce the winner of the 2015 Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition, THE C.A. LYONS PROJECT, by Tsehaye Geralyn Hébert. When title character Lyons can no longer hide his sexuality or illness, his fledgling dance company is threatened, and the women who love him must come together to decide the best way to carry on his legacy. Hébert is currently working towards a MFA in Writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). In addition to the full production the play will receive, Hébert and four other competition finalists will be given development and networking opportunities.

"The way the Atlanta community embraced the many plays and projects during the 10th Anniversary of the Alliance/Kendeda Competition has given it such momentum for its next ten years," said Alliance Theatre Director of New Projects Celise Kalke. "THE C.A. LYONS PROJECT is the most multidisciplinary show to come through the competition and is so ambitious in its scope. It's a great piece to kick off the Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition's next decade!"

The 2014/15 Youth and Families season includes three family productions - COURAGE, a new production created for middle school audiences based on The Red Badge of Courage and conversations with Atlanta middle school students, JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH, a musical based on the popular book, as well as the 25th Alliance production of the Dickens classic A CHRISTMAS CAROL.

"The 46th season is one that travels far and wide - both in settings and stories - but also in its reach into our hopes, our fears, and our ever expanding notions of life's limits," said Booth. "We've always believed that the discoveries of theatre lead to discoveries of self. In 2014/15, we're hoping you discover something more. Something bigger. Something larger than life."

ALLIANCE STAGE SERIES

BULL DURHAM (world premiere, musical)

Book by Ron Shelton

Music & Lyrics by Susan Werner

Directed by Kip Fagan

Performance Dates: September 3 - October 5, 2014

BULL DURHAM, loosely based on Ron Shelton's experiences on and off the field with a Minor League Baseball team, tells the story of three lives brought together by America's two favorite pastimes - baseball and romance. Veteran catcher "Crash" Davis has been brought to the Durham Bulls to prepare rookie Ebby Calvin "Nuke" LaLoosh, a hot rod pitcher with a "million dollar arm and a five cent head," for the majors. Annie Savoy, self-appointed high priestess and muse of the Bulls, has a hard decision to make - every season she transforms one lucky player from an also-ran to an all-star by sharing with them her wisdom, experience and bed. The love triangle heats up quickly as they struggle with their own desires and hopes for what the future holds. A pitch perfect blend of comedy, drama, and steamy romance, BULL DURHAM will leave you cheering from the stands. For tickets and information, visit www.alliancetheatre.org/bulldurham or call 404.733.5000.

STEEL MAGNOLIAS

By Robert Harling

Directed by Judith Ivey

Performance Dates: October 22 - November 9, 2014

The celebrated Southern classic of family and friendship, STEEL MAGNOLIAS is the story of a group of strong and beautiful women who cluster around Truvy's Beauty Parlor in a small parish in Louisiana. The story centers on Shelby, who moves from wedding to childbirth to medical complications with a love of life and a willingness to face its possibilities bravely. Adapted for the screen, see the play that started it all. STEEL MAGNOLIAS is directed by legendary two-time Tony Award winner Judith Ivey (Designing Women). For tickets and information, visit www.alliancetheatre.org/steelmagnolias or call 404.733.5000.

TUCK EVERLASTING (world premiere, musical)

Book by Claudia Shear

Music by Chris Miller

Lyrics by Nathan Tysen

Based on the Novel Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
Directed and Choreographed by Casey Nicholaw
Performance Dates: January 21 - February 22, 2015

A young girl dreaming of adventure meets a family with a fabulous secret. Their chance encounter will change them all forever. Take an exhilarating journey you'll never forget in this new musical about everlasting love, never-ending life, and discovering what it means to truly feel alive. Based on the beloved, best-selling, award-winning novel by Natalie Babbitt, TUCK EVERLASTING comes to life on stage in a wholly original production, directed and choreographed by Tony Award® winner Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon, The Drowsy Chaperone, Spamalot), featuring a book by Tony Award® nominee Claudia Shear (Dirty Blonde) and music and lyrics by Chris Miller and Nathan Tysen (The Burnt Part Boys). For tickets and information, visit www.alliancetheatre.org/tuckeverlasting or call 404.733.5000.

BLUES FOR AN ALABAMA SKY (20th Anniversary)

By Pearl Cleage

Directed by Susan V. Booth

Performance Dates: April 15 - May 10, 2015

Harlem, New York, 1930. The harsh realities of the Great Depression have devastated the bright decade of the Harlem Renaissance. Disease and poverty have overshadowed the creative euphoria that fueled a surge of African-American artists, writers and luminaries. A story with a rich cast of characters, scrambling to survive and make sense of their overlapping personalities, politics, and love. A classic by Atlanta's own Pearl Cleage, as timely today as its Alliance Theatre world premiere 20 years ago. For tickets and information, visit alliancetheatre.org/blues or call 404.733.5000. Recommended for ages 12+.

HERTZ STAGE SERIES

NATIVE GUARD (world premiere)

By U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey

Directed by Susan V. Booth

Performance Dates: September 26 - October 19, 2014

Winner of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for poetry, U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey's NATIVE GUARD will be adapted for the stage for the first time in this special Hertz Stage world premiere. NATIVE GUARD juxtaposes the deeply personal experiences of Trethewey, a child of a then illegal marriage between her black mother and white father living in 1960s Mississippi, with the experience of a soldier in the Native Guard, the first African-American Union troop in the Civil War who was charged with guarding white Confederate captives. Years after her mother's tragic death, Trethewey reclaims her memory, just as she reclaims the voices of the black soldiers whose service has been all but forgotten. This piece will be a revelatory way to experience this Emory professor's work again or for the first time. Part of the National Civil War Project - a national partnership between major theaters and universities to create original theatrical productions and innovative academic programming inspired by the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War. For more information and tickets, visit www.alliancetheatre.org/nativeguard or call 404.733.5000.

IT'S A WONDERFUL LAUGH (world premiere)

By The Dad's Garage Ensemble

Directed by Kevin Gillese

Performance Dates: November 28 - December 20, 2014

Dad's Garage invades Bedford Falls and the Hertz Stage, where the audience plays a part in each night's invasion. For more information and tickets, visit www.alliancetheatre.org/wonderfullaugh or call 404.733.5000.

THE C.A. LYONS PROJECT (world premiere)

Winner of the 2015 Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition

By Tsehaye Geralyn Hébert

Performance Dates: February 13 - March 8, 2015

The 80's. Black was in. They invented it. The founder of one of the city's most important African-American dance companies is dying of AIDS, and the three lead dancers must find the strength and individual creative push to keep the company going without their charismatic leader. These are the Three Graces of the 20th Century: Chaos Unit, a tattooed hip hop phenom; Bethlehem Dunning a ballerina raised by a deaf mother; and Amandla Sister Afrika, who seems to be in a continuous state of rebellion. A unique theatrical event where dance and theatre mingle throughout by a writer of amazing talent, this is the 11th winner of the Alliance's prestigious Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwright Competition. For more information and tickets, visit www.alliancetheatre.org/calyons or call 404.733.5000.

EDWARD FOOTE (world premiere)

By Phillip DePoy

Directed by Chris Coleman

Performance Dates: March 27 - April 19, 2015

A stranger comes to town, looking terribly familiar to the residents of a tiny rugged Appalachian community in the 1930s. Could it be that Edward Foote, a drunken good-for-nothing father, has returned? In this Southern Gothic mystery, a small community is forced to reveal its darkest secrets. This world premiere Appalachian noir features a captivating story told against the backdrop of folk-songs and haunting shape note singing (featured in the film Cold Mountain). Phillip DePoy, a pillar of the Atlanta theatre community with a long tenure directing University theatre programs, marries his love of mystery writing and love of theatrical classics into an exciting new work. For more information and tickets, visit www.alliancetheatre.org/edwardfoote or call 404.733.5000.

ALLIANCE THEATRE FOR YOUTH AND FAMILIES SERIES

COURAGE (world premiere)

Alliance Stage

Written by Scott Warren

Directed by Rosemary Newcott

Performance Dates: November 3, 2014

A middle school dramatic experience, COURAGE collides the contemporary experience of the world with Stephen Crane's classic tale, Red Badge of Courage. COURAGE tells the story of a young man fighting in the Civil War set against the courageous tales of grown up challenges facing contemporary Atlanta middle schoolers. Portraying a stumbling and heroic journey towards self acceptance, this play explores themes of isolation, respect, duty and courage. Integrating remarkable digital stories with a more traditional theatrical experience, COURAGE will continue to break new ground for Middle School audiences. For more information and tickets, visit www.alliancetheatre.org/courage or call 404.733.5000.

A CHRISTMAS CAROL

Alliance Stage

Written by Charles Dickens

Adapted by David H. Bell

Directed by Rosemary Newcott

Performance Dates: November 21 - December 24, 2014

Celebrate the Alliance's 25th anniversary staging of the beloved Dickens classic A CHRISTMAS CAROL and the all-Atlanta cast you've come to treasure. On Christmas Eve, miserly Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by three ghosts - the spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Future, who help him see his life more clearly and teach him that it is never too late. A magical tradition for the whole family and a great way to celebrate the season. For tickets, visit www.alliancetheatre.org/christmas or call 404.733.5000.

JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH (musical)

By Timothy Allen McDonald

Music & Lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul

Based on the Book by Roald Dahl

Directed by Rosemary Newcott

Performance Dates: March 14 - 29, 2015

Watch a young English orphan (James) begin to imagine a bright future as he embarks on a journey in a larger-than-life enchanted peach. James's companions are a zany ensemble of insects, portrayed by actors and by handheld puppets-and don't forget the hysterically evil villains Spiker and Sponge. Children and adults alike will fall for the magical sweetness of a young boy on a whirlwind adventure to find his chosen family in this one act, family-friendly musical. For information and tickets, visit alliancetheatre.org/giantpeach or call 404.733.5000. Recommended for ages 5+.

THEATRE FOR THE VERY YOUNG: Discover Theatre for very young audiences. The Alliance will continue its productions developed for ages 18 months to 5 years old. More information about specific productions will be announced soon. www.alliancetheatre.org/tvy

Season Tickets to the Alliance Theatre's 2014/15 Season went on sale March 3 and may be purchased by visiting www.alliancetheatre.org/seasontickets or by calling 404.733.4600, Monday - Friday, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Season Ticket Benefits

Save 15-20% versus single tickets
Discounts on parking, dining and entertainment
No-fee ticket exchanges
Show insurance
Save 15% on all additional tickets
The Alliance Insider e-Newsletter with special offers and news
Those who purchase a 4-play package receive 2 guest passes

Tickets for individual productions go on sale in July, 2014.

About the Alliance Theatre: Founded in 1968, the Alliance Theatre has become the leading producing theatre in the Southeast, creating the powerful experience of shared theatre for diverse people. The Alliance values excellence, pursued with integrity and creativity, and achieved through collaboration. Reaching more than 200,000 patrons annually, the Alliance delivers powerful programming that challenges adult and youth audiences to think critically and care deeply. Under the leadership of Susan V. Booth, Jennings Hertz Artistic Director, the Alliance Theatre received the Regional Theatre Tony Award ® in recognition of sustained excellence in programming, education and community engagement.

Known for its high artistic standards and national role in creating significant theatrical works, the Alliance has premiered more than 80 original productions including Tony Award® winners The Color Purple, by Alice Walker, Aida, by Elton John and Tim Rice, and Alfred Uhry's The Last Night of Ballyhoo. The Alliance has a reputation for developing important American musicals with a strong track record of Broadway, touring, and subsequent productions, including the world premieres of Sister Act: The Musical, Come Fly Away, Bring It On: The Musical, Stephen King and John Mellencamp's Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, the American premiere of Zorro, with music by the Gipsy Kings, and most recently, Harmony - A New Musical by Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman. The Alliance also creates and nurtures the careers of playwrights through the Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition, producing a premiere for the competition winner as part of the regular season with national networking opportunities for four finalists. The works produced by the Alliance allow locally based artists the chance to create on a nationally watched stage, building and sustaining Atlanta's artistic community.

Each year, the Alliance Theatre Acting Program and Education Department reaches close to 50,000 students through performances, acting classes, drama camps, and in-school initiatives. The Alliance creates and produces plays for young audiences at every age level: from the Collision Project, where high school artists create and perform new work based on a classic text, to the ground breaking Theatre for the Very Young, creating interactive shows for infants and toddlers. The Alliance also offers community education classes for all ages and abilities of theatre interest; and adult student productions of unproduced plays in development, working with local and national playwrights.

An active participant in Georgia classrooms, the Alliance has developed programs using theatrical techniques to aid in student learning through storytelling and problem solving. The Alliance Theatre Institute for Educators and Teaching Artists equips teachers with theatrical techniques that link directly to school curriculum, align with Common Core Georgia Performance Standards, and increase student learning. Other programs include Georgia Wolf Trap Early Learning Through the Arts, a nationally recognized professional learning program that focuses on literacy skills for children in Pre-K - 2nd Grade, and Dramaturgy K-12, a unique program that empowers students to create research material that both informs Alliance productions and prepares peer audiences. Twice recognized by the Federal Department of Education as leaders in the field of arts education, these programs reflect the Alliance's commitment to city wide arts access.

The Alliance continuously delivers the finest talent, art and educational opportunities for Atlanta audiences-proving once again that the Alliance is where great theatre lives.

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