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Alliance Theatre Announces its 2020-21 Season, Featuring World Premiere Musical ACCIDENTAL HEROES and More

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The New Season Will Include a Mix of Streaming, Outdoor, and On-Stage Productions as Well as a New Streaming Platform

Alliance Theatre Announces its 2020-21 Season, Featuring World Premiere Musical ACCIDENTAL HEROES and More

Atlanta's Alliance Theatre has announced the productions of the Alliance's 52nd season. This season, the Alliance is reimagining how to gather, where to take the stage, and how a story comes to life. From drive-in movie style productions to socially-distanced shows on the Coca-Cola Stage and even a brand-new streaming platform, the Alliance is making meaningful, fun, and creative changes to serve its audiences.

The new season reflects the Alliance's continuing commitment to dynamic storytelling by and for a diverse group of people. The 52nd season includes six productions for adults, two for youth and families, and three productions for the Kathy & Ken Bernhardt Theatre for the Very Young. The productions represent three important and timely themes: the need for joy, the need for dialogue, and the celebration of our heroes.

"Theatre continues to be a necessary town square for essential conversations and a balm for our souls" said Susan V. Booth, Jennings Hertz Artistic Director. "Even in a pandemic and in deep and necessary civic unrest, still we are human. Still we love, we grieve, we rage, and we commune with friends and family - okay, maybe via Zoom, but still. We navigate forward, equally informed by truth and hope, and always in need of joy, dialogue, and heroes."

A SEASON IN THREE ACTS

ACT ONE: JOY - The season will begin in November with the world premiere, A Very Terry Christmas - a delightful one-woman holiday show featuring Broadway star Terry Burrell (Ethel; Angry, Raucous, and Shamelessly Gorgeous). The Alliance will then present a reimagined drive-in version of its annual production A Christmas Carol, staged for the first time as a live radio play. A cast of eight actors will play all the roles accompanied by a foley sound effects artist giving audiences a peek into the play-making magic. Projections and interactive moments will allow audience members the chance to connect with the story, performers, and each other in this innovative new staging.

ACT TWO: DIALOGUE - In February 2021 the Alliance will produce The New Black Play Fest's Hands Up: 7 Playwrights, 7 Testaments. Produced in collaboration with Spelman College, HANDS UP depicts the realities of Black America from the perspective of varying genders, sexual orientations, skin tones, and socioeconomic backgrounds. This production of Hands Up is co-directed by Spelman Professor Keith Arthur Bolden and Spelman Alumna and Alliance Spelman Fellow Alexis Woodard. Leading up to the new production of Hands Up, the Alliance will host a series of preview conversations in the fall of 2020 to discuss the themes of each of the monologues. Details on these urgent community conversations will be announced at a later date. The Alliance will then give the world premiere of the 17th Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition winner, Data, in March 2021. Written by recent NYU Tisch graduate Matthew Libby, Data is a fast-paced drama for our technology-driven era that looks behind the closed doors of Silicon Valley.

ACT THREE: HEROES - In April 2021 the Alliance will produce the world premiere musical Accidental Heroes - The Real Life Adventures of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans. Featuring a book by Academy Award winner Marshall Brickman (Annie Hall, Manhattan, Jersey Boys), an original score by Academy Award and Grammy Award winner T Bone Burnett (Crazy Heart, Walk The Line), and direction by two-time Tony Award winner Des McAnuff (Ain't Too Proud, Jersey Boys, The Who's Tommy), Accidental Heroes follows the extraordinary rise of Hollywood's iconic Western stars. Roy Rogers and Dale Evans are remembered as authentic American heroes, yet their paths to stardom were anything but straightforward. Then in June 2021, the Alliance will present Toni Stone, the "must-see play" (TheatreMania) by Lydia R. Diamond based on the true story of the first female athlete to play professional baseball in the Negro Leagues. Toni Stone is a heartwarming and fascinating story of race, gender, and raw ambition. This production will be directed by the Alliance's BOLD Artistic Director Fellow Tinashe Kajese-Bolden.

The Theatre for Young Audiences and Kathy & Ken Bernhardt Theatre for the Very Young productions of the 2020/21 season will appear exclusively on streaming platforms. First, beginning in October 2020, the Alliance will stream a multimedia version of Sit-In by Atlanta's bestselling author, playwright, and Civil Rights Activist, Pearl Cleage (Blues for an Alabama Sky). Inspired by the award-winning picture book by Andrea Davis Pinkney with illustrations by Brian Pinkney, this new play for young audiences uses the lessons of the Civil Rights era to inspire the next generation of conscientious social activists. Sit-In is presented in collaboration with the High Museum of Art's exhibition Picture the Dream: The Story of the Civil Rights Movement Through Children's Books (August 15 - November 8, 2020). Beginning in January 2021, the Alliance will stream its popular production of Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed: The Rock Experience. Written by Mo Willems and Deborah Wicks La Puma with direction by Leora Morris, Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed is a fun family musical with tail-shaking tunes, empowering messages of individuality, and classic Mo Willems humor. The productions for the Kathy & Ken Bernhardt Theatre for the Very Young include streaming versions of In My Granny's Garden, (Knock, Knock) the Sounds of Winter, and The Sounds of the West End.

ALLIANCE THEATRE ANYWHERE - In addition to the live productions of the 2020/21 season, the Alliance will launch a new streaming platform - Alliance Theatre Anywhere - to bring the best of the Alliance's stages to the digital world. Streaming shows and exclusive content will be available on demand. Annual members will receive complementary access to the platform as part of their membership benefits. Non-members can enjoy access to select free and paid content.

Annual Memberships for the Alliance Theatre are on sale now. Members enjoy 12 months of world-class theatre, as well as a variety of benefits including members-only events, a welcome gift, discounts, flexibility, and access to all streaming content. For more information, visit www.alliancetheatre.org/membership.

Special show packages, including a 3-play package, a 6-play package, and packages for families, are also available by visiting www.alliancetheatre.org/membership. Show packages start at $50.

Single tickets for the season will go on sale in Fall 2020.

2020/21 SEASON:

A VERY TERRY CHRISTMAS

November - December 2020

Coca-Cola Stage at Alliance Theatre

By Terry Burrell

From author and Broadway icon Terry Burrell (Ethel; Ever After; Angry, Raucous, and Shamelessly Gorgeous) comes a holiday celebration of all the things that give us joy - even in the most chaotic of times. With a live band lead by pianist Tyrone Henderson, Terry will share the classic songs of the season, flavored with jazz, world music, and a little Broadway thrown in. Give yourself the gift of laughter, light, and love by spending a very Terry evening at the Alliance. For tickets or information, call 404-733-5000 or visit www.alliancetheatre.org/terrychristmas.

A CHRISTMAS CAROL: THE LIVE RADIO PLAY

December 2020

Location TBD

By Charles Dickens

Directed by Leora Morris

JINGLE! JANGLE! DASH! The sounds of the season come to life in the Alliance Theatre's brand new, interactive audio experience A Christmas Carol: The Live Radio Play. JINGLE! Hear the bells jingle on the streets of Victorian England as you're transported back in time with Ebenezer Scrooge, Marley, and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future. JANGLE! Watch and listen to how a foley sound effect artist creates the jangling of Marley's chains in real-time with the story. DASH! Load up your sleigh (or car) in front of our drive-in theatre stage and big screen for an evening of stories, singalongs, and honking horns. For tickets or information, call 404-733-5000 or visit www.alliancetheatre.org/christmas.

THE NEW BLACK PLAY FEST'S HANDS UP: 7 PLAYWRIGHTS, 7 TESTAMENTS

February 2021

Coca-Cola Stage at Alliance Theatre

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

Co-Directed by Keith Arthur Bolden and Alexis Woodard

Originally commissioned by the New Black Fest in response to the 2015 events in Ferguson, MO, where a police officer fatally shot Michael Brown, an unarmed Black teenager, Hands Up is comprised of separate monologues written by seven Black playwrights. The play depicts the realities of Black America from the perspective of varying genders, sexual orientations, skin tones, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Hands Up is produced in association with Spelman College. For tickets or information, call 404-733-5000 or visit www.alliancetheatre.org/handsup.

DATA (world premiere; winner of the 2021 Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition)

March - April 2021

Hertz Stage at the Alliance Theatre

By Matthew Libby

Directed by Susan V. Booth

Maneesh is a brilliant entry-level programmer at Athena Technologies, a software development firm deep in Silicon Valley. Content to work in the low-stress environment of User Experience, Maneesh has a crisis of conscience when he is offered a transfer to the more-central Data Analytics team, where he learns the true nature of Athena's confidential and highly controversial work. Torn between idealism and company loyalty, Maneesh is forced to come to terms with his own American identity, as well as the personal and societal cost of his work - all while learning the extent to which Athena is willing to go to hide its secrets. Winner of the Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition, Data is a fast-paced drama for our technology-driven era that looks behind the closed doors of Silicon Valley. For tickets or information, call 404-733-5000 or visit www.alliancetheatre.org/data.

ACCIDENTAL HEROES - THE REAL LIFE ADVENTURES OF Roy Rogers AND Dale Evans (world premiere; musical)

April - May 2021

Coca-Cola Stage at Alliance Theatre

Book by Marshall Brickman (Jersey Boys, Annie Hall)

Music and Lyrics by T Bone Burnett (Crazy Heart, Walk The Line)

Directed by Des McAnuff (Ain't Too Proud, Jersey Boys, The Who's Tommy)

Heroes aren't born; they're made - with a little bit of luck. Accidental Heroes - The Real Life Adventures of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans is the world premiere musical about the extraordinary rise of Hollywood's iconic Western stars. Over 80 million people every year watched the adventures of Roy, Dale, and their sidekicks - Trigger "The Smartest Horse in the Movies" and Bullet "The Wonder Dog." They are remembered as authentic American heroes, yet their paths to stardom were anything but straightforward. Created by a renowned team of Tony, Academy Award, Grammy, and Olivier Award winners, Accidental Heroes - The Real Life Adventures of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans makes its world premiere on the newly redesigned Coca-Cola Stage at Alliance Theatre in April 2021. For tickets and information, call 404.733.5000 visit www.alliancetheatre.org/heroes.

TONI STONE

June - July 2021

Coca-Cola Stage at Alliance Theatre

By Lydia R. Diamond

Directed by Tinashe Kajese-Bolden

Considered a pioneer, Toni Stone is the first woman to play baseball in the Negro Leagues, also making her the first woman to play professionally in a mens' league. Against all odds, Toni blazes a path in the male-dominated sports world, breaking through the limitations others placed on her, and creating her own set of rules. Follow Toni's journey as she fights for love, equality and a chance to do what she wants the most - play some world class baseball. Declared the Best New Play of 2019 by The Wall Street Journal, Toni Stone is a funny and fascinating story of race, gender, and raw ambition... and an unheralded superstar you'll never forget. For tickets and information, call 404.733.5000 or visit www.alliancetheatre.org/tonistone.

THEATRE FOR YOUNG AUDIENCES

SIT-IN (world premiere)

October 2020

Streaming on Alliance Theatre Anywhere

By Pearl Cleage

Inspired by the book Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down by Andrea Davis Pinkney; Illustrated by Brian Pinkney

A Palette Group Production

Directed by Mark Valdez

Written by Atlanta's bestselling author, playwright, and Civil Rights Activist, Pearl Cleage (Blues for An Alabama Sky, In My Granny's Garden, Tell Me My Dream) this original animated short celebrates the power of youth to change history. We meet three friends as they learn about the sit-ins of the Civil Rights era, and powerfully apply those lessons to issues they - and we all - face today. The play invites students, parents, teachers, and families to experience the Civil Rights Movement as a living, breathing energy with practical lessons, ethical challenges, and moral choices that remain relevant today. Presented in collaboration with the High Museum of Art's Picture the Dream exhibition, the story creates dynamic history, moving audiences through the real-life context of where we were then, the major forces that shaped the movement, and where we could be headed today. Featuring a mixture of Civil Rights anthems and new freedom songs composed specifically for the play, Sit-In will move audiences, encourage inter-generational conversations, and inspire the next generation of conscientious social activists. For tickets and information, call 404.733.5000 visit www.alliancetheatre.org/sitin.

NAKED MOLE RAT GETS DRESSED: THE ROCK EXPERIENCE (musical)

January - February 2021

Streaming on ShowTix4U.com

Book and Lyrics by Mo Willems

Music by Deborah Wicks La Puma

Based on the book Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed by Mo Willems

Directed by Leora Morris

Children's book author and artist Mo Willems (Knuffle Bunny, Elephant and Piggie's We Are In a Play) brings another loveable character to life in this exciting family musical. Grab your friends and watch as Wilbur, a clothes-loving mole rat with exceptional style, navigates the pressure to be just like everyone else. With tail-shaking tunes, empowering messages of individuality, and classic Mo Willems humor, this musical is sure to rock audiences of all ages. For tickets or information, call 404-733-5000 or visit www.alliancetheatre.org/nakedmolerat.

KATHY & KEN BERNHARDT THEATRE FOR THE VERY YOUNG

IN MY GRANNY'S GARDEN

October 2020

Streaming on Alliance Theatre Anywhere

By Pearl Cleage & Zaron Burnett Jr

Inspired by Pearl Cleage and Zaron Burnett Jr.'s children's book of the same name, In My Granny's Garden invites our youngest audiences to explore the glory of growing your own food. Watch a tiny seed become a field of corn, green beans, collard greens, and bright red tomatoes. Step into a visual feast inspired by world renowned artist Radcliffe Bailey's original paintings, and discover the one superpower that fuels Granny's garden. This fully immersive play promises to leave you nourished in body and soul. For tickets or information, call 404-733-5000 or visit www.alliancetheatre.org/garden.

(KNOCK, KNOCK) THE SOUNDS OF WINTER

November - December 2020

Streaming Audio Play on Alliance Theatre Anywhere

by Samantha Provenzano and Olivia Aston Bosworth

Come in from out of the cold and celebrate community, family, and warmth this holiday season! Welcome to The Apartment Building. Below us, above us, and beside us, the residents are preparing for the holidays and trying to stay warm. Join us on a floor to floor adventure, meeting and ultimately celebrating with a variety of friends who all call The Apartment Building home. Surprises hide behind each door, all you need to do is (Knock, Knock) and listen closely to the sounds of winter and celebration. For tickets or information, call 404-733-5000 or visit www.alliancetheatre.org/wintersounds.

THE SOUNDS OF THE WEST END

March - April 2021

Streaming Audio Play on Alliance Theatre Anywhere

By Will Power & R. Gregory Christie

Inspired by the children's book In the West End by Will Power & R. Gregory Christie, this aural adventure will immerse you in the sounds of the historic Atlanta neighborhood. From the talk on the sidewalks to the whoosh of the Marta trains, join us for a rhythmic and tasty trip through the epicenter of vegan cooking in Atlanta. For tickets or information, call 404-733-5000 or visit www.alliancetheatre.org/westendsounds.


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