Breaking News: Casey Nicholaw-Helmed TUCK EVERLASTING, BULL DURHAM & More to Premiere in Alliance Theatre's 2014-15 Season!
Atlanta's nationally acclaimed Alliance Theatre and Jennings Hertz Artistic Director Susan V. Booth just announced the 2014/15 Season for the Alliance Stage, Hertz Stage and Theatre for Youth and Families series. 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 Tony-award winning actressJudith 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 the world premiere TELL ME MY DREAM by beloved Atlanta author and playwright Pearl Cleage (What I Learned in Paris, The Nacirema Society Requests...). Cleage brings another unique Atlanta story to the stage, weaving together elements of Atlanta's history from 1910 with present day events, grounded in the heart of characters you will never forget.
The 2014/15 Hertz Stage season will include three world premieres and a partnership production with Atlanta's favorite mprove 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 announced 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 toward an MFA in Dramatic Writing from the University of Southern California. 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.
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 Trudy'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 Tony-nominated actress 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.
TELL ME MY DREAM (world premiere)
By Pearl Cleage
Directed by Susan V. Booth
Performance Dates: April 15 - May 10, 2015
TELL ME MY DREAM introduces a family for whom music is as necessary as freedom and a city that is just beginning to hear their song. As she did in The Nacirema Society Requests and again in What I Learned in Paris, Pearl Cleage weaves a story that is steeped in history, but grounded in the heart of characters you will never forget and the music that changed their lives. This play allows characters in 1910 and the present to learn from each other, with modern day adolescents being drawn into a time before technology. One of Atlanta's greatest theatrical talents shares another world premiere with her city! For tickets and information, visit www.alliancetheatre.org/mydream or call 404.733.5000.
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
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 call404.733.5000.
THE C.A. LYON'S 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 phenome; 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)
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
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)
Directed by Rosemary Newcott
Performance Dates: March 14 - 29, 2015
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 go 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.). Patrons may receive an additional 5% off* when they renew or upgrade their season ticket package by March 17, 2014. * Valid on Alliance & Hertz Stage Packages only. Offer cannot be combined with any other discount.
Visit www.alliancetheatre.org for more information and updates about the next season. Tickets for individual productions go on sale in July, 2014.