Alliance Announces Playwriting Competition Winner & Finalists

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The Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition continues to spotlight the best emerging playwrights with a full production for the competition winner and staged readings for four competition finalists. Sheltered, the 14th competition winner, is the story of one American couple's harrowing decision to rescue 50 Jewish children from Europe during WWII. Sheltered is written by Alix Sobler who recently earned her MFA in Playwriting from Columbia University. During the Alliance's season-long renovation, Sheltered will be staged at Actor's Express, March 1 - 25, 2018.

"Alix's brilliant play runs us headfirst into history and demands we ask questions of our present moment," said Director Kimberly Senior. "The celebration of how extraordinary ordinary people can be and the power of the individual in uncertain times have extraordinary resonance."

"Although set in 1939, Sheltered, like all great history plays, sheds light on the past and the present concurrently," said ALLIANCE THEATRE Director of New Projects, Celise Kalke. "Alix is asking complex ethical questions in her work, and we are proud to bring Sheltered to its first audience."

The cast of Sheltered includes Amanda Drinkall (Venus in Fur; Last Train to Nibroc), Park Krausen (Fair Use), Lauren Boyd Lane (Singles in Agriculture; The Tall Girls), Lee Osorio (The Temple Bombing; Ugly Lies the Bone), and John Skelley (Hamlet, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern).

The creative team of Sheltered is led by Director Kimberly Senior, whose recent directing credits include the critically acclaimed and Tony-nominated production, Disgraced. The design team includes Set Designer Jack Magaw, Costume Designer Nan Zabriskie, Lighting Designer Liz Lee, Sound Designer Kendall Simpson, and Dialect Coach Elisa Carlson.

The Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition solicits plays from the leading MFA graduate programs in the United States and then conducts a rigorous selection process to find four finalists and one winning play. The winner receives a full production as part of the ALLIANCE THEATRE regular season. The winner and four finalists also receive development opportunities for their works including staged readings with industry professionals. A one-of-a-kind opportunity for emerging playwrights, the Competition transitions student playwrights to the world of professional theatre.

Past winners of the Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition have become some of today's most exciting playwrights and writers, including Tarell Alvin McCraney, whose play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue inspired the 2017 Academy Award-winning film, Moonlight; Kenneth Lin (Warrior Class), a writer for the Netflix hit original series "House of Cards," Susan Smith Blackburn Prize finalist Meg Miroshnik (The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls), and Mike Lew (Tiger Style!), 2018 winner of the PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award for an Emerging American Playwright.

Performances of Sheltered are Tuesday through Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8:00 p.m., Saturdays at 2:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., March 1 - 25, 2018, at Actor's Express. There will be no 2:30 pm performance on Saturday, March 3. Opening night is Thursday, March 8, 2018.

Two special matinee performances for students will take place on Thursday, March 15, and Thursday, March 22, at 10:30 a.m. This performance is recommended for grades 9-12 and supports curriculum standards: ELAGSE9-10RL4, ELAGSE9-10SL1, SSUSH8, SSUSH9. For ticket information, contact or call 404.733.4661.

Tickets start at $20 and are available at the Woodruff Arts Center Box Office in person or by calling 404.733.5000. Tickets are available online at Tickets are also available for purchase at Actor's Express one hour before each performance.

The four finalists will be heard in staged readings March 7 - 9, 2018, during the Alliance/Kendeda Readings Week celebrating new work. All readings and events are free and open to the public. The finalists are:

  • Graveyard Shift by Korde A. Tuttle, The New School
  • The Honey Trap by Leo McGann, Boston University
  • Where Butterflies Go in the Winter by Tori Sampson, Yale School of Drama
  • Anacostia Street Lions by Tearrance Chisholm, Juilliard

Because Sheltered looks at the Jewish refugee crisis of the 1930s and 40s, the Alliance is hosting "Sanctuary in the Arts" - a free, community conversation about the current state of refugees in America and how it manifests in Atlanta - on February 21 at 7:00 p.m. Atlanta area artists across multiple disciplines will come together with local social service organizations to use art created in response to refugee struggles and art by local refugees as a catalyst for conversation. The event will feature theater, music, dance, visual art, and a panel discussion that seeks to explore the reality of life for refugees and celebrate their resilience.

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