Alliance Presents 17th Annual Palefsky Collision Project For Teens

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The ALLIANCE THEATRE has assembled a diverse group of 21 students from metro Atlanta for the 17th Palefsky Collision Project, an annual program that gives high-school students a platform to tackle important social issues. Guided by the Alliance's Mellon Playwright in Residence Pearl Cleage, director Patrick McColery, and assistant director Rodney Williams, participants are encouraged to find and claim their own voices within a judgment free zone of creativity and community. This innovative program challenges metro Atlanta teens to "collide" with a classic text and make it their own. This year's ensemble will explore Thornton Wilder's timeless play, Our Town, and ultimately create their own unique story of Atlanta through the beauty of daily life and human connection.

"Each group has been unique, bringing their own special gifts to the process. This group is no different. Within our circle we have a dynamic diversity that reflects the changing face of metro Atlanta in the most beautiful way,'" said Pearl Cleage, who is leading her eighth Palefsky Collision Project. "Working with these young people always energizes me, combats any cynicism that might be lurking in my weary brain and fills me with hope for the future."

Cleage adds "Although it was written 80 years ago, Our Town still resonates with audiences today because of its universal themes. The play explores what we often call 'the simple things' but which are, in truth, the most important parts of our lives- family, community, love, friendship and death. During this period of intense change in our world, our country and our city, we thought it would be a good time to check in with our young participants about those basic, beautiful, simple elements of all of our lives and explore how they feel about those things at this specific moment."

Through improvisational exercises, oral history, choreography, the individual performing talents they possess, and their writing, the teenagers create a new piece inspired by the classic text but perceived through their own utterly unique and contemporary prism. The Palefsky Collision Project affords teens a unique theatrical experience and gives them ownership of a performance at the Alliance. It also gives the students validity - confidence in their talents, strength for the future, and power in their decisions.

The wholly original piece participants will write and shape together is guaranteed to inspire audiences at the two free performances these young artists will offer at the Rich Theatre at the Woodruff Arts Center on July 27 & 28.

The Alliance hosts open interviews each year, calling for students "who have something to say and the desire to say it." The ensemble of the Palefsky Collision Project is made up of actors, singers, dancers, writers, directors, and techies. Any high school student, regardless of experience, is invited to interview to become a part of this project.

This experience is free to all participants through generous support from Vicky and Howard Palefsky, AT&T, The Coca-Cola Company, Georgia-Pacific, the Zeist Foundation, and Theatre Forward.



  • Eliza Andrews
  • Shira Ben-Simon
  • Dru Berrian
  • Tyler Bey
  • Nadia Crawlle
  • Sara Dardik
  • Spencer Ford
  • Nasteho Ibrahim
  • Daisy Jinadu
  • Jemarcus Kilgore
  • Barbara Kincaid
  • Janine Leslie
  • Adirah Robinson
  • Serenity Saffold-Rice
  • Finn Shuster
  • Reco Simmons
  • Keira Smith
  • Kendall Stroud
  • Amber Thomas
  • Antonio Toussaint
  • Victoria Turk


  • Atlanta Classical Academy
  • Campbell High School
  • Community Christian School
  • Decatur High School
  • Druid Hills High School
  • George Walton Comprehensive High School
  • Georgia Cyber Academy
  • Grady High School
  • Interlochen Arts Academy
  • Maynard H. Jackson High School
  • North Springs High School
  • Riverwood International Charter School
  • Sequoyah High School
  • Sprayberry High School
  • Tri-Cities High School

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