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Alliance Theatre Announces 21st Palefsky Collision Project for Teens With Free Public Performances in July

The annual program gives high-school and rising post-secondary students a platform to tackle important social issues.

Alliance Theatre Announces 21st Palefsky Collision Project for Teens With Free Public Performances in July

Nineteen diverse students from across metro Atlanta - and beyond -- will come together at the Alliance Theatre for the 21st Palefsky Collision Project. For the first time, the ensemble of young actors includes national artists joining the group from New Haven, CT and Boston, MA. The annual program gives high-school and rising post-secondary students a platform to tackle important social issues. Guided by the Alliance's Distinguished Playwright in Residence Pearl Cleage, director Patrick McColery, associate director Rodney Williams, and music director David Kote, participants are provided a safe and free environment to "collide" with a classic text and make it their own. Through their exploration, they find and claim their own voices. This year's ensemble will collide with Joy Harjo's "Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings."

"All of us who work with the Palefsky Collision Project count the three weeks we get to spend with 19 bright metro-Atlanta teenagers as one of our favorite times of the year," says Pearl Cleage, who is leading her 12th Collision Project. "Our mission is to open the hearts and minds of these young citizen artists as they create a wholly original script, inspired by a classic text and based on their collective Collision experiences. We don't know yet in which direction our participants will lead us, but we're ready to follow them anywhere!"

Cleage adds: "This summer, at a time of great national turmoil, some will look to politicians and pundits for clarity and guidance. At the Palefsky Collision Project, we turn to the poets. Accordingly, we've chosen Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings by America's Poet Laureate Joy Harjo as our shared text. This work shines a light on her uniquely American experience as a member of the Mvskoke/Creek Nation and, also, illuminates our own individual journeys through the prism that only great art can provide."


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 unique and contemporary prism. Over the three-week intensive, the students will have the opportunity work with guest artists as they shape their new performance piece. 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 that the participants will write and shape together is guaranteed to inspire audiences at the two free performances these young artists will offer on July 9 & 10 in the Rich Auditorium.

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 technical theater artists. 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, and the support of the Mellon Foundation's National Playwright Residency Program administered in partnership with Howlround.



Saturday, July 9, 7:00 p.m.

Sunday, July 10, 2:30 p.m.


Rich Auditorium at the Woodruff Arts Center: 1280 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta, GA 30309

· RSVP for free tickets:

· For additional information on the Palefsky Collision Project, email

· Please note that masks will be required for both performances in the Rich Auditorium


· Aiden R.

· Alana D.

· Amari L.

· Brooklyn W.

· Elijah M.

· Ertha S.

· Imani M.

· Imari W.

· Jada G.

· Jayda T.

· Kana N.

· McArthur D.

· Nemiah D.

· Ronnie M.

· Samuel M.

· Samyukta I.

· Simon M.

· Tylia D.

· Umbra P.


· DeKalb School of the Arts

· Luella High School

· Dutchtown High School

· Pebblebrook High School

· The New School

· Brookwood High School

· McDonough High School

· Duluth High School

· New Manchester High School

· South Atlanta High School

· New Mission High School (Boston, MA)

· Wheeler High School

· Wilbur Cross High School (New Haven, CT)

· Martha Ellen Stillwell School of the Arts

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