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DATA, Winner of The Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition to be Presented in May

DATA takes audiences into the world of highly controversial technologies and the people who create them. 

DATA, Winner of The Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition to be Presented in May

The Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition will continues to spotlight the best emerging playwrights with a virtual production of this year's winning play DATA and virtual readings of the four finalist plays. The 17th competition winner, DATA is a fast-paced thriller that looks behind the closed doors of Silicon Valley. DATA is written by Matthew Libby and the virtual production is directed by Susan V. Booth.

DATA takes audiences into the world of highly controversial technologies and the people who create them. In DATA, Maneesh is a brilliant entry-level programmer content to work in the low-stress environment of User Experience until he learns the true nature of his company's confidential business. Faced with a crisis of conscious, Maneesh must come to terms with his own American identity and the personal and societal cost of his work.

To accomplish a visually compelling and COVID-safe video capture of DATA for streaming, the Alliance partnered with Georgia State University's Creative Media Industries Institute (CMII). The production relied heavily on the CMII greenscreen studios, labs, and motion-capture software. The facilities allowed the actors to remain 10-20 feet apart while filming scenes where they will appear to be sitting on the same couch or playing a game of ping pong.

In addition to the filmed production of DATA, each live performance will begin with an interactive lobby experience developed by Atlanta-based company, SUBSUME. A tech platform for storytellers, SUBSUME allows audience members to create their own avatar, walk around, talk and interact with other audience members, and enter the virtual theater to watch the production together, all from their own computer screen.

The cast of DATA includes Jake Berne (Actor's Express: Skintight), Clare Latham (Off Broadway: Fairview), Stephen Hu (Berkeley Rep: The Great Wave), and Cheech Manohar (Broadway: Mean Girls).

The creative team of DATA is led by Director Susan V. Booth, Alliance Theatre Jennings Hertz Artistic Director, and includes Assistant Director Jayson T. Waddell, Lighting Designer Andre Allen, Editor Ron Heidt, Sound Designer Chris Lane, Location Scout David Luse, Prop Designer Suzanne Cooper Morris, Costumer Designer Leslie Taylor, and Line Producer Amanda Watkins.

Live virtual performances of DATA are Thursdays - Sundays, May 6 - 23, 2021. The streaming production is also available on-demand, without the live experience, anytime between May 6 - 23, 2021. Tickets and info are available at www.alliancetheatre.org/data.

FESTIVAL OF NEW WORKS

In addition to the presentation of DATA, the Alliance will host a FESTIVAL OF NEW WORKS featuring a showcase of all the digital content the Alliance has produced over the past year for its streaming platform Alliance Theatre Anywhere, plus a virtual presentation of the four finalists from the 2020/21 Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition. The finalist play readings will happen live virtually via zoom and are free and open to the public. Each reading will be followed by a talkback with the playwright and the director. RSVPs are required. Learn more at www.alliancetheatre.org/kendedaweek.

FESTIVAL SCHEDULE:

Alliance Theatre Anywhere Showcase

Sunday, May 16, 2021

The Alliance Theatre will showcase all the digital content it has produced this year for its streaming platform, Alliance Theatre Anywhere. Programming includes the digital series Laugh Track - a sketch comedy show produced with Dad's Garage; Spotlight Studio - a series of original new work by local Atlanta artists created for a digital platform; and more.

Mother of Exiles

A virtual reading via Zoom

Tuesday, May 18, 2021, 4:00 p.m.

By Jessica Huang (Juilliard)

Directed by Pirronne Yousefzadeh
In 1898 California, a pregnant Eddie Loi faces deportation. In 1998 Miami, her grandson Braulio accidentally summons her spirit while patrolling the border. In 2063, somewhere on the ocean, their descendants try to survive the climate crisis. An epic multigenerational tale of sacrifice, love, and survival that spans 150 years in 90 minutes.

The Singularity Play

A virtual reading via Zoom

Wednesday, May 19, 2021, 4:00 p.m.

By Jay Stull (Columbia)

Directed by Keenan Tyler Oliphant

In an unused room at the Google offices in Manhattan, a theater troupe has gathered to rehearse a new play written by an advanced AI named "Denise." In an art that relies so substantially upon our human-ness, what does it mean to cede the stage to artificial intelligence? Who are we when reflected by the intelligence we've created?

Harpers Ferry 2019

A virtual reading via Zoom

Thursday, May 20, 2021, 4:00 p.m.

By Kaela Mei-Shing Garvin (Indiana University)

Directed by Ibi Owolabi

At the Harpers Ferry National Park In sleepy West Virginia, park rangers gather to prepare for the anniversary of John Brown's infamous raid on Harpers Ferry one hundred sixty years after the event. When race and politics enter the equation, history repeats itself in a surprising and violent way.

2020: a going away party play

A virtual reading via Zoom

Friday, May 21, 2021, 4:00 p.m.

By Keyanna Khatiblou (Northwestern)

Directed by Jamil Jude

First generation Iranian-American Mina is throwing a party for her closest friends and for you, the audience. Using games, flashbacks, and storytelling, the ensemble reflects on the modern American identity and shares a retelling of Mina's parents falling in love and staying in love while fleeing the Iranian Revolution. 2020: A GOING AWAY PARTY PLAY is a celebration of multicultural identities and exploration of what it means to leave or lose your home country.

For information and to RSVP visit - www.alliancetheatre.org/kendedaweek


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