PASSING STRANGE, THE HUMANS and More Announced for 2020-21 Season At Theatrical Outfit

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PASSING STRANGE, THE HUMANS and More Announced for 2020-21 Season At Theatrical Outfit

Theatrical Outfit is excited to announce the 2020 - 2021 Season under the leadership of incoming Artistic Director Matt Torney. Theatrical Outfit is deeply invested in how theatre can strengthen Atlanta's communities by starting urgent, exciting, and profound conversations, by celebrating the power of live art to bring people together, and by recognizing that an active and vibrant culture helps make a better future.

The season features 6 Award-winning plays by the best American writers that will be extraordinary in The Balzer Theater at Herren's - intimate, with exceptional design, and outstanding acting ensembles. Opening the season, Matt Torney will direct the daring Outer Critics Circle Award winning satire Admissions by Joshua Harmon. Tiny Beautiful Things, based on the book by Cheryl Strayed & adapted for the stage by Nia Vardalos, will take to the stage next rearranging TO in a bold new way. The holidays will see a hilarious mystery for the whole family with Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery by Ken Ludwig. The New Year will get off to a rocking start with the Drama Desk Award winning musical Passing Strange - book & lyrics by Stew with music by Stew & Heidi Rodewald. Next, Tom Key will return to the TO stage in a role like you have never seen him in before in the haunting Tony Award winning drama The Humans by Stephen Karam. Finally, the season will conclude with a powerful partnership with Theatre J in Washington DC on a co-production of Fires In The Mirror: Crown Heights, Brooklyn and Other Identities by Anna Deavere Smith.

"When selecting plays for my first season I asked three questions: Will audiences love this story? Will this play shine in the Balzer Theater? And does the play start 'a conversation that matters?' For each of this season's plays the answer is a resounding YES," says incoming Artistic Director Matt Torney. "The work is theatrically daring, offers an extraordinary showcase for talented Atlanta artists, and speaks powerfully to the present moment. Additionally, I am thrilled to bring Theatrical Outfit to Washington DC for the first time with a co-production of a masterpiece of Documentary Theatre with Theatre J. This season has the potential to make a huge impact, and I can't wait to welcome you to Luckie Street to get the conversation started."

Also this season, Theatrical Outfit will launch a new work development program called MADE IN ATLANTA with the goal to create a place in the heart of downtown for artists to tell Atlanta's stories. MADE IN ATLANTA will include three stages: commissioning new works, developing scripts through workshops and readings, and producing world premiere productions. Through these avenues, Theatrical Outfit will focus on developing stories about Atlanta and the South; nurturing powerful new voices; and building national partnerships that will enrich our theatre and our community.

"What excites me most about this program is that we don't have to wait for plays from New York and other cities - we can identify the stories that Atlanta wants to tell and needs to hear, then commission them ourselves," says Torney. "There is an amazing creative energy in this city, and Theatrical Outfit needs both to be a part of that vitality and to share the amazing work happening here with theatres all across the country."

In addition to the amazing work on stage, Theatrical Outfit will build on their commitment to develop the next generation of theatre artists with the launch of an Apprentice Program which will provide a year-long opportunity for recent college graduates seeking a bridge between their college studies and their professional careers. Apprentices will be given specific responsibilities in their area of focus (artistic, production, or management) and will help develop a series of theatre pieces commissioned by Theatrical Outfit through MADE IN ATLANTA. Beginning in the 2021-2022 Season, these pieces will take the conversations that matter, such as those around civil rights and environmental stewardship, into local schools, allowing the apprentices to gain vital real world experience and expanding TO's educational programming into the school systems of metro Atlanta.

"So many of us who work in theatre got our start in programs just like this one," says Torney. "They offer real world experience that helps bridge the gap between the classroom and the rehearsal room, and in turn bring a vibrant young perspective into the life of the theatre. I hope that we can be a part of creating the next generation of artists and leaders, and I can't wait to see what happens next."

Join Theatrical Outfit's smart, authentic, and vital 2020 - 2021 Season. Season Tickets are ON SALE NOW and range from $120 - $240 for a 6 show package. Season Tickets may be purchased by calling 678.528.1500. Fees apply. Our theatre is located in the heart of Downtown Atlanta - The Balzer Theater at Herren's (84 Luckie St. NW, Atlanta, GA 30303).

2020 - 2021 SEASON

Admissions

by Joshua Harmon

Directed by Matt Torney

September 9 - October 4, 2020

Fresh from sold-out, critically acclaimed runs in New York & London, Joshua Harmon's (playwright of Bad Jews, Skintight) Admissions boldly and hilariously tackles the college admissions process. Sherri Rosen-Mason is the white Head of Admissions at a New England prep school fighting to diversify the student body; yet, when her son is denied admission to an Ivy League college, the entire family's values are put to the test. Admissions is "Astonishing and Daring" (The New York Times).

Tiny Beautiful Things

Based on the book by Cheryl Strayed a-? Adapted for the stage by Nia Vardalos

Directed by Amber McGinnis

October 21 - November 15, 2020

ONE OF THE MOST PRODUCED PLAYS IN THE U.S. IN 2019

Based on the New York Times bestselling book by Cheryl Strayed (author of Wild) and adapted by Academy Award nominee Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding), Tiny Beautiful Things explores Strayed's time as the anonymous, unpaid, advice columnist Dear Sugar. While navigating her readers' questions and pleas for advice, Strayed weaves together her own personal experiences to create a column full of light, laughter, and humanity. Tiny Beautiful Things is "A Theatrical Hug In Turbulent Times" (Variety).

Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery

by Ken Ludwig

December 2 - 27, 2020

Who killed Sir Charles Baskerville? Is his nephew Henry in danger? And is there any truth to the legend of a supernatural hound? This sounds like a case for the world's most famous detective! From the award-winning mastermind of mayhem, Ken Ludwig (Lend Me a Tenor, Crazy For You), comes a fast-paced comedy mystery that takes us from Baker Street to the haunted Dartmoor. Join Sherlock Holmes & Dr. Watson as they try to escape a dizzying web of clues, disguises and deceit as five actors deftly portray more than 40 characters in a "Perfect Mix Of Slapstick And Thrills" for the entire family (Theatermania).

Passing Strange

Book & Lyrics by Stew a-? Music by Stew & Heidi Rodewald

January 27 - February 21, 2021

From singer-songwriter and Tony Award winner Stew comes Passing Strange - a daring autobiographical musical that takes you on a journey across the boundaries of place, identity and theatrical convention. Desperate to escape his boring middle class upbringing in LA, a young African American artist travels across Europe in search of "the real." With a Tony Award winning book, and a roof-raising score filled with Gospel, Rock, and Punk music, Passing Strange is "The Freshest Musical In Town" (Wall Street Journal).

The Humans

by Stephen Karam

Directed by Matt Torney

March 17 - April 11, 2021

WINNER OF THE TONY AWARD FOR "BEST PLAY" a-? FEATURING Tom Key

Named the 'Best Play of 2016' by every major publication including NPR & TimeOut New York, The Humans takes a hopeful, heartbreaking, and humorous look at the decline of the American middle class, and one family's hopes and fears. Erik Blake has brought his family from Pennsylvania to celebrate Thanksgiving at his daughter's new apartment in the city, but as darkness falls, mysterious things start to happen and family tensions reach a boiling point. Tom Key returns to the stage to star in this Tony Award winner & Pulitzer Prize finalist that's "As Entertaining As It Is Honest" (The New York Times).

Fires In The Mirror: Crown Heights, Brooklyn and Other Identities

by Anna Deavere Smith

A Co-Production with Theater J in Washington DC

Directed by Adam Immerwahr

May 5 - 30, 2021

Theatrical Outfit & Theater J join forces to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the Crown Heights riot by bringing Anna Deavere Smith's (Shonda Rhimes' For The People) documentary theatre masterpiece to life with soaring theatricality. Taken directly from a series of interviews with over fifty members of the Jewish and Black communities following the historic riots, Fires In The Mirror turns their voices into a tour de force one-woman show starring January LaVoy. This groundbreaking play is "Viscerally Smart [And] Endlessly Empathetic" (The New Yorker).

MADE IN ATLANTA

Theatrical Outfit will launch a new work development program called MADE IN ATLANTA with the goal to create a place in the heart of downtown for artists to tell Atlanta's stories. MADE IN ATLANTA will include three stages: commissioning new works, developing scripts through workshops and readings, and producing world premiere productions. Through these avenues, Theatrical Outfit will focus on developing stories about Atlanta and the South; nurturing powerful new voices; and building national partnerships that will enrich our theatre and our community. More information will be released soon about this new program including details on our first commissioned work highlighting the life of an Atlanta legend.

APPRENTICE PROGRAM

In the 2020-21 season, Theatrical Outfit will build on their commitment to develop the next generation of theatre artists with the launch of an Apprentice Program which will provide a year-long opportunity for recent college graduates seeking a bridge between their college studies and their professional careers. Apprentices will be given specific responsibilities in their area of focus (artistic, production, or management) and will help develop a series of theatre pieces commissioned by Theatrical Outfit through MADE IN ATLANTA. Beginning in the 2021-2022 Season, these pieces will take the conversations that matter, such as those around civil rights and environmental stewardship, into local schools, allowing the apprentices to gain vital real world experience and expanding TO's educational programming into the school systems of metro Atlanta.


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