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THE MANY WONDROUS REALITIES OF JASMINE STARR-KIDD to Have World Premiere at The Alliance Theatre

JASMINE STARR-KIDD is a delightful story of second chances and accepting what we can’t change.

THE MANY WONDROUS REALITIES OF JASMINE STARR-KIDD to Have World Premiere at The Alliance Theatre

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. The 19th competition winner THE MANY WONDROUS REALITIES OF JASMINE STARR-KIDD is written by Stephen Brown, a fellow at The Juilliard School's Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program, with direction by BOLD Associate Artistic Director, Tinashe Kajese-Bolden.

JASMINE STARR-KIDD will have its world premiere on the Hertz Stage at Alliance Theatre March 1 - April 1, 2023. Opening night is March 8, 2023.

JASMINE STARR-KIDD is a delightful story of second chances and accepting what we can't change. A 12-year-old computer genius, Jasmine can hack into the AT&T mainframe, build an artificially intelligent friend named Grace, and convince the Department of Defense to send her high-powered lasers. But when she realizes that time travel is a lot easier to figure out than trying to convince her parents to get back together (no matter how many statistics she shows them), she decides to take matters into her own hands.

"The first line in Stephen Brown's competition-winning play is, 'How many of you went to bed last night thinking about one thing you wish you had done differently that day?' Whether our regret is as innocuous as accidentally popping a cashmere sweater in the dryer or as significant as not nurturing a marriage, we are wired to spend an inordinate amount of time pondering the 'what if's' from the past, instead of the 'what can be's' in the future," said Line Producer and Alliance/Kendeda Competition director Amanda Watkins. "Spoiler alert... our heroine Jasmine invents a time machine and embarks on a journey to change the past. Every time Jasmine (often stubbornly) tries to change her past, she is shifting the molecules and stripping away what she thinks she knows to be true, creating a vessel that is ready for the lesson. The lesson that we can't control others' free will; that sometimes regret and mistakes aren't problems to be solved, but instead (in the words of our brilliant playwright), are the building blocks of who we are."

The cast of JASMINE STARR-KIDD features Jeremy Aggers (Alliance Theatre: Edward Foote, Darlin Cory) as Doug, Brandon Burditt (Alliance Theatre: Everybody, New Black Fest's Hands Up) as Uncle Craig, Dana Deveaux as Kendra, Joe Knezevich (Alliance: A Christmas Carol, A Midsummer Night's Dream) as Corporal Delmar/Todd, Penny Schick (Firefly Theatrical: Shrek the Musical) as Jasmine, and Sydney Terry as Older Jasmine/Grace. Understudies for JASMINE STARR-KIDD include Marissa Bondurant, Kenedi Deal, Brian Joseph, Chris Mayers, and Alia Shakira.

The creative team of JASMINE STARR-KIDD is led by Director Tinashe Kajese-Bolden and includes Shilla Benning (Costume Design), Christopher Darbassie (Sound Design), Caite Hevner (Scenic and Projection Design), and Ben Rawson (Lighting Design).

Additional production support is provided by Liz Campbell (Stage Manager), Amanda Perez (Stage Management Production Assistant and Young Performer Supervisor), Amanda Watkins (Line Producer), Raiyon Hunter (Assistant Line Producer), and Haylee Scott (COVID Coordinator).

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 for Best Picture, Moonlight; Susan Smith Blackburn Prize finalist Meg Miroshnik (The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls); Mike Lew (Tiger Style!), 2018 winner of the PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award for an Emerging American Playwright; Madhuri Shekar (In Love and Warcraft), 2020 winner of the Lanford Wilson playwriting award and winner of a 2020 Audie Award for best original work for her Audible audio play Evil Eye (film now available to stream on Amazon Prime); and Jiréh Breon Holder, whose competition-winning play Too Heavy For Your Pocket opened off-Broadway in 2017.

"There's not a particularly long history of sci-fi adventure plays getting produced across the theatre landscape," said playwright Stephen Brown. "Which is why I'm so grateful to the Alliance for taking a chance on me and this play I love so much. Not only is this production going to be just the coolest thing ever, this production and the Alliance/Kendeda Award have directly led to more opportunities for me. Because the truth is that a lot of playwrights are very talented, but they're waiting for someone to come along and legitimize their work by giving them their first big production. Once that happens, it's kind of like they've gotten a stamp of approval, which is when other theaters and companies start to take chances on them. This is the exact thing that the Alliance/Kendeda Award does. It gives playwrights that first stamp of legitimacy and helps launch careers. I will always be immensely grateful to be given the opportunity to work here at the Alliance."

Because JASMINE STARR-KIDD centers on a tweenage science & tech genius, the Alliance is partnering with the Atlanta Science Festival to host a special performance on Saturday, March 18, at 2:30 where participants of the festival will be encouraged to attend and stay for a talkback with a leading scientist to discuss the science and technology featured in the show. The Atlanta Science Festival is an annual celebration of the world-class learning and STEM career opportunities in metro Atlanta, featuring 150 engaging events for curious kids and adults at venues across the region. This year's Festival runs March 10-25, 2023. The Alliance will also host a special performance honoring science teachers on Thursday, March 2, at 7:30 p.m. Georgia teachers are invited to attend the performance with free tickets through the Tickets for Teachers Program.

THE MANY WONDROUS REALITIES JASMINE STARR-KIDD will run on the Hertz Stage at Alliance Theatre March 1 - April 1, 2023. Opening night is Wednesday, March 8, 2023, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $25 and are available at the Alliance Theatre Box Office by calling 404.733.4600. Tickets are available online at www.alliancetheatre.org/jasmine.

VENUE INFORMATION:

Hertz Stage at Alliance Theatre

Woodruff Arts Center, Memorial Arts Building

1280 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta, GA 30309

ON-DEMAND VIDEO STREAM INFORMATION:

A filmed version of the staged production of THE MANY WONDROUS REALITIES OF JASMINE STARR-KIDD will be available to stream via the Alliance Theatre's website following the close of the production. Check www.alliancetheatre.org/season for details.



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