ATLANTA: The Alliance Theatre has announced its 2017-18 season, which will be entirely staged outside of its home at the Woodruff Arts Center, which will be undergoing a complete renovation. Over the season, the company will perform at 12 venues, spanning 90 miles.
“We have a once-in-an-organizational-lifetime opportunity to truly be Atlanta’s theatre,” said artistic director Susan V. Booth in a statement. “For 48 years, metro Atlanta has supported us by making the trip to our front door. It seemed like we had the opportunity to return the favor, and to do so in a way that celebrated the best of Atlanta by taking our work to a slate of cultural venues across our city. If we do this work right, each work will feel inevitably matched to its venue, and we’ll be both taking our loyal supporters on a curated trip around their city, and meeting new audiences that we can hopefully bring home with us in the years ahead.”
The season will open with the world premiere of The Dancing Granny by Jiréh Breon Holder (June 10-July 16). The play with music is for young audiences and is based on the children’s book by Ashley Bryan, about the spider Ananse who tries to trick Granny into dancing away from her garden so he can take her vegetables. It will be performed at Conant Performing Arts Center at Oglethorpe University, the Galloway School, and Spelman College. Leora Morris will direct.
Also at the Conant Center will be the play Shakespeare in Love, by Lee Hall, based on the 1998 film (Aug. 30-Sept. 24). It will feature music by Paddy Cunneen and will be directed by Richard Garner. The play is about a young William Shakespeare, who falls in love with a noblewoman named Viola, who inspires him to write Romeo and Juliet.
After that will be Crossing Delancey by Susan Sandler (Oct. 7-Nov. 18). Inspired the 1988 film of the same name, the play is about the young Izzy and her 80-year-old grandmother Bubbie, who is determined to see Izzy married before she dies. It will be mounted at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta and directed by Morris.
Hand to God by Robert Askins will be next (Oct. 20-Nov. 12). The dark comedy is set in a Texas church basement and is about teenager Jason, whose sock puppet Tyrone becomes possessed. It will be mounted at Dad’s Garage, in their new theatre space at a renovated church. Kent Gash will direct.
Next will be the world premiere of Alice Between by Neeley Gossett (Nov. 12-19). It takes Alice of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and turns her into a seventh grader, who is entering a new middle school. The play is written for and with middle schoolers and will be performed at the Rich Auditorium at the Woodruff Arts Center. Rosemary Newcott will direct.
For the holidays, the Alliance will mount its annual production of A Christmas Carol, adapted by David H. Bell from Charles Dickens (Dec. 8-24). It will be performed at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.
Then, the Alliance will remount Native Guard by Natasha Trethewey, based on her Pulitzer-winning collection of poetry (Jan. 13-Feb. 4, 2018). It was first mounted by the Alliance in 2014 and juxtaposes Trethewey’s experience as the child of an illegal marriage between a black woman and a white man, with the experience of African-American soldiers during the Civil War. Booth will direct the show, which will be staged at the Atlanta History Center.
After that will be Tracey Power’s adaptation of The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling (Feb. 8-March 4, 2018), about a young boy who is raised by wild animals. Rosemary Newcott will direct. It will be performed at the Porter Sanford III Performing Arts and Community Center.
Next will be the world premiere of Sheltered by Alix Sobler (March 1-25, 2018). The story is based on true events, and is set in 1939 in Nazi Germany, where a Jewish couple is trying to find American foster families for 50 Jewish children. Sobler is the winner of the 2018 Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition and this world premiere is part of the prize. The play will be presented at Actor’s Express.
Then, the Alliance will present two one-acts by its resident playwright Pearl Cleage: Hospice and the world premiere of Pointing at the Moon (March 23-April 15, 2018). The two plays follow Jenny Anderson as she deals with unresolved questions from her past and works to ensure freedom for the future. Timothy Douglas will direct the production at Fulton County Southwest Arts Center.
The Alliance Theatre and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra will co-produce a concert staging of the musical Candide from Hugh Wheeler, Leonard Bernstein, and Richard Wilbur (May 9-20, 2018). It is an adaptation of Voltaire’s novel about the naïve Candide on a journey to find his missing beloved. It will be presented at Atlanta Symphony Hall, under the direction of Booth with musical direction by Robert Spano.
Closing out the season will be an outdoor production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Atlanta Botanical Garden (Sept. 5-Oct. 21, 2018). David Catlin will direct.
The Alliance Theatre was founded in 1968 and reaches more than 165,000 patrons annually with programming for both adults and young people.