ATLANTA: The Alliance Theatre has announced the winner and finalists of the 11th annual Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition. The winning play, THE C.A. Lyons Project, by Tsehaye Geralyn Hébert, will receive a world premiere production at the theatre next month.
The Alliance/Kendeda contest spotlights plays from MFA graduate programs across the country. Previous winners, who also received world premiere productions at the Alliance, include In the Red and Brown Water by Tarell Alvin McCraney and The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls by Meg Miroshnik.
Hébert is a 2014 graduate of the MFA writing program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her The C.A. Lyons Project (running Feb. 13–March 8) is the story of a dancer and choreographer dying from AIDS and three young dancers who are trying to keep his dance company alive. Project will be directed by Alliance associate artistic director Kent Gash. James Brown III (previously seen on Broadway in Rocky) will play Lyons.
“The C.A. Lyons Project is the most multidisciplinary show to come through the competition and is so ambitious in its scope,” said Alliance’s director of New Projects, Celise Kalke, in a statement. “It’s a great piece to kick off the Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition’s next decade.”
In addition to the winning production, the Alliance also announced the four finalists of the competition, which will receive staged readings. They are Emily Dendinger’s Pocketful of Sand, Kimberly Barrante’s An Alien in Inwood, Michael Yates Crowley’s Evanston: A Rare Comedy and Georgette Kelly’s BALLAST. The readings will take place Feb. 16–19 during the Alliance’s New Play Festival, and are free and open to the public.