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Kate Donadio MacQueen and Clifton Guterman in Steve Yockey’s "Wolves" at Actor’s Express in 2012. (Photo by Melissa Foulger)

Actor’s Express Puts the Spotlight on Its Hometown for Its 2015–16 Season

The city’s notorious child murders of 1979 are the backdrop of Janine Nabers’s ‘Serial Black Face,’ and Steve Yockey will get two world premieres.

ATLANTA: Actor’s Express Theatre has announced its 2015–16 season, its 28th. Among the six productions are three world premieres, two by a writer from Atlanta and the other set in the city during one of its darkest times.

The season opens with Aaron Posner’s Stupid F*cking Bird (Sept. 12–Oct. 11). Freddie Ashley will direct this “sort of” adaptation of Chekhov’s The Seagull, in its Atlanta premiere.

Then two world-premiere shows by Atlanta-bred playwright Steve Yockey, The Thrush and the Woodpecker (Oct. 31–Nov. 15) and Blackberry Winter (Nov. 7–22), will play in rotating repertory. In The Thrush and the Woodpecker, directed by Melissa Foulger and starring Kathleen Wattis, a woman attempts to fix a broken relationship with her son while facing her own past when a visitor shows up at their remote North Carolina home.

Blackberry Winter, a National New Play Network rolling world premiere, follows a woman caring for her Alzheimer’s-afflicted mother. Adam Fristoe directs, with Carolyn Cook starring.

Next is the demon barber of Fleet Street, Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s Sweeney Todd (Jan. 23–Feb. 28, 2016). Ashley will direct.

Then comes the world premiere of Serial Black Face (Mar. 29–Apr. 23, 2016) by Janine Nabers, to be directed by Ashley. Set in 1979, as Atlanta reels from the murders of 23 children, the play follows a single mother who must deal with the disappearance of her own son while trying to give her teenage daughter a fresh start in life. The production was the winner of the 2014 Yale Drama Series.

Closing out the season will be Joshua Harmon’s Significant Other (May 21–June 19, 2016), in which a young gay man is always the bridesman, never the groom.

Actor’s Express will also launch Threshold, a weeklong playwriting festival planned the first week of December, focusing in its first season on works by local playwrights. Founded in 1988, Actor’s Express has sought to nurture the next generation of playwrights through workshops readings and full productions of new plays.

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