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"Occupied Territories" by Nancy Bannon and Mollye Maxner at Theater Alliance in 2015.

Theater Alliance Announces Identity-Themed 2015–16 Season

Next season includes world premieres from Kathleen Akerley and Emily Chadwick Weiss, and revivals of Ntozake Shange and Marc Bamuthi Joseph.

WASHINGTON, D.C.: Theater Alliance has announced its 2015–16 season, featuring two world premieres, the return of a holiday favorite, an adaptation, and a reading series.

“The stories that make up Season 13 are all about identity and self-affirmation,” said producing artistic director Colin Hovde in a statement. “While our main stage shows touch on disparate social issues, at their core, these stories are unified by characters who are fighting for the right to be their truest selves within societies or communities that judge them unfairly. Theater Alliance prides itself in the pluralism of voices and experiences that we put onstage, and Season 13 is our most diverse and ambitious season yet.”

The season begins with the world premiere of Kathleen Akerley’s Night Falls on the Blue Planet (Sept. 3—27), about a woman who explores her traumatic past  in order to heal her relationship with her sister. Rex Daugherty will direct this production, as part of the Women’s Voices Theater Festival.

Next will be Langston Hughes’s Black Nativity (Nov. 25–Jan. 3, 2016), a retelling of the Christmas story from an Afro-centric perspective and will include gospel, jazz, and griot-style storytelling. Princess Mhoon will choreograph, e’Marcus Harper-Short will provide musical direction, and Eric Ruffin will direct.

Following will be Marc Bamuthi Joseph’s Word Becomes Flesh (Feb. 27—March 26, 2016), which will combine spoken word, dance, djing, and visual art to tell the story of a single father delivering a series of letters to his unborn son. Psalmayene 24 will direct.

Performing in repertory with Word Becomes Flesh will be Ntozake Shange’s For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf  (Feb. 27—March 26, 2016), a series of 20 separate poems set to music and movement to tell the stories of seven African-American women.

Next will be the world premiere of Emily Chadwick Weiss’s Good Dancer (May 19—June 12, 2016), about a couple who are bringing their parents together to meet for the first time.

Also part of the season is the Hothouse New Play Development series (Oct. 5, 12, 19 and 26), featuring new works by Alan Sharpe, Dane Figueroa Edidi, Kitty Felde, and Chinita L. Anderson.

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