ATLANTA: Theatrical Outfit has announced its 2016–17 season, featuring plays and musicals with hopeful themes.
“Hope is tough to achieve and even tougher to sustain,” said artistic director Tom Key in a statement. “We all want it. We all need it. It’s impossible to have it or to keep it on our own. Hope for our world begins with the human longing for connection. When we gather in a theatre to hear the story of our neighbor, of the stranger, of our lover, of our friend, or of our enemy, and, in the end, understand better who we really are; then, that hope begins within us that can create a global community.”
The season will kick off with In The Heights (Sept. 8–18), with book by Quiara Alegria Hudes, and music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, about the lively Dominican-American neighborhood of Washington Heights in New York City. Ann-Carol Pence will provide musical direction, Ricardo Aponte will choreograph, and Justin Anderson will direct.
Next up will be Thurgood (Sept. 29–Oct. 16), by George Stevens, Jr., based on the life and career of the first African-American Supreme Court justice, Thurgood Marshall. Eric Little will direct.
Following will be Big Fish (Nov. 17–Dec. 18), with book by John August and music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa. Based on the novel by Daniel Wallace and the film, the musical is about a traveling salesman who lives life to its fullest telling tall tales of mermaids and fortune-telling witches. Key will direct.
The season will continue with Life in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Seminar (Feb. 9–26, 2017), adapted by Key from the book by Walker Percy, about how reality, politics, and social media affect existential questions.
Next up will be Simply Simone: The Music of Nina Simone (March 23–April 15, 2017), by Robert Neblett and David Grapes, featuring musical arrangements by Vince diMura, about the life and career of Nina Simone. Patdro Harris will choreograph and direct.
Following will be the world premiere of The Dancing Handkerchief (June 1–18, 2017), a coproduction with Flying Carpet Theatre Company, with book by Geoff Sobelle and Adam Koplan, and music and lyrics by Robert Lopez. The musical follows the story of a magician and his son, who reunite after an epic act of separation. Key will star, and Koplan will direct.
Also part of the programming will be the Unexpected Play Reading Festival, featuring four readings and panel discussions.
The Theatrical Outfit, founded in 1976, programs classics, contemporary dramas, and stages world premiere productions, often featuring writers from the South.