"Ride the Cyclone" by Jacob Richmond and Brooke Maxwell, at Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Pictured: Tiffany Tatreau and cast. (Photo by Liz Lauren)

Alliance Theatre Announces 2018-19 Season

The season will feature five world premieres, new musicals, and a series of theatre for the very young.

ATLANTA: The Alliance Theatre has announced its 2018-19 season, featuring 15 productions.

“The Alliance turns 50 this year,” said artistic director Susan V. Booth in a statement. “Half a century of exploring what it means to be human in a world that renders that inquiry more complicated every day. “The best part of theatre, I’ve always thought, is the living and breathing pulse it gives to human language. The elevation of the spoken word to an art form, and the pure wonder that a mere mortal can say exactly the right thing at exactly the right time. And in the time-honored tradition of marking zero-birthdays with large parties, we’re celebrating 50 years of art by throwing a season long doozy.”

The season will start with Winnie-the-Pooh (June 7-July 8), adapted by Le Clanché du Rand from A.A. Milne, with music by Allan J. Friedman, and lyrics by Milne and Kristin Sergel. The play with music will be produced in collaboration with the High Museum of Art’s “Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic” exhibition. Leora Morris will direct.

Next up will be Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Sept. 5-Oct. 21), adapted and directed by David Catlin, presented outdoors at the Atlanta Botanical Garden.

Following will be the world premiere of Nick’s Flamingo Grill (Sept. 29-Oct. 28), by Phillip DePoy, with original music by DePoy and Tyrone Jackson. The musical, about the true story of the first integrated nightclub in Atlanta, follows two ex-WWII GIs who return home to Georgia in the 1950s to perform jazz. Tinashe Kajese-Bolden will direct.

The season will continue with Paige in Full (Oct. 6-13), written and choreographed by Paige Hernandez, a mixed-media performance featuring poetry, dance, and music that follows a multicultural girl’s journey of self-discovery. The production, for middle school audiences, will be directed by Hernandez and Rosemary Newcott.

Next will be the world premiere of Knead (Nov. 13-Dec. 9), by Mary Lynn Owen, about a woman attempting to follow her mother’s incomprehensible recipe for baking bread. Owen will star, and David de Vries will direct.

Just in time for the holidays will be A Christmas Carol (Dec. 10-24), adapted by David H. Bell from Charles Dickens, featuring live music. Newcott will direct.

Following will be Ever After (Jan. 19-Feb. 17, 2019), with book and lyrics by Marcy Heisler, and music by Zina Goldrich. The musical, based on the 20th Century Fox film, is about a woman who risks everything to save her friend from an unjust fate. JoAnn M. Hunter will choreograph, and Booth will direct.

Next will be the world premiere of Goodnight, Tyler (Feb. 16-March 10, 2019), by B.J. Tindal, about a young black man killed by a police officer who haunts his friends as his family quibbles over his legacy.

The season will continue with The Wizard of Oz (March 9-April 14, 2019), with music and lyrics by Harold Arlen & E.Y. Harburg, with book by John Kane. Based on the novel by Frank L. Baum, the family-friendly musical tells the iconic story of Dorothy and her journey to the Land of Oz. Newcott will direct.

Next will be the world premiere of Angry, Raucous and Shamelessly Gorgeous (March 20-April 14, 2019), by Pearl Cleage, about two former activists who set out to find a candidate they can back in an upcoming election, and find the current political landscape very different from their 1970s glory days. Booth will direct.

Following will be the world premiere of Approval Junkie (April 5-28, 2019), written and performed by Faith Salie, a comedic memoir about Salie’s lifetime spent looking for validation in all the wrong places.

Next up will be Ride the Cyclone (May 1-26, 2019), with music and lyrics by Brooke Maxwell & Jacob Richmond, and book by Richmond, about the students of a high school chamber choir who are trapped in purgatory after their roller coaster derails at an amusement park.

The Alliance’s theatre for the very young series will include The One Acre Wood (June 9-July 15), an interactive play space designed for newborns to two-year-olds, inspired by the Hundred Acre Wood from “Winnie-the-Pooh.”

Next up will be Little Raindrop Songs (Oct. 2-Nov. 4), written and directed by Michael Haverty, a fully interactive show combining puppetry, comedy, and a colorful two-dimensional set that will invite young children to explore.

The final offering for children will be the world premiere of Gimme Please (March 9-31, 2019), devised and directed by Megan Alrutz. The play, which was conceived and commissioned in partnership with the PaperBoats, is about the evolving nature of friendship that features live music, light, and magic.

The Alliance Theatre was founded in 1968 and reaches more than 165,000 patrons annually with programming for both adults and young people.