ATLANTA: The Alliance Theatre has announced the lineup for its 51st season, including three world premieres, a reimagining of a Shakespearean history, and two holiday favorites.
“It takes courage to be human,” Jennings Hertz artistic director Susan V. Booth said in a statement. “Tempted to say, ‘in these times,’ but I don’t know that there’s ever been a time when it didn’t take courage to do and be all the things that make us the messy stew we call human. And our 51st season at the Alliance embraces, celebrates, and takes a clear-eyed measure of a slew of ’em.”
The world premiere of Max Makes a Million (June 20-July 21) will kick off the season. Liz Diamond’s stage adaptation of the book by Maira Kalman follows the Beat poet/dog Max Stravinsky on his quest to get to Paris. The play is produced in association with the High Museum of Art’s exhibition, “The Pursuit of Everything: Maira Kalman’s Books for Children,” a colorful exhibition exploring the extensive catalog of Kalman’s stories and illustrations. Liz Diamond will also direct.
Next will be Becoming Nancy (Sept. 5-Oct. 6), a world premiere musical with music by George Stiles, lyrics by Anthony Drewe, and book by Elliot Davis. In the play, based on the novel of the same name by Terry Ronald, a high school boy in 1979 is given the female lead in the school play, sending shock waves throughout his small town. Two-time Tony Award winner Jerry Mitchell will direct.
Bess Wohl’s Small Mouth Sounds (Oct. 4-27) will follow. At a silent wellness retreat, six strangers are guided by an unseen guru in confronting their internal demons, both profound and absurd. Susan V. Booth will direct the new comedy.
The season will continue with Ghost (Oct. 26-Nov. 2), Idris Goodwin‘s adaptation of the novel by Jason Reynolds. In this production for middle and high school audiences, the title character has been running for the wrong reasons when he is offered a life-changing invitation to join the middle school track club. Tinashe Kajese-Bolden will direct.
The first of the Alliance’s holiday shows, Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol (Nov. 13-Dec. 24), will be next. David H. Bell’s adaptation will be directed by Rosemary Newcott.
Courtenay’s Cabaret: Home for the Holidays (Dec. 5-24) will wrap up 2019 at the Alliance. The holiday show features an evening of music and stories by Courtenay Collins, returning to Atlanta from her Broadway performance in The Prom.
In the new year, the Alliance’s season will continue with the musical Maybe Happy Ending (Jan. 18-Feb. 16, 2020), an American premiere with book by Will Aronson and Hue Park, music by Aronson, and lyrics by Park. Directed in this production by Michael Arden, the new musical explores what makes us human when two robots meet in a near-future of Seoul, Korea.
Seize the King (Feb. 14-March 8, 2020), Will Power’s modern adaptation of Shakespeare’s Richard III, will follow. The reinterpretation will be directed by Charlotte Brathwaite.
Next up will be Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed: The Rock Experience (March 7-29. 2020), based on the book by Mo Willems about a fashionable mole rat navigating the pressure to be just like everyone else. The musical features book and lyrics by Willem and music by Deborah Wicks La Puma, and will be directed by Leora Morris.
The season will continue with the world premiere of 53% Of (March 28-April 19, 2020), winner of the Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition. Written by Steph del Rosso, who was inspired by the finding that 53 percent of white women voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election, the play follows three groups of like-minded people trying to find their place in the current political landscape. Nataki Garrett will direct.
The season will close with Lynn Nottage’s Sweat (April 22-May 17, 2020), directed by Tinashe Kajese-Bolden. In the Pulitzer Prize-winning play, a group of factory workers try to maintain the balance in their lives, unaware of looming financial devastation.
Founded in 1968, the Alliance Theatre strives to produce programming that challenges adult and youth audiences to think critically and care deeply.