ATLANTA: Theatrical Outfit has announced its 2020-21 season, the first under incoming artistic director Matt Torney.
“The work is theatrically daring, offers an extraordinary showcase for talented Atlanta artists, and speaks powerfully to the present moment,” said Torney in a statement. “Additionally, I am thrilled to bring Theatrical Outfit to Washington, D.C., for the first time with a co-production of a masterpiece of documentary theatre with Theatre J. This season has the potential to make a huge impact, and I can’t wait to welcome you to Luckie Street to get the conversation started.”
The season begins with Admissions (Sept. 9-Oct. 4), written by Joshua Harmon. Sherri Rosen-Mason is the white head of admissions at a New England prep school fighting to diversify the student body, but when her son is denied admission to an Ivy League college, the entire family’s values are put to the test. Matt Torney will direct.
Next up is Nia Vardalos’s adaptation of Tiny Beautiful Things (Oct. 21-Nov.15). Based on the bestselling book by Cheryl Strayed, this play explores Strayed’s time as the anonymous, unpaid advice columnist Dear Sugar. While navigating her readers’ questions and pleas for advice, Strayed weaves together her own personal experiences to create a column full of light, laughter, and humanity. Amber McGinnis will direct.
Following will be Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery (Dec. 2-27). Join Sherlock Holmes & Dr. Watson as they try to escape a dizzying web of clues, disguises, and deceit. Five actors deftly portray more than 40 characters in the case to find out who killed Sir Charles Baskerville.
The season continues with Passing Strange (Jan. 27-Feb. 21, 2021), featuring book and lyrics by Stew and a gospel, rock, and punk score by Heidi Rodewald and Stew. This autobiographical musical follows a young African American artist, who, desperate to escape his boring middle-class upbringing in L.A., travels across Europe in search of “the real.”
Next is Stephan Karam’s Pulitzer Prize-finalist The Humans (March 17-April 11, 2021), directed by Matt Torney. This production, starring outgoing Theatrical Outfit artistic director Tom Key, takes a hopeful, heartbreaking, and humorous look at the decline of the American middle class via one family’s hopes and fears.
Ending the season will be Anna Deavere Smith’s Fires in the Mirror: Crown Heights, Brooklyn and Other Identities (May 5-30, 2021), presented in partnership with D.C.’s Theater J. Taken directly from a series of interviews with over 50 members of the Jewish and Black communities following the historic 1991 riots in their neighborhood, Fires in the Mirror turns their voices into a tour-de-force one-woman show starring January Lavoy. Theater J artistic director Adam Immerwahr will direct.
In addition to its 2020-21 season, Theatrical Outfit announced the launch of a new work development program called Made in Atlanta, with the goal to create a place in the heart of downtown for artists to tell Atlanta’s stories. Made in Atlanta will comprise three stages: commissioning new works, developing scripts through workshops and readings, and producing world premiere productions. The goal will be to develop stories about Atlanta and the South, to nurture powerful new voices, and to build national partnerships that will enrich our theatre and our community.
Theatrical Outfit also announced the expansion of its Apprentice Program, a year-long opportunity for recent college graduates to take the conversations that matter, such as those around civil rights and environmental stewardship, into local schools. This will allow the apprentices to gain vital real world experience and expand the theatre’s educational programming into the school systems of metro Atlanta.
Founded initially as an ensemble theatre in 1976, Theatrical Outfit aims to produce world-class theatre that starts the conversations that matter.
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