ATLANTA: Alliance Theatre has announced a new playwriting initiative called the Classic Remix Project, which will commission leading American playwrights to create new works that rethink and revitalize classic literary works found in school curriculum. Three plays have been commissioned from playwrights Hansol Jung, K.J. Sanchez, and Brendan Pelsue, and their new work will be programmed into upcoming seasons.
More immediately, however, the Alliance will use Classic Remix to feature the preexisting plays Sieze the King by Will Power and John Proctor is the Villain by Kimberly Belflower to kick things off. Power’s Sieze the King, which premiered at La Jolla Playhouse in 2018, is currently running at the Alliance through March 8. The modern reinterpretation of Shakespeare’s Richard III came to the attention of the Alliance as they were forming the new Remix initiative.
“I couldn’t be more delighted that we get to kick off the Classic Remix Project with an Atlanta-based writer and an all-star Atlanta cast,” said Christopher Moses, the Dan Reardon director of education and associate artistic director of Alliance Theatre, in a statement. “Will Power’s breathtaking riff on the Shakespearean tragedy Richard III collides contemporary rhythms with classic structure to create something wholly original. A classic, remixed. And yet, it’s the same old story: man wants power, man gets power, man wants more power. As Will so ominously describes at the beginning of the play, King Richard is more alive today than ever before.”
Belflower’s John Proctor is the Villain, inspired by Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, will be presented as part of its rolling world premiere during the 2020-21 season.
The current plays under commission are: Romeo and Juliet, by Hansol Jung, inspired by the Shakespeare play of the same name; Walden, by K.J. Sanchez, inspired by Henry David Thoreau’s Walden and Civil Disobedience; and A Tale of Two Cities, by Brendan Pelsue, inspired by the Charles Dickens novel of the same name.
The goal of the Classic Remix Project is the create a new canon of work to engage high school students as well as adult audiences.