ATLANTA: The Alliance Theatre has announced its 2020-21 season, featuring a mix of drive-in-movie-style productions, socially distanced shows, and a new streaming platform. Exact dates for the productions are still to be announced.
“Theatre continues to be a necessary town square for essential conversations and a balm for our souls,” said artistic director Susan V. Booth in a statement. “Even in a pandemic and in deep and necessary civic unrest, still we are human. Still we love, we grieve, we rage, and we commune with friends and family—okay, maybe via Zoom, but still. We navigate forward, equally informed by truth and hope, and always in need of joy, dialogue, and heroes.”
The season will open with a November-December world premiere of A Very Terry Christmas, by Terry Burrell, a one-woman holiday show featuring Burrell and a live band performing classic songs of the season.
Next up will be the Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol: The Live Radio Play (December 2020) presented by the theatre as a live radio play. Directed by Leora Morris, the play has been reimagined for a drive-in experience, featuring projections, interactive moments, and a foley sound effects artist.
Kicking off the new year will be The New Black Play Fest’s Hands Up: 7 Playwrights, 7 Testaments (February 2021), from playwrights Nathan James, Nathan Yungerberg, Idris Goodwin, Nambi E. Kelley, Nsangou Njikam, Eric Micha Holmes, and Dennis A. Allen II. Originally commissioned in 2015 in response to the shooting of Michael Brown, Hands Up has been reimagined by Spelman College students as a full ensemble performance. Keith Arthur Bolden and Alexis Woodard will direct and Alliance Theatre will host preview conversations this fall around the themes of the monologues (details to be announced at a later date).
Following will be the world premiere of Matthew Libby’s Data (March-April 2021), the winner of the 2021 Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition. Booth will direct this drama about the secrets and closed doors of Silicon Valley.
Next will be the world premiere of Accidental Heroes—The Real Life Adventures of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans (April-May 2021), with book by Oscar winner Marshall Brickman and music and lyrics by Grammy winner T-Bone Burnett. Tony winner Des McAnuff will direct this look at the rise of two of Hollywood’s iconic Western stars.
The season will conclude with Lydia R. Diamond’s Toni Stone (June-July 2021), directed by Tinashe Kajese-Bolden, based on the true story of the first female athlete to play baseball in the Negro Leagues.
Additionally, Alliance Theatre’s Theatre for Young Audiences season will now appear exclusively on streaming platforms. October 2020 will see the world premiere of Sit In by Pearl Cleage, inspired by the book by Andrea Davis Pinkney and illustrated by Brian Pinkney, directed by Mark Valdez. Sit In will stream on Alliance Theatre Anywhere, the theatre’s new platform, which will feature productions as well as exclusive content on demand.
The TYA season will also include Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed: The Rock Experience (January-February 2021), with book and lyrics by Mo Willems and music by Deborah Wicks La Puma, and based on the book by Willems. Leora Morris will director this production that will stream on ShowTix4U.com.
The Kathy & Ken Bernhardt Theatre for the Very Young season will stream entirely on Alliance Theatre Anywhere and will feature three productions. First up is In My Granny’s Garden (October 2020), by Pearl Cleage and Zaron Burnett Jr. Next will be the audio play (Knock Knock) The Sounds of Winter (November-December 2020), by Samantha Provenzano and Olivia Aston Bosworth. The season will conclude with the audio play The Sounds of the West End (March-April 2021), by Will Power and R. Gregory Christie.
Founded in 1968, the Alliance Theatre strives to produce programming that challenges adult and youth audiences to think critically and care deeply.