ATLANTA: Theatrical Outfit has announced its return to the stage of the Balzer Theater in Downtown Atlanta for a five-show 2021-22 season, conducted under COVID-19-seat protocols and with a new state-of-the-art air filtration system.
“We want to offer Theatrical Outfit as a space to reconnect with one another, and to process the challenging experiences we’ve lived through as a community during the pandemic,” said artistic director Matt Torney in a statement. “As we considered plays for the season, we looked for stories that resonated with these complicated times, and also celebrated the extraordinary diversity of our city and the amazing artists who call Atlanta home…All five of the plays are filled with brilliant theatricality that reminds us of the unforgettable power of live theatre.”
Torney will make his Theatrical Outfit live directing debut with An Iliad (Sept. 15-Oct. 10), by Lisa Peterson and Denis O’Hare, based On Homer’s classic, translated by Robert Fagles. This stunningly theatrical adaptation of Homer’s epic poem takes audiences back to Troy and explores the tragedy of war and the heroism and resilience of the human spirit.
In time for the holidays, the previously announced Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery by Ken Ludwig will make its Atlanta debut one year later than planned (Nov. 17-Dec. 19). With five actors playing 40 roles, this whodunit is styled as a madcap theatrical treat for all ages.
The year 2022 will begin with Bright Half Life (Feb. 2–27, 2022), by Tanya Barfield. This innovatively structured play tells the story of over 40 years in the relationship of a lesbian couple and explores the timeless and universal power of love.
Next is The Wolf at the End of the Block (March 30-April 24, 2022), by Ike Holter. Equal parts thriller, dark comedy, and complex social commentary, it’s a play that will keep audiences talking for weeks after they experience it.
Concluding the season is the return of one of Theatrical Outfit’s biggest hits, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill (June 1–26, 2022), by Lanie Robertson. Broadway’s Terry Burrell will once again become Billie Holiday as the Balzer Theater transforms into a 1950s Philadelphia jazz bar, creating a night worthy of the late icon who wove the tragic experiences of her life into stunningly beautiful music.
““This time of separation has reminded us all of the importance of the arts and the importance of being together in community,” said managing director Gretchen E Butler in a statement. “We’ve been waiting a year and a half for this moment and are ready to burst back onto the stage with incredible storytelling that is guaranteed to start the conversations that matter.”
In addition to its mainstage season, Theatrical Outfit will continue its focus on new work and community engagement with Made In Atlanta, a new-work development program with the goal to create a place in the heart of downtown for artists to tell Atlanta’s stories, which will announce two new commissions later this year; the Graham Martin Unexpected Play Festival, in partnership with Working Title Playwrights, featuring readings of brand-new play by exciting Atlanta playwrights; and a community-engagement partnership with other Atlanta nonprofits for the second annual the Welcome Table.
“One of the many lessons that the pandemic has taught us is the importance of both nurturing established relationships and cultivating new ones,” said associate artistic director Addae Moon in a statement. “We are also excited to embark on new community engagement initiatives that will help build a bridge between the work that is being done on our stage and the work of individuals and institutions that are creating positive transformation in our city.”
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