This production was staged as part of our 2015/16 Season

Start Down

Start Down

February 13 to March 6, 2016 | On the Hertz Stage
World Premiere Kendeda Winner
Part of the Hertz Series

Contains: Some profanity; recommended for ages 13 and up.

" of the finest Kendeda winners I've ever seen...Start Down asks more questions than it answers, and that's a good thing." —Manning Harris for Atlanta INtown

"[Playwright Eleanor] Burgess is a fine writer...[Start Down is an] engaging, intelligent play." —Andrew Alexander for

Winner of the 2016 Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition

Inspired by his girlfriend’s high school teaching career and eager to create a cutting-edge product, software developer Will forms a company dedicated to making online tutorials tailored to individual student needs. It’s a brilliant idea until the program threatens some deeply held beliefs about the student/teacher relationship.

A smart and funny look at work, love, and get-rich-quick tech start-ups.

This award-winning play questions the way we live, the way we educate our children, and our core values around technology. 

Cast & Crew


  • Karen
    Tracey is honored to make her Alliance Theatre debut. Theatre credits include April 4th, 1968: Before We Forgot How to Dream, What I Learned in Paris, and The... read more »
  • Jesse
    Anthony is thrilled to be a part of the Alliance team once again in Slur. He attended Kennesaw State University and was part of the original cast of Start Down, another... read more »
  • Matty
    Andrew is thrilled to make his Alliance Theatre debut. Favorite Atlanta credits: A Confederacy of Dunces (Theatrical Outfit), The Shape of Things, Lobby Hero (Pinch... read more »
  • Sandy
    Annie is delighted to make her Alliance debut. Broadway: The Coast of Utopia: Voyage, Shipwreck and Salvage at Lincoln Center; Dividing the Estate and Awake and Sing!... read more »
  • Will
    Eric is thrilled to make his Alliance debut. The Minneapolis-based actor and playwright recently wrote and starred in the world premiere of Middle Brother at Mu ... read more »
  • Adam
    Josh is thrilled to make his Alliance debut. New York: Gluten! (59E59 Theaters); July House (NYFringe); Scapin (Theater Row); Until Next Time (The Brick Theater). ... read more »


  • Playwright
    Eleanor is thrilled to be the recipient of the 2016 Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Award. Previous plays have been produced by the Last Act Theatre ... read more »
  • Lighting Design
    Alliance: False Creeds. Regional: Mark Taper Forum, the Guthrie, the Goodman, Kirk Douglas Theatre, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Pasadena Playhouse, Trinity Repertory... read more »
  • Sound Design
    Joshua is a Bay area and Chicago award-winning sound designer/composer/music producer. Alliance credits: Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls (original composition). His... read more »
  • Costume Design
    Theatre: Ultimate Energy, Wanda Movie Park Wuhan, China; Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls, Alliance; Disney on Ice: Dare to Dream national and international tours, A... read more »
  • Scenic and Projection Design
    Alliance debut! Caite is a New York-based scenic and projection designer. Off-Broadway: Ugly Lies the Bone, Roundabout Underground; Tail! Spin!, Lynn Redgrave Theater;... read more »
  • Associate Projection Design
  • Stage Manager
    Rodney is an Atlanta native. Rodney studied theatre at Florida A&M University’s Essential Theatre. His 13-year tenure at the Alliance has included stage... read more »


  • Director
    Jeremy is thrilled to return to the Alliance, and is in his sixth season as producing artistic director of the Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis, having... read more »


  • Understudy for Sandy
    Kristina is thrilled to work on her first Alliance show! Atlanta credits: The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek (Catalyst Arts Atlanta), The Great Greek Puntheon (Atlanta... read more »
  • Understudy for Will
    Matt is thrilled to be back at the Alliance to work on another dynamite new play. Favorite stage credits: Jesus Hopped the A-Train (Angel Cruz), In the Blood (... read more »
  • Understudy for Jesse
    Justen is excited to make his professional debut with the Alliance Theatre. He is a two-time Atlanta finalist for Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre August Wilson... read more »
  • Understudy for Karen
    Danielle is incredibly excited to be back at the Alliance Theatre. She previously understudied at Alliance for Blues for an Alabama Sky (US Delia) and By the Way,... read more »
  • Understudy for Adam/Matty
    Justin is very excited to be working with the Alliance Theatre for the first time. Regional credits include TheatreSquared, Georgia Shakespeare, Arkansas Rep,... read more »

Audience Feedback


What is your hope for the future?
"For myself, I want to be happy. Motivation to succeed. For humanity, I wish for there to be more understanding, without disregard or hate."

Without using the words in your job title, what do you do at the Alliance?
"I guess you can call me the theatre therapist."



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