Beautiful Blackbird Live!

Under the Tent Series
Musical For Families Enhanced Safety Procedures

Under the Tent Series at Alliance Theatre

Inspired by the Newbery Medal-winning book by Ashley Bryan 

Atlanta's favorite feathered funk band is back! Featuring original music composed by Eugene H. Russell IV and inspired by Ashley Bryan's children's book BEAUTIFUL BLACKBIRD, this family friendly concert will have you on your feet celebrating the uniqueness of each and every one of us. Shake your tailfeathers and dance to the music! 

Under the Tent FAQs

Group Sales

 

ENHANCED SAFETY PROCEDURES

Safety for our patrons, artists, and staff is our top priority. Here are a few ways we’ve redesigned the experience with safety in mind:

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Outdoors – Open air performances help reduce the chance of spread.
Social distancing – Seating pods are 6+ feet apart. Audience members will only be seated with people in their party/household.  
Reduced contact – Ticket scanning will be contactless and staff will be equipped with masks and gloves.  
Face coverings – All patrons above 2 years old and staff will be required to wear a mask at all times.

 
Limitation on Liability/Assumption of Risk

Any person entering the premises waives all civil liability against this premises owner and operator for any injuries caused by the inherent risk associated with contracting COVID-19 at public gatherings, except for gross negligence, willful and wanton misconduct, reckless infliction of harm, or intentional infliction of harm, by the individual or entity or the premises.

Additionally, you, on behalf of yourself and any accompanying minor, voluntarily assume all risks and danger incidental to the event for which the ticket is issued, whether occurring before, during or after the event, and you waive any claims for personal injury, death, illness, damage, loss, claim, liability, or expense, of any kind against the Robert W. Woodruff Arts Center, Inc., and its agents, sponsors, officers, directors, shareholders, owners and employees.

Costume Renderings for BEAUTIFUL BLACKBIRD LIVE!

Designed by Lex Liang

Designed by Lex Liang

Get a preview of the music on Spotify!

The Color of Rhythm in the Air

Songwriter Eugene Russell IV reflects on the experience of setting Beautiful Blackbird to music at the Alliance Theatre 

Songwriter Eugene Russell IV reflects on the experience of setting Beautiful Blackbird to music at the Alliance Theatre 

Under the Tent Series

Under the Tent Series
The Under the Tent Series will be erected on Callaway Plaza adjacent to the Alliance Theatre’s home at the Woodruff Arts Center.
More About This Venue

Woodruff Arts Center

1280 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta, GA 30309

Woodruff Arts Center Parking Garage

Parking is available for $10-$15 in the Woodruff Arts Center Parking Garage, located on Arts Center Way between 15th & 16th Street
Arts Center Transit Station
Atlanta, GA 30309

Arts Center MARTA Station

Cast

Ali Barr (Drummer) was born in Philadelphia and raised primarily in New York City. He began playing music when he was eight years old. He received his first instruction on the trumpet under the tutelage of Jerry Gonzales, leader of the Fort Apache Band. He attended Temple University in Philadelphia and began serious study of the trumpet with Robert "Boysie" Lowery and Johnny Coles. While in Botswana, he studied briefly with Hugh Masekela, a close family friend. Along with Masekela, Ali has played with bassist Milt Hinton, Jerry Gonzales, Jamaledeen Tacuma, Zhane, Duane Eubanks, Julie Dexter, Brian Hogans, Orrin Evans, Wadud, The Common Ground Collective, Dionne Farris, and a host of jazz greats. He has recorded and performed extensively with Grammy nominated Russell Gunn, Roy Ayers, Jamaledeen Tacuma, the Ogya World Music Band, and with the Common Ground Collective. He recently performed with the Ogya World Music Band at the Bonnaroo Festival. Lately, Ali has tried his hand at acting as the lead in Blackbird at Alliance Theatre, as well as being apart of the Black Nativity play by the Dominion Group. Ali continues to be a called-upon trumpeter and percussionist locally in Atlanta as well as a performer for major music festivals worldwide.

Ali Barr
Ali Barr
Blackbird

Ali Barr (Drummer) was born in Philadelphia and raised primarily in New York City. He began playing music when he was eight years old. He received his first instruction on the trumpet under the tutelage of Jerry Gonzales, leader of the Fort Apache Band. He attended Temple University in Philadelphia and began serious study of the trumpet with Robert "Boysie" Lowery and Johnny Coles. While in Botswana, he studied briefly with Hugh Masekela, a close family friend. Along with Masekela, Ali has played with bassist Milt Hinton, Jerry Gonzales, Jamaledeen Tacuma, Zhane, Duane Eubanks, Julie Dexter, Brian Hogans, Orrin Evans, Wadud, The Common Ground Collective, Dionne Farris, and a host of jazz greats. He has recorded and performed extensively with Grammy nominated Russell Gunn, Roy Ayers, Jamaledeen Tacuma, the Ogya World Music Band, and with the Common Ground Collective. He recently performed with the Ogya World Music Band at the Bonnaroo Festival. Lately, Ali has tried his hand at acting as the lead in Blackbird at Alliance Theatre, as well as being apart of the Black Nativity play by the Dominion Group. Ali continues to be a called-upon trumpeter and percussionist locally in Atlanta as well as a performer for major music festivals worldwide.

Dennis Cofer
Dennis Cofer
Low Bird

Alexandria Joy (Fly Bird) is proud and honored to return to the Alliance Theatre after Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed: The Rock Experience. Recent credits: Ella Enchanted (Synchronicity Theatre), Jekyll and Hyde (Atlanta Lyric), HAIR, Ragtime (Serenbe Playhouse). TV/Film: “Lovecraft Country.” Graduate of the Serenbe Playhouse Apprenticeship. B.F.A. Theatre, Emphasis Musical Theatre at Valdosta State University. Special thanks to my family and my adoring fiancé for always believing in me and supporting my dreams.

Alexandria Joy
Alexandria Joy
Fly Bird

Alexandria Joy (Fly Bird) is proud and honored to return to the Alliance Theatre after Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed: The Rock Experience. Recent credits: Ella Enchanted (Synchronicity Theatre), Jekyll and Hyde (Atlanta Lyric), HAIR, Ragtime (Serenbe Playhouse). TV/Film: “Lovecraft Country.” Graduate of the Serenbe Playhouse Apprenticeship. B.F.A. Theatre, Emphasis Musical Theatre at Valdosta State University. Special thanks to my family and my adoring fiancé for always believing in me and supporting my dreams.

Eugene H. Russell IV (Love Bird) is excited to have the Blackbird band back together! Born and raised in Southwest Atlanta, he’s a multi-talented vocalist, musician, songwriter, and award-winning actor. As a saxophonist, he’s played in bands opening for the likes of George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, Boyz II Men, KC & the Sunshine Brand, Brand New Heavies, and Mother’s Finest. Having recently composed the music for the Alliance’s acclaimed animated short Sit-In, Eugene also had the honor of producing the Beautiful Blackbird original cast recording. He has decades of stage performance credits, one of which garnered him the prestigious Woodie King, Jr. Award, and onscreen credits that include the TV series MacGyver, Star, and Tyler Perry’s The Oval. A recording artist with roots in soul, gospel, jazz and hip-hop, you can find Eugene IV’s latest single, “Brand New Day,” on all streaming platforms. 

Eugene H. Russell IV
Eugene H. Russell IV
Love Bird

Eugene H. Russell IV (Love Bird) is excited to have the Blackbird band back together! Born and raised in Southwest Atlanta, he’s a multi-talented vocalist, musician, songwriter, and award-winning actor. As a saxophonist, he’s played in bands opening for the likes of George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, Boyz II Men, KC & the Sunshine Brand, Brand New Heavies, and Mother’s Finest. Having recently composed the music for the Alliance’s acclaimed animated short Sit-In, Eugene also had the honor of producing the Beautiful Blackbird original cast recording. He has decades of stage performance credits, one of which garnered him the prestigious Woodie King, Jr. Award, and onscreen credits that include the TV series MacGyver, Star, and Tyler Perry’s The Oval. A recording artist with roots in soul, gospel, jazz and hip-hop, you can find Eugene IV’s latest single, “Brand New Day,” on all streaming platforms. 

Brandon A. Thomas (Guitarist) is from Atlanta, Georgia. He's currently on tour with Leon Bridges, but in the past has worked with artists such as Angie Stone, Ginuwine, Danny Boy, Chantae Cann, Tony Terry, and Kindred and the Family Soul. He has produced for artists such as Justice League, Rico Love, Manny Fresh/T.I., Parker Rehgile, and Childish Major. His handle on all accounts is @BrandonAThomas

Brandon A. Thomas
Brandon A. Thomas
High Bird

Brandon A. Thomas (Guitarist) is from Atlanta, Georgia. He's currently on tour with Leon Bridges, but in the past has worked with artists such as Angie Stone, Ginuwine, Danny Boy, Chantae Cann, Tony Terry, and Kindred and the Family Soul. He has produced for artists such as Justice League, Rico Love, Manny Fresh/T.I., Parker Rehgile, and Childish Major. His handle on all accounts is @BrandonAThomas

Creative

Clay Benning (Sound Design) Resident Sound Designer for the Alliance Theatre and has designed more than 150 productions in his career, with over 100 for the Alliance. Recent works include Candide, Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed, Small Mouth Sounds, and Max Make A Million. Other design work has included Georgia Shakespeare, Atlanta Ballet, Cincinnati Playhouse, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Theatrical Outfit, Geva Theatre, Synchronicity Theatre, and the Georgia Aquarium. Awards: Seven Suzi Bass awards for outstanding sound design with 16 nominations. He is a graduate of Presbyterian College (BA), North Carolina School of the Arts (MFA) and a member of IATSE/USA829 and TSDCA.  

Clay Benning
Clay Benning
Sound Design

Clay Benning (Sound Design) Resident Sound Designer for the Alliance Theatre and has designed more than 150 productions in his career, with over 100 for the Alliance. Recent works include Candide, Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed, Small Mouth Sounds, and Max Make A Million. Other design work has included Georgia Shakespeare, Atlanta Ballet, Cincinnati Playhouse, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Theatrical Outfit, Geva Theatre, Synchronicity Theatre, and the Georgia Aquarium. Awards: Seven Suzi Bass awards for outstanding sound design with 16 nominations. He is a graduate of Presbyterian College (BA), North Carolina School of the Arts (MFA) and a member of IATSE/USA829 and TSDCA.  

Lex Liang (Costume Designer) Lex is ecstatic to be back at the Alliance, where he previously designed clothes for Candide, Troubadour, What I Learned in Paris, In Love and Warcraft, Into the Woods, and many others. NYC/Off-Broadway: 50+ productions—recent work includes Antigone, Nine Circles, and The Bacchae. Regional: Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Asolo, Cleveland Playhouse, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Dallas Theatre Center, Denver Center, Geva Theatre, The Guthrie, La Jolla Playhouse, Long Wharf Theatre, Paper Mill Playhouse, Pasadena Playhouse, Portland Center Stage, Syracuse Stage, Woolly Mammoth, and others. He is the founder and owner of LDC Design Associates, an experiential event design and production company in NYC. Recent projects include Ubuntu Pathways: Fight For Good, Operation Smile’s 35th Anniversary Gala, The Tony Awards Gala, and BCBG’s 30 Year Retrospective, NYFW 2019. Member, United Scenic Artists-829. www.LexLiang.com

Lex Liang
Lex Liang
Costume Designer

Lex Liang (Costume Designer) Lex is ecstatic to be back at the Alliance, where he previously designed clothes for Candide, Troubadour, What I Learned in Paris, In Love and Warcraft, Into the Woods, and many others. NYC/Off-Broadway: 50+ productions—recent work includes Antigone, Nine Circles, and The Bacchae. Regional: Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Asolo, Cleveland Playhouse, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Dallas Theatre Center, Denver Center, Geva Theatre, The Guthrie, La Jolla Playhouse, Long Wharf Theatre, Paper Mill Playhouse, Pasadena Playhouse, Portland Center Stage, Syracuse Stage, Woolly Mammoth, and others. He is the founder and owner of LDC Design Associates, an experiential event design and production company in NYC. Recent projects include Ubuntu Pathways: Fight For Good, Operation Smile’s 35th Anniversary Gala, The Tony Awards Gala, and BCBG’s 30 Year Retrospective, NYFW 2019. Member, United Scenic Artists-829. www.LexLiang.com

R. Lamar Williams* (Stage Manager) is an Atlanta native who studied theatre at Florida A&M University’s Essential Theatre. His 20 year tenure at the Alliance has included stage managing Hospice/ Pointing at the Moon, The Temple Bombing, Choir BoyBike AmericaThe Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls,18 years of The Palefsky Collision Project and assistant stage managing a slew of great shows. Rodney is opening a new frontier in his career with Dramaturgy and Directing.  For Sensei, JDawn, Chelsea & Solari and all humanity — “changing the world 1 play @ a time!” 

R. Lamar Williams
R. Lamar Williams
Stage Manager

R. Lamar Williams* (Stage Manager) is an Atlanta native who studied theatre at Florida A&M University’s Essential Theatre. His 20 year tenure at the Alliance has included stage managing Hospice/ Pointing at the Moon, The Temple Bombing, Choir BoyBike AmericaThe Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls,18 years of The Palefsky Collision Project and assistant stage managing a slew of great shows. Rodney is opening a new frontier in his career with Dramaturgy and Directing.  For Sensei, JDawn, Chelsea & Solari and all humanity — “changing the world 1 play @ a time!” 

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