2020/21 Season Overview Guide
This season, the Alliance is reimagining how to gather, where to take the stage, and how a story comes to life. From drive-in movie style productions to socially-distanced shows on the Coca-Cola Stage and even a brand-new streaming platform, we are making meaningful, fun, and creative changes to serve our audiences. Learn more about our reopening plans.
The new season reflects the Alliance’s continuing commitment to dynamic storytelling by and for a diverse group of people. The 52nd season includes six productions for adults, two for youth and families, and three productions for the Kathy & Ken Bernhardt Theatre for the Very Young. The productions represent three important and timely themes: the need for joy, the need for dialogue, and the celebration of our heroes.
“Theatre continues to be a necessary town square for essential conversations and a balm for our souls” said Susan V. Booth, Jennings Hertz Artistic Director. “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.”
A SEASON IN THREE ACTS
ACT ONE: JOY
A VERY TERRY CHRISTMAS
By Terry Burrell
From author and Broadway icon Terry Burrell (Ethel; Ever After; Angry, Raucous, and Shamelessly Gorgeous) comes a holiday celebration of all the things that give us joy – even in the most chaotic of times. Give yourself the gift of laughter, light, and love by spending a very Terry evening with the Alliance.
A CHRISTMAS CAROL: THE LIVE RADIO PLAY
By Charles Dickens
Directed by Leora Morris
JINGLE! JANGLE! DASH! The sounds of the season come to life in the Alliance Theatre's brand new, interactive audio experience A Christmas Carol: The Live Radio Play.
ACT TWO: DIALOGUE
THE NEW BLACK FEST’S HANDS UP: 7 PLAYWRIGHTS, 7 TESTAMENTS
By Nathan James, Nathan Yungerberg, Idris Goodwin, Nambi E. Kelley, Nsangou Njikam, Eric Micha Holmes, Dennis A. Allen II
Co-Directed by Keith Arthur Bolden and Alexis Woodard
Originally commissioned by the New Black Fest in response to the 2015 events in Ferguson, MO, where a police officer fatally shot Michael Brown, an unarmed Black teenager, Hands Up depicts the realities of Black America from the perspective of varying genders, sexual orientations, skin tones, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Hands Up is produced in association with Spelman College.
DATA (world premiere; winner of the 2021 Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition)
By Matthew Libby
Directed by Susan V. Booth
Winner of the Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition, Data is a fast-paced drama for our technology-driven era that looks behind the closed doors of Silicon Valley.
ACT THREE: HEROES
ACCIDENTAL HEROES – THE REAL LIFE ADVENTURES OF ROY ROGERS AND DALE EVANS (world premiere; musical)
Book by Marshall Brickman (Jersey Boys, Annie Hall)
Music and Lyrics by T Bone Burnett (Crazy Heart, Walk The Line)
Directed by Des McAnuff (Ain't Too Proud, Jersey Boys, The Who's Tommy)
Heroes aren’t born; they’re made – with a little bit of luck. Roy Rogers and Dale Evans are remembered as authentic American heroes, yet their paths to stardom were anything but straightforward.
By Lydia R. Diamond
Directed by Tinashe Kajese-Bolden
Considered a pioneer, Toni Stone is the first woman to play baseball in the Negro Leagues, also making her the first woman to play professionally in a mens’ league. Declared the Best New Play of 2019 by The Wall Street Journal, Toni Stone is a funny and fascinating story of race, gender, and raw ambition… and an unheralded superstar you’ll never forget.
THEATRE FOR FAMILIES
SIT-IN (world premiere)
By Pearl Cleage
Inspired by the book Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down by Andrea Davis Pinkney; Illustrated by Brian Pinkney
A Palette Group Production
Original Compositions by Eugene H. Russell IV
Directed by Mark Valdez
In Sit-In, we meet three friends as they learn about the sit-ins of the Civil Rights era, and powerfully apply those lessons to issues they – and we all – face today. Featuring a mixture of Civil Rights anthems and new freedom songs composed specifically for the original animated short, Sit-In will move audiences, encourage inter-generational conversations, and inspire the next generation of conscientious social activists.
NAKED MOLE RAT GETS DRESSED: THE ROCK EXPERIENCE (musical)
Book and Lyrics by Mo Willems
Music by Deborah Wicks La Puma
Based on the book Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed by Mo Willems
Directed by Leora Morris
Children’s book author and artist Mo Willems (Knuffle Bunny, Elephant and Piggie’s We Are In a Play) brings another lovable character to life in this exciting family musical. With tail-shaking tunes, empowering messages of individuality, and classic Mo Willems humor, this musical is sure to rock audiences of all ages.
ALLIANCE THEATRE ANYWHERE
In addition to the live productions of the 2020/21 season, the Alliance will launch a new streaming platform – Alliance Theatre Anywhere – to bring the best of the Alliance’s stages to the digital world. Streaming shows and exclusive content will be available on demand. Annual members will receive complementary access to the platform as part of their membership benefits. Non-members can enjoy access to select free and paid content.
Annual Memberships for the Alliance Theatre are on sale now
Members enjoy 12 months of world-class theatre, as well as a variety of benefits including members-only events, a welcome gift, discounts, flexibility, and access to all streaming content.
Special show packages, including a 3-play package, a 6-play package, and packages for families, are also available by visiting www.alliancetheatre.org/membership. Show packages start at $50.