The Alliance Theatre in Midtown last month announced the productions for its 51st season. The 2019-20 season marks the Alliance’s first full season back in its transformed performance space, the Coca-Cola Stage, which opened in January.
“It takes courage to be human,” Artistic Director Susan V. Booth said in a news release. “Tempted to say, ‘in these times,’ but I don’t know that there’s ever been a time when it didn’t take courage to do and be all the things that make us the messy stew we call human. And our 51st season at the Alliance embraces, celebrates and takes a clear-eyed measure of a slew of ‘em.”
On the renovated Coca-Cola Stage, the 51st season will begin in September with “Becoming Nancy,” a new musical that weaves a story of family bonds, first loves and the courage it takes to find your own spotlight. Based on the best-selling British novel by Terry Ronald, this world premiere musical boasts an exciting international creative team, with direction and choreography by two-time Tony Award winner Jerry Mitchell (“Kinky Boots,” “Hairspray”), a book by Elliot Davis (“Peter Pan,” “Loserville”) and a score by the songwriting team of George Stiles (music) and Anthony Drewe (lyrics) (“Mary Poppins,” “Peter Pan,” “Honk!”).
Also this fall, the Alliance will produce “Small Mouth Sounds” in its 200-seat Hertz Theatre. This Off-Broadway hit comedy and 2016 Critics’ Pick (The New York Times, New York Magazine, Time Out New York) is written by Drama Desk Award winner Bess Wohl (“Pretty Filthy”) and directed by Booth (“Ever After,” “Native Guard”). In “Small Mouth Sounds,” six strangers in search of serenity meet at a silent wellness retreat for what they hope will be a life-changing five-day experience. Filled with insightful humor, this unique and compassionate new play asks how we address life’s biggest questions when we can’t say a word.
For the holidays, the Alliance will produce two Atlanta favorites. On the Coca-Cola Stage, it will produce the 30th annual production of “A Christmas Carol,” with live music and an all-star Atlanta cast. And on the Hertz Stage, the Alliance will welcome home performer Courtenay Collins, who returns to the Alliance from her Broadway performance in “The Prom” with her popular show, “Courtenay’s Cabaret: Home for the Holidays” for an exclusive engagement.
In January, the Alliance will produce the American premiere of the award-winning musical, “Maybe Happy Ending.” In late 21st-century Seoul, two obsolete helper-bots are living an isolated existence in a robots-only housing complex. When the two discover each other across the hall, they have a surprising connection that challenges what they believe is possible for themselves, relationships and love.
On the Hertz Stage, the Alliance will produce “Seize the King,” award-winning playwright Will Power’s propulsive, timely and modern reinterpretation of Shakespeare’s Richard III.
The Alliance also announced this season’s winner of the Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition – “53% Of,” by Steph Del Rosso – which will receive its world premiere on the Hertz Stage in March. Inspired by the finding that 53% of white women voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 Presidential election, “53% Of” is a humorous, even-handed, and strikingly honest examination of Americans on both sides of the debate about what will truly make America great again.
Closing the season on the Coca-Cola Stage the Alliance will produce Lynn Nottage’s 2017 Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Sweat.” Based on Nottage’s extensive research and interviews with residents of Reading, Pennsylvania, Sweat is a topical reflection of the present and poignant outcome of America’s economic decline.
In addition to the Alliance Series on the Coca-Cola Stage and Hertz Series, the Alliance will produce three productions for Youth and Families including, “Max Makes a Million,” a world-premiere based on Maira Kalman’s charming children’s book; “Ghost,” the Alliance’s fall production for middle and high school audiences based on the popular young audiences novel that was a National Book Award finalist for young people’s literature and named one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read; and “Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed: The Rock Experience,” a tail-shaking, empowering message of individuality, with classic Mo Willems humor for all ages.
“Each one of those shows holds a mirror up to our emotional and psychological selves – finding joy, fear, love and drama in equal measure,” Booth said. “So yes, it takes courage to be human. Which is why it can feel every kind of right to sit with our fellow humans and lock arms and hearts around the endeavor. It’s what theater does best – and what maybe – yes, at this moment – need most.”
Season tickets for the Alliance’s 51st season and single tickets for “Max Makes a Million” are also on sale. Single tickets for the rest of the season will go on sale in August. For more information, visit www.alliancetheatre.org/seasontickets.