Robot love, a poetry-scribbling dog, a well-dressed naked mole rat — these are some of the surprising things in store for fans of the Alliance Theatre, during its 2019-2020 season.
The city’s pre-eminent theater just announced the lineup for the new season, which will feature three world premieres, two musicals, three productions for young people and their families, and the first full season back in the Alliance’s drastically-renovated home.
After three years of work, the new Coca-Cola Stage at the Woodruff Arts Center, with its woven-wood auditorium and curved lines, showcased its first production, “Ever After,” in January, but it still has a few finishing touches to complete. Those cosmetics will be done by the summer.
That should be in plenty of time for this fall’s “Becoming Nancy,” a world premiere from an international creative team featuring a book by Elliot Davis (“Peter Pan,” “Loserville”), a score by the team George Stiles and Anthony Drewe (“Mary Poppins,” “Peter Pan”) and direction and choreography by Tony-winner Jerry Mitchell (“Kinky Boots,” “Hairspray.”)
The Alliance’s artistic director, Susan V. Booth, said “It takes courage to be human,” adding that the new season is one that “embraces, celebrates, and takes a clear-eyed measure” of humanity in its many forms.
Here are the productions in store at the Alliance:
“Max Makes a Million”
A world premiere, the new play combines poetry, jazz, dance and visual art as it follows the beat-poet dog Max Stravinsky on his quest to get to Paris. Based on the children’s book by prolific illustrator Maira Kalman, the play is offered in conjunction with the High Museum of Art’s exhibit of Kalman’s art in “The Pursuit of Everything: Maira Kalman’s Books for Children.” It will be presented on the Hertz Stage at the Alliance Theatre. June 20 to July 21.
In “Becoming Nancy,” David Starr, a talented high school senior in the London suburb East Dulwich, is given the female lead in the school musical. This tuneful story that follows David’s dilemma is based on the novel “Becoming Nancy” by Terry Ronald and will be the first show of the new season presented on the Coca-Cola Stage. Sept. 5 to Oct. 6.
“Small Mouth Sounds”
Produced on the smaller, 200-seat Hertz Stage, the drama follows six strangers who meet at a silent wellness retreat for what they hope will be a life-changing five-day experience. Oct. 4-27.
Written by Idris Goodwin and adapted from the novel by Jason Reynolds, “Ghost” tries to catch future track star Castle Crenshaw, a.k.a. Ghost, who has been running his whole life but for the wrong reasons. This is an Alliance production for middle and high school audiences and will be produced in the Rich Theatre at the Woodruff Arts Center. Oct. 26 to Nov. 2, 2019
“A Christmas Carol”
Presented on the Coca-Cola Stage, the Dickens classic is given a Broadway-scale production with live music and an all-star Atlanta cast. It is adapted by David H. Bell and directed by Rosemary Newcott. Nov. 13 to Dec. 24.
“Courtenay’s Cabaret: Home for the Holidays”
Presented on the Hertz Stage at Alliance Theatre, this cabaret revue was written by Courtenay Collins, who also stars. Dec. 5-24.
“Maybe Happy Ending”
Presented on the main Coca-Cola Stage, this American premiere boasts a book by Will Aronson and Hue Park, music by Will Aronson and lyrics by Hue Park. Directed by Michael Arden, it is set in the near future in Seoul, Korea, where two obsolete helper-bots, leading lonely lives, discover each other in a robots-only housing complex. Jan. 18 to Feb. 16.
“Seize the King”
A timeless retelling of Shakespeare’s “Richard III,” by Will Power, the play is directed by Charlotte Brathwaite and will be presented on the Hertz Stage. Feb. 14 to March 8.
“Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed: The Rock Experience”
Based on the book of the same name by children’s book author and graphic genius Mo Willems (“Knuffle Bunny”), “Naked Mole Rat” will be presented on the Coca-Cola Stage. It is directed by Leora Morris and features a book and lyrics by Mo Willems and music by Deborah Wicks La Puma. March 7-29.
This world premiere is the winner of the Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition and was written by Steph Del Rosso. It will be presented on the Hertz Stage. March 28 to April 19.
Winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for drama, “Sweat” focuses on a group of factory workers in one of the poorest cities in the country—Reading, Penn. Based on playwright Lynn Nottage’s interviews with residents of Reading, “Sweat” takes a poignant look at America’s economic decline. It is directed by Tinashe Kajese-Bolden and presented on the Coca-Cola Stage. April 22 to May 17.
The Coca-Cola Stage, the Hertz Stage and the Rich Theatre are all at the Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. For tickets or information, 404-733-5000, alliancetheatre.org.
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