The 2020-21 season will include 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 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, in a media statement. “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.”
The season will begin in November with the world premiere of A Very Terry Christmas – a one-woman holiday show featuring Broadway star Terry Burrell. The Alliance will then present a reimagined drive-in version of its annual production A Christmas Carol, staged for the first time as a live radio play. A cast of eight actors will play all the roles accompanied by a foley sound effects artist giving audiences a peek into the play-making magic. Projections and interactive moments will allow audience members the chance to connect with the story, performers, and each other in this innovative new staging.
In February 2021 the Alliance will produce The New Black Play Fest’s Hands Up: 7 Playwrights, 7 Testaments. Produced in collaboration with Spelman College, Hands Up depicts the realities of Black America from the perspective of varying genders, sexual orientations, skin tones, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Leading up to the new production of Hands Up, the Alliance will host a series of preview conversations to discuss the themes of each of the monologues.
The Alliance will then give the world premiere of the 17th Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition winner, Data, in March 2021. Written by recent NYU Tisch graduate Matthew Libby, Data is a fast-paced drama for our technology-driven era that looks behind the closed doors of Silicon Valley.
In April 2021 the Alliance will produce the world premiere musical Accidental Heroes – The Real Life Adventures of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans. Featuring a book by Academy Award winner Marshall Brickman, an original score by Academy Award and Grammy Award winner T Bone Burnett, and direction by two-time Tony Award winner Des McAnuff, the musical follows the rise of Hollywood’s iconic Western stars, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans.
Then in June 2021, the Alliance will present Toni Stone by Lydia R. Diamond based on the true story of the first female athlete to play professional baseball in the Negro Leagues. This production will be directed by the Alliance’s BOLD Artistic Director Fellow Tinashe Kajese-Bolden.
The Theatre for Young Audiences and Kathy & Ken Bernhardt Theatre for the Very Young productions of the 2020/21 season will appear exclusively on streaming platforms. In October there will be a multimedia version of Sit-In by Atlanta author and playwright Pearl Cleage (Blues for an Alabama Sky) inspired by the award-winning picture book by Andrea Davis Pinkney with illustrations by Brian Pinkney. In January 2021, the Alliance will stream its popular production of Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed: The Rock Experience. written by Mo Willems and Deborah Wicks La Puma with direction by Leora Morris. The productions for the Kathy & Ken Bernhardt Theatre for the Very Young include streaming versions of In My Granny’s Garden, (Knock, Knock) the Sounds of Winter, and The Sounds of the West End.
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.