ALLIANCE THEATRE artistic director Susan V. Booth and New York Times best-selling author Pearl Cleage collaborate this fall on the world premiere of The Nacirema Society Requests the Honor of Your Presence at a Celebration of Their First One Hundred Years. This romantic comedy takes a lighthearted look into one of Southern society’s grandest traditions, the annual cotillion. As the new African-American debutants prepare for their introduction into the exclusive Nacirema Society of Montgomery, Alabama, their strong-willed grandmothers work behind the scenes to manage young love, the revelation of old flames, and the glare of the national spotlight. The Nacirema Society boasts a combination of some of the nation’s finest actresses, including the Tony Award winning Trezana Beverly, Atlanta’s own Andrea Frye, and acclaimed television, film and stage actress Jasmine Guy.
This unique collaboration between two of the southeast’s most iconic theaters underscores Atlanta’s commitment to developing nationally significant new plays that elevate and speak to the cultural heritage of our community. As Pearl Cleage’s first new play in over a decade, this lively production filled with love, intrigue and comedy, brings the famed novelist back to her playwriting roots.
“In recent years, I’ve witnessed an evolution in theater in which productions are relying less on stereotypes or cultural norms of a specific demographic, and more on telling stories of love, joy, loss, and everything in between that have universal appeal,” says Cleage. “I hope The Nacirema Society will encourage people to move beyond focusing simply on the political and social climate of this period in our nation’s history and enjoy a wonderful romantic comedy that appeals to audience members across all generations.”
The Nacirema Society is the third production in the Alliance’s 42nd season roster, following the lively Charles Dickens-inspired Twist, and Sammy and Me, a tribute to late world-class entertainer Sammy Davis, Jr.