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.
The play, produced in partnership with the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, will launch in Montgomery, Alabama on September 24th before continuing on to Atlanta for the October 27th opening. 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.
"In a season ranging from world premiere musicals to Pulitzer worthy dramas, The Nacirema Society represents the best of what the Alliance does, and what the Alliance can do in partnership with one of our city's leading artists," said director Susan V. Booth. "To welcome the incomparable Pearl Cleage home to our stage with this sparkling new masterwork is a gift for our audiences, our communities and for all of us lucky enough to work on this project."
Six of the eight performers in The Nacirema Society cast have Atlanta ties. In addition to the much beloved Jasmine Guy, who plays New York Times reporter Janet Logan, the cast includes award-winning actress Andrea Frye. She returns to the Alliance to play Catherine Green, one of the two family matriarchs for this production. Frye was most recently featured at the Alliance in sold out hit Jar the Floor. On stage in The Nacirema Society, she matches wits with Tony® Award winning actress Trazana Beverley, who plays the other matriarch Grace Dubose Dunbar.
Performances are Tuesday through Friday at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 2:30 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2:30 p.m., Oct. 20- Nov. 11, 2010 on the ALLIANCE THEATRE's Alliance Stage. There are no Saturday matinees October 23 or 30. Tickets to The Nacirema Society are $20-$50 and may be purchased by calling the box office at 404.733.4600 (Mon. - Fri. 10 a.m. - 8 p.m., Sat. 12 p.m. - 8 p.m., Sun. 12 p.m. - 5 p.m.), or online at www.alliancetheatre.org.
Discounted rates for groups of 10 or more are available by calling 404.733.4690. Discounted rates are also available for members of the military, seniors and students. The ALLIANCE THEATRE is located at the Woodruff Arts Center, at the corner of Peachtree and 15th Street, in Midtown Atlanta.