);
Connect with us

Around Atlanta

High Museum Announces Touring Exhibition Exploring Rise of Self-Taught Artists

Published

on

grandma moses
Grandma Moses (Anna Mary Robertson Moses , American, 1860 – 1961) , Rockabye , 1957 , o il on Masonite, c ourtesy of Galerie St. Etienne , New York . © Grandma Moses Properties Co., New York .

The High Museum of Art exhibition “Gatecrashers: The Rise of the Self-Taught Artist in America,” debuting this summer (Aug. 20-Dec. 11, 2021) and set to tour nationally, will celebrate more than a dozen early-20th-century painters who fundamentally reshaped who could be an artist in the United States. Featuring more than 60 works, “Gatecrashers” will investigate how artists including John Kane, Horace Pippin and Anna Mary Robertson “Grandma” Moses overcame class-, race- and gender-based obstacles to enter the inner sanctums of the mainstream art world, exhibiting their paintings widely and paving the way for later generations of self-taught artists. Following its presentation at the High, the exhibition will travel to the Brandywine River Museum of Art (May 28–Sept. 5, 2022) and The Westmoreland Museum of American Art (Oct. 30, 2022–Feb. 5, 2023).

“As one of the first American museums to establish a department dedicated to the work of self-taught artists, the High has spent decades studying, presenting and honoring their contributions to art history,” said Rand Suffolk, Nancy and Holcombe T. Green, Jr., director. “With this exhibition, our audience can see how they broke barriers of access to take their rightful place among the 20th century’s most celebrated contemporary artists.” 

After World War I, artists without formal training began showing their work in major museums, “crashing the gates” of the elite art world, as the newspapers of their day put it. Benefiting from rebellions against academic artistic styles and an ongoing search for national character in American culture, Kane, Pippin and Moses became the most widely recognized self-taught artists of the interwar period. These three artists will be featured prominently throughout “Gatecrashers” and will be joined by other self-taught artists, including Morris Hirshfield, Lawrence Lebduska and Josephine Joy, who represent the breadth of the art world’s attraction to self-taught painters in the first half of the 20th century. Despite their lack of formal training, these artists’ paintings of American life in the cities and rural communities where they lived, as well as fantastical scenes derived from their imaginations, were celebrated by fellow artists, collectors and taste-making museums such as New York’s Museum of Modern Art, especially in the 1930s and early 1940s. 

Horace Pippin (American, 1888–1946), The Buffalo Hunt , 1933, oil on canvas, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, purchase. Digital image © Whitney Museum of American Art/Licensed by Scala/Art Resource, New York

“Gatecrashers” is curated by the High’s Merrie and Dan Boone curator of folk and self-taught art, Katherine Jentleson, and is based on the book she authored of the same name, which was published in 2020. 

“‘Gatecrashers’ — both the book and the exhibition — establish an origin story for how self-taught artists first succeeded within the mainstream art world,” said Jentleson. “Kane, Moses, Pippin and the other artists in the exhibition deserve to be reconsidered not only because of how their work intertwined with major cultural and social change of their day, but also because of how their gatecrashing set the stage for the vital role that self-taught artists still play in the 21st century, greatly diversifying our cultural canons across race, gender, class, ability and other important markers of identity that are all too often underrepresented.” 

“Gatecrashers” will be organized in thematic sections that explore how these self-taught artists were embraced as examples of a uniquely American creative excellence and the role that their occupational histories played in advancing their reputations against the backdrop of Depression-era populism. The works on view also will demonstrate how alignments in style and subject matter led to exhibitions at major museums that integrated the artists’ work with that of their trained peers, foreshadowing how many museums today promote self-taught artists within their American and contemporary art displays. 

In 1927, Kane succeeded in placing his oil-on-canvas painting “Scene From the Scottish Highlands” in the Carnegie Museum of Art’s contemporary art international thanks to the jaunty painting’s embodiment of the stilted realism of historical folk art, which was gaining popularity among artists and collectors in this era. Many of the self-taught artists who would go on to be celebrated in the subsequent decade were first-generation immigrants like Kane, whose painting shows the Scottish American heritage festivals he attended in Pittsburgh. Brooklyn-based Jewish artists from Eastern Europe such as Morris Hirshfield and Israel Litwak also found audiences for their work, demonstrating how the art world slowly became more inclusive of who qualified as “American.”  

As African American artists struggled to find recognition in the largely segregated national arts scene, Pippin achieved great success with paintings like “Cabin in the Cotton” (ca. 1931-1937), a work set in the American South. In many of his works, including “Outpost Raid: Champagne Sector” (1931), Pippin recorded his experiences fighting in the trenches of World War I, where he was shot by a German sniper, resulting in an arm injury that he rehabilitated by painting. He lived in the part of Pennsylvania associated with the Brandywine River artists such as Newell Convers Wyeth, an early advocate of his work, and became a fixture in exhibitions of self-taught artists and in the first major surveys of African American artists that emerged by the end of the 1930s. 

In addition to expanding definitions of American art in terms of both race and ethnicity, self-taught artists such as Josephine Joy and “Grandma” Moses also broke through the art world’s gender glass ceiling. Joy became the first woman painter to have a solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art when her paintings of flowers, trees and sites near her home in San Diego were shown there in 1942. By that time, Moses was on a trajectory to stardom that was unprecedented for any artist in the United States — and arguably remains so — after her paintings were discovered hanging in the window of a New York pharmacist in 1938. Her pastoral scenes of life in New England became a potent force as the United States entered the Cold War era. Her paintings even traveled abroad to promote goodwill toward America, much to the chagrin of American critics who were more interested in promoting abstract painting abroad.  

“As self-taught artists become increasingly visible within today’s art world, this exhibition takes audiences back to the moment when it all began,” Jentleson said. 

“Gatecrashers” will be presented in the Special Exhibition Galleries on the Second Level of the Stent Family Wing. 

Exhibition Publication
“Gatecrashers: The Rise of the Self-Taught Artist in America,” is accompanied by Jentleson’s book of the same name, published by the University of California Press. 

Continue Reading

Around Atlanta

Fall and Holiday Concerts Return at Gas South Arena

Published

on

Trans Siberian Orchestra.

It was back on August 17 that Gwinnett had its long-awaited 2021 return of live music for large audiences. Then for the first time since March 2020, I attended with friends a full-house concert—there were more than 13,000 fans, starved for big-time entertainment. For about 18 months, the COVID pandemic had shut down concert venues nationwide. Our live music indoor quarantine was first lifted at 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth 30097, only minutes from Peachtree Corners. Masks were recommended by management but not required. The tunes took place in an older, familiar building that has assumed a brand new name.

Gas South Arena.

James Taylor & Jackson Browne inaugurated the Gas South Arena

The newly named Gas South Arena, the scene of this happiness, was formerly known as the Infinite Energy Arena. A bit of a curve ball, new corporate sponsorship. (Gas South is based in the ATL, serving more than 425,000 natural gas customers from all sectors throughout much of the southeast, also NJ and Ohio.) The building name change had been legally complete. However, all of the Infinite Energy Arena signs were to be removed from the Gas South Arena District campus.

In the inaugural Gas South concert James Taylor, 73, and Jackson Browne, 74, lived up to their reputations as enduring 1970s-80s music hits icons. Because they both were backed by an All-Star band, they also offered long, bluesy jams. Their songs, separate and together, were terrific.

The newly named Gas South Arena can hardly be called a startup operation. But the pandemic’s interruption has been so long, it made fans and performers appreciate a wonderful new re-start. In September there were scheduled two big shows, led by country music star Blake Shelton and also legendary British guitarist and blues & rock singer Eric Clapton. As we move into October this fall, Gas South Arena is set to hit stride during the winter holidays.

Except for new signage at Gas South Arena, the popular building is seemingly the same—fans and performers have long appreciated the charming former Infinite Energy Center arena. It’s comfortable without the nosebleed seats of stadium arenas and it attracts top acts. Easy outdoor parking is in an adjacent lot. Convenient location in Gwinnett off I-85 with a surprisingly intimate concert hall for 13,500 makes the scene fan-friendly.

Under the old Infinite Energy Arena brand the venue has long represented the ATL on major popular music tours. Ex-Beatle Paul McCartney, for example, gave a memorable performance there in 2017. The building is energized with its new name. All systems are go for the concert season at Gas South Arena.

Fall and Holiday 2021 Concerts at Gas South Arena

Following is a schedule of the impressive, eclectic array of musical events scheduled this fall from October-December, going into Christmastime:

Oct. 8:  Mexican music star Pepe Aguilar.

Oct. 10: Contemporary Christian band MercyMe.

Oct. 30: Dominican recording artist El Alfa.

Nov. 6: Cumbia (Latin traditional rhythm folk singers) Los Angeles Azules.

Nov. 13: Mexican singer and 3-time Latin Grammy winner Christian Nodal.

Dec. 2.  Two female-fronted rock groups joining forces, Evanescence & Halestorm.

Dec. 3. Puerto Rican singer/songwriter Farruko.

Dec. 12 (afternoon and evening performances) Heavy metal rock symphonic Trans-Siberian Orchestra plays a classic winter holiday show and also their new program, Christmas Eve and other stories. They rocked the old Infinite Energy Arena in 2019 but of course took last year off for the pandemic. This group is so popular and associated with Christmas so much that it employs equally accomplished East and West Coast ensembles when they tour, always in December. They routinely offer 2 shows per concert date. So if you want some great musical entertainment, then visit the Gas South District site for more info. Schedule can be subject to change.

Continue Reading

Around Atlanta

High Museum of Art Announces 2021-2022 Advance Exhibition Schedule

Published

on

The High Museum of Art presents a rotating schedule of exhibitions throughout the year. Below is a list of current and upcoming exhibitions as of Aug. 30, 2021. Note: The exhibition schedule is subject to change. Please contact the High’s press office or visit high.org for more information or to confirm details.

Upcoming Exhibitions 

“Really Free: The Radical Art of Nellie Mae Rowe”
Sept. 3, 2021-Jan. 9, 2022 

Nellie Mae Rowe (American, 1900-1982), Real Girl, 1980, color photograph, crayon, pen, and pencil on cardboard, 14 x 11 inches, gift of Judith Alexander, 2003.212. © 2021 Estate of Nellie Mae Rowe/High Museum of Art, Atlanta

For the last 15 years of her life, self-taught artist Nellie Mae Rowe (1900-1982) lived on a busy thoroughfare just outside of Atlanta and welcomed visitors to her “Playhouse,” which she decorated with found-object installations, handmade dolls, chewing-gum sculptures and hundreds of drawings. Featuring nearly 60 works drawn from High’s leading collection of Rowe’s art, “Really Free” is the first major exhibition of her work in more than 20 years and the first to consider her practice as a radical act of self-expression and liberation in the post-civil-rights-era South. Rowe began making art as a child in rural Fayetteville, Georgia, but only found the time and space to reclaim her artistic practice in the late 1960s, following the deaths of her second husband and members of the family for whom she worked. The exhibition will offer an unprecedented view of how she cultivated her drawing practice late in life, starting with colorful and at times simple sketches on found materials, and reveal their relationship with her most celebrated, highly complex compositions on paper. Through photographs and reconstructions of her Playhouse created for an experimental film on her life, the exhibition also will be the first to put her drawings in direct conversation with her art environment. “Really Free” marks the Museum’s first partnership with the Art Bridges Foundation, an organization dedicated to expanding access to American art, which will allow the exhibition to travel nationally into 2023. This exhibition is organized by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta.

“Picturing the South: 25 Years”
Nov. 5, 2021-Feb. 6, 2022

Launched in 1996, the High Museum of Art’s renowned “Picturing the South” series supports contemporary photographers in creating new bodies of work inspired by the American South for the High’s collection, which is among the nation’s leading photography programs and has strength in work made in and about the region. To commemorate the series’ 25th anniversary, the High will bring together for the first time nearly 200 works from all the past commissions by artists including Dawoud Bey, Sally Mann and Richard Misrach and will debut new work by the latest photographers selected for the series, Sheila Pree Bright, Jim Goldberg and An-My Lê. Taken as a whole, the photographs amount to a complex and layered archive of the region that addresses broad themes, from the legacy of slavery and racial justice to the social implications of the evolving landscape and the distinct and diverse character of the region’s people. This exhibition is organized by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta.


“KAWS PRINTS”
Dec. 3, 2021-March 27, 2022

One of the world’s most acclaimed artists, KAWS (Brian Donnelly) brings the same level of complexity and skill to his printmaking as he does to his painting, sculpture and editioned works, which unite the worlds of design, popular culture and fine art. Since his groundbreaking solo show at the High in 2012, KAWS has taken the world by storm with major exhibitions across the United States, Europe, Australia, Asia and the Middle East. At the same time, his monumental sculptural installations, augmented reality sculptures, design collaborations, toys, editioned objects and related works have seized the attention of a massive and diverse audience. KAWS’s work is grounded in a deep and sustained involvement with graphic art and printmaking, from his early “subvertisements” to the sumptuous, painstakingly crafted screenprints of the last decade. Drawing exclusively from the High’s collection, this exhibition features all the artist’s editioned silkscreen prints in the Museum’s holdings along with a selection of drawings, color charts and rare early prints. This exhibition is organized by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta.

“Disrupting Design: Modern Posters, 1900-1940″
Dec. 10, 2021-April 24, 2022

Though not precious or unique, the poster is the ultimate design object—it disseminates ideas and images that reflect a time and place. As an object of design history, the poster can comment on social or cultural shifts, but it is probably best known for its most prominent role—selling commercial products. This exhibition surveys the origins of modern poster design featuring works from the collection of Merrill C. Berman, who focused on 20th-century radical art. Berman’s collection represents a complex history of modernism, as avant-garde artists actively produced fine and applied art for commercial and political aims. Starting in the early 1900s, these designers revolutionized typography and the graphic image, creating poster designs that changed artistic perspectives, as well as the hearts and minds of people. The works on view demonstrate the origins of modern graphic design, as practiced in Europe, and how the medium could be marshaled into service for social change. This exhibition is organized by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta.

“The Obama Portraits Tour”
Jan. 14-March 20, 2022

From the moment of their unveiling at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in February 2018, the official portraits of President Barack Obama and Mrs. Michelle Obama have become iconic. Kehinde Wiley’s portrait of President Obama and Amy Sherald’s portrait of the former First Lady have inspired unprecedented responses from the public. The High will present both portraits as part of a five-city tour organized by the National Portrait Gallery. In addition to the portraits, the gallery will feature an approximately eight-minute video providing background on the commissioning of the paintings by the Portrait Gallery and putting them into the context of the national collection of presidential portraits. This exhibition is organized by the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C. Support for the national tour has been generously provided by Bank of America.

“André Kertész: Postcards from Paris”
Feb. 18-May 29, 2022

In 1925, photographer André Kertész (American, born Hungary, 1894-1985) arrived in Paris with little more than a camera and meager savings. Over the next three years, the young artist carved out a photographic practice that allowed him to move among the realms of amateur and professional, photojournalist and avant-garde artist, diarist and documentarian. By the end of 1928, he had achieved widespread recognition, emerging as a major figure in modern art photography alongside such figures as Man Ray and Berenice Abbott. During this three-year period, he chose to print most of his photographs on carte postale, or postcard paper. Although this choice may have initially been born of economy and convenience, he turned the popular format toward artistic ends, rigorously composing new images in the darkroom and making a new kind of photographic object. “Postcards from Paris” is the first exhibition to bring together Kertész’s rare carte postale prints. These now-iconic works offer new insight into his early, experimental years and reveal the importance of Paris as a vibrant meeting ground for international artists, who drew inspiration from each other to create new, modern ways of seeing and representing the world. This exhibition is organized by The Art Institute of Chicago.

“What Is Left Unspoken, Love”
March 25-Aug. 14, 2022

Is love intrinsic, or is it a habit? What is the difference between love and friendship? What is the relationship of love to truth, freedom and justice? These are just some of the questions to be explored in “What Is Left Unspoken, Love,” featuring contemporary artworks from 1987 to 2021 that address the different ways the most important thing in life — love — is expressed. Organized during a time of social and political discord, when cynicism often seems to triumph over hope, this exhibition will examine love as a profound subject of critical commentary from time immemorial yet with a persistently elusive definition. As poet and painter Etel Adnan wrote, love is “not to be described, it is to be lived.” “Love” will feature more than 70 works, including paintings, sculpture, photography, video and media art, by more than 35 international artists based in North America, Europe and Asia such as Rina Banerjee, Patty Chang, Jeffrey Gibson, Tomashi Jackson, María de los Angeles Rodríguez Jiménez, Rashid Johnson, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Kerry James Marshall, Wangechi Mutu, Ebony Patterson, Magnus Plessen, Gabriel Rico, RongRong and inri, and Carrie Mae Weems. This exhibition is organized by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta.

“Oliver Jeffers: 15 Years of Picturing Books”
April 15-Aug. 7, 2022

Born in Australia and raised in Northern Ireland, Oliver Jeffers is an award-winning artist and author working in painting, bookmaking, illustration, collage, performance and sculpture. This retrospective exhibition showcases nearly 100 artworks, some never seen, including original line drawings, sketches and finished illustrations, from 16 of Jeffers’ picture books, including the wildly popular “The Day the Crayons Quit” and its sequel, “The Day the Crayons Came Home,” “Here We Are,” “The Incredible Book Eating Boy,” “This Moose Belongs to Me” and “Once Upon an Alphabet.” This exhibition is organized by the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature. 


Currently on View  

“Calder-Picasso” 

Through Sept. 19, 2021 Alexander Calder and Pablo Picasso are two of the foremost figures in the history of 20th-century art. This touring exhibition, which debuted in 2019 at the Musée national Picasso-Paris, presents more than 100 paintings, sculptures and works on paper from all phases of Calder’s and Picasso’s careers that reveal the radical innovation and enduring influence of their art. Conceived by the artists’ grandsons, Bernard Ruiz-Picasso and Alexander S. C. Rower, the exhibition focuses on the artists’ exploration of the void, or absence of space, in representations ranging from the figurative to the abstract. Calder’s wire figures, paintings, drawings, and revolutionary nonobjective mobiles and stabiles are integrated throughout the exhibition with profoundly inventive works by Picasso in every media. The juxtapositions are insightful, surprising and challenging, demonstrating the striking innovations these great artists introduced through their ceaseless reexamination of form, line and space. This exhibition is organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; de Young Museum, San Francisco; and the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, in partnership with the Calder Foundation, New York; Musée national Picasso-Paris (MnPP); and the Fundación Almine y Bernard Ruiz-Picasso para el Arte (FABA).

“Electrifying Design: A Century of Lighting”
Through Sept. 26, 2021

Since the invention of the first electric light in the 1800s to the development of ultraefficient lightbulbs in the 21st century, lighting technology has fascinated engineers, scientists, architects and designers worldwide, inspiring them toward new creative expression. The High is the exclusive Southeast venue for this exhibition, the first large-scale show to consider electrical lighting over the past 100 years as a catalyst for technological and artistic innovation within major avant-garde design movements. The exhibition features nearly 80 rare lighting examples by leading international designers including Achille Castiglioni, Christian Dell, Poul Henningsen, Ingo Maurer, Verner Panton, Gino Sarfatti, Ettore Sottsass and Wilhelm Wagenfeld, among many others. The works on view demonstrate how these innovators harnessed light’s radiance and beauty, resulting in designs that extend beyond or challenge the functional nature of lighting. This exhibition is organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. 

“Outside the Lines” 

Through Nov. 28, 2021 

This immersive maze of accessible, sensory environments by award-winning design and research practice Bryony Roberts Studio is the seventh site-specific installation on The Woodruff Arts Center’s Carroll Slater Sifly Piazza, continuing the High’s multiyear series of inclusive and inviting commissions to activate the Museum’s outdoor space and encourage community engagement. “Outside the Lines” emerged from conversations between Bryony Roberts Studio and self-advocates with disabilities and their allies throughout Atlanta, with the goal of creating a space that is engaging for all. It provides an environment that is accessible and playful for those with physical, developmental and/or intellectual disabilities, supporting discovery and connection. The gently curving steel structure supports thousands of hanging strands, along the rise and fall of the frame, that form both small enclosures for quiet relaxation and open environments for social interaction. Emulating a forest-like atmosphere, the tactile materials, designed in collaboration with individuals who are blind and visually impaired, invite safe engagement and enable dynamic navigation through touch. The variety and height of the materials provide a spectrum of exploration within reach of all people, including those who use wheelchairs and mobility devices, and produce a range of intensity and stimulation, offering choice for people with sensory sensitivities. This exhibition is organized by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta.

“Gatecrashers: The Rise of the Self-Taught Artist in America”
Through Dec. 11, 2021 

After World War I, artists without formal training began showing their work in major museums, “crashing the gates” of the elite art world, as the newspapers of their day put it. This touring exhibition organized by the High will celebrate more than a dozen early 20th-century painters who fundamentally reshaped who could be an artist in the United States and paved the way for later generations of self-taught artists. “Gatecrashers” will highlight three painters who became the most widely celebrated self-taught artists of the interwar period — John Kane, Horace Pippin and Anna Mary Robertson “Grandma” Moses — and present their work alongside paintings by others, including Morris Hirshfield, Lawrence Lebduska and Josephine Joy, who represent the breadth of the art world’s attraction to self-taught artists in the first half of the 20th century. Despite their lack of formal training, these artists’ paintings of American life in the cities and rural communities where they lived, as well as fantastical scenes derived from their imaginations, were celebrated by fellow artists, collectors and taste-making museums such as New York’s Museum of Modern Art, especially in the 1930s and early 1940s. This exhibition will demonstrate how that recognition foreshadowed the increasing visibility of self-taught artists in today’s art world. Following its presentation at the High, the exhibition will travel to the Brandywine River Museum of Art (May 28–Sept. 5, 2022) and The Westmoreland Museum of American Art (Oct. 30, 2022–Feb. 5, 2023). This exhibition is organized by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta. 

“Pioneers, Influencers, and Rising Voices: Women in the Collection” 
Ongoing 

In observance of the centennial of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution granting some women the right to vote, this installation is drawn from the High’s collection and features artworks made exclusively by women. Artists represented include some of the most influential voices of the past 50 years, such as Kiki Smith, Lorna Simpson and Shirin Neshat; midcareer artists such as Won Ju Lim and Chantal Joffe; emerging artists such as Jamian Juliano Villani and Ella Kruglyanskaya; and Atlanta-based artists Annette Cone-Skelton and Rocío Rodríguez. Whether exploring the multidimensionality of installation art, refashioning Minimalist forms and strategies, or challenging male-dominated social hierarchies, the selected works are inspired by or related to feminist concerns, which were advanced by the women’s movement of the 1960s and ’70s. Concerns that still persist today include voter suppression strategies that seek to disenfranchise people from participating in the democratic process. This exhibition is organized by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta. 

Continue Reading

Around Atlanta

Alliance Theatre’s 2021-22 In-Person Season Calendar

Published

on

The 53rd season will feature eight productions including the previously announced HANDS UP  and TONI STONE, and four world premieres including the musical DARLIN’ CORY  by Phillip DePoy and Grammy Award winner Kristian Bush, plus, a world premiere musical directed by Tony Award winner Kenny Leon to be announced later this summer, & the 2021/22 Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition winner, DREAM HOU$E

The new season will also introduce the Alliance’s elaborate new adaption of A CHRISTMAS CAROL, featuring a new script, set, and costume design.

Atlanta’s nationally acclaimed Alliance Theatre, Jennings Hertz Artistic Director Susan V. Booth, and Managing Director Mike Schleifer, are pleased to announce the productions of the Alliance’s 53rd season.  After a year that saw the Alliance produce a variety of new works for streaming platforms, an animated film, a drive-in production, and an outdoor tent series, the Alliance is excited to announce a return to in-person performances on its Coca-Cola Stage and Hertz Stage beginning in September 2021.  The new season will feature eight productions including four world premieres, two musicals, and an elaborate new staging of its annual production, A CHRISTMAS CAROL

“As a theater, we’ve been able to do a lot in this past upside-down year. The same commitment which helped us continue inspiring thousands of Atlantans (and beyond) while our stages were dark will enable us to do more innovative, equitable, and uplifting work as we come together in-person for our 2021/22 season,” said Susan V. Booth, Jennings Hertz Artistic Director.  “After the past year of pivoting with speed, agility, and yes, humor that we might never have imagined, it is thrilling to be announcing today our plans for the productions of our 53rd season.”

The 2021/22 season will begin in September on the recently renovated and award-winning Coca-Cola Stage with DARLIN’ CORY, a haunting new musical inspired by local lore with an original folk-country score by Grammy Award winner and Sugarland front man Kristian Bush (Troubadour), book by playwright and novelist Phillip DePoy (Edward Foote), and direction by Susan V. Booth. 

Opening the Hertz Stage in October is THE NEW BLACK FEST’S HANDS UP: 7 PLAYWRIGHTS, 7 TESTAMENTS.  HANDS UP depicts the realities of Black America from the perspective of varying genders, sexual orientations, skin tones, and socioeconomic backgrounds.  This production of HANDS UP is co-directed by Spelman Associate Professor Keith Arthur Bolden and Spelman alumna and Alliance Spelman Fellow Alexis Woodard.

In November, the Alliance will unveil the new adaptation of its annual production A CHRISTMAS CAROL by David H. Bell with direction by Leora Morris.  This reimagined version features a new scenic design by Tony Award winner Todd Rosenthal, costume design by Mariann Verheyen, lighting design by Greg Hofmann, sound design by Clay Benning, original music by Kendall Simpson, and puppet design by Tom Lee and Blair Thomas. 

Next up for the Hertz Stage is CLUB HERTZ LIVE – a music series that will host some of Atlanta’s most exciting performers and musicians in a relaxed lounge atmosphere.  CLUB HERTZ LIVE will feature a new act each night and a variety of genres during the month of December.  Bands and performers will be chosen by a panel of music-industry professionals.  Performers are invited to apply to be a part of the series on the Alliance’s website here.

In January 2022, the Alliance will produce the world premiere of this year’s Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition winner, DREAM HOU$E, by Eliana Pipes of Boston University.  In DREAM HOU$E, two sisters go on a reality tv show to renovate and sell their childhood home.  The show quickly drives a wedge between the sisters as they come to terms with how much of their family’s heritage they are willing to sacrifice in this funny and touching look at the truths of gentrification.     

On the Coca-Cola Stage, the Alliance will present TONI STONE, the “must-see play” (TheatreMania) by Lydia R. Diamond based on the true story of the first female athlete to play professional baseball in the Negro Leagues.  Toni Stone is a heartwarming and fascinating story of race, gender, and raw ambition.  This production will be directed by the Alliance’s BOLD Artistic Director Fellow Tinashe Kajese-Bolden and is a co-production with Milwaukee Rep.

In March 2022, the Alliance will produce the world premiere of BINA’S SIX APPLES by Lloyd Suh and directed by Obie Award winner Eric Ting.  Set against the backdrop of the Korean War, BINA’S SIX APPLES is a harrowing and uplifting story of courage and finding home.  BINA’S SIX APPLES is a co-production with Children’s Theatre Company.   

Closing the season on the Coca-Cola Stage, the Alliance will produce a world premiere musical with direction by Tony Award winner, Kenny Leon.  Leon is known to Atlanta audiences as the former Artistic Director of Alliance Theatre and as the Founder and Artistic Director Emeritus of Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre. The details of the new production will be announced later this summer. 

In addition to the Alliance Series on the Coca-Cola Stage and Hertz Series on the Hertz Stage, the Alliance will produce five productions for the Kathy & Ken Bernhardt Theatre for the Very Young – two for streaming and three in-person productions in the Selig Family Blackbox at Alliance Theatre.  The titles in the Theatre for the Very Young Season are SOUNDS OF THE WEST END (streaming); THE CURIOUS CARDINAL (streaming); KNOCK, KNOCK; IN MY GRANNY’S GARDEN; and DO YOU LOVE THE DARK?.  This season marks the 10th anniversary of the Kathy & Ken Bernhardt Theatre for the Very Young program, which commissions and produces new works designed for children five years old and younger. 

To prepare for audiences to return to the theater, the Alliance has replaced all HVAC units with HVAC ionization systems, which provide a 99.4% reduction of COVID-19 within 30 minutes.  HVAC ionization is more effective than other air-cleaning methods and helps kill other types of viruses, such as the flu, and air pollutants.  The Alliance has also increased the cleaning schedule of surfaces in the theater, modified the ticketing process to eliminate physical tickets, and increased the number of hand-sanitizing stations across the campus.  The Alliance will continue to closely monitor local, state, and federal policies regarding indoor activities and plan our safety protocols accordingly.  

When possible, live performances of the 53rd season will be filmed for streaming on the Alliance Theatre’s streaming platform, Alliance Theatre Anywhere.

DARLIN’ CORY (World Premiere Musical)​
September 8 – October 3, 2021
Coca-Cola Stage at Alliance Theatre​

Book by Phillip DePoy

Music by Kristian Bush

Lyrics by Phillip DePoy and Kristian Bush
Directed by Susan V. Booth​

Set against the backdrop of 1930s Appalachia, DARLIN’ CORY is a haunting new musical by playwright & novelist Phillip DePoy (EDWARD FOOTE) and Sugarland’s front man & Grammy Award winner Kristian Bush (TROUBADOUR).  In a tiny mountain town with no road in – and no road out – a community carries secrets of all sizes.  But when a young woman with ambition and intelligence collides with a pastor deeply committed to preserving the status quo, cracks begin to form in the town’s well-constructed façade. And when a stranger appears with a mysterious backstory and the best moonshine anyone’s ever tasted – some of those secrets threaten to spill.  With an original folk-country score, this modern-day myth inspired by local lore promises to leave audiences on the edge of their seats.  For tickets and information, visit www.alliancetheatre.org/darlin

A CHRISTMAS CAROL​ (new adaptation)
November 12 – December 24, 2021
Coca-Cola Stage at Alliance Theatre​

By Charles Dickens​
Adapted by David H. Bell​
Directed by Leora Morris​

The Alliance Theatre’s beloved production A CHRISTMAS CAROL will return to the Coca-Cola Stage this year with an exciting new adaption, including a completely reimagined set design and stunning new costumes. Audiences will be transported to the streets of London to revisit the timeless story of Ebenezer Scrooge’s journey to redemption, told with beautiful live music and an all-star cast. Join the Alliance Theatre for one of Atlanta’s most treasured holiday traditions.  For tickets and information, visit www.alliancetheatre.org/carol

TONI STONE 
February 10 – 27, 2022​
Coca-Cola Stage at Alliance Theatre​

By Lydia R. Diamond​
Directed by Tinashe Kajese-Bolden​

Considered a pioneer, Toni Stone is the first woman to play baseball in the Negro Leagues, also making her the first woman to play professionally in a men’s league.  Against all odds, Toni blazes a path in the male-dominated sports world, breaking through the limitations others placed on her, and creating her own set of rules. Follow Toni’s journey as she fights for love, equality and a chance to do what she wants the most — play some world class baseball. Declared the Best New Play of 2019 by The Wall Street Journal, TONI STONE is a funny and fascinating story of race, gender, and raw ambition… and an unheralded superstar you will never forget.  ​For tickets and info, visit www.alliancetheatre.org/tonistone

BINA’S SIX APPLES (world premiere)
March 11 – 27, 2022​
Coca-Cola Stage at Alliance Theatre​

By Lloyd Suh​
Directed by Eric Ting​

Bina’s family grows the finest apples in all of Korea. But when war forces her to flee her home, Bina is alone in the world with just six precious apples to her name. Can these meager possessions help her find her family?  Join Bina on her spirited journey that ranges from the heartbreaking to the humorous. Encountering new challenges at every turn, Bina is forced to rely upon her apples and their important legacy as she begins to discover the power of her own resilience. Often mesmerizing, always heartwarming, Bina will discover that she’s not the only one on a difficult quest for a place to call home. For tickets and info, visit www.alliancetheatre.org/binasapples

A World Premiere Musical, to be announced later this summer
May 25 – June 26, 2022​
Coca-Cola Stage at Alliance Theatre​

Directed by Kenny Leon


HERTZ SERIES

THE NEW BLACK FEST’S 
HANDS UP: 7 PLAYWRIGHTS, 7 TESTAMENTS
October 8 – 31, 2021​
Hertz Stage at Alliance Theatre​

By Nathan James, Nathan Yungerberg, Idris Goodwin, Nambi E. Kelley, Nsangou Njikam,
Eric Holmes, and Dennis Allen II​
Co-Directed by Keith Arthur Bolden and Alexis Woodard​

Across seven monologues written by seven Black playwrights, HANDS UP depicts the realities of Black America from the perspective of varying genders, sexual orientations, skin tones, and socioeconomic backgrounds. The play was originally commissioned in 2015 by the New Black Fest in response to a police officer fatally shooting an unarmed Black teenager, Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO. The themes and stories it tells still ring true today. HANDS UP is produced in association with Spelman College.​  For tickets and information, visit www.alliancetheatre.org/handsup

CLUB HERTZ LIVE

December 8 – 24, 2021

Hertz Stage at Alliance Theatre

Experience a special concert series featuring some of Atlanta’s most exciting performers and musicians in a relaxed lounge atmosphere.  CLUB HERTZ LIVE will feature a new performer each night and a variety of genres during the month of December.  Bands and performers will be chosen by a panel of music-industry professionals.  Performers are invited to apply to be a part of the series on the Alliance’s website.  For tickets and information, visit www.alliancetheatre.org/clubhertz

DREAM HOU$E (world premiere, winner of the Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition)
January 22 – February 13, 2022​
Hertz Stage at Alliance Theatre​

By Eliana Pipes

DREAM HOU$E follows two Latinx sisters on an HGTV-style reality show who are selling their family home, hoping to capitalize on the gentrification in their “changing neighborhood.”  As they perform for the camera, one sister grapples with turmoil in the family’s ancestral past while the other learns how much she’s willing to sacrifice for the family’s future. What is the cultural cost of progress in America — and is cashing in always selling out?  DREAM HOU$E is the winner of the 2021/22 Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition.  For tickets and information, visit www.alliancetheatre.org/dreamhouse

KATHY & KEN BERNHARDT THEATRE FOR THE VERY YOUNG

SOUNDS OF THE WEST END​

August 17, 2021 – May 31, 2022

Streaming on Alliance Theatre Anywhere

Conceived and Directed by Ameenah Kaplan

Inspired by In the West End written by Will Power and illustrated by R. Gregory Christie, commissioned by the Alliance Theatre in partnership with the Mayor’s Summer Reading Club
This aural adventure will immerse you in the sounds of the historic Atlanta neighborhood.  From the talk on the sidewalks to the whoosh of the Marta trains, join us for a rhythmic and tasty trip through the epicenter of vegan cooking in Atlanta.  For tickets or information, visit www.alliancetheatre.org/sounds.  

THE CURIOUS CARDINAL

October 12, 2021 – May 31, 2022

Streaming on Alliance Theatre Anywhere

Written and Directed by Mark Valdez

A Palette Production
Original composition by Eugene H. Russell IV

Created in partnership with the Fernbank Museum of Natural History
As the seasons come and go in this GA forest, so too do all of the varied wildlife. Except, of course, for the curious cardinal, who stays put the entire year, curiously exploring all of the changes that the seasons bring. Join our cardinal as he bickers with the blue jays in spring, outwits the mischievous squirrels in summer, and bids a fond farewell to the friendly otters in the fall. This animated short celebrates the majesty of the natural habitats of GA and the daily adventures of an everchanging world.  For tickets and information, visit www.alliancetheatre.org/cardinal

(KNOCK, KNOCK)

December 2 – 23, 2021

Selig Family Blackbox Theatre at Alliance Theatre

Created by Olivia Aston Bosworth & Samantha Provenzano

Directed by Samantha Provenzano

Come in from out of the cold and celebrate community, family, and warmth this holiday season! Welcome to The Apartment Building. Below us, above us, and beside us, the residents are preparing for the holidays and trying to stay warm. Join us on a floor to floor adventure, meeting and celebrating with a variety of friends who all call The Apartment Building home. Surprises hide behind each door — all you need to do is (Knock, Knock). For tickets and information, visit www.alliancetheatre.org/knock

IN MY GRANNY’S GARDEN

March 16 – April 24, 2022 

Selig Family Blackbox Theatre at Alliance Theatre

Directed by Rosemary Newcott

Based on In My Granny’s Garden written be Pearl Cleage and Zaron Burnett Jr. and illustrated by Radcliffe Bailey, commissioned by the Alliance Theatre in partnership with the Mayor’s Summer Reading Club

In My Granny’s Garden invites our youngest audiences to explore the glory of growing your own food. Watch a tiny seed become a field of corn, green beans, collard greens, and bright red tomatoes. Step into a visual feast inspired by world renowned artist Radcliffe Bailey’s original paintings, and discover the one superpower that fuels Granny’s garden. This play promises to leave you nourished in body and soul.  For tickets and information, visit www.alliancetheatre.org/garden

DO YOU LOVE THE DARK? (world premiere)

January 20 – February 27, 2022 

Selig Family Blackbox Theatre at Alliance Theatre

Based on Do You Love the Dark? written by Maya Lawrence and illustrated by R. Gregory Christie commissioned by the Alliance Theatre in partnership with the Mayor’s Summer Reading Club Inspired by the Mayor’s Summer Reading Club original book by Maya Lawrence and illustrated by R. Gregory Christie, Do You Love the Dark? follows a young girl during a sleepless night trying to conquer her biggest fear of all: the dark!  This interactive play invites the audience on an unforgettable journey to not only conquer the fear of the unknown, but to transform it into love. Join us for this humungous hug of a play and discover all the good love glowing in the dark! For tickets and information, visit alliancetheatre.org/lovedark

Source: Alliance Theatre Press Release

Continue Reading

Read the Digital Edition

Subscribe

Peachtree Corners Life

Capitalist Sage

Topics and Categories

Recent Posts

Authors

Trending

Copyright © 2020 Mighty Rockets LLC, powered by WordPress.

Get Weekly Updates!

Get Weekly Updates!

Don't miss out on the latest news, updates, and stories about Peachtree Corners.

Check out our podcasts: Peachtree Corners Life, Capitalist Sage and the Ed Hour

You have Successfully Subscribed!