The Alliance Theatre was supposed in the midst of producing Sweat, the 2017 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama by Lynn Nottage. Instead, in light of the Covid-19 pandemic and social distancing, it’s doing a weeklong Virtual Play Club around the piece.
Sweat looks into the lives of unemployed factory workers in Reading, Pennsylvania, and explores the class divide on the other side of the 2008 recession. Its story and themes have become evermore resonant today. What counts as essential labor, it asks. How does unemployment affect our mental health? How is economic mobility shaped by race and ethnicity?
The New Yorker called Sweat “a powerful critique of the American attitude toward class and how it affects the decisions we make.”
The Sweat script can be accessed now through Friday, May 1. The Alliance suggests that you read it, and then gather virtually with family and friends to discuss it. It even offers details on how to host your own play club.
Additional content — articles, interviews, videos and more — can be found on the Sweat Virtual Play Club website HERE.
Finally, at 6 p.m. this Friday, the Alliance will host a Facebook conversation with director Tinashe Kajese-Bolden and writer Pearl Cleage, the theater’s playwright in residence. They’ll discuss Sweat and theater’s role in reflecting and creating in times of crisis. The conversation will include guest appearances and commentary from Atlanta theater artists and community activists. A Q&A will follow.
All of the Alliance’s virtual offerings are free, but RSVPs are required so that a link to the live conversation can be emailed to participants. RSVP HERE.
In times like these, when we are separated by necessity, ArtsATL is needed more than ever. Please consider a donation so we can continue to highlight Atlanta’s creative community.