Out Front Theatre Company will stream three digital productions this fall and winter, all of them one-person shows. The company has been dark since March 15 when Covid-19 interrupted its run of warplay, a reimagining of a same-sex love story from the Iliad.
All three shows will feature performers playing multiple characters in the style of Out Front’s productions of Buyer and Cellar (2018) and I Am My Own Wife (2019). Tickets are $15 and each viewing will be available for 72 hours from opening night through the weekend.
The West Midtown company, now in its fifth season, focuses exclusively on work that reflects the LGBTQ+ experience. It’s the only theater in the Southeast to do so and one of few nationwide.
Producing artistic director Paul Conroy called the one-person shows the safest option for actors, audiences and staff. They are:
DIVA: LIVE FROM HELL (October 23-25). Trevor Perry plays Desmond Channing, president of the drama club and the star of every school play. When a hotshot transfer from New York threatens his status, he retaliates and finds himself stuck in the Seventh Circle, hell’s most squalid cabaret venue. DIVA had its world premiere at New York’s Theater for the New City in 2017. Conroy directs, with Nick Silvestri as music director. Tickets HERE.
BRIGHT COLORS & BOLD PATTERNS (November 20-22). With Blake Fountain (Christmas With the Crawfords). The comedy details events that precede a Palm Springs wedding, when an evening spirals into a drunken, drug-fueled screaming riot. One guest becomes more and more furious about a stipulation in the wedding invitation: “Please refrain from wearing bright colors or bold patterns.” It was a Critic’s Pick in both the New York Times and TimeOut New York in 2016. No director has been named.
THE SANTA CLOSET (December 11-13). When Santa Claus denies a young boy’s gender-atypical gift request, the boy sends a series of heartfelt letters to nudge Santa out of the closet and into the culture wars. The resulting scandal comes to be known as “Santa-Gate.” The Santa Closet is described as “funny, sensitive and imaginative.” It had an off-Broadway run in 2019. Actor and director have not yet been named.
Alliance’s art & activism series on race begins Thursday
The Alliance Theatre this week begins a free art-and-activism series in advance of its February staging of Hands Up, seven monologues by Black playwrights. The piece was commissioned by New York’s New Black Fest in response to 2015 events in Ferguson, Missouri, where a police officer shot and killed unarmed teenager Michael Brown.
The five-part series of conversations and performances begins Thursday (October 8) and runs through October 29. A Sunday afternoon session for families is October 25. Topics, in chronological order, include:
RECASTING THE BLACK IMAGE (7 p.m. October 8), moderated by Carlton Mackey, director of Ethics and the Arts Program Emory and founder of Black Men Smile. With actor-writer Mark Kendall (The Magic Negro); songwriter-actor Eugene H. Russell IV; Charles Stephens, founder of the Counter Narrative Project; and Anthony Knight, an educator and founder of The Baton Foundation. RSVP HERE to receive the link.
BLACK LGBTQ NARRATIVES (7 p.m. October 15), moderated by Stephens of the Counter Narrative Project. With performer-educator E. Patrick Johnson (author of Sweat Tea: Black Gay Men of the South); playwright and author Nathan Yungerberg (Holes in My Identity); actor and drag artist Trevor Perry; writer-actor Thandiwe Thomas DeShazor; and TAYLOR ALXNDR, a musician, drag artist and community organizer. RSVP HERE.
RACIAL HEALING THROUGH ART (7 p.m. October 22), moderated by Minka Wiltz, actor and creator-host of the Cultural Workers podcast. With theater director Amanda Washington; Wendy Phillips, an expressive arts therapist; visual artist Shanequa Gay; and Ayanna Abrams, a clinical psychologist and the founder of Not So Strong, an online space for Black women. RSVP HERE.
ENGAGING THE ARTS TO RAISE ANTI-RACIST KIDS (3 p.m. October 25), featuring author Breanna McDaniel (Hands Up!); Naimi Carter Russell, actor and book advocate at @DramaMamaReads; and Maya Lawrence, director of the Alliance’s allyship program. RSVP HERE.
STANDING UP FOR RACIAL JUSTICE (7 p.m. October 29), moderated by the Alliance’s Lawrence, also director of the theater’s anti-bias program. With representatives from Black Leaders Advocating Cultural Theatre (BLACT), the Coalition for Racial Equity in Atlanta Theater (CREAT), Atlanta Theater Artists for Justice (ATAJ), and Inclusion, Diversity and Equity in the Arts ATL (IDEA ATL). RSVP HERE.
In-person performances for Hands Up: 7 Playwrights, 7 Testaments are planned for February 1-28 on the Alliance’s Coca-Cola Stage, Covid-19 permitting. The playwrights are Dennis A. Allen II, Idris Goodwin, Eric Micha Holmes, Nathan James, Nambi E. Kelley, NSangou Njikam and Nathan Yungerberg. The monologues depict the realities of Black America from the perspective of varying genders, sexual orientations, skin tones and socioeconomic backgrounds. Hands Up is produced in association with Spelman College. Keith Arthur Bolden and Alexis Woodard co-direct. Twelve-month Alliance memberships ($250) are available HERE. Single tickets will go on sale closer to opening night. Or call 404.733.5000.
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