Speakeysie News Desk April 3, 2020
Actor’s Express announces its 33rd Season of gripping, entertaining work, including two Atlanta Premieres and one World Premiere. The season opens Summer 2020 with the rock musical Lizzie, which explores the murderous legend of Lizzie Borden. In the Fall, Actor’s Express will present The Thin Place by Lucas Hnath (The Christians and A Doll’s House, Part 2), a haunting drama about the desire to connect with those who have passed on. Next, in time for the holidays, Hedwig and the Angry Inch triumphantly returns to the Actor’s Express stage in an all-new production. In January 2021, Freddie Ashley kicks off the new year by directing a full production of Stephen Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along, building on the success of AE’s sold-out concert presentation from 2018. With spring comes the outrageous comedy Bootycandy by Robert O’Hara, directed by Martin Damien Wilkins. And finally, the season closes in late spring 2021 with the World Premiere of Oh, to Be Pure Again by Kira Rockwell, a moving coming-of-age drama set in a Texas fundamentalist church camp.
According to Artistic Director Freddie Ashley, “At a time in which we need shared catharsis more than ever, Season 33 offers a panoply of experiences that engage the imagination and stir the heart. We can’t wait to offer audiences the opportunity to laugh, cry, jump in their seats and lean into the experience of being alive in the world today – and to be able to do that together.”
Atlanta Legend and fan favorite Libby Whittemore returns to the Actor’s Express stage in May 2021 for the 13th year of her popular cabaret series Libby’s at the Express. Actor’s Express will additionally present the sixth annual Threshold New Play Festival. Dates for Libby’s at the Express and Threshold are to be determined.
Due to ongoing scenario planning during our temporary suspension of operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, exact dates for each production are pending. These dates will be finalized when we have a clearer sense of when we can reactivate and return to our full production calendar.
Season subscription packages are now on sale and can be purchased online at actors-express.com or by calling 404-607-SHOW. Single ticket sales will be announced at a later date.
ABOUT THE PLAYS
Music by Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer, Alan Stevens Hewitt and Tim Maner
Directed by Jennifer Alice Acker
Season 33 Sponsor: Jessica Linden; Show Sponsor: Terry Hildebrand; Directing Sponsor: Jan Beaves; Music Sponsor: Sharon and David Schachter; Design Sponsors: Kevin Dew and Hall Platt
“Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her mother forty whacks. When she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one.” Or did she? This blistering rock musical upends one of the most intriguing crimes in our country’s history, which has captured our collective imagination since that bloody night in 1892. Was Lizzie Borden a cold-blooded killer or a victim of the Victorian patriarchy?
The Thin Place
By Lucas Hnath
Directed by Freddie Ashley
Early Fall 2020
Design Sponsor: Clark Wiesner
Everyone who ever died is still here – and Linda knows how to talk to all of them. Maybe you can too if you listen, if you really listen. In this startling new thriller by the celebrated playwright of The Christians and A Doll’s House Part 2, Actor’s Express transforms into an intimate, eerie séance in which the truth burrows into the “thin place,” the delicate boundary between our world and the next.
Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Music & Lyrics by Stephen Trask
Book by John Cameron Mitchell
Holiday Season 2020
Show Sponsor: John & Patt Vallory
Hedwig for the holidays! Join “internationally ignored” rock singer Hedwig as she searches the world for stardom and love in this groundbreaking musical that has become one of the great cult classics of all time. Hedwig and the Angry Inch celebrates everyone who’s ever felt like a misfit with such instant classics as “Sugar Daddy,” “Wig in a Box” and “Midnight Radio” in a set list that will have you jamming along and unleashing your own inner rock star.
Merrily We Roll Along
Music & Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, Book by George Furth
Based on the original play by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart
Directed by Freddie Ashley
Show Sponsor: Stephen Michael Brown
Franklin, Mary and Charley juggle the tensions between ambition and friendship in Stephen Sondheim’s triumphant musical about old friends, growing up and bending with the road. Told in backward chronology, we start in the present as the trio’s friendships are stretched to a breaking point, journeying backward in time through all their successes and struggles, all the way to their first night together as they look innocently ahead to a future full of possibility. One of Sondheim’s most fascinating pieces of work, it features arguably his greatest score, including such enduring standards as “Good Thing Going,” “Our Time” and “Not a Day Goes By.”
By Robert O’Hara
Directed by Martin Damien Wilkins
Show Sponsor: Jesse Peel
Join Sutter as he propels through a kaleidoscopic odyssey through his childhood home, church, dive bars, seedy motels – and one riotously funny phone conversation about very inappropriate baby names. One of the most acclaimed satirical comedies of the decade, Bootycandy is an audacious series of subversive vignettes that explore what it means to grow up gay and black in America.
Oh, to Be Pure Again
By Kira Rockwell
Late Spring/Early Summer 2021
Show Sponsor: Arlene Glaser
During a hot summer at a fundamentalist church camp in Texas, the occupants of the senior girls’ cabin search for something bigger than themselves. An idealistic young counselor works to shepherd the girls through a delicate phase of self-discovery, only to be confronted with challenges to her own worldview. The young women find themselves crashing into the uneasy tension between obedience and rebellion in a culture that is obsessed with their sexual purity.
WE ARE GRATEFUL TO OUR SPONSORS
Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta Metropolitan Arts Fund
City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs
Fulton County Board Commissioners
Georgia Council for the Arts
Holland IT Consulting
National Endowment for the Arts
Charles Loridans Foundation
Major support is provided by the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs. Major funding is provided by the Fulton County Board of Commissioners. This program is supported in part by the Georgia Council for the Arts through the appropriations of the Georgia General Assembly. GCA also receives support from its partner agency – the National Endowment for the Arts.
ABOUT ACTOR’S EXPRESS
Since our founding in 1988, we have sought to nurture the next generation of playwrights through workshops, readings, and full productions of new plays; to develop and nurture Atlanta’s artistic community through theatre training; to catalyze the dialogue essential to the vitality of our neighborhood and our city; and to enhance Atlanta’s reputation nationally as a thriving center for live performance. Actor’s Express is located on the westside of Atlanta in the King Plow Arts Center at 887 W. Marietta Street, Suite J-107, Atlanta, Georgia 30318.