Speakeysie News Desk — January 10. 2020
ATLANTA — The Alliance Theatre’s first-ever animated feature, SIT-IN, is available for streaming now on Alliance Theatre Anywhere. Written by Atlanta’s bestselling author, playwright, and civil rights activist, Pearl Cleage (Blues for An Alabama Sky, Tell Me My Dream) this original animated special for family audiences celebrates the power of youth to change history. Featuring a mixture of civil rights anthems and new freedom songs composed specifically for the feature, SIT-IN follows three friends as they learn about the sit-ins of the civil rights era, and powerfully apply those lessons to issues they – and we all – face today. The stream is available at www.alliancetheatre.org/sitin.
The Alliance’s production of SIT-IN was originally conceived as a play by Pearl Cleage inspired by the book Sit-In: How Four Friends Stoop Up by Sitting Down by Andrea Davis Pinkney and illustrated by Brian Pinkney. But faced with the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic, the theater had to decide whether to postpone or reimagine the piece.
“Our formidable team of artists fully embraced the latter,” said Christopher Moses, the Dan Reardon Director of Education & Associate Artistic Director. “This story was more relevant now than ever. Here was a chance to invite families, students, and educators into an intergenerational dialogue about social justice, and to celebrate the courage of young people following their convictions. So, within the giant constraints of this pandemic, we dreamed of a new possibility. If we can’t gather in person, how else could we still tell this story?”
That question led the Alliance, with Director Mark Valdez and Playwright Pearl Cleage, to collaborate with The Palette Group for a new 33-minute animated version of the play.
“None of us had ever done this before. So we were inviting new types of collaborators on board, working with filmmakers, illustrators, animators, and theater people,” Moses said. “It’s just become a really new way of storytelling that’s so exciting for all of us.”
“Pearl so beautifully reminds us in this play, it’s always been young people at the forefront of social change,” Moses continued. “And what a year to celebrate young voices!”
The cast of SIT-IN includes Lena Castro, Ibraheed Farmer, Bella Fraker, River Kearse, Sharonne Lanier, Eden Luse, and L Warren Young.
The creative team for SIT-IN includes Mark Valdez, Director; Eugene H. Russell, IV, Composer & Music Director; Christopher Moses, Line Producer; Patrick Myers, Visual Dramaturg; Liz Campbell, Stage Manager; Matthew Adeboye and David Adeboye, Filmmakers (The Palette Group); Cory Anchors, Illustrator; Josh Same, Animator; and Jody Felman, Casting.
Streaming access for SIT-IN is available now on ALLIANCE THEATRE ANYWHERE at www.alliancetheatre.org/sitin.
Virtual field trip opportunities and group screening opportunities are also available by contacting our Patron Services department. SIT-IN supports curriculum standards: ELAGSE1RL2, ELAGSE1RL3, ELAGSE1RL7, ELAGSE1RL9, ELAGSE3RL3, ELAGSE5RL2, ELAGSE5RL7, SS5H6, SS8H11.
To learn more, visit https://alliancetheatre.org/content/field-trips.
SIT-IN is presented by Georgia Natural Gas. It is part of the Delta Series for Youth and Family audiences. Additional support comes from The Rich Foundation, Lettie Pate Evans Foundation, the Zeist Foundation, WarnerMedia, Georgia Power, AT&T, and The Home Depot Foundation.
SIT-IN is presented in collaboration with the High Museum of Art’s exhibition, Picture the Dream: The Story of the Civil Rights Movement Through Children’s Books (August 15 – November 8, 2020), and represents the sixth collaboration with the High Museum of Art to present the work of a children’s book author and artist with both a museum exhibition and a stage production.
CALENDAR LISTING SYNOPSIS
SIT-IN (world premiere, animated)
January 8 – February 28, 2021
Streaming on Alliance Theatre Anywhere
By Pearl Cleage
Inspired by the book Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down by Andrea Davis Pinkney and Illustrated by Brian Pinkney
A Palette Group Production
Directed by Mark Valdez
Written by Atlanta’s bestselling author, playwright, and civil rights activist, Pearl Cleage (Blues for An Alabama Sky, Tell Me My Dream) this original animated short celebrates the power of youth to change history. Featuring a mixture of civil rights anthems and new freedom songs composed specifically for the feature, Sit-In follows three friends as they learn about the sit-ins of the civil rights era, and powerfully apply those lessons to issues they – and we all – face today. Purchase the stream at www.alliancetheatre.org/sitin.
PALEFSKY COLLISION PROJECT MLK DAY PERFORMANCE
January 18, 2021 at 2:30 p.m.
Join nine emerging artists as they reimagine the summer 2020 Palefsky Collision Project in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. and all civil rights activists. Directed by Patrick McColery in collaboration with Playwright Pearl Cleage, this special free performance & talk back will occur virtually on Monday, January 18, 2021 at 2:30 PM EST. Registration is available at www.alliancetheatre.org/collisionproject.