Alliance’s outdoor staging of WORKING will include new song and monologues

SPEAKEYSIE NEWS DESK 3/24/2021

THE NEW SONG WILL BY WRITTEN BY POET CARLOS ANDRÉS GÓMEZ, MUSICIAN BRANDON BUSH, AND GRAMMY AWARD WINNER KRISTIAN BUSH

ALLIANCE’S CAST WILL FEATURE JEWL CARNEY, COURTENAY COLLINS, ROB LAWHON, MAIESHA MCQUEEN, BRAD RAYMOND, AND EDDY RIOSECO

ATLANTA, March 23, 2021 — The Alliance Theatre will include never-before-seen monologues, as well as a new song, in its upcoming concert staging of the Broadway hit WORKING: A MUSICAL.  The new monologues being used to shape the Alliance’s production of WORKING are based on interviews the theater conducted with people who impact and sustain Atlanta through their work, with a focus on the resilience of workers over the past year. 

The new song being written for the Alliance’s production will be inspired by the theater’s interviews with Atlanta’s community organizers and activists, showcasing the vital role that Atlanta and Georgia have played in conversations on race and politics this year. The song lyrics will be written by poet, author, and actor Carlos Andrés Gómez.  Gómez has won awards for his books Fractures, Hijito, and his memoir Man Up: Reimagining Modern Manhood.  He is also a star of HBO’s Def Poetry Jam.  Music for the new song will be composed by musician and producer, Brandon Bush with his brother, Grammy Award-winning songwriter and Sugarland front man, Kristian Bush.  Brandon Bush’s musical career includes his time as a studio musician performing on releases by John Mayer, Sugarland, and Shawn Mullins, as well as performing globally as part of the multi-platinum-selling rock band Train.  Kristian Bush’s career includes front man and songwriter roles for the bands Billy Pilgrim, Sugarland, and Dark Water, as well as his solo albums.   

The Alliance is also crowdsourcing audio recordings from Atlantans to create a soundscape that will be used in several moments of the production.  Anyone from Atlanta can contribute to the soundscape by uploading an audio recording of themselves through the Alliance Theatre’s website.  It is a unique opportunity for audience members to be included in the production in a powerful way. 

“We want to tell the stories of the everyday people who keep a city going and to celebrate those folks who are often unseen, overlooked, or undervalued,” said WORKING Director, Tamilla Woodard.  “We’ve been witnessing it for a year now – the folks who don’t have the luxury to work from home but make it possible for those of us who do. I wanted to use the theater to acknowledge and say thank you to those whose collective labor is the very fabric of a city, of any community.”

Based on the best-selling Studs Terkel book, WORKING: A MUSICAL is a testament to the hopes, dignity, and sense of purpose shared by each one of us. Originally adapted by Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Pippin) and Nina Faso, WORKING has been reshaped multiple times to reflect a new generation of workers. Two new songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda were added in 2012 enriching the score by an already illustrious and eclectic list of songwriters: Craig Carnelia, Micki Grant, Mary Rodgers and Susan Birkenhead, and James Taylor, as well as Schwartz.

Schwartz has been an active collaborator on the Alliance’s production.  On their process, Director Tamilla Woodard said, “It’s humbling to sit in the (virtual) room with one of the greatest lyricists and composers in all of the American theater! [Schwartz] remains so deeply inquisitive of the process and collaborative and trusting as we make our way through this concept and how we would be reshaping the show to include Atlanta voices. From changing lyrics to removing scenes and songs to replace with new interviews from Atlantans, he was always on board.  WORKING is truly evergreen and this sort of modular reshaping and adaptation seems to be part of its DNA. It’s truly a piece of art that is enduring and speaks across the ages.”

The cast of the Alliance Theatre’s concert staging of WORKING: A MUSICAL includes Jewl Carney (National Tour: Miss Saigon), Courtenay Collins (Broadway: The Prom), Rob Lawhon (Alliance: Troubadour), Maiesha McQueen (Broadway: Waitress), Brad Raymond (Alliance: A Christmas Carol: The Live Radio Play), and Eddy Rioseco (National Tour: Wicked). 

The creative team behind the Alliance’s production includes Director Tamilla Woodard, Associate Director Alexis Woodard, Sound Designer Clay Benning, Costume Designer Shilla Benning, Scenic Designer Kat Conley, Lighting Designer Ben Rawson, Line Producer Jody Feldman, Music Director Brandon Bush, COVID Coordinator Haylee Scott, and Stage Manager Liz Campbell

WORKING is part of the Alliance Theatre’s spring “Under the Tent” series, bringing audiences together outdoors for live performances!  Following the success of the Alliance’s outdoor performances this past December, the “Under the Tent” series will utilize enhanced COVID safety procedures including open-air performances, socially distanced seating in two- and four-person pods, and required use of face masks.  Visit our FAQs for additional details.

WORKING will play under the tent at the Woodruff Arts Center, April 22 – June 6.  Tickets and information are available at www.alliancetheatre.org/working.    

Digital assets are available for download here –  

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/wqkt28xkpqf34vq/AADpLVCd_tMg7CweJ_JuDHAPa?dl=0

The Under the Tent series is made possible by the generosity of the Charles Loridans Foundation.  Additional support is provided by Classic Tents & Events, The Coca-Cola Company, Delta, and WarnerMedia. 

UNDER THE TENT SERIES

WORKING: A MUSICAL

April 22 – June 6, 2021

Under the Tent at Alliance Theatre

1280 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta, GA 30309 

From the book by Studs Terkel 

Adapted by Stephen Schwartz and Nina Faso 

With additional contributions by Gordon Greenberg 

Songs by Craig Carnelia, Micki Grant, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mary Rodgers and Susan Birkenhead, Stephen Schwartz, and James Taylor 

Directed by Tamilla Woodard

“Everyone should have something to point to, something to be proud of.” WORKING: A MUSICAL explores what makes our work meaningful across all walks of life. Whether it be in an office, a restaurant, your home, or you’ve retired, this musical reminds us to celebrate not only what we do, but how we do it. With original songs by Lin-Manual Miranda, Stephen Schwartz, James Taylor, and more, the Alliance Theatre’s concert staging of WORKING will premiere as part of the “Under the Tent” series. For tickets and information, visit www.alliancetheatre.org/working

BEAUTIFUL BLACKBIRD LIVE! 

April 8 – 18, 2021

Under the Tent at Alliance Theatre

1280 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta, GA 30309 

Inspired by the Newbery Medal-winning book by Ashley Bryan 

Atlanta’s favorite feathered funk band is back!  Featuring original music composed by Eugene H. Russell IV and inspired by Ashley Bryan’s children’s book BEAUTIFUL BLACKBIRD, this family friendly concert will have you on your feet celebrating the uniqueness of each and every one of us.  Shake your tailfeathers and dance to the music! For tickets and info, visit www.alliancetheatre.org/blackbird

SONGS TO GROW ON

May 6 – 16, 2021

Under the Tent at Alliance Theatre

1280 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta, GA 30309 

A Woody Guthrie concert for children! – A family friendly concert event featuring American folk music legend Woody Guthrie’s classic children’s songs.  Performed by Rob Lawhon and drawn primarily from Guthrie’s iconic album Songs to Grow on for Mother and Child, this cycle of songs captures the whimsy, joy, and wonder of childhood in three chords & a whole lot of fun.  Join Woody and his dog Arlo as they serenade Atlanta families with songs that celebrate the human spirit.  For tickets and info, visit www.alliancetheatre.org/songs

TYRONE JACKSON & FRIENDS
AN ATLANTA JAZZ REVIVAL

April 7 & 8, 2021​

Under the Tent at Alliance Theatre

1280 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta, GA 30309 

Tyrone Jackson will bring his favorite musicians and singers to perform jazz, blues, and ballads. An Atlanta Jazz Revival is the theme and the skyline will be the backdrop for old classics, standard songs, and modern twists performed by some of Atlanta’s best musicians. The tent will be rockin’.  For tickets and info, visit www.alliancetheatre.org/tyronejackson

SISTER OMELIKA

SOARING HIGH

April 10, 2021​

Under the Tent at Alliance Theatre

1280 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta, GA 30309 

Soaring High is a multifaceted story of Sister Omelika’s journey as an artist told through dance, spoken word, original music and songs accompanied by traditional African Drumming. Through her uplifting, honest narrative she will be sharing experiences of resilience, rich history, and the vibrancy of Black culture.​ For tickets and info, visit www.alliancetheatre.org/sisteromelika.

THE TINY THEATER COMPANY

HAMLET

April 15 – 17, 2021​

Under the Tent at Alliance Theatre

1280 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta, GA 30309

This adaptation of Hamlet uses elements of Black Culture, Music, Rhythm, and Call and Response, to tell this classical story reimagined. Hamlet tells the story of a young prince, whose father’s death has uprooted the castle. We follow Ham and best friends Horatio and Marcellus, as they get to the bottom of the mysterious happenings at the castle. Hamlet is a story of revenge and resistance; told in a way you’ve never seen before. ​For tickets and info, visit www.alliancetheatre.org/tinytheaterco

XXX

ABOUT THE ALLIANCE THEATRE

Founded in 1968, the Alliance Theatre is the leading producing theater in the Southeast, reaching more than 165,000 patrons annually.  Under the leadership of Susan V. Booth, Jennings Hertz Artistic Director, the Alliance received the Regional Theatre Tony Award® for sustained excellence in programming, education, and community engagement.  In January 2019, the Alliance opened its new, state-of-the-art performance space, The Coca-Cola Stage at Alliance Theatre.  Known for its high artistic standards and national role in creating significant theatrical works, the Alliance has premiered more than 116 productions including nine that have transferred to Broadway.  The Alliance education department reaches 90,000 students annually through performances, classes, camps, and in-school initiatives designed to support teachers and enhance student learning.  The Alliance Theatre values community, curiosity, collaboration, and excellence, and is dedicated to representing Atlanta’s diverse community with the stories we tell, the artists, staff, and leadership we employ, and audiences we serve.  www.alliancetheatre.org

OUR MISSION

Expanding hearts and minds on stage and off. 

OUR VISION

Making Atlanta more connected, curious, and compassionate through theatre and arts education.

Tony Award recipient for Regional Theatre
alliancetheatre.org
 // @alliancetheatre
1280 Peachtree St NE // Atlanta, GA 30309
p. 404.733.4601

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