Speakeysie News Desk
ALLIANCE THEATRE IS PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE ITS UPCOMING PRODUCTION
A NEW FAMILY MUSICAL THAT ENCOURAGES US TO DREAM BIG WHEN IT MATTERS MOST,
INSPIRED BY THE CHILDHOOD LIFE AND INFLUENCES OF ROCK & ROLL ICON, JIMI HENDRIX
ATLANTA, March 15, 2023 — The Alliance Theatre is pleased to present the inspiring world premiere of THE BOY WHO KISSED THE SKY, on The Coca-Cola Stage from April 1 – April 15, 2023. This co-productionwith Seattle Children’s Theatre concluded its run in Seattle in November 2022 where it received critical and audience acclaim. Seattle’s Parent Map called the show, “Out-of-this-world good,” and “incredibly entertaining.” THE BOY WHO KISSED THE SKY is written by Idris Goodwin and directed by Tim Bond, with music by celebrated musicians Divinity Roxx and Eugene H. Russell IV.
Set in the heart of Seattle to the rhythms that shaped a generation, THE BOY WHO KISSED THE SKY is inspired by the early life and influences of musical icon Jimi Hendrix. In the early era of rock n roll music, we see a young Black boy conjure his creativity as a budding guitarist. Guided by the spirit of music itself, the Boy learns to find harmony inside the challenging noises of his life. Although more mythology than biography, THE BOY WHO KISSED THE SKY is a celebration of our muses and the forces that pull us to be who we are. Told with vibrant music and daring imagination, this new family musical inspires us to dream big when it matters most.
“This play is about all young dreamers who vision themselves in flight yet feel like their feet are nailed to the earth. It is a love letter to our ancestors, and embracing the best of what they pass on to us,” said Playwright Idris Goodwin. “I write to expand upon the narrow lens of Black experience in American art. While not a Hendrix bio play, I certainly hope people will go learn more about the Seattle icon. His legacy and impact on American Music is undeniable and under-heralded.”
The cast features Aishé Keita as Donna, Cedric Lamar as J Sonic, Brandon L. Smith as The Boy, and Adam Washington as Mel, with Deborah Bowman,Alexandria Joy, and Mike Spee as Shapeshifters/Feedback. Understudies include Allison Dixon, Jason Hamlet, Brandin Jay, Cameron Smith, Paris Weeden, and Ja’Siah C. Young.
The creative team includes Director Tim Bond, Playwright Idris Goodwin, Choreographer Sonia Dawkins, Composer and Music Director Eugene H. Russell IV, Composer Divinity Roxx, Scenic Designer Carey Wong, Costume Designer Alan Yeong, Lighting Designer Connie Yun, Sound Designer Chris Lane, Projection Designer Miko Simmons, and Wig Designer Joyce Degenfelder. The band will include Markeith Black (Guitar), JLatoiya (Conductor/Drums), and Xavier Jones (Bass). Brandon Thomas serves as the rehearsal guitarist.
Additional production support is provided by Stage Manager R. Lamar Williams, Assistant Stage Manager Kacie Pimentel, Stage Management Production Assistant Samantha Honeycutt, Line Producer Christopher Moses, COVID Coordinator Haylee Scott, Assistant Lighting Designer Amber Lynne Parker, and Projections Programmer Colby Nordberg.
“THE BOY WHO KISSED THE SKY is the best kind of collaboration,” continued Goodwin. “It brings together two cities, Seattle and Atlanta, and also brings together multi-generations of culturally and regionally diverse genius. There are simply not enough letters in the English alphabet to express my gratitude for the designers, performers, musicians, artisans and technicians. This is just the beginning. I intend to create even more works with this squad. I believe with my whole being that this show will carry on for a long time.”
“This play celebrates the power that art can play in shaping a young life,” said Christopher Moses, Alliance Theatre’s Dan Reardon Director of Education and Associate Artistic Director.” This play reminds us that each one of us was born to create, and that the act of creating is not reserved just for the few rarefied and exceptional talents. Each of us harbors some particular gift that we contribute to the whole of humanity. But discovering that gift, listening to that muse, takes practice. And nurturing. And a whole lot of hope, reaching for what might seem impossible.”