Alabama Story

February 8th-24th

written by Kenneth Jones,
directed by Stephanie Hickling Beckman

In the two-act Alabama Story, a gentle children’s book with an apparent hidden message stirs the passions of a segregationist State Senator and a no-nonsense State Librarian in 1959 Montgomery,  Alabama, just as the civil rights movement is flowering. Another story of childhood friends — an African-American man and a woman of white privilege, reunited in adulthood in Montgomery that same year — provides private counterpoint to the public events of the play.
The drama is playful, serious, smart, funny, dark and hopeful all at once. The Cape Cod Times wrote that the play “artfully explores Southern attitudes when the civil rights movement is catching fire” and that “Jones effectively unites the political and personal.”
Alabama Story — a humor-laced social-justice drama that’s a vest-pocket cousin to “To Kill a Mockingbird” — was a 2016 nominee for the Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award. Florida Studio Theatre artistic director Richard Hopkins, himself a Southerner, called Alabama Story “probably the best Southern play I’ve read in 10 or 20 years.” – Kenneth Jones

Eleemosynary

June 14th-28th

written by Lee Blessing
directed by Kristi DeVille

Staged with utmost simplicity, using platforms and a few props, the play probes into the delicate relationship of three singular women: the grandmother, Dorothea, who has sought to assert her independence through strong-willed eccentricity; her brilliant daughter, Artie (Artemis), who has fled the stifling domination of her mother; and Artie’s daughter, Echo, a child of exceptional intellect—and sensitivity—whom Artie has abandoned to an upbringing by Dorothea. As the play begins, Dorothea has suffered a stroke, and while Echo has reestablished contact with her mother, it is only through extended telephone conversations, during which real issues are skirted and their talk is mostly about the precocious Echo’s single-minded domination of a national spelling contest. But, in the end, after Dorothea’s death, both Artie and Echo come to accept their mutual need and summon the courage to try, at last, to build a life together—despite the risks and terrors that this holds for both of them after so many years of alienation and estrangement.
Sensitive and probing, this masterful play examines the subtle and often perilous relationship between three remarkable women: a young girl, her mother, and her grandmother. “…a play and a production of a caliber rarely seen on the Philadelphia stage…the language is elegant, witty and carefully wrought.” —Philadelphia City Paper. “…an engrossing 95-minute entry—alternately funny and poignant…” —Variety. “It is a wonderful job of playwriting.” —Minneapolis Star and Tribune. “…a funny, perceptive and eloquently written play…” —St. Paul Pioneer Press and Dispatch.


Every Brilliant Thing

August 9th-25,

written by Duncan MacMillan
starring Mondy Carter
directed by Karen Stobbe

You’re six years old. Mum’s in hospital. Dad says she’s “done something stupid.” She finds it hard to be happy. So you start to make a list of everything that’s brilliant about the world. Everything that’s worth living for. 1. Ice cream. 2. Kung Fu movies. 3. Burning things. 4. Laughing so hard you shoot milk out your nose. 5. Construction cranes. 6. Me. You leave it on her pillow. You know she’s read it because she’s corrected your spelling. Soon, the list will take on a life of its own. A play about depression and the lengths we will go to for those we love.

“[A] heart-wrenching, hilarious play…One of the funniest plays you’ll ever see about depression—and possibly one of the funniest plays you’ll ever see, full stop…There is something tough being confronted here—the guilt of not being able to make those we love happy—and it is explored with unflinching honesty.” —The Guardian (UK). “EVERY BRILLIANT THING finds a perfect balance between conveying the struggles of life, and celebrating all that is sweet in it.” —The Independent (London). “What Macmillan offers, with great sensitivity behind the abundant laughs, is a child’s fierce, flawed attempt to make sense of adult unhappiness and a meditation on the shadow that a loved one’s depression casts over the lives of a family.” —Evening Standard (London). “…very charming…offers sentimentality without shame…guaranteed to keep your eyes brimming…[The script] balance[s] acuity and affability…with unobtrusive artistry…captivating…” —NY Times. “[EVERY BRILLIANT THING] is sad, but it is also gloriously funny and exceptionally warm. It’s a show that spells out a little of what depression can do to people, but it also highlights the irrepressible resilience of the human spirit and the capacity to find delight in the everyday.” —Time Out (London).

12 Angry Jurors

October 4th-20th

written by Reginald Rose
directed by Stephanie Hickling Beckman

A 19-year-old man has just stood trial for the fatal stabbing of his father. “He doesn’t stand a chance,” mutters one of 12 jurors. It looks like an open-and-shut case—until another of the jurors begins opening the others’ eyes to the facts. “This is a remarkable thing about democracy,” says the foreign-born juror, “that we are notified by mail to come down to this place—and decide on the guilt or innocence of a person; of a man or woman we have not known before. We have nothing to gain or lose by our verdict. We should not make it a personal thing.” But personal it is, with each juror revealing his or her own character as the various testimonies are re-examined, the murder is re-enacted and a new murder threat is born before their eyes! Tempers get short, arguments grow heated, and the jurors become angrier and angrier. The jurors’ final verdict and how they reach it—add up to a fine, mature piece of dramatic literature.
Originally set in 1956 and titled 12 Angry Men, the once all-white, all male play has been updated to a more modern setting and features  diverse cast of men and women

 

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