The Alliance Theatre’s 2011-2012 season promises spectacular theater that shouldn’t be missed by anyone who loves a great story.

“Each production of this season was selected for its capacity to engage the heart, provoke the mind, and take the viewer on a journey that will last far longer than one night,” says Susan V. Booth, the Alliance Theatre’s Jennings Hertz Jr. artistic director.

The 2011-2012 season opens with Stephen Sondheim’s classic Into the Woods. Accompanying the actors onstage will be musicians from the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Atlanta Youth Symphony Orchestra. This multigenerational orchestra brings new meaning to the musical’s central theme: “Careful the things you say, children will listen, Careful the things you do, children will see and learn.”

Recognizing that these difficult financial times require experiences that help us laugh and learn, the Alliance will present the world premiere of Janece Shaffer’s biting new comedy Broke and welcome back another Chicago/Atlanta laugh factory colaboration: Sex and the Second City.

Family productions this coming season promise beauty and warmth as the Alliance gifts Atlanta the holiday favorite A Christmas Carol, presents perennial favorite The Wizard of Oz, and creates new musical The Real Tweenagers of Atlanta.

The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls blends a modern tale of one young woman’s journey of self-discovery with the beauty of Russian fairy tales. I Just Stopped By to See the Man wrestles with the tension between where we come from and where we want to go.

As the 2007 Tony Award winner for Best Regional Theatre Company, it is only fitting that the Alliance bring to Atlanta the very best that Broadway has to offer. In 2009, Yamina Reza won the Tony Award for Best new play for God of Carnage. Former Alliance Artistic Associate Director Kent Dash will direct an African American cast in this side-splitting comedy about parents driven to the edge by other parents. And Tony Award winner Tovah Feldshuh will reprise her role as Golda Meir in the one-woman show Golda’s Balcony, proving that sometimes a family can be a whole nation of people.

Last, but not least, the Alliance Theatre will produce the premiere of the suspenseful musical Ghost Brothers of Darkland County,”with a score by John Mellencamp and book by master of horror Stephen King. At once chilling and enlightening, this original musical follows the lives of three generations of the McCandless family as they try and right a wrong from the past in an attempt to preserve the future of their lot.

“The mixture of fairy tales and ghost stories gets at the most primitive and powerful roots of theatre,” Booth says. “This is a wild ride of a season that no one should miss.”


Thomas Pinckney is a sales executive with Encore Atlanta by day and an avid theatregoer by night. He would like to thank his tie collection for making this article possible.