The feature film "Moonlight," screening xx at the Alliance, is based on Kendeda alum Tarell Alvin McCraney's play "In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue." Photo: Getty Images
The feature film “Moonlight,” screening Feb. 8 at the Woodruff Arts Center, is based on Alliance/Kendeda alum Tarell Alvin McCraney’s autobiographical play “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue.” Photo: Getty Images



Jiréh Breon Holder and his Too Heavy for Your Pocket  won the 2017 Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition and its production slot on the Hertz Stage, but four finalists receive staged readings Feb. 8-10.

The readings, collectively called the Festival of New Plays, take place in the Black Box Theatre on the third floor of the Alliance Theatre at the Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. The festival is, easily, a highlight on Atlanta’s annual cultural calendar. Go see for yourself.


A bonus this year is a free screening of the Oscar-nominated film Moonlight, based on the Tarell Alvin McCraney play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue. McCraney won 2008 Kendeda competition with In the Red and Brown Water.

All events are free, but only reservations guarantee you a seat. Go HERE or call 404.733.5000.

Wednesday, Feb. 8

  • Bennett Fisher
    Bennett Fisher

    BOREALIS | By Bennett Fisher, the University of San Diego | 2 p.m. When a cryptic letter arrives from her brother on the oil fields, a 13-year-old girl heads to Alaska to find him. Armed with a book by Donald Trump and an ax, she fights through an Arctic wilderness and various levels of corruption. Borealis is described as “part mythic journey, part workplace satire” and “a darkly comic adventure about family obligation, career aspiration and what we leave behind to make our way to the top. Rachel May, Synchronicity Theatre’s producing artistic director, directs.

  • MOONLIGHT screening | 7:30 p.m. The feature film chronicles the life of a young black man from childhood to adulthood as he struggles to find his place in the world while growing up in a rough Miami neighborhood. Note: The screening is in the Rich Auditorium.

Thursday, Feb. 9

  • Emily Feldman
    Emily Feldman

    MY LOVER JOAN | By Emily Feldman, the University of San Diego | 2 p.m. Whether wearing sackcloth, a toga, golden bangles or a pantsuit, there seems to be no moment in history when it’s easy being a woman. Joan is wiser than the men who keep her down, and longs to use her mind and take charge. Her ambition begins a surprising journey, while her lover watches from the sidelines, wondering where he fits in her world. Leora Morris, the Alliance’s 2016-17 Yale directing fellow, directs.

Friday, Feb. 10

  • Lindsey Ferrentino
    Lindsey Ferrentino

    MOONLIGHT ON THE BAYOU | By Lindsey Ferrentino, Yale | 2 p.m. An oil-rig worker named Sonny must leave to care for his aging father and win back his pregnant girlfriend. Increasingly sleep deprived, he keeps having nightmares about his father’s legends of New Orleans. Can he re-create home in a post-Katrina FEMA trailer before it’s too late? Ferrentino also wrote Ugly Lies the Bone, produced on the Hertz Stage last fall. Freddie Ashley, Actor’s Express’ artistic director, directs.

  • Q&A: MEET THE PLAYWRIGHT  A conversation with Alliance/Kendeda winner Jiréh Breon Holder and Celise Kalke, the Alliance’s director of new projects | 5:30 p.m.
  • Mora V. Harris
    Mora V. Harris

    SPACE GIRL | By Mora V. Harris, Carnegie Mellon University | 7:30 p.m. Arugula Suarez just wants to fit in, but that’s not easy when you’re a 16-year-old lesbian alien from the planet Zlagdor. In a world where only roller derby and salad make sense, Arugula and her father must find out what it means to be human before time runs out for planet Earth. Note: Atlanta’s Weird Sisters Theatre Project will stage the world premiere of Space Girl this summer. Weird Sisters’ Julie Skrzypek and Rebekah Suellau direct here.


About Kathy Janich

Kathy Janich is a longtime arts journalist who has been seeing, working in or writing about the performing arts for most of her life. She's a member of the Theatre Communications Group, the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas, Americans for the Arts and the National Arts Marketing Project. Full disclosure: She’s also an artistic associate at Synchronicity Theatre.

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