Atlanta’s nationally acclaimed Alliance Theatre will open its 2012/13 season with the world premiere of What I Learned in Paris, a play written by author and playwright Pearl Cleage and directed by Alliance Theatre Artistic Director Susan V. Booth.
Set in Atlanta in 1973, What I Learned in Parisis a romantic comedy that follows five characters in the afterglow of their successful campaign for the election of Maynard Jackson, Atlanta’s first African American mayor. Now that their candidate and friend has won, they are dropped into the fishbowl of politics and find their personal lives increasingly subjected to scrutiny. Each character has to come to grips with what that means to them, while keeping a lid on simmering, potentially history-altering secrets that could boil over at any moment. A fictional story based on actual events, What I Learned in Paristakes a look at the important social changes of the 1970s through the comedic lens of love and politics.
“1973 was a big year for transitions. In Atlanta, nothing signified those changes as clearly as the election of Maynard Jackson as the city’s first African-American mayor,” said author Pearl Cleage. “I was part of that amazing victory and I always wanted to write about that moment in a way that was more personal than political. This play is my first attempt. And of course, it’s a love story!”
Previous plays by Cleage include the critically praised works – The Nacirema Society Requests the Honor of Your Presence at a Celebration of Their First One Hundred Years, Blues for an Alabama Sky, and Flyin’ West – all of which premiered at the Alliance Theatre. Her novel What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day was an Oprah Book Club selection and appeared on the NYT best-seller list for nine weeks.
What I Learned in Paris boasts a talented cast of Atlanta and New York based actors including Crystal Fox (Alliance Theatre’s God of Carnage) as Evie Madison; Danny Johnson (Broadway: The Song of Jacob Zulu) as J.P. Madison; January LaVoy (Broadway: ENRON) as Lena Jefferson; Eugene H. Russell, IV (Alliance Theatre’s Jesus Christ Superstar GOSPEL) as John Stanton; and Kelsey Scott (Regional West Coast Tour of Dreamgirls) as Ann Madison.
Performances are Tuesday through Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 2:30 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., September 5-30, 2012 on the Alliance Stage.
Tickets start at $25 and will be available at The Woodruff Arts Center Box Office beginning July 16, 2012, by calling 404-733-5000 or online at alliancetheatre.org/paris. Discount rates for groups of 10 or more are available by calling 404.733.4690. Discount rates are also available for members of the military, seniors and students. The Alliance Theatre is located at The Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree Street, at the corner of Peachtree and 15th Street, in Midtown Atlanta.