Alliance Celebrates New American Voices In A Series Of Free, Staged Readings


Atlanta's Alliance TheatreNew works by the four finalists of the Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition will be presented in a series of free, staged readings, February 5 to 7, 2013.  These readings invite audiences to experience the work of emerging playwrights and celebrate the rich diversity of the contemporary American experience.

Now in its ninth year, the Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition receives submissions from all over the country.  The four finalists recognized in the 2013 Competition are Absence by Peter M. Floyd, Annie Bosh is Missing by Janine Nabers, River City by Diana Grisanti, and Roman Candle Summer by Atlanta playwright Neeley Gossett (Gossett is the first Atlanta playwright to be recognized by the Competition).

The winning play, Bike America, written by Mike Lew and directed by Moritz von Stuelpnagel, will get its world premiere on the Alliance’s Hertz Stage, February 1-24, 2013.  Tickets are available at or by calling the box office at 404-733-5000.

Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition Readings:
WHEN: Tuesday – Thursday, February 5 – 7, 2013
WHERE: Alliance Theatre 3rd Floor Black Box Theatre
Memorial Arts Building, Woodruff Arts Center
RSVP for free tickets:  404.733.5000 or go online

Schedule & Descriptions:

Tuesday, February 5

Schedule & Descriptions:


Tuesday, February 5


  • 2:00pm – RIVER CITY – by Diana Grisanti, University of Texas at Austin; Directed by Andrea Frye
    • Shaken by her father’s death, Mary sets off to uncover three generations’ worth of family secrets buried in the West End of Louisville, Kentucky. River City charts Mary’s journey, which spans four decades, and investigates race, memory, and the ghosts that haunt one American city.


  • 7:30pm – ANNIE BOSH IS MISSING – by Janine Nabers, The Juilliard School; Directed by Jasmine Guy
    • Annie, a twenty-two-year old mixed race recovering drug addict is swept into her own storm of violence and confusion when she returns home to Houston in the midst of Hurricane Katrina aftermath. Unable to communicate with her estranged family, Annie ventures out into the turbulent city around her looking for a connection — causing the rift between Annie and her family to worsen.  


Thursday, February 7


  • 2:00pm – ABSENCE – by Peter M. Floyd, Boston University; Directed by Lisa Adler
    • Helen Bastion is 75 years old, but age has not taken its toll on this matriarch’s will or her need to control her family, from her compliant husband David to her resentful daughter Barb. But when she begins to suffer lapses of memory, her steely facade begins to crumble. Words lose their meaning and reality fragments, as Helen’s own sense of self starts to dissolve. Is she truly disappearing, or is she becoming something greater?  An excitingly theatrical and surprising play about aging, power, grace and imagination.


  • 6:00pm – Conversation with BIKE AMERICA playwright Mike Lew
    •  Meet this year’s competition winner and learn more about the play, portraying a young woman’s journey with a colorful crew of fellow bikers, in a play that captures the national temperature and the restlessness of a millennial generation.


  • 7:30pm – ROMAN CANDLE SUMMER – by Neeley Gossett, Hollins University; Directed by Rachel May
    • Bitsy is a society woman who appears to have everything she could want—except a child. During a hot Alabama summer filled with carnivals and bottle-rockets, her life collides with Tess, a fourteen-year-old girl bouncing around foster homes and selling fireworks on the state border. In order to allow the teenager in her life, Bitsy must stake Tess against her country club comforts and marriage.


Additional Opportunities:

 Wednesday, February 6


  • 2:00pm – An extra reading by the Alliance’s Kenny Leon Fellow – BEANS DON’T BURN ON THE GRILL by Jiréh Holder; Directed by Niegel Smith
    • A captivating journey through some of the greatest myths of all time told smartly and boldly through an African American lens.


The Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition is a one-of-a-kind competition that transitions student playwrights to the world of professional theatre. The grand prize for the winner of the competition is a full production of his/her work at the Alliance Theatre, as well as workshop and professional development opportunities.  The Competition is open to all final year playwriting students at invited MFA programs throughout the country.

The program is led by Celise Kalke, Director of New Projects, chosen by American Theatre as one of 25 American Theatre leaders of the future.