Theatrical Outfit begins its Season of Compassion with the dramatic comedy The Savannah Disputation, written by Georgia-born playwright Evan Smith and, he says, inspired by today’s politics and his Savannah grandmother. This is the 38th season for Theatrical Outfit, the second-oldest professional theater company in Atlanta, and the home of stories that stir the soul.
THE STORY: Two plain-as-potatoes sisters of the Roman Catholic persuasion forget all about Southern charm when a peppy Evangelical Christian comes to their door. “If you’re nice to them, they keep coming back. They’re just like cats,” one sibling tells the other. A debate about religion, life, convictions and finding kindness where you might least expect it.
WHY THIS PLAY, WHY NOW? “Before the 2014 midterm elections, when people become more angry than ever about the other party, or about all politics and politicians, I chose Savannah Disputation, the toughest comedy I know of, to show just what it looks like when people turn enmity into friendship and, most importantly, just how funny the process can be. In the end, maybe it will be the community that laughs together, stays together. That’s what I’m hoping and at Theatrical Outfit, that’s how we’re going to do our part to build compassion—start with laughter.” – Tom Key, Producing Artistic Director
- Previews at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 21-22, 2014 and 2:30 p.m. Aug. 23.
- Opening night performance is at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 23, 2014.
- Rest of run is 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday.
DID YOU KNOW? Theatrical Outfit is committed to using the best Atlanta talent onstage and behind the scenes. You’ll rarely see a New York or Los Angeles-based actor on our stage.
ABOUT THE CAST:
- ALEX BOND (Mary) is making her Theatrical Outfit debut. Locally she’s been seen with Working Title Playwrights and Theater Emory’s Brave New Works Series. She’s appeared off-Broadway and regionally with Provincetown Theatre, New Harmony Theatre, Buffalo Studio Arena, Virginia Stage Company, Theatre Virginia, South Jersey Regional Theatre and the DallasTheatreCenter. Her character, Mary, one of the siblings at the center of the play, has been likened to Bea Arthur’s Dorothy on the TV sitcom “The Golden Girls.”
- LANE CARLOCK (Melissa) last appeared at Theatrical Outfit in My Name Is Asher Lev. She’s also performed locally with Actor’s Express, Horizon Theatre, Synchronicity Theatre, the Alliance Theatre and Theatre in the Square. She’s done hundreds of commercials, voiceovers and industrials and has numerous film and TV credits. Her character, Melissa, is the bell ringer who gets the fracas started.
- SHANNON EUBANKS (Margaret) last appeared at Theatrical Outfit in Hard Times. She’s been acting, directing, writing and teaching since 1974, first in Los Angeles and then in Atlanta. Locally, she’s worked at 7 Stages, Actor’s Express, the Alliance Theatre, Georgia Ensemble Theatre, Horizon Theatre, Theatre Emory and the Weird Sisters Theatre Project. Her character, Margaret, has been described as the Rose (Betty White) to the Bea Arthur-like Mary.
- MARK KINCAID (Father Murphy) last appeared at Theatrical Outfit in last season’s Dividing the Estate and Buddhist Catnaps & Broken-Down Hymns. He was also on the Outfit stage in A Confederacy of Dunces. Locally, he’s been seen at the Alliance Theatre, Georgia Shakespeare, Horizon Theatre and Serenbe Playhouse.
RUN TIME: About 90 minutes.
PLAYWRIGHT: Evan Smith’s The Savannah Disputationpremiered at The Writers Theatre (Chicago) and went on to Playwrights Horizons (NYC). Playwrights Horizons was the first to produce his plays Psych and The Uneasy Chair. Other plays: Servicemen,produced by The New Group (NYC) andDaughters of Genius, premiered by 1812 Productions (Philadelphia). His TV pilot, Debs, was a part of Naked TV, produced by Fox TV/Naked Angels. He is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama and the recipient of a Whiting Award.
ABOUT OUR 38th SEASON OF COMPASSION: Following Savannah Disputation, our season features the transformative My Children! My Africa! by South African playwright Athol Fugard, with its moving debate that education, not violence, is the answer to the problems of that his nation; the awe-inspiring regional premiere of Lauren Gunderson’s Silent Sky, which will give you a glimpse into the astonishing personal and professional discoveries of real-life female American astronomer Henrietta Leavitt (1868-1921); and lastly, Storefront Church, the final part of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright John Patrick Shanley’s “Doubt” trilogy, which begs the question: What is the relationship between spiritual experience and social action? The further exploration of class, education, faith, the stars and our place in the world will lead us to a place of better understanding compassion in our own lives, in our own community, and in the world.
ABOUT THEATRICAL OUTFIT: Atlanta’s second-oldest professional theater company was founded in 1976 and has been led by Executive Artistic Director Tom Key since fall 1995. Key led the company through the creation of its award-winning downtown home, the Balzer Theater at Herren’s, the first U.S. theater to achieve LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The theater is on the historical site of Herren’s, the first Atlanta restaurant to voluntarily desegregate (in 1963). Theatrical Outfit tells consistently high-quality, soul-stirring stories, often from great classics and contemporary literature that feature many of the best writers of the American South: Carlyle Brown, Truman Capote, Evan Davis, Horton Foote, Harper Lee, Cormac McCarthy, Flannery O’Connor, Walker Percy, Sherry Shepard-Massat, Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder, Hank Williams and Tennessee Williams.