Theatrical Outfit continues its “Season of Compassion” with the poignant and meaningful drama My Children! My Africa!, October 9 –through 26, 2014, written by South-African-born playwright Athol Fugard who won a Tony Award for lifetime achievement in 2011. 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: A three-character thriller in which a humane black teacher in segregated South Africa tries to convince a favorite student that education, not violence, is the answer to the nation’s problems. Staged in conjunction with Georgia Tech’s Africa-Atlanta Project; the initiative fosters art, business and educational collaborations between Georgia’s capital city and the African continent.
WHY THIS PLAY, WHY NOW? “Considering the meaning of the word “Apartheid,” the state of being apart or literally apart-hood, I believe Fugard’s My Children! My Africa!, set in 1984 South Africa, accomplishes a necessary transformative drama for our times. Now in 2014, when the most gruesome or inexplicable horrors of human behavior are immediately accessible for our viewing and permanently fixed into our memory, this story makes plausible to our living moral imagination the kind of person and the kind of compassionate action that can turn the suffering of human apartheid into the glories of global community.” ─ Tom Key, Artistic Director
- Previews at 7:30 p.m. October 9 and October 10, 2014
- Opening night performance is at 7:30 p.m. October 11, 2014
- Rest of run is 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday; and 2:30 Saturday (not opening week) and Sunday
- Added shows Wednesday, October 15 & 22 at 7:30 pm
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:
- ROB CLEVELAND (Mr. M.) Rob Cleveland has performed on the stages of Theatrical Outfit, the Alliance, Theater in the Square and many others. He is an associate artist with Georgia Shakespeare, a storyteller in residence at Fernbank and an award-winning children’s book author. He is married to Atlanta actor Mary Lynn Owen and father of twin high school seniors, Andrew and Eloisa.
- MARIA RODRIGUEZ-SAGER (Isabel) is thrilled to be on T.O.’s stage once again where she debuted in Horton Foote’s Dividing the Estate. Theatre credits: NYC: That Other Woman’s Child (Song of Solomon) at the 37 Arts Theatre; Atlanta: Synchronicity Theatre Co., Theatre in the Square, Horizon Theatre Co. and Aurora Theatre.
- DANE TROY (Thami) is elated to make his debut at Theatrical Outfit in such a poignant play as My Children My Africa!Dane is a graduate of Aurora Theatre’s Apprentice Company (’14) & UGA (’13). His stage credits include; Right On (Horizon), Tamer of Horses (Aurora), & The 1Min. Play Festival (Actor’s Express).
RUN TIME: About 90 minutes.
PLAYWRIGHT: Athol Fugard was born in 1932 in Middelburg, in the Karoo desert region of South Africa. He has written more than thirty plays, four books and several screenplays. His plays include Blood Knot (1961), Boesman and Lena (1969), “Master Harold” . . . and the boys (1982), The Road to Mecca (1984) and My Children! My Africa! (1989). Many of his works were turned into films: Tsotsi, based on his 1980 novel, won the 2005 Academy Award for best foreign language film. His work spans the period of apartheid in South Africa (imposed in 1948), through the first democratic elections (April 27, 1994), when Nelson Mandela became president, and into present-day post-apartheid South Africa. One of the most performed playwrights in the world, and South Africa’s best-known playwright, at eighty-one, Fugard continues to direct and write plays. Although he still travels regularly, as of 2013, he regards his house in the Karoo village of Nieu Bethesda, South Africa, as his permanent home. He won the special Tony Award for lifetime achievement in 2011.
ABOUT OUR 38th SEASON OF COMPASSION: Following My Children! My Africa! and back for a third season by popular demand, O. Henry’s musical about a penniless husband and wife in 19th century New York, The Gifts of the Magi (December 4-21) returns and reminds us of the love, charity and humanity that underpin every holiday season; then for two days only A Christmas Memory (December 22 & 23) adapted and performed by Tom Key; then the awe-inspiring regional premiere of Lauren Gunderson’s Silent Sky (February 12-March 1) 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 (April 9-26), 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. The season closes with the founder of Dad’s Garage, Sean Daniels, hilarious autobiography The White Chip (June 11-28).
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.
For more information visit www.theatricaloutfit.org.