ACTOR’S EXPRESS RETURN TO THE STAGE WITH SEASON 34

Posted on June 16, 2021

Actor’s Express announces its 34th Season of dynamic, entertaining work, including a World Premiere and co-production with Oglethorpe University Theatre. After a year of virtual programming, including streaming and a podcast, Actor’s Express returns to in-person performances with an eight-show in-person season.

The season opens in late Summer 2021 with the Atlanta premiere of Lucas Hnath’s Red Speedo. In the Fall, Actor’s Express will collaborate with Oglethorpe University for Heathers: The Musical, and closing out 2021 will be the World Premiere of Hometown Boy by Keiko Green. In January 2022, Actor’s Express will present the great American classic Intimate Apparel by Lynn Nottage. With spring comes the satirical comedy Bootycandy by Robert O’Hara and the riveting drama Sunset Baby by Dominique Morisseau. In the penultimate slot, Actor’s Express re-positions the theatrical powerhouse Desire Under the Elms by Eugene O’Neill from 2020 to Summer 2022. And lastly, the season closes in late Summer 2022 with the blazing rock-and-roll musical LIZZIE - a musical based on the life of Lizzie Borden.

According to Artistic Director Freddie Ashley, “This is the moment we’ve all been waiting for. As we’ve been so starved to gather in shared space for over a year, AE has decided to roar back with the most ambitious, diverse and exciting season in our thirty-four-year history. We are renewing our commitment to our community to be a place where people come together to share visceral experiences, challenging ideas and explorations of the diverse lived experiences of human beings.”

In addition to the subscription series, AE will commission local writers Kayla Parker and Sofia Palmero to pen a brand new dramatic podcast following the phenomenal success of the “Crossroads” podcast this past spring. This all-new episodic series drops in the fall and will be available on all major podcast platforms.

Atlanta legend and fan-favorite Libby Whittemore returns to the Actor’s Express stage for her hilarious holiday tradition “Ho Ho Home for the Holidays and a Connie Sue Day Christmas” for the 13th year of her popular cabaret series Libby’s at the Express. Actor’s Express will additionally present the seventh annual new play festival Threshold New Play Festival. Dates for Libby’s at the Express and Threshold will be announced later.

Season subscription packages are now on sale and can be purchased online at actors-express.com or by calling 404-607-SHOW. Single tickets will be available on July 6, 2021.

ABOUT THE PLAYS

Red Speedo
By Lucas Hnath
Directed by Freddie Ashley
August 11 - September 5, 2021

On the eve of Olympic qualifying trials, a champion swimmer’s future rests in the balance. If he makes the team he will sign a lucrative endorsement deal worth millions. But when performance enhancing drugs are found in his team’s locker room fridge, he must tread water past the rumors to avoid losing it all. With rapid-fire dialogue that builds to an electrifying, twist-filled climax, Red Speedo will leave you breathless. From the acclaimed author of A Doll’s House Part 2 and The Christians.

Heathers: The Musical
Music & Lyrics by Laurence O'Keefe & Kevin Murphy
Directed by Freddie Ashley
September 29 - October 17, 2021
A Co-Production between Actor’s Express and Oglethorpe University Theatre; Performed at the Conant Performing Arts Center.

Social outcast Veronica has found her way into the most powerful and feared clique at Westerburg High – the Heathers. But when she falls for the dangerous and sexy transfer student J.D., she soon finds that her “teenage angst bullshit has a body count.” So grab your slushee, bust out your best scrunchie and settle in for the wild ride of this hit musical based on the 1989 cult classic film starring Winona Ryder.

Hometown Boy
By Keiko Green
Directed by Rebecca S. Wear
November 3-28, 2021

James hasn’t been back to his rural Georgia hometown in over a decade, but reluctantly returns to check in on his father, whose behavior has become worryingly erratic. And since the South has a way of holding onto secrets, he soon stumbles into a life he thought he had left behind as a child. That stench in the air isn’t just his father’s decaying house, but the rotten core of long-buried secrets teeming just under the surface and ready to explode.

Intimate Apparel
By Lynn Nottage
January 5 - February 6, 2022

In 1905 New York, an independent woman named Esther creates beautiful lingerie for clients that range from white society mavens on the Upper East Side to prostitutes in the Tenderloin district. As she works toward her dream of opening a beauty salon for Black women, she earns the trust, respect and friendship of her diverse customers. And when she enters into a romantic correspondence with a mysterious pen pal, her quest for empowerment and self-actualization takes unexpected turns. A landmark play from MacArthur Genius Grant recipient and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage. Starring Atlanta favorite Cynthia D. Barker as Esther.

Bootycandy
By Robert O’Hara
Directed by Martin Damien Wilkins
March 2-27, 2022

Join Sutter as he propels through a kaleidoscopic odyssey through his childhood home, church, dive bars, seedy motels – and one riotously funny phone conversation about very inappropriate baby names. One of the most acclaimed satirical comedies of the decade, Bootycandy is an audacious series of subversive vignettes that explore what it means to grow up gay and black in America.

Sunset Baby
By Dominique Morisseau
Directed by Amanda Washington
April 20 - May 15, 2022

When Black Liberation activist Kenyatta Shakur comes back to the world after prison, he finds himself widowed and alone. His fraught reunion with his daughter Nina only intensifies when she refuses to release to him letters from his late wife that are both personally and historically significant. In the familial tug-of-war that ensues, Kenyatta and Nina must find a way to confront their shared history. A crackling play from MacArthur Genius Grant recipient Dominique Morisseau, one of the most acclaimed playwrights in America today.

Desire Under the Elms
By Eugene O’Neill
Directed by Freddie Ashley
June 1 - July 3, 2022

In this scorching classic that pulses with the intensity of a fever dream, tyrannical patriarch Ephraim Cabot returns to his rural New England farm with a seductive new wife, Abbie, hoping to produce a new heir to the estate. Fearing disinheritance, his impetuous youngest son Eben hates his new stepmother. But hatred gives way to lust, unleashing tragic consequences on the Cabot family forever. A great masterwork by one of America’s most preeminent dramatists.

LIZZIE
Music by Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer & Alan Stevens Hewitt
Lyrics by Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer & Tim Maner
Book by Tim Maner
Directed by Jennifer Alice Acker
July 27 - September 4, 2022

“Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her mother forty whacks. When she saw what she had done, she
gave her father forty-one.” Or did she? This blistering rock musical upends one of the most intriguing
crimes in our country’s history, which has captured our collective imagination since that bloody night in
1892. Was Lizzie Borden a cold-blooded killer or a victim of the Victorian patriarchy?