Alliance Theatre: The Boy Who Kissed the Sky, April, 2023

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APR 1–15, 2023 | 1 THE
FROM THE PRODUCER Between Us ....................... 5 FEATURE The Boy Who Kissed the Sky: A Story Igniting Imagination and Play 6 Story by Mashaun D. Simon Family Guide ..................... 10 Onstage&Off 13 Program Notes ................... 15 Your Story, Your Stage 23 Synopsis ......................... 24 DEPARTMENTS About the Alliance Theatre 26 Board of Directors ................ 27 Sponsors 28 Annual Fund ..................... 30 Alliance Theatre Staff 36 Page 6 Page 10 Page 23


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As a child, I drew impossible things. Shapeless purple planets. Flying llamas. Just doodling for days. As I grew, my doodling became more literal and far less interesting. And then, somewhere along the way, I stopped entirely.

A curious thing happens as children move through elementary school. When a kindergarten teacher asks the class who among them considers themselves artists, you’ll see a nearly unanimous show of hands. When asked the same question 5 years down the road, you’ll see roughly half as many hands shoot up. By the time these students reach high school, those identifying as artists shrink down to a mere handful. Perhaps the old saying is true: We’re all born artists, we simply need to be reminded of that fact. If that’s the case, Idris Goodwin has crafted one of the most thrilling & uplifting reminders of that eternal truth.

Loosely inspired by the story of a young Jimi Hendrix — a child, who against all odds, mastered the electric guitar and influenced nearly everyone who has picked up a Fender ever since — this play celebrates the power that art can play in shaping a young life. But as playwright Idris Goodwin is quick to point out, this play is “more mythology than biography,” and, in opening up this story beyond some biopic version of Hendrix’s life, Idris has invited us into a much larger story. He’s fashioned a portrait of any artist as a young child. Or rather, any child as a young artist. For this play reminds us that each one of us was born to create, and that the act of creating is not reserved just for the few rarefied and exceptional talents. Each of us harbors some particular gift that we contribute to the whole of humanity. But discovering that gift, listening to that muse, takes practice. And nurturing. And a whole lot of hope, reaching for what might seem impossible.

The late, great Dr. Benjamin E. Mays taught us that it’s “not a disgrace to not reach the stars, but it is a disgrace to have no stars to reach for.” I’m grateful that this team of artists has created a vibrant sky filled with stars — stars that can light the way for all of you artists gathered here today.

Now excuse me while I draw that sky,

betweenus | 5


By the age of 27, Jimi Hendrix was considered one of the most innovative guitar players of his generation.

And rightfully so.

The Seattle, Washington native had his fair share of showmanship tricks, including playing the guitar upside down. But there was more to him than just his showmanship. For all intents and purposes, he easily owned the moniker musical genius.

So, it would make sense for a musical about his life to make its way to the stage, right? Hendrix, according to historians, was larger than life — a personality that exuded joy, passion, and creativity. Telling the story of what made him who he became and doing it through his music is only fitting.

However, this show isn’t about Hendrix — not exactly. This play, The Boy Who Kissed the Sky is, simply put, about imagination.

“Considering the condition of the world right now,” said Eugene H. Russell, IV, composer and musical director for The Boy Who Kissed the Sky, “it’s a piece that encourages imagination.” | @alliancetheatre | programfeature 6

“I don’t believe the children are our future only, you know what I mean. They are the future and they are the now. They’re living amongst us. They’re with us and we learn from them, whether we admit it or not, probably as much or almost as much as they learn from us,” he said. “So, yeah, it’s a piece that encourages them to imagine and to allow their imaginations to take them wherever, both figuratively and literally. Their dreams can serve as an escape from the present into an imaginary world that may not be literal or tangible, but that same imagination can take them all over the literal world.”

But this isn’t only true for the young, he adds.

“Their work, their art, and their creativity encourage us as adults to be okay with playing and imagining,” he said. “You’re never too old to get into something new, you know what I’m saying? You’re never too old to break more barriers. You’re never too old to expand your horizons. You’re never too old to discover more things. And so, there’s something about a child’s innocence and imagination that is important for us as adults to hang on to; even in the midst of adulting.”

“While the play is not a bio play,” said Idris Goodwin, playwright and the current artistic director of the Seattle Children’s Theatre, “Hendrix served as the spark.”

“[Hendrix is] the initial rabbit I followed down into wonderland. This play is about all young dreamers who vision themselves in flight yet feel like their feet are nailed to the earth. It is a love letter to our ancestors and embracing the best of what they pass on to us,” said Goodwin. “I write to expand upon the narrow lens of Black experience in American art. I certainly hope people go learn more about the Seattle icon. His legacy and impact on American Music is undeniable and under-heralded.”

The Musical’s Story

The musical is the story of a young Black boy who is growing up in Seattle’s Central District. A budding guitarist, he uses music as an escape from life’s challenges. Guided by the spirit of music itself, the Boy learns to find harmony inside the challenging noises of his life. The show was first commissioned by Seattle Children’s Theatre back in 2017 and is a co-production with the Alliance Theatre.

“I began to travel periodically to Seattle, with the young life of Jimi Hendrix as a starting point,” said Goodwin. “As we progressed, it evolved and mutated into an afrofuturistic coming of age concert play for the whole family.”

And since it’s a production loosely inspired by Hendrix, most would expect to hear Hendrix music, right?

“But you know there’s not a single Jimmy Hendrix song in the show,” said Russell. “It’s all original music.” | @alliancetheatre | encore 8

In the same way that the show inspires audiences, developing the music for the show created the opportunity for him and Divinity Roxx, the other composer, to do the same — to play and to imagine.

“Because it’s so beautifully written by Idris, once Divinity and I relieved ourselves of the pressure of trying to create an ode to Jimi, we gave ourselves permission to expand. We relieved ourselves of feeling bound by time,” Russell said. “We realized that some of the things we were expanding to were early influences of Jimi. Though the piece takes place during the Boy whose childhood is similar to Jimi, he is on a journey that reaches far beyond that time. We gave ourselves permission to play and to see what the piece wanted to say sonically.”

By expanding, they discovered there was a place for the music and sounds of yesterday — like Jazz — as well as a place for the music of today inspired by yesterday — like Hip Hop.

“It was a springboard for creating, allowing us to take it wherever,” said Russell. “It was new for me. I’m a horn player, yet co-writing with Divinity for a trip that’s guitar, bass, and drums unlocked something. So, like now, where I used to always hear just keys, now I hear some stuff like guitar first and maybe no keys. It really allowed me to play as a songwriter and was really liberating.”

The entire collaborative process, said Goodwin, was invaluable.

“The Boy Who Kissed the Sky is the best kind of collaboration. It brings together two cities, Seattle and Atlanta, and also brings together multigenerations of culturally and regionally diverse genius,” he said. “There are simply not enough letters in the English alphabet to express my gratitude for the designers, performers, musicians, artisans, and technicians. This is just the beginning. I intend to create even more works with this squad. I believe with my whole being that this show will carry on for a long time.”

Russell is also grateful and hopes audiences are inspired to keep dreaming. As far as he is concerned, The Boy Who Kissed the Sky is a testament that your gifts will create unexpected opportunities for you.

“Keep doing what you do. Keep your voice. Keep dreaming,” he said. “Don’t doubt the authenticity of your voice, cause it’s going to fit in somewhere.” | 9
Brandon L. Smith and Cedric Lamar in the SCT production. Photo by Truman Buffett.

Sketch Your Dreams

What do you dream about? The Boy dreams of playing music with an intergalactic rock band. Use this space to sketch your own cosmic dreams!

Conversations for the Ride Home

The experience of attending a play doesn’t stop at curtain call. Theatre is only the beginning of many conversations. There are often questions left unanswered for young people as they try to make personal meaning of what they have witnessed. In The Boy Who Kissed the Sky , there are a great deal of perspectives to take and new understandings to apply. Among them are the fantastical, the heartbreaking, and the awe-inspiring experiences of The Boy. Consider the following conversation starters for your commute home after the show:

Who did The Boy remind you of in your life?

What was the most surprising part of the show?

If you could imagine your own interstellar rock band, what would you call them and what would they sound like?

What are you still wondering about after the show?

Among the spectacular costumes and powerful music, there are serious themes in this play. From drug use to the death of a parent, your child may be unsettled by moments in the show. It is important they have the opportunity to unpack how they feel about the events and understand they are safe and loved. The process below may support the more difficult conversations that come up.

Set the Scene – Turn off distractions like mobile phones, radio, etc. Big feelings might present themselves, and as adults we need to be ready to meet these feelings with loving support.

Listen – Start by posing one simple question: “How does it make you feel when you think about _______?” Use active listening to validate their concerns. As your child shares their feelings, repeat them aloud to check for your own understanding. Be aware of what your body language might be broadcasting to your child. Stay open and offer a hand to hold or a hug as needed. Take your cues from your kids’ responses.

Answer – Provide simple and straightforward answers to their questions. Avoid metaphors and euphemisms as they can often be too abstract. And when you don’t have the answer to a question, it is okay to say “I don’t know.”

Move – Sometimes kids just need to be kids. Anxiety can manifest in the body causing physical discomfort, headaches, lethargy, and more. Exercise and fresh air are great antidotes to anxiety and confusion. Turn on music and dance it out. Do active things that spark joy in your child.

Create – Art helps kids process big feelings. Invite your child to draw a picture about what they are feeling and wondering. Allow them to describe their art by using the simple prompt, “Tell me about this picture.” This question opens the door for children to share their perspective about the image without the adult mind projecting their own thoughts onto it. Avoid praise phrases like “great picture!” and “good job!” without using specific language. Rather, ask questions about what you see on the page, removing judgmental responses about their artistry. Art is a powerful tool for selfexpression.

Act – Discuss ways you as a family can help your community. When children see they can have a positive impact, large or small, they understand they are a part of the solution. And as Fred Rogers famously quoted his mother, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

Coming Soon in the 2022/23 SEASON


World Premiere // Musical

Romance, deception, and magic beneath the big top of a traveling circus. A world-premiere musical based on the critically acclaimed and best-selling novel.


Music & Lyrics by PIGPEN THEATRE CO

Based on the Novel by SARA GRUEN


2023/24 Season to be announced soon!

Tickets and memberships available at


The posting of photos taken before the show, during intermission, or in our lobbies is not only allowed but strongly encouraged! We do kindly ask that you refrain from taking pictures, recording audio, or capturing video during the performance to allow our audiences and performers to stay connected with each other during our brief time together.

Our stories are not simply told
you, but with


Music as a Tool for Communication in Music Therapy

What is your first memory related to music? For me, it’s riding to school with my father as we listened to our favorite Italian album. I remember not understanding the words, but engaging with the melody and rhythm and singing the sounds I heard with intention. My favorite part was seeing him enjoying that moment with me and being connected through a world of sound elements: pitches, tones, lyrics, and even silences.

Music isn’t just something we use for pleasure; it also has practical uses. “Music is another way of communication,” says Gabrielle Banzon, clinical coordinator of Georgia College’s Music Therapy Clinic. “For kids,” she continues, “music is another form of play, and instruments are a toy that makes sounds.” For this reason, music is a useful tool to engage children in therapy settings.

By playing with instruments, children make the connection between sound and their reaction. They think: “When I make this sound, people respond this way.” This happens because music is one of the few activities that stimulate both sides of our brain at once. It helps with our memory, improves our cognitive and motor skills, and even relieves symptoms of stress and depression.

Laura Sidwell from In Harmony Pediatric Therapy uses music as a tool and a motivator to build stronger connections in her patients’ brains. She teaches kids to read music and strengthens their memorization skills by creating associations between tones and colors. She shows that music isn’t just a form of connection, it’s a form of therapy. A tool used to aid the youth as they grow, change, and even heal.

A person doesn’t need a degree or even know how to play an instrument to understand music. It’s a universal language that allows us to communicate with one another by creating connections between us and the world around us. As J.Sonic says in The Boy Who Kissed the Sky: “Music is for everyone… Everybody has a sound.” In the same way that a broom can be a guitar for a kid, music can be found everywhere. You just have to look.


Gabrielle Banzon (MA, LPMT, MT-BC), Georgia College and State University’s Music Therapy Clinic with kids, teenagers, and adults

Laura Sidwell (LPMT, MT-BC), In Harmony Pedriatic Therapy, partner of Therabeat Inc.

onstage&off | 13
In therapy, music can be used as a tool to engage kids and adolescents in new ways. (GAYSORN






Idris Goodwin, Artistic Director

Kevin Malgesini, Managing Director
















Commissioned by SCT in partnership with Alliance Theatre Company and funded in part by The Kennedy Center’s “New Visions, New Voices” to support the creation of new plays and musicals for young audiences and families.

STAGE MANAGER R. LAMAR WILLIAMS* Community Tickets provided by Georgia Power.

This production is supported in part by the BOLD
Leadership Circle.
Theater Women’s
Additional Support
Provided by Publix Super Markets Charities.


*KACIE PIMENTEL Assistant Stage Manager

SAMANTHA HONEYCUTT Stage Management Production Assistant



AMBER LYNNE PARKER Assistant Lighting Design

COLBY NORDBERG Projections Programmer






SKYLAR BURKS Properties Stagehand


GABRIELLE DRUM Spotlight Operator


Y’all Rock Camp Atlanta

Mekeya Wade’s Fourth Grade Class at Garden Hills Elementary School | @alliancetheatre | encore 16 CAST *DEBORAH BOWMAN Shapeshifter 3/Feedback 4 *ALEXANDRIA JOY Shapeshifter 1/Feedback 3 *AISHÉ KEITA Donna/Feedback 2 *CEDRIC LAMAR J Sonic *BRANDON L. SMITH The Boy *MIKE SPEE Shapeshifter 2/Feedback 5 *ADAM WASHINGTON Mel/Feedback 1 UNDERSTUDIES ALLISON DIXON . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Shapeshifter 3/Feedback 4 JASON HAMLET. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Shapeshifter 2, Feedback 5 BRANDIN JAY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mel/Feedback 1 CAMERON SMITH The Boy *ADAM WASHINGTON J Sonic PARIS WEEDEN Donna/Feedback 2 JA’SIAH YOUNG Shapeshifter 1/Feedback 3
H. RUSSELL IV Music Director JLATOIYA Conductor/Drums XAVIER JONES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bass BRANDON THOMAS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rehearsal Guitar
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Guitar STAGE MANAGERS
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Stage Manager
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sound Mixer
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Deck
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Automation
| programnotes

* Denotes a member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States

The Alliance Theatre operates under an agreement between the League of Resident Theatres (LORT) and Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States, and the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, an independent national labor union. The Alliance Theatre at the Woodruff is a member of Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for the American theatre, and is a member of the League of Resident Theatres (LORT), the International Association of Theatre for Children and Young Audiences (ASSITEJ/USA), The Atlanta Coalition of Theatres, the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Midtown Alliance.

Photos may be taken in the theater before the performance, during intermission, and following the performance. If you share your photos, please credit the designers.

Photos, videotaping or other video or audio recording of this production is strictly prohibited, is a violation of United States Copyright Law, and is an actionable Federal Offense. | 17
This production is approximately an hour and a half long and has no intermission.


(Shapeshifter 3/Feedback 4) began her performance career in NYC & is thrilled to debut at Alliance Theatre. Bowman works in TV, Film, Theatre, and Jazz Cabaret Shows. Stage credits include Atlanta Opera’s Candide and Cabaret, Regional and NYC: Chicago, 42nd Street, Addams Family, The Little Mermaid, Hairspray, Oliver 1st National Tour, Sweeney Todd, and A Streetcar Named Desire. TV/ Film Credits include Megalopolis, DC Stargirl, Creepshow, Ugly Betty, It’s Complicated, Wall Street 2. Her songwriting can be enjoyed on her 3 jazz albums available on all streaming platforms. Bowman is also an esteemed private voice and acting coach. For more info and to follow her on social media, please visit:

ALLISON DIXON (u/s Shapeshifter 3, Feedback 4) is overjoyed to be back in Atlanta making her Alliance Theatre debut! She is a L.A. native (that’s Lower Alabama) and a New York City based actor. She is a proud alumnus of Western Carolina University BFA Musical Theatre, and NYC Stella Adler School of Acting. Her favorite regional credits include: Les Misérables (Connecticut Repertory Theatre), The Secret Garden (City Circle Theatre Company), Beehive, Dreamgirls (Atlanta Lyric Theatre), Mr. Popper’s Penguins (Synchronicity Theatre), The Yellow Wallpaper (Atlanta Musical Theatre Festival), SUDS! (Highlands Playhouse), Della’s Diner National Tour, A Chorus Line (Springer Opera House). You can catch her next in Honk! The Musical and Sunset Boulevard at Revival Theatre in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She sends endless love and gratitude to Monté, Mama, Henry, J.R., Lori, and Brown. “In here, life is beautiful.” For more, follow on IG: @allisonpdixon

JASON HAMLET (u/s Shapeshifter 2, Feedback 5) [he/him] is ecstatic to join this cast and incredible story. His previous Atlanta credits include Friar Lawrence and Benvolio in Romeo and Juliet, and Orlando and Corin in As You Like It, both at Rolecall Theatre. Other previous credits include Prince Topher in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, and a production of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [revised]. Jason holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Western Washington University, and currently sings with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus and Chamber Chorus. He sends his gratitude and love to his wife Charlotte for her unending support. insta: @jason_hamlet

BRANDIN JAY (u/s Mel, Feedback 1) is excited to be in his first production at the Alliance Theatre! Most recently seen in Mufaros Beautiful Daughters at Synchronicity Theatre. Brandin studied at Berklee College of Music and is an accomplished singer-songwriter who was featured on the NBC songwriting reality series Songland. He has made a name for himself in theatre, TV, and film. Currently, he’s the creative director for his family’s performing arts school and entertainment company, AGI Entertainment. Film credits: Disney Channel Original Let It Shine, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins, Dirty Laundry. TV credits: Meet the Browns on TBS, Reed Between The Lines, The QUAD on BET, BRING IT on Lifetime. Regional theatre credits include: Chasin Dem Blues (Milwaukee Rep); The Wiz (Kenny Leon Dir); The Color Purple (Actors Express); Five Guys Named Moe (Theatrical Outfit); Black Nativity (Dominion Entertainment); Mother Of God (SWAC). Follow Brandin: @brandin.ja

ALEXANDRIA JOY (Shapeshifter 1/Feedback 3) she/her] is excited to return to the Coca-Cola stage for The Boy Who Kissed The Sky! Joy is an ATL native who loves fun trips and mozzarella sticks. Special thanks and undying gratitude to her husband Terrence J. Smith and her amazing mother Siobhan for their unconditional love, inspiration, and support. Regional: Mother of God: A New Musical by Christian Magby and Christian Albright, Heathers: The Musical (Actors Express), Beautiful Blackbird LIVE!, Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed: The Rock Experience (Alliance Theatre), Spring Awakening, Hair, Ragtime (Serenbe Playhouse), Ella Enchanted (Synchronicity Theatre), Jekyll & Hyde (Atlanta Lyric Theatre). TV/Film: Lovecraft Country. 2018-2019 Apprenticeship Company (Serenbe Playhouse). Education: BFA in Theatre, Emphasis Musical Theatre, Valdosta State University. “Hey Boba! This is the way. SKOL!” IG: @missalliejoy

AISHÉ KEITA (Donna/ Feedback 2) is an awardwinning actress, also a griot and healing artist. She has been seen on stage in Familiar (Guthrie Theater), School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play (Arkansas Rep and the Jungle Theatre), Sunset Baby (ArtsWest), I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Book-It Rep), and Bring Down the House (Seattle Shakespeare Company). Also seen in the 2020 film Language Arts. Currently Aishé is working on creating and remembering stories from the African continent to go on tour and share with the children. This is Aishé’s debut at the Alliance Theatre and she is so grateful that it is happening with The Boy Who Kissed the Sky | @alliancetheatre | encore 18

CEDRIC LAMAR (J Sonic) is an NYC-based actor/ singer-songwriter/ composer, and is excited to be making his Alliance debut! As an acting company member of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for 6 seasons, he performed in many shows including Hamlet, The Wiz, Mother Road, Love’s Labour’s Lost, and Oklahoma!, to name a few. He’s also had the joy of performing at the Guthrie Theatre, Arena Stage, Santa Cruz Shakespeare, Folger Theatre, and San Diego Rep. Cedric has composed music for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, and you can find his album, “Kingdoms and Tall Grass” on Spotify, iTunes, etc. Cedric is honored to be working on a piece that celebrates the joy and power of music and art!

BRANDON L. SMITH (The Boy) is thrilled to be returning back to the Alliance Theatre! This will be his debut on the Coca-Cola Stage. Regional Credits: Mother of God (Christian Magby Productions), Jukebox Giants (Strand Theatre), Spring Awakening, Narnia, HAIR (Serenbe Playhouse). Film: Beautiful Hair, DAQ. Education: B.I.S. in Theatre Performance, Georgia State University. 2019-2020 Acting Apprenticeship (Serenbe Playhouse). Brandon is grateful to be sharing this stage with these beautiful minds for a second time! (Hopefully not the last!) There is no greater bore than perfection.


CAMERON SMITH (u/s The Boy) [he/him] is OVERJOYED to be working in his first production with the Alliance Theatre! Some of his favorite credits are G. Petto in P. Nokio: A HipHop Musical (Aurora Theatre), The D’Ysquith Family in A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder (Festival 56), and Nutty the Squirrel in The Littlest Christmas Tree (Stone Mountain Park). Cameron earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre from Reinhardt University and beyond undergrad, he has studied with Chandra Johnson at The Company Acting Studio, Catherine Dyer and Jason MacDonald at Drama Inc., and Dwayne Boyd’s Premier Actors’ Network. Cameron is eternally thankful for his family for their love in every beneficial form, Eugene Russell for his great mentorship, his teachers for inspiring his work ethic, and generally everyone in his life for their comfort and motivation.

MIKE SPEE (Shapeshifter 2/ Feedback 5) is delighted to be returning to this inspiring show and to be making his Alliance Theatre debut. A performer based primarily in the Seattle area, Mike’s favorite regional credits include Newsies, My Fair

Lady, Fiddler on the Roof (Village Theatre), Bright Star, Godspell (Taproot Theatre), Goodnight Moon (Young People’s Theatre), and Dick Whittington and his Cat and the world premiere of James and The Giant Peach at Seattle Children’s Theatre. When not at the theatre, Mike can often be found pursuing his other passion: LEGO. Love you, HLS!

ADAM WASHINGTON (Mel/ Feedback 1, u/s J Sonic) is thrilled to be returning to the Alliance’s Coca-Cola Stage! Past credits include: Sunday in the Park with George (Jennie T. Anderson Theatre), The Color Purple (Actors Express), and Pancakes Pancakes! (Alliance Theatre). Many thanks to my family for their undying support, my friends for always pushing me to be better, and to you for supporting the arts. Blessings.

PARIS WEEDEN (u/s Donna, Feedback 2) [she/her] is excited to join the cast of The Boy Who Kissed the Sky at the Alliance Theatre! Credits include: Off Broadway (Stomp); The Fire This Time Festival Season 11 (The Kraine Theater), 125th and Freedom (National Black Theatre), Funnyhouse of a Negro (Lenfest Center for the Arts), The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World (LFCA). Training: Howard University, Stella Adler Studio of Acting, BADA. She would like to thank her family, friends and Sorors (Oo-oop!) for their constant love and support! Instagram: @paristothestage

JA’SIAH YOUNG (u/s Shapeshifter 1, Feedback 3) [she/her] is thrilled to join the cast of The Boy Who Kissed The Sky! A few of her favorite theatre credits include Manyara in Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters, Nansi in Three Little Birds, and Alice in Wonderland (Synchronicity Theatre). She is a proud alumni of Alliance Theatre’s Palefsky Collision Project and Tri-Cities High School VPA magnet program. When she is not performing, she’s writing, directing, teaching, and creating. She is very grateful for God and her supportive friends and family. IG: jasiah. young

TIM BOND (Director) Tim Bond is the Artistic Director of TheatreWorks Silicon Valley. Recent credits include the acclaimed productions of How I Learned What I Learned (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), Gem of the Ocean (TheatreWorks), The Children (Seattle Repertory Theatre), and Pass Over (A Contemporary Theatre). He is an internationally known director and educator with past leadership roles as Producing Artistic Director at Syracuse Stage, Associate Artistic Director at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Artistic Director at Seattle Group Theatre, and full | 19

Professor and Head of the Professional Actor Training Program at the University of Washington School of Drama. Tim has directed nationally and internationally at Market Theatre, Baxter Theatre Centre, Guthrie Theater, Seattle Rep, Milwaukee Rep, The Wilma Theater, Arena Stage, GEVA Theatre Center, Cleveland Play House, Indiana Rep, Actors Theatre of Louisville, PCPA, Arizona Theatre Co., Portland Center Stage, Dallas Theater Center, A Contemporary Theatre, Empty Space Theatre, Paul Robeson Theatre, and Seattle Children’s Theatre. He is the recipient of two Backstage West Garland Awards, two Syracuse Area Live Theatre (SALT) Awards, and a Dallas-Fort Worth Critics Forum Award. Tim is excited to be making his Alliance Theatre debut.

IDRIS GOODWIN (Book) is an awardwinning storyteller for multiple generations. An accomplished playwright, breakbeat poet, content creator, and arts champion, Goodwin is recognized as a culture bearer who celebrates community values and cultivates histories with care. Idris is the author of over 60 original plays ranging from his Hip Hop inspired breakbeat series to historical dramas to works for young audiences. Titles such as And In This Corner: Cassius Clay, How We Got On, Hype Man: A Break Beat Play, This is Modern Art (co-written with Kevin Coval) and the ground breaking Free Play: open source scripts for an antiracist tomorrow, are widely produced across the country by a diverse mix of professional and academic venues. Driven by a passion for cultural impact and civic engagement, Idris also serves as Artistic Director of Seattle Children’s Theatre. Prior to this he was Executive Director of The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College, where he also taught as a professor in The Department of Theater and Dance. Previous to this, Idris led StageOne Family Theatre in Louisville, Kentucky as Producing Artistic Director. Idris is Board President of Theater For Young Audiences/USA and also serves on the board at Children’s Theater Foundation Association. In addition to Idris’s work in theater, he’s created original content for and/or appeared on Nickelodeon, HBO Def Poetry, Sesame Street, NPR, BBC Radio, and the Discovery Channel. Your House is Not Just A House, his first picture book, will be published by Harper Collins in 2024.

DIVINITY ROXX (Music) is a Grammynominated American recording artist, composer, and musician, with four solo albums (Ain’t No Other Way, 2003, The Roxx Boxx Experience, 2012, ImPossible, 2016, Ready Set Go!, 2021). In addition to her own work, she is well known for touring and performing with Beyoncé (2006–2011) as her bassist and Musical Director. Her career as a bass-player skyrocketed after attending a bass camp led by the legendary five time Grammy award winning bass virtuoso Victor Wooten where she was invited to join him on tour. Divinity has appeared on countless television shows including The Grammys, SNL, Good Morning America, The World Music Awards and more, with personal highlights including a special performance at The White House and an appearance on the hit TV show Soul Man. Her 2021 Family Music Album release, Ready Set Go! received critical acclaim and Scholastic Inc. published two songs from the album as full-color picture books. Her original compositions can be heard on television

shows like Love and Hip Hop Atlanta, Black Monday, The Bold Type, and others. Divinity is currently performing around the world, teaching master classes and writing multiple projects including a new family music album, a solo stage play, and a series of children’s books with accompanying music.

EUGENE H. RUSSELL IV (Music) is an Atlanta native, Tennessee State University alumnus, and proud Girl Dad. An accomplished musician/composer whose single “Brand New Day” can be found on all streaming platforms, Eugene IV wrote the music for the Alliance Theatre’s animated films Sit-In and Curious Cardinal as well as their stage production of Beautiful Blackbird. He recently composed the music for Turn-Up, a play co-written with his wife for St. Louis Black Rep. As both a vocalist and saxophonist for countless bands, Eugene has opened for the likes of George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, Boyz II Men, KC & the Sunshine Brand, Brand New Heavies, and Mother’s Finest. His regional theatre acting credits include East Texas Hotlinks (True Colors Theatre Company); Dutchman (Nebraska Repertory Theatre); A Christmas Carol (Alliance Theatre); and Before It Hits Home (St. Louis Black Rep), for which he received the prestigious Woodie King, Jr. Award. Film/ TV appearances include Disney’s Secrets of Sulphur Springs and Bounce TV’s Saints & Sinners. @theeugeneiv //

SONIA DAWKINS (Choreography) has a BFA from University of the Arts, and an MFA from SUNY Brockport, and is founder and artistic director of SD/Prism Dance Theatre. Her selected choreography/ directorial work includes Seattle Repertory Theatre, Dance This, Paramount Theater, Village Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and most recently Pieces of My Heart, based on August Wilson’s unpublished poetry, at the Des Moines Performing Arts Center. The first African-American female faculty member at Pacific Northwest Ballet, Dawkins has either presented workshops or choreographed in Spain, France, Bulgaria, and Mexico. She is a two time recipient of the Gypsy Rose Lee Award and currently teaches at the Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre School/Fordham University, and is a member of Stage Directors, Choreographers Society and the Dance/Film Association Board.

CAREY WONG (Scenic Design) has designed 36 shows for SCT.  Theatre credits include Seattle Rep, Berkeley Rep, Portland Center Stage, ACT Theatre, 5th Avenue, Arizona Theatre Company, Baltimore Center Stage, and Syracuse Stage. He has been Resident Designer for Portland Opera, Opera Memphis, and Wildwood Park for the Arts, and has designed for Seattle Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Spoleto Festival USA, and Macao and Beijing Music Festivals. Carey is an Artistic Advisor/ Designer for the Portland Chinatown Museum, received his B.A. from Yale University, and thereafter attended Yale School of Drama.

ALAN YEONG (Costume Design/ United Scenic Artist Local 829) Regional: Seattle Children’s Theatre/Alliance Theatre: The Boy Who Kissed The Sky; Atlanta: Actor’s Express: Lizzie: The Musical, Falsettos, End of The Rainbow; Atlanta: GET: Pretty Pants | @alliancetheatre
| encore 20

Bandit, Romeo and Juliet, The Great Gatsby; Aurora Theatre: over 20 productions including Cinderella, On Your Feet, The Children of Eden (2019 Suzi Bass Nominee), Christmas Canteen, Newsies, Mamma Mia!, The Hunchback of Notre Dame (2018 Suzi Bass Award for Outstanding Musical Costume Design), Les Misérables (2013 Suzi Bass nominee); Theatrical Outfit: An Iliad, Indecent, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Savannah Disputation; Synchronicity Theatre: The Bluest Eye; Theater Emory: The Nether (2019 Suzi Bass Nominee), The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, Ravished, Marisol, Macbeth, Peer Gynt; Others: Professor of Costume Design/Head of Design at the University of West Georgia Theatre program with over 20 years of design credits. Education: MFA in Design (University of Kansas), MFA in Costume Design (Wayne State University), and BA in Theatre (Bemidji State University).

CONNIE YUN (Lighting Design) is pleased to return to SCT where she previously designed Red Riding Hood, Snow White, Black Beauty, and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. Other recent designs include The 39 Steps (Merrimack Rep), L’Orfeo and The Fall of The House of Usher (OrpheusPDX), Midsummer Night’s Dream (Des Moines Metro Opera), The Marriage of Figaro (Seattle Opera), The Thin Place (ACT) and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (5th Avenue Theatre). Upcoming designs include A Christmas Carol and Wolf Play (ACT), Samson and Delilah (Seattle Opera), Trouble in Tahiti and Seven Deadly Sins (Madison Opera), La Cenerentola (Kentucky Opera), Madame Butterfly (New Orleans Opera), and The Love for Three Oranges (DMMO).

CHRIS LANE (Sound Design) is an Atlantabased sound designer, DJ, composer, mixing engineer, and entrepreneur. His previous regional credits include: DATA, Ghost, A Very Terry Christmas, Sounds of the West End, Knock Knock, In My Granny’s Garden (Alliance Theatre, GA); Fannie, Four Women, Skeleton Crew, Paradise Blue (Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company, GA); Shutter Sisters (The Old Globe, CA); Skeleton Crew (Westport Country Playhouse, CT); Too Heavy for Your Pocket (George Street Playhouse, NJ); Four Little Girls, Ruby (Alabama Shakespeare Festival, AL); The Royale (Geva Theatre Center, NY); The Children, SHAPE, A Boy and His Soul (The Kitchen Theatre Company, NY); Detroit 67’ (Virginia Stage Company, VA), Incendiary (The Kennedy Center, DC). He is also a CoFounder and Executive Director at Multiband Studios. Check out the growing creative collective at

MIKO SIMMONS (Projection Design) is an international, award-winning Multimedia Artist & Projection Designer who has been innovating in the convergence of Film/ Animation and Theatrical Production for more than 20 years. Theater Productions include: Seattle Children’s Theatre; The Watsons go to Birmingham — 1963, Guthrie Theater; Valor, Fast Company, Macondo, Caviar on Credit, Postcards from Earth, Confluence, Bring Love to my Doorstep, Penumbra Theatre; Ashe Lab. The History Theatre, Gloria, Dirty Business, Old Log Theatre; Ghost Musical, Jack & Beanstalk, Park Square Theater; Snow Queen, Mixed Blood Theater; House of the Spirits, At Minnesota

Opera: Salome, MotherKing Opera; TU Dance, Threads Dance, Uncertain Realties, Earth, Wind, and Fire International tour. MLK Sculpter Inauguration Ceremony on National Mall in D.C. Rock Opera Musicals: Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Minnesota Ordway Theater. In Korea: Count of Monte Cristo, Wizard of Oz, Elisabeth Musical, Rudolf Musical

JOYCE DEGENFELDER (Wig Design) With great pleasure Joyce Degenfelder returns to SCT, to be working with amazing artists and directors to reach and engage young people. Joyce arrived in Seattle to work at Seattle Repertory Theatre, soon also with A Contemporary Theatre, Intiman, and The Bathhouse. Wig and Makeup Designer at Seattle Opera. Wigs for Pacific Northwest Ballet, Book-It Repertory, Seattle Shakespeare, Taproot Theatre, Arizona Theatre Company, and Gulfshore Playhouse, FL. Joyce taught wig making at University of Washington, Western Washington University, and DePaul University. Joyce is honored to be the recipient of the Gregory A. Falls Sustained Achievement Award.

JODY FELDMAN (Casting) began her theater career as an actress in Atlanta before moving into administration as the Assistant General Manager at Frank Wittow’s Academy Theatre. It was at the Academy that Jody realized the importance of theatre to a city’s cultural values and identity. Feldman started her career at the Alliance as casting director in 1991 and added producer to her title and responsibilities in 2001. She has cast and produced more than 250 productions at the Alliance, encompassing a range of world premieres that include The Last Night of Ballyhoo by Alfred Urey, Blues for An Alabama Sky by Pearl Cleage, The Geller Girls by Janece Shaffer, In the Red and Brown Water by Tarell Alvin McCraney, more than 20 years of Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition-winning plays, such world and regional premiere musicals as Aida; The Color Purple; Sister Act: The Musical; Bring It On: The Musical; Tuck Everlasting; Ghost Brothers of Darkland County; Harmony, A New Musical; The Prom; Trading Places, and finally exciting new plays developed specifically for children and families, which is integral to the expansion of audience and mission for the Alliance. Jody is most proud of the thriving Alliance community engagement and partnerships that recognize theatrical work as a catalyst for civic conversation and connection.

R. LAMAR WILLIAMS (Stage Manager) is an Atlanta native who studied theatre at Florida A&M University’s Essential Theatre. His 20 year tenure at the Alliance has included stage managing Hospice/Pointing at the Moon, The Temple Bombing, Choir Boy, Bike America, The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls, 18 years of The Palefsky Collision Project, and assistant stage managing a slew of great shows. Rodney is opening a new frontier in his career with Dramaturgy and Directing. For Sensei, JDawn, Chelsea & Solari and all humanity — “changing the world 1 play @ a time!”

KACIE PIMENTEL (Assistant Stage Manager) is excited to join the Alliance Theatre this season as the BIPOC SM Fellow. She most recently worked on Everybody, A Christmas Carol, and The Hot Wing King at the Alliance Theatre. Previous credits include The Hot Wing King, John Proctor Is the Villain, and White Noise at Studio Theatre. She has also worked in Stage Management at | 21

Casa Mañana Theatre, Chautauqua Theatre Company, and Sea World San Antonio. Kacie received her BFA in Theatre — Stage Management at the University of Houston.

SAMANTHA HONEYCUTT (Stage Management Production Assistant) studied Stage Management at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro before beginning her career working across the country. Her credits include: Year of the Rooster, When January Feels like Summer, and Five Times in One Night (Ensemble Studio Theater). Legally Blonde, Hello! Dolly, My Fair Lady, and Music Man (Cape Playhouse). Frankenstein, Hairspray, Penny Candy, American Mariachi, Supreme Leader (Dallas Theater Center). Angry, Raucous and Shamelessly Gorgeous (Hartford Stage), and Trading Places the Musical, Everybody, A Gift of Love with Adam L. McKnight, and The Hot Wing King (Alliance Theatre).

SEATTLE CHILDREN’S THEATRE With its 2022-23 Season, Seattle Children’s Theatre’s celebrated their 121st World Premiere since 1975. SCT is a leading generator of new works, providing youth of all ages access to professional theater and theatre education. Initiatives like SCT for All provide low cost and free tickets to young people and families, and every first and fifth grade classroom in Seattle Public Schools can receive free tickets under the One&Five initiative. We are proud to be one of the most prominent theatres for young audiences in the United States and the world. Our mission is to provide children of all ages and backgrounds access to professional theatre, with a focus on new works, and theatre education.

CHRISTOPHER MOSES (Line Producer/Dan Reardon Director of Education & Associate Artistic Director) has been working in professional theatre for 20 years and was awarded the Governor’s Award for Arts in Humanities for his body of work. In January of 2011, Chris took on the position of Director of Education at the Alliance Theatre, overseeing the Alliance Theatre Institute (twice recognized as an Arts Model by the Federal Department of Education), Theatre for Youth & Families, and the Acting Program. Since taking over this position, Chris has expanded the reach and impact by making the Alliance Theatre Education department a vital resource for advancing the civic agenda of Atlanta. This work is accomplished through deep and sustained partnerships with social service organizations throughout the city. Under his leadership, the Alliance launched its Kathy & Ken Bernhardt Theatre for the Very Young program, which provides fully interactive professional theater experiences for children of all abilities from ages newborn through 5 years old, the Alliance Teen Ensemble, which performs world premiere plays commissioned for and about teens, and Alliance@work, a professional development program designed for the business sector — the latest offering of which uses theatre practice to create a culture of civility in the workplace. In 2014, Chris added the title Associate Artistic Director, and has continued to expand the Alliance’s education offerings. During his tenure in this position, the Alliance has produced over a dozen world premiere plays for young audiences, including Pancakes, Pancakes by Ken Lin, The Dancing Granny by Jireh Breon Holder, Max Makes a Million by Liz Diamond, and The Incredible Book Eating Boy by Madhuri Shekar. Currently, the Alliance serves over 100,000 students pre-k — 12 each season, as well as over 4,000 adults through its extensive education offerings.

TINASHE KAJESE-BOLDEN (BOLD Associate Artistic Director) is the BOLD Associate Artistic Director at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta.

Tinashe is a Princess Grace Award 2019 Winner for Directing, and Map Fund Award recipient to develop her devised new work All Smiles centering the experience of children on the Autism Spectrum. Most recently, she was CoDirector with Susan V. Booth for Everybody Tinashe held a salaried creative and Director’s Shadow position during the pre-production, pilot and 2nd episode development of the TV Series Our Kind of People (Fox Studios) under Lee Daniel’s production company and was Director Shadow on the season finale of “BMF.” Select directing productions include Toni Stone (co-production Milwaukee Repertory Theater and the Alliance Theatre), School Girls, Or the African Mean Girls Play (Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre), Ghost (Alliance Theatre), Native Gardens (Virginia Stage Company), Pipeline (Horizon Theater), Nick’s Flamingo Grill (World Premiere at the Alliance Theatre, Hertz Stage), Eclipsed (Synchronicity Theatre, Best Director Suzi Bass Award).As a director and actor, she has worked on + off Broadway, including The Imperial Theatre, Primary Stages, 59E59 Theatre, Classical Theatre of Harlem; and regionally at Yale Rep, Woolly Mammoth Theater Co, Cincinnati Playhouse, The Geva Theatre, CTG’s Kirk Douglas Theatre, among others, as well as recurring roles on TV/Film (Suicide Squad 2, Marvel’s Hawkeye, CW’s Valor, Dynasty, HBO’s Henrietta Lacks, Ava Duverney’s Cherish the Day, among others.) She proudly serves on the ARTS-ATL Artist Advisory Council. “My mission is the pursuit of what connects our different communities and how we create art that serves that.”

MIKE SCHLEIFER (Managing Director) joined the Alliance Theatre in 2014 as the General Manager and in 2016, assumed the role of Managing Director. During his time at the Alliance, Mike has led the administrative and producing team on over 100 productions including bringing Tuck Everlasting and The Prom to Broadway. He was one of the architects of the “On the Road” season while a multi-million dollar renovation of the CocaCola Stage was underway. Mike is excited to have started the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee at the Alliance and to serve on the board of the League of Resident Theatres and True Colors Theatre Company. Prior to Atlanta, he spent 13 years at Baltimore’s Center Stageworking in several roles including Associate Producer, Production Manager and Resident Stage Manager. While in Baltimore, Mike was an adjunct faculty member at Towson University and has guest-lectured all over the country. Mike began as a Stage Manager and has dozens of stage management credits between his time in New York and working regionally. Mike is married to theater director and educator Laura Hackman and the proud father of two boys, Jack and Ben.


Founded in 1913, AEA is the U.S. labor union that represents more than 51,000 professional Actors and Stage Managers. Equity fosters the art of live theatre as an essential component of society and advances the careers of its members by negotiating wages, improving working conditions and providing a wide range of benefits, including health and pension plans. Actors’ Equity is a member of the AFL-CIO and is affiliated with FIA, an international organization of performing arts unions. | @alliancetheatre
| encore 22

My name is Brittany Baro, and I have the pleasure of serving as the Executive Director of Y’all Rock Camp ATL (formerly known as Girls Rock Camp ATL). We are an organization dedicated to creating an empowering and supportive community for trans and nonbinary youth and cis girls through music education, creative expression, and performance. Our goal is for girls and gender expansive youth to take up space and express themselves in any and every way they see fit!

My favorite theme of The Boy Who Kissed the Sky is that music is inheritance. In the show, a young boy encounters the Spirit of Music, who shows him how to use his legacy of song and creativity to find harmony amongst the jarring noises of life. All children have this birthright to learn music. However, as music education becomes less accessible, many are denied that freedom. At Y’all Rock Camp ATL, we give these same children the opportunity to explore their musical gifts and learn more about who they are as individuals in this dynamic world. If you, or someone you love, are looking for a queer-friendly, musical space where youth from all walks of life are welcome, please reach out to us!

Each summer, we host campers ages 10-16 for a week filled with instrument lessons, band practices, and workshops. We accept campers (regardless of musical experience), provide them with an instrument for the week, surround them with encouraging volunteers, and watch magic happen! In a matter of days, camper bands are practicing their own original songs and gearing up for the Showcase, hosted by The Masquerade, to use the skills they learned and perform their songs on the big stage!

When we asked campers and volunteers to explain what Y’all Rock Camp ATL meant to them, they responded with:

“A gender diverse, queer-friendly space where youth are supported in experimenting with their own creative voices!”

“It’s where I started exploring my creative side and felt open enough to test out my preferred name before I actually changed it. I’ve always felt welcome at YRC; it’s a place that invites learning and growth in the midst of a vibrantly creative environment.”

“Youth empowerment, freedom of expression through music and art, community-building, friendship, creativity.”

Our upcoming summer camp will be from July 17-22, and I want to extend an invitation to all of the youth in attendance at this performance! We are now accepting camper registrations and volunteer applications on our website:

Thank you to the Alliance Theatre for showcasing our organization!

yourstoryyourstage | 23


Set in the heart of Seattle to the rhythms that shaped a generation, The Boy Who Kissed the Sky is inspired by the early life and influences of musical icon Jimi Hendrix. In the early era of rock ‘n’ roll music, we see a young Black boy conjure his creativity as a budding guitarist. Guided by the spirit of music itself, the Boy learns to find harmony inside the challenging noises of his life. Although more mythology than biography, The Boy Who Kissed the Sky is a celebration of our muses and the forces that pull us to be who we are. Told with vibrant music and daring imagination, this new family musical inspires us to dream big when it matters most.


Connect with us and other audience members on your Alliance experience. Share your comments and photos on Facebook , Instagram , and Twitter with hashtags #TheBoyWhoKissedTheSky and #AllianceTheatre. Plus, search your social media platforms with those hashtags for fun, behindthe-scenes content from our cast, crew, and creative team.

| synopsis 24
alliancetheatre alliancetheatre alliancetheatre alliancetheatre


Founded in 1968, the Alliance Theatre is the leading producing theatre in the Southeast, reaching more than 165,000 patrons annually. The Alliance is a recipient of the Regional Theatre Tony Award® for sustained excellence in programming, education, and community engagement. In January 2019, the Alliance opened its new, state-of-the-art performance space, The Coca-Cola Stage at Alliance Theatre. Known for its high artistic standards and national role in creating significant theatrical works, the Alliance has premiered more than 116 productions including nine that have transferred to Broadway. The Alliance education department reaches 90,000 students annually through performances, classes, camps, and in-school initiatives designed to support teachers and enhance student learning. The Alliance Theatre values community, curiosity, collaboration, and excellence, and is dedicated to representing Atlanta’s diverse community with the stories we tell, the artists, staff, and leadership we employ, and audiences we serve.


To expand hearts and minds onstage and off.


Making Atlanta more connected, curious, and compassionate through theatre and arts education.


In the sincerest efforts to gain further understanding of the history that has brought us to reside on this land and to accept the knowledge that colonialism is a current and ongoing process under which we need to build our mindfulness of our present participation, we hereby acknowledge this native land of the Muscogee Creek Nation.

| aboutthealliance 26



Jocelyn J. Hunter

Immediate Past Chair

Lila Hertz


E. Kendrick Smith


LeighAnn Costley


Hala Moddelmog


Rita Anderson

Ken Bernhardt

Frank Chew

Ann Cramer

Linda Davidson

Laura Hardman

Hays Mershon

Richard S. Myrick

Helen Smith Price

Helen Regenstein

Bob Reiser

Jane Shivers

Ben White


Kristin Adams

James Anderson

Kim Ajy

Farideh Azadi

Maggie Blake Bailey

Alba Baylin

Kenny Blank

Brittany Boals Moeller

Terri Bonoff

Jennifer Boutté

Jeffrey Cashdan

Jane Jordan Casavant

Steve Chaddick

Madeline Chadwick

Miles Cook

LeighAnn Costley

Joe Crowley

Alison Danaceau

Fred Ehlers

Reade Fahs

Howard Feinsand

Rick Goerss

Latonda Henderson

Lila Hertz

Jocelyn Hunter

Malvika Jhangiani

Anne Kaiser

John Keller

Andjela Kessler^

Jim Kilberg

Jesse Killings

Mary Jane Kirkpatrick

Carrie Kurlander

Allegra Lawrence-Hardy

Robert Masucci

Jean Ann McCarthy

Alan McKeon

Dori Miller

Hala Moddelmog^

Phil Moïse

Allison O’Kelly

Vicki Palefsky

Paul Pendergrass

Jamal Powell

Ali Rahimi

Asif Ramji

Patty Reid

Margaret Reiser

Matt Richburg

Robyn Roberts

Maurice Rosenbaum

Kerri Sauer

Steve Selig

Kim Sewell

Mital Shah

Bill Sleeper Bronson Smith

E. Kendrick Smith

Charlita Stephens

Chandra Stephens-Albright

Mark Swinton

Julie Teer

Dana Weeks Ugwonali

Benny Varzi

Roxanne Varzi

Rebekah Wasserman

Glenn Weiss

Cynthia Widner Wall

Todd Zeldin


Advisory Board Co-Chair

Laura Hardman

Advisory Board Co-Chair

Phil H. Moïse

Joe Alterman

Luis Andino

Jonathan Arogeti

Kelli Bennett

Johanna Brookner

Merry Hunter Caudle

Elizabeth Wiggs Cooper

Candice Dixon

Malaika Dowdell

Anjali Enjeti

Everett Flanigan

Mary Beth Flournoy

Les Flynn

Jennifer Foster

Natalia Garzón Martínez

Lula Gilliam

Lydia Glaize

Meghan Gordon

Tevin Goss

Dr. Eve Graves, Ph.D.

Shauna Grovell

Della Guidry

Elizabeth Hollister

Zenith Houston

Mallika Kallingal

Debby Kelly

Joyce Lewis

Indira Londono

Theo Lowe

Carlton Mackey

Nelly Mauta

Monica McLary

Jamie McQuilkin

Nishant Mehta

Juan Meija

Caroline Moore

Laura Murvartian

Victoria Necessary

Zach Nikonovich Kahn

Amy Norton King

Kathy Palumbo

Aixa Pascual

Kisan Patel

Marion Phillips

Shirley Powell

Nancy Prager

Alexis Rainey

Kristin Ray

Daniel Regenstein

Kirk Rich

Ryan Roemerman

Fred Roselli

Wendy Schmitt

Dr. Shenara Sexton

Beverly Brown Shaw

Dan Silverboard

Brian Stoltz

Maria Storts

Ronald Tomajko

Kathy Tomajko

Robin Triplett

Emily Washburn

Angie Weiss

Stuart Wilkinson


President, STARS

Andjela Kessler

Chairman, Theater Advocates

Judy Feldstein

Susan Stiefel

Chairman, Theater Educators

Myra Medlin

Faye Windham

Chairman, Theater Ushers

Edwina Sellan

Chairman, Hospitality

Susan Stiefel | @alliancetheatre boardofdirectors | 27


Alliance Sponsors are businesses, corporations, and institutions that have supported the work of the Alliance Theatre. We thank them for their generosity and support.


Lettie Pate Evans Foundation

Robert W. Woodruff Foundation



AT&T Foundation

Chick-fil-A Foundation | Rhonda & Dan Cathy

The Coca-Cola Company

Georgia Power

Helen Gurley Brown Foundation




Delta Air Lines, Inc.

The Home Depot Foundation

Invesco QQQ

John H. and Wilhelmina D. Harland Charitable Fund

King & Spalding

Norfolk Southern PNC

Rich Foundation

Shubert Foundation

Zeist Foundation


Bank of America ACTivate Awards

City of Atlanta Mayor’s

Office of Cultural Affairs

Google Kendeda Fund

Liz Blake Giving Fund

Molly Blank Fund of the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation

National Vision Theatre Forward


Black Leadership AIDS Crisis Coalition, powered by AIDS Healthcare Foundation

Alston & Bird

Fulton County Board of Commissioners

Georgia Council for the Arts

Georgia Natural Gas

The Imlay Foundation, Inc.

Johnny Mercer Foundation

National Endowment for the Arts

Newell Brands

Peach State Health Plan

SCANA Energy



AEC Trust

Do a Good Day Foundation

George M. Brown Trust of Atlanta



John & Mary Franklin Foundation

Macy’s Northern Trust

South Arts

$5,000+ Anonymous

Camp Younts Foundation

Thalia & Michael C. Carlos Foundation

Frances Wood Wilson Foundation

Osiason Educational Foundation

Publix Super Market Charities

By attending our theater, you have made a powerful statement about how important the arts are to you. Make another statement of support louder than any standing ovation. Visit and click on Donate.
| sponsors 28
| @alliancetheatre | 29 government Major funding for this organization is provided by the Fulton County Board of Commissioners This program is supported in part by the Georgia Council for the Arts through the appropriations of the Georgia General Assembly. GCA also receives support from its partner agencythe National Endowment for the Arts. Major support is provided by the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs. Official Hotel Official Research Partner Alliance Series Sponsor Family Series Sponsor Additional Support Provided By Charities Publix Super Markets Charities Publix Super Markets

Individual, foundation, and corporate donors contribute more than $10 million to the Alliance Theatre so that we are able to present exceptional theater and educational programming to our community. We are deeply grateful for your support. To find out more about the benefits of giving or to make your gift, visit us at or call 404-733-5157.

Listed below are pledges and gifts to the Alliance Theatre Annual Fund from June 1, 2021 — March 8, 2023.


Spotlight $100,000+

The SKK Foundation

Spotlight $50,000+

Ms. Stephanie Blank & Mr. David Williams

Barbara & Steve Chaddick

Ann & Jeff Cramer

David & Carolyn Gould

Starr Moore & the James Starr Moore Memorial Foundation

Rosemarie & David Thurston

Artistic Director’s Circle $35,000+

The Antinori Foundation

Mr. & Mrs. Douglas Ivester

Jane & J. Hicks Lanier

Chairman’s Circle


Ken Bernhardt and Cynthia Currence

The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation

Jane Jordan Casavant

Roxanne & Jeffrey Cashdan

Katie & Reade Fahs

Ellen & Howard Feinsand

Heidi & David Geller

Jocelyn J. Hunter

Mr. Wayne S. Hyatt

Anne & Mark Kaiser

Phil & Caroline Moïse

Allison and Shane O’Kelly

Victoria & Howard Palefsky

Paul Pendergrass & Margaret Baldwin

Patty & Doug Reid

Patricia & Maurice Rosenbaum

Linda & Steve Selig

William & Margarita Sleeper

Mr. & Mrs. E. Kendrick Smith

Tim & Maria Tassopoulos

Benny & Roxanne Varzi

Amy & Todd Zeldin

Leadership Circle


James Anderson

Farideh & Al Azadi Foundation

The Balloun Family

Deborah L. Bannworth & Joy Lynn Fields

Alba C. Baylin

Brian & Jennifer Boutté

Ezra Cohen Charitable Fund

Miles and Nicole Cook

LeighAnn & Chad Costley

Ms. Alison Danaceau & Mr. Tim McKinley

Dean DuBose & Bronson Smith

Mr. Fredric M. Ehlers & Mr. David Lile

Doris & Matthew Geller

In honor of Carol Jones

Malvika Jhangiani

John C. Keller

James & Lori Kilberg

Jesse Killings

David & Mary Jane Kirkpatrick

Brian & Carrie Kurlander

Mr. & Mrs. Barry McCarthy

Ms. Evelyn Ashley & Mr. Alan B. McKeon

Daniel Marks & Keri Powell

Wade Rakes & Nicholas Miller

Mr. & Mrs. Asif Ramji

Bob & Margaret Reiser

Matt Richburg

Ms. Mital Shah

Dr. & Mrs. Dennis Lee Spangler

Dana & Obi Ugwonali

Mr. & Mrs. Art Waldrop

Mark & Rebekah Wasserman

Director’s Circle $10,000+

Ms. Kristin Adams


Mr. & Mrs. Thomas* J. Asher

Mr. & Mrs. Roland L. Bates

Terri Bonoff and Matthew Knopf

Susan Booth & Max Leventhal

Judge JoAnn Bowens

Laura Brightwell

Martha & Toby Brooks

Chuck & Lisa Cannon-Taylor

Madeline Chadwick

Franklin & Dorothy Chandler

Ann & Jim Curry

Linda & Gene Davidson

Eve Joy Eckardt

Marsha & Richard Goerss

Dr. & Mrs. Marvin Goldstein

Doug & Lila Hertz

Mr. & Mrs. David E. Kiefer

Mr. James Kieffer

Dr. & Mrs. John Lee

Kristie L. Madara

Burrelle Meeks

Dori & Jack Miller

Mr. & Mrs. Angus Morrison

Jamal & Tiffany Powell

Mr. & Mrs. Sean Reardon

Robyn Roberts & Kevin Greiner

Waffle House

Mr. George Russell, Jr. & Mrs. Faye Sampson-Russell

Lynne & Steve Steindel

Julie Teer

Carol & Ramon Tomé Family Fund

Ms. Kathy Waller & Mr. Kenny Goggins

Ramona & Ben White

Suzy Wilner



Mr. & Mrs. George Ajy

Liz Armstrong

Ellen Arnovitz

Lisa & Joe Bankoff

Mrs. Juanita Baranco

Natalie & Matthew Bernstein

Mr. & Mrs. W. Kent Canipe

Joe Crowley & Phil Mack

Marcia & John Donnell

Diane Durgin

| annualfund 30

The Robert S. Elster Foundation

Kathy & Jason Evans

Dr. Cynthia J. Fordyce & Sharon Hulette

Karen & Andrew Ghertner

Mr. David F. Golden

Dr. & Mrs. John B. Hardman

Ariana L. Hargrave

Henry & Etta Raye Hirsch Heritage Foundation

Mr. & Mrs. J. Michael Hostinsky

Tad & Janin Hutcheson

Boland & Andrea Lea Jones

Mr. Charles R. Kowal

Melanie & S. Alan McKnight, Jr.

Mr. & Mrs.* Nathan Metzger

Hala & Steve Moddelmog

Steve & Tonya Paro

Sam & Barbara Pettway

Mr. & Mrs. Norman J. Radow

Ms. Kristin L. Ray

Paula Rosput Reynolds & Stephen Reynolds

Jane & Rein Saral

Sharon & David Schachter

Alan & Cyndy* Schreihofer

Sam Schwartz & Lynn Goldowski

Brian Shively & Jim Jinhong

Henry N. & Margaret P. Staats

Charlita Stephens & Delores Stephens

Maria-Ruth Storts

Kathy & Ron Tomajko

Ms. Cathy Weil


Dr. & Mrs. Raymond Allen


Ron & Lisa Brill Charitable Trust

Dr. Aubrey Bush & Dr. Carol Bush

Rita & Ralph Connell

Tim & Tina Eyerly

Mr. & Mrs. Paul A. Flexner

Mr. Mark Fogas

Sandeep Goyal and Taylor England

Linda & Richard Hubert

Jason & Laurie Jeffay

Andjela and Michael Kessler

Stacia Minton

Clair & Thomas Muller

Debbie & Lon Neese

John & Helen Parker

Mr. & Mrs. Armond Perkins

Peg Petersen

Don & Rosalinda Ratajczak

Dr. & Mrs. Fredric Rosenberg

Mr. & Mrs. Mark Rosenberg

Ms. Donna Schwartz

Mr. & Mrs.* Charles B. Shelton III

Chandra Stephens-Albright & Warren Albright

Susan & Alan* Stiefel

Dr. & Mrs. Harry Strothers

G. Scott Thompson

Stan & Velma Tilley

Ms. Avril Vignos

Penn & Sally Wells

Kim Boldthen & Carolyn Wheeler

William & Nancy Yang

The Zaban Foundation


Dawn & Michael Adamson

Trent Anderson & Leandro Zaneti


Candace Carson

Melodie H. Clayton

Susan & Ed Croft

Gail Crowder

Mr. & Mrs. Erik Curns

Mr. & Mrs. David Felfoldi

Andrew & Wendie Fisher

Dr. Marla Franks & Rev. Susan Zoller

Andrea & Jerry Freeman

Della & Theo Guidry

Louise S. Gunn

Mrs. Elaine L. Hentschel

Drs. Cathie & Hugh Hudson

Ashley & Elton James

Randy & Connie Jones

Mark Keiser

Veronica Kessenich

Sheri & Steve Labovitz

Jenny and Kevin Lyman

Judith Lyon & Ron Bloom

Mr. and Mrs. Robert W. Masucci

Greg & Gillian Matteson

Raymond & Penelope McPhee

Anna & Hays Mershon

Joan Netzel & John Gronwall

Lynn & Galen Oelkers

Dr. Denise Raynor

Helen M. Regenstein

Lois & Don Reitzes

Deborah W. Royer

Kashi Sehgal

Starane Shepherd

Mr. & Mrs. S. Albert Sherrod

Jane E. Shivers

Ann Starr & Kent Nelson

Jim & Janie Stratigos

Judith & Mark Taylor

Wayne & Lee Vason

Mr. & Mrs. Glenn Weiss

Adrienne Whitehead

Lynne Winship


$1,000+ Anonymous

John & Lynn Ayers

Dr. Evelyn R. Babey

Mr. George T. Baker

Jay Bernath

Jill Blair

Robert Blondeau & Kristen Nantz, in memory of Betty Blondeau Russell

Michelle Burdick

Dr. & Mrs. S. Wright


David Cofrin & Christine


Richard & Grecia Cox

Celeste Davis-Lane

Mr. Derrick Doose

Mrs. Eleanor H. Finley

Richard Goodjoin & Kelvin Davis

Ms. Joy Hambrick

Ms. Jo Ann Hayden-Miller

Mr. & Mrs. Phillip S. Hodges

Dr. William M. Kahnweiler

Mr. & Mrs. Dennis Kelly

Ms. Lauren Linder & Mr. Jonathan Grunberg

Ms. Jaime McQuilkin

Morningstar Foundation

Denis & Leah Ng

Mr. Mark A. Pallansch

Margo Brinton & Eldon Park

Susan C. Puett

Ryan Roemerman

Mr. Ronald Russell & Mr. Tommy Russell

Karen & Alex Stickney

Jenny Streeter

Andrea Strickland & N.

Jerold Cohen

Caitlin Way

Brooke & Winston Weinmann | 31


We would like to thank our donors who have committed to giving us a recurring monthly donation to the Alliance Theatre Annual Fund. Join today:


Dr. & Mrs. Marshall Abes

Mr. Faraz Ahmed

Mr. E. Scott Arnold

Dr. Evelyn R. Babey

Mr. & Mrs. John Bauer

Ms. Aparna Bhattacharyya & Mr. Paul Nilsson

Dr. Deloris Bryant-Booker

Mr. Brandon Bush

Karen & Harold Carney

David Cashman

Ms. Jacquel Chambers

Ms. Mishelle Cirillo & Ms. Bryan Suttles

Elizabeth Corrie

Mr. Lawrence R. Cowart

Mr. & Mr. Christopher Cox

Marge & Gray Crouse

Nash Ditmetaroj

Derrick Doose

Judy and Stan Fineman

Eric Fisher

Brenda Fleming

Ken Foskett & Catherine Williams

Christine & Andrew Fry

Ms. & Ms. Katie S. Goodman

Mr. Bryant D. Gresham & Mr. Alexander Bossert

Shauna Grovell

Lauren & Jonathan Grunberg

Mrs. Jo Ann Haden-Miller & Mr. William Miller

Ms. Joy Hambrick

Ms. Wynette Hammons

Penn Hansa

Ms. Lindsey E. Hardegree

Ms. Linda L. Hare & Mr. Gerald A. Barth

Nancy A. Hatfield

Dr. & Mrs. David M. Hill

Jim Johnson

Karen Jones

Mr. & Mrs. Stephen J. Kalista

Amy & Jeremy King

Sarah Latif

Dr. Andrea Lawrence

Mr. Darryl E. Lesure & Mrs. Candice Simon-Lesure

Ms. Karen Lightfoot

Christian & JoJasmin Lopez

Ms. Alison Main

Ms. Jaime McQuilkin

Mr. & Mrs. James Michael

Mr. Steve M. Peck

Chris J. Peterson

Mr. & Mrs. Jonathan K. Peterson

Ms. Kendrick Phillips


Your contribution allows everybody to experience world-class theatre at the Alliance, while giving you exclusive benefits! From seeing your name in this playbill, Opening Night event invitations, to our keepsake season mug — there’s a perk for you. Become a donor today! It’s easy to scan and give.

Mr. & Mrs. Marc B. Pickard

Dana & Jacqueline Powe

Ms. Shannon L. Price

Mrs. Brenda Pruitt

Alexis Rainey

M. Corwin Robison

Mrs. Peggy Rogers

Mr. & Mrs. Peter S. Savitz

Barbara Schreiber

Mr. Tom Slovak & Mr. Jeffery Jones

Laura Stordy

Mrs. Jill Strickland

Charles Thompson

Stephanie Van Parys

Ben Warshaw

Ms. Caitlin Way

Mr. & Mrs. David D. Whitley

Mr. & Mrs. Napoleon A. Williams

Ms. Janice A. Wolf & Mr. M. Barry Etra | @alliancetheatre | encore 32


Many companies offer a matching gifts program for employees and retirees. You can double, or even triple, your gift at no additional cost to you simply by asking your employer! Think of how much further your donation can go.

We would like to thank the following companies who have matched contributions to the Alliance Theatre Annual Fund. To find out more about matching gifts, contact Toni Friday at

AIG Corporation

American Express

Aon Risk Solutions

The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation


Bank of America/Merrill


Bryan Cave-Powell

Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

Chubb Charitable Foundation

The Coca-Cola Company


Equifax Inc. Foundation


GE Energy

Georgia Power

Goldman Sachs Matching Gift


Hearst Foundations

Home Depot Foundation

Honda Motor Co.


JPMorgan Chase



Macy’s Foundation

McDonald’s Corporation

McMaster-Carr Supply

Microsoft Corporation

Norfolk Southern Corporation

Prudential Financial

Publix Super Markets, Inc.


SunTrust Foundation

Thrivent Financial for Lutherns

Veritiv Corporation

Verizon Corporation

The Walt Disney Company

Wells Fargo


Celebrating our supporters who have made a legacy gift to the Alliance Theatre.

The Legacy Society celebrates individuals who have made a planned gift to the Alliance Theatre. Making a planned gift is a wonderful way to show your support and appreciation for the Alliance Theatre and its mission, while accommodating your financial, estate planning and philanthropic goals. With smart planning, you may increase the size of your estate and/or reduce the tax burden on your heirs. Just as important, you will know that you have made a meaningful and lasting contribution to the Alliance Theatre.

To learn more about the Legacy Society, please contact Lindsay Ridgeway-Baierl at


Rita M. Anderson

Roland & Linda Bates

Kathy* and Ken Bernhardt

Anne & Jim Breedlove

Ezra Cohen

Ann & Jeffrey Cramer

Susan & Edward Croft

Sallie Adams Daniel

Linda & Gene Davidson

Terry and Stacy Dietzler

Diane Durgin

Elizabeth Etoll

Ellen & Howard Feinsand

Laura & John Hardman

Nancy & Glen Hesler

P.J. Younglove Hovey

Lauren & David Kiefer

David Kuniansky

Virginia Vann* & Ken Large

Edith Love*

Lauren & John McColskey

Anna & Hays Mershon

Caroline & Phil Moïse

Winifred B. & Richard S. Myrick

Victoria & Howard L. Palefsky

Armond & Sharon Perkins

Jan Pomerantz

Helen Regenstein

Margaret & Robert Reiser

Betty Blondeau-Russell*

Tricia & Neal Schachtel

Debbie* & Charles B. Shelton III

Jane E. Shivers

Roger Smith & Christopher Jones*

Lee Harper & Wayne Vason

Terri & Rick Western

Ramona & Ben White

* deceased

matchinggifts&legacysociety | 33


Woodruff Circle members have contributed more than $250,000 annually to support the arts and education work of the Alliance Theatre, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and High Museum of Art. We are deeply grateful to these partners who lead our efforts to help create opportunities for enhanced access to the work.


A Friend of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra


The Antinori Foundation

Bank of America

A Friend of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra



AT&T Foundation

Farideh & Al Azadi Foundation

The Molly Blank Fund

Helen Gurley Brown Foundation

Chick-fil-A Foundation | Rhonda & Dan Cathy

The Goizueta Foundation

Invesco QQQ



Mr. & Mrs. Shouky Shaheen

The Home Depot Foundation

Sarah and Jim Kennedy

The Rich Foundation, Inc.

Alfred A. Thornton Venable Trust

Truist Trusteed Foundations:

Florence C. and Harry L. English Memorial Fund

Thomas Guy Woolford Charitable Trust



The Zeist Foundation, Inc.


Leadership Circle corporations have committed to a contribution of $1,000,000 over one or more years to support the arts and education work of the Alliance Theatre, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and High Museum of Art.


The Coca-Cola Company


Delta Air Lines

Georgia Power

Graphic Packaging





Benefactor Circle members have contributed more than $100,000 annually to support the arts and education work of the Alliance Theatre, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and High Museum of Art. We are deeply grateful to these partners who lead our efforts to help create opportunities for enhanced access to the work.


1180 Peachtree ACT Foundation, Inc.

Alston & Bird

Atlantic Station

John Auerbach

Sandra & Dan Baldwin


The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation

City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs

The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta

Melinda & Brian Corbett

Sheila L. & Jonathan J. Davies

Barney M. Franklin & Hugh W. Burke Charitable




Graphic Packaging

Mr. and Mrs. James S. Grien

Louise S. Sams and Jerome Grilhot

The John H. & Wilhelmina D. Harland Charitable Foundation

The Hertz Family Foundation, Inc.

Mr. & Mrs. Hilton H. Howell, Jr.

The Imlay Foundation Institute of Museum & Library Services

Jones Day Foundation & Employees

Kaiser Permanente

Abraham J. and Phyllis Katz Foundation

King & Spalding, Partners & Employees

The Sartain Lanier Family Foundation

Charles Loridans Foundation, Inc.

The Henry Luce Foundation, Inc.

The Marcus Foundation, Inc.

John W. Markham III*

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Morris Manning & Martin LLP

National Endowment for the Arts

Newell Brands

Norfolk Southern Foundation

Amy W. Norman Charitable Foundation

Northside Hospital

Victoria & Howard Palefsky

Patty and Doug Reid

The Shubert Foundation

Carol & Ramon Tomé Family Fund

Dr. Joan H. Weens

Kelly and Rod Westmoreland

Ann Marie and John B. White, Jr.

wish Foundation

The David, Helen & Marian Woodward Fund

*notates deceased

CONTACT Hila Johnston 305-978-2922

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