After a winter 2022 postponement due to COVID-era issues, Georgia Ensemble Theatre in Roswell, GA, will give Alabama Story — the six-actor, one-set drama about an embattled librarian in the Deep South — its state premiere in September 2022, closing out the resident Equity company’s 2021-22 season later than expected. Playwright Kenneth Jones’ fact-inspired drama will be directed by Thomas W. Jones II for a Sept. 8-25 run.
It was originally scheduled for Feb. 17-March 6, 2022. The delay to fall 2022 conveniently bumps the booking to a time period that includes Banned Books Week (Sept. 18-24), during which American libraries amplify books and materials that are at risk due to censorship — the meat of the social justice drama.
The acclaimed play has been seen in more than 40 productions around the country and is now published and licensed through Dramatists Play Service, from which you can get an e-copy of the script or ask about performance rights. (Hard copies of the script will be available at a later date.)
Georgia Ensemble Theatre bills Alabama Story this way: “Finishing out the 2021-22 season! Political foes, star-crossed childhood friends, and one feisty state librarian take the stage for a uniquely poetic love letter to reading. We all have more in common than we imagine. A finalist in the 2014 National Playwrights Conference of the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center and a nominee for the ATCA/Steinberg New Play Award, the drama of Alabama Story leaps from pages of history, exploring the moving story that earned librarian Emily Reed international headlines when she defended ‘The Rabbits’ Wedding,’ a children’s picture book by Garth Williams, best known for his artwork for ‘Little House on the Prairie’ and ‘Charlotte’s Web’). Directed by Thomas W. Jones II and featuring a cast of fantastic Atlanta actors.”
Casting and full production team have not been announced.
The play focuses on how Alabama state librarian Emily Wheelock Reed protected a children’s book that was under attack by state politicians in 1959 Montgomery, AL. The book, “The Rabbits’ Wedding” by Garth Williams, was about a black rabbit and a white rabbit who decide to marry. The play toggles between the political conflict and a reunion of two childhood friends that same year, with themes interlacing by play’s end.
The 2022-23 GET season will launch in October, directly following Alabama Story. GET performs in the Roswell Cultural Arts Center, 950 Forrest St., in Roswell, about 25 miles north of Atlanta,
GET is under the leadership of producing artistic director Anita Allen-Farley.
Homepage thumbnail: Larry Paulsen as Garth Williams at Repertory Theatre of St. Louis in 2019.