Great Plains Theatre, the professional Equity company in Abilene, Kansas, will stage Kenneth Jones’ six-actor social justice drama Alabama Story in spring 2020, introducing Sunflower State audiences to the true story of a librarian attacked by politicians for protecting books in the Deep South of 1959.
Alabama Story will play March 20-29, 2020, in a season that also includes The Pirates of Penzance; the musical spoof Disaster!; Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat; a new revue called Makin’ Magic: 25 Years of Fun (inspired the GPT’s 25-year history); and the premiere of Empires Fall, a new play by former presidential press secretary Marlin Fitzwater. Casting and creative team will be announced.
By spring 2019, Alabama Story will have been seen in 22 markets following its 2015 world premiere by Pioneer Theatre Company. The year 2019 marks the 60th anniversary of the true events that inspired the play.
Here’s how the playwright bills the play: “In the two-act Alabama Story, a gentle children’s book about a black rabbit marrying a white rabbit stirs the passions of a segregationist State Senator and a no-nonsense State Librarian in 1959 Montgomery, Alabama, just as the civil rights movement is flowering. Another story of childhood friends — an African-American man and a white woman, reunited in adulthood in Montgomery that same year — provides private counterpoint to the public events of the play. Political foes, star-crossed lovers, and one feisty children’s author inhabit the same page to conjure a Deep South of the imagination.” Ask for a perusal copy here.
The Washington Post said the play had “national relevance.” The St. Louis Post Dispatch called it “exuberant, hilarious and timely…[a] crowd-pleasing and imaginatively theatrical comedy-drama inspired by the real-life conflict,” adding, “at a time when intolerance is on the upswing and empathy is under siege, Alabama Story is just the play we need.” Read more press quotes here.