Port City Playhouse Concludes Its 36th Season, “A Salute to the American Voice,” with Blues for an Alabama Sky by Pearl Cleage, Opening on May 2nd.
Port City Playhouse, Alexandria’s award-winning theatre company, celebrates its 36th season with “A Salute to the American Voice,” presenting works by four outstanding American playwrights, each with a unique view of our nation’s society, culture and history. Its fourth production of the season is Blues for an Alabama Sky by Pearl Cleage, an eloquent and bittersweet story of five friends at the end of the Harlem Renaissance and the onset of the Great Depression, directed by Eleanore Tapscott and produced by Sydney-Chanele Dawkins.
Performances are Friday-Saturday, May 2-3, 9-10 & 16-17, and Tuesday, May 13, at 8:00 PM; with matinees on Saturday, May 10 & 17, at 2:00 PM. Port City Playhouse performs at 1819 North Quaker Lane, Alexandria, Virginia 22302, just east of I-395 at the Shirlington exit. General admission tickets are $18 for adults, $16 for seniors, military and students, and $14 for groups of ten or more.
A noted playwright and author of both novels and non-fiction works, Pearl Cleage has focused on the distinct culture and creativity of African-Americans and the challenges African-Americans, especially black women, face in American society. She is a former lecturer at Spelman College, a regular speaker at universities and conferences, and a widely recognized advocate in the field of human rights and social justice. Her novel What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day was a 1998 Oprah Book Club selection, while her most recent work, Things I Should Have Told My Daughter, has just been published.
Director Eleanore Tapscott has assembled a talented cast with Lolita-Marie as Angel Allen, Malcolm Lee as Guy Jacobs, Christine Wells as Delia Patterson, DeJeannette Horne as Sam Thomas, and Mack Leamon as Leland Cunningham. “With its interweaving of the personal stories of its characters, Blues for an Alabama Sky is a song of intense feelings, an expression of the heart-wrenching harmonies and lyrics of blues music,” Tapscott said. “Although the play was written in 1995 and is set in 1930, its themes – unemployment, homelessness, reproductive rights, racial and sexual prejudice – remain relevant in 2014.”
As its 36th season comes to a close, Port City is pleased to announce its 2014-15 season of outstanding plays. The season will begin with Black Hole by Jean Koppen, Port City’s first “Playwright Incubator Project” production, in which the company works with a local playwright to provide a creatively stimulating environment to develop original theatrical works. The season will continue with In the Next Room by Sarah Ruhl, Shining City by Conor McPherson and Stick Fly by Lydia R. Diamond.
Since its founding in 1977, Port City Playhouse has regularly received awards from area theatre organizations for the artistic and technical excellence of its productions, earning the British Players’ prestigious 2012-13 Ruby Griffith First Runner-Up Award for its production of The Drawer Boy. That record of excellence continues as Port City gives “A Salute to the American Voice” in its 36th season.