Southern Writers Onstage: Women – Black & White
Telling the story of the Southern American woman – black and white – through the writings of Southern American women.
Tuesday, February 14, 12 noon
“Powerhouse” is a story about a great jazzman (based on Fats Waller) playing at a white dance in Alligator, Mississippi. Acclaimed Atlanta actor Brenda Bynum has previously performed in the Southern Writers Onstage series reading letters from Flannery O’Connor and portraying author and human rights activist Lillian Smith. Eric Moore, an accomplished vocalist, actor, musical director, songwriter, and music producer, is an Atlanta, Georgia native. Among his many roles is playing Fats Waller in Ain’t Misbehavin’ for Theatrical Outfit and Atlanta Lyric.
Tuesday, February 21, 12 noon
“Nineteen Fifty-five” imagines what might have occurred after Elvis Presley’s manager bought out Big Mama Thornton’s song “Hound Dog.” Valerie Boyd is the author of Wrapped in Rainbows: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston and editor of the forthcoming Gathering Blossoms Under Fire: The Journals of Alice Walker.
Tuesday, March 28, 12 noon
“Everything that Rises Must Converge” tells the confrontational story of two generations of white southerners, a mother and son, who have different views of the past, present, and future of racial exceptionalism. Atlanta actress, Carolyn Cook is a two-time winner and seven-time nominee of the Suzi Bass Award. She has acted in shows for nearly every theater in Atlanta and was recently seen on the stage of Theatrical Outfit in 2015 in Silent Sky and in 2016 in Moxie.
Tuesday, April 4, 12 noon
“Recitatif,” Toni Morrison’s only short story, chronicles the life stories of two girls, one white and one black. The girls are written without any race markers, leaving the reader to wonder. Bernardine Mitchell is an Atlanta native who has performed nationally and internationally in many roles, including Bessie Smith in Bessie’s Blues, Mahalia Jackson in Mahalia (for which she won the 2005 Suzi Bass Award for Best Actress), and Willy in Theatrical Outfit’s production of The Gifts of the Magi.
All performances at the Balzer Theater at Herren’s, 84 Luckie St.
FREE and open to the public!
Southern Writers Onstage is produced in partnership with Theatrical Outfit. Founded in 1976, Theatrical Outfit has flourished under the leadership of Tom Key, Executive Artistic Director, since 1995. The Balzer Theater at Herren’s, the first LEED certified theater in the United States, is proud to be in the space of Atlanta’s first restaurant to voluntarily integrate its tables. For more information about Theatrical Outfit, please visit www.theatricaloutfit.org.
Southern Writers Onstage is supported by Georgia Humanities, in partnership with the Georgia Department of Economic Development, through funding from the Georgia General Assembly, as well as the Georgia State University Department of English.
GSU Faculty Project Lead: Pearl McHaney, Kenneth M. England Professor of Southern Literature.