Alabama Story

by Kenneth Jones
directed by Lisa Mallette
supported by executive producer Jim Lewis
West Coast Premiere
January 18-February 18, 2018. Download high-res photos. Scroll down for show details and special events. 

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Why you should see Alabama Story

Because despite the segregation and racism in 1959 Alabama, nevertheless the hero of our story persisted. We salute you, Emily Wheelock Reed.
Because the play is an inspiring tale of a real-life battle over a sweet children’s book and the people who defended it.
Because you won’t believe how controversial one little book could be in 1959 Alabama.
Because this new play by New York City playwright, lyricist and librettist Kenneth Jones is coming to the West Coast for the first time.
Because in these tumultuous times, here’s a story that will leave you feeling not beaten down, but lifted up.

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Synopsis

It’s 1959 and the Civil Rights movement is starting to grip America. In Montgomery, Alabama, a fight over a controversial children’s book—one in which a black rabbit marries a white rabbit—pits one courageous woman against a segregationist state senator. Meanwhile, childhood friends reunite, only to be caught up in the political and racial tensions of the time. Inspired by true events, this drama explores tests of character and emotions that reshaped our nation.

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Cast

Garth Williams/Bobby Crone/H.Webb: Steve Lambert
Lily Whitfield: Maria Marquis
Joshua Moore: Bezachin Jifar
Senator E.W. Higgins: Erik Gandolfi
Emily Wheelock Reed: Karen DeHart
Thomas Franklin: Jeremy Ryan

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[image: Jeremy Ryan and Karen DeHart in "Alabama Story"]

Alabama State Librarian Emily Wheelock Reed (Karen DeHart) and her assistant Thomas (Jeremy Ryan) share a welcome laugh in the midst of the controversy. Photos by Taylor Sanders.

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What people are saying about the play

“Cleverly crafted. … The unifying strand is the way stories — real and fictional — shape our lives.”  –Salt Lake Tribune

“A real-life controversy about a children’s book from 1959 is the basis for a new play with freshly relevant themes.”  –American Theatre

“Full of warmth and endearing moments.”  –Deseret News .

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Dramaturgy

What’s in a Lane Cake? Which member of our cast speaks Amharic? Learn more about the world of Alabama Story — and the process of creating this production — in our latest issue of Highlights.

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[image: Bezachin Jifar in "Alabama Story"]

After leaving Alabama over a decade ago, Joshua Moore (Bezachin Jifar) returns to work in Martin Luther King’s church.

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More information and special events

Alabama Story  runs Jan. 18-Feb. 18, 2018. (No performance Jan. 21.)
Showtimes: Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets: $19-$42. Discounts for seniors (55+), students, educators and groups of 10+. ($2 surcharge for phone and in-person purchases; closing weekend is also subject to a $2 increase.)
The play’s run time is about 2 hours, plus one 15-minute intermission.

Parking and seating: 
Parking is provided for $5 on most dates across the street at Notre Dame High School (call for availability for your performance). Please note that this parking will be limited on Jan. 25 and not available on Feb. 3, due to special events at the school. View an interactive parking map of downtown San Jose for more options. Seating is general admission, and the theater is wheelchair-accessible.

Special events:
Thursday, Jan. 18, 8 p.m.: Pay What You Can Night. Suggested donation is $10, but any amount is welcome.
Friday, Jan. 19, 8 p.m.: $19 Preview Night.
Saturday, Jan. 20, 8 p.m.: Opening Night (with a post-show party catered by Cafe Stritch).
Sunday, Feb. 4, 2 p.m.: Talkback after the matinee with the director and cast.

Our nonprofit partner for this production is the San Jose Public Library Foundation. You can help us support the foundation by seeing Alabama Story at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 11. On that day, we’ll donate 25% of the income from regular-priced single-ticket sales to SJPLF. Thank you!

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