Alabama Story

A gentle children's book with an apparent hidden message 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. A contrasting story of childhood friends — an African-American man and a woman of white privilege, reunited in adulthood in Montgomery that same year — provides private counterpoint to the...
A gentle children's book with an apparent hidden message 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. A contrasting story of childhood friends — an African-American man and a woman of white privilege, reunited in adulthood in Montgomery that same year — provides private counterpoint to the public events of the play.

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Based on true events, "Alabama Story" puts political foes, star-crossed childhood friends, and one feisty children's author on the same page to conjure a uniquely poetic Deep South of the imagination. This love letter to reading, 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, leaps from pages of history, exploring the moving story that earned librarian Emily Reed international headlines when she defended "The Rabbits' Wedding," a picture book by Garth Williams, best known for his artwork for "Little House on the Prairie" and "Charlotte's Web."
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Alabama Story

Recommended by

  • Eugene O'Neill Theater Center:
    12 May. 2017
    It is the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center's pleasure to recommend Kenneth Jones and their play Alabama Story as a finalist for our 2014 National Playwrights Conference. The play rose through a competitive, anonymous, multileveled selection process that took nearly nine months to execute. As one finalist out of hundreds of submissions, the strength of this play’s writing has allowed this work to prosper in such a competitive selection process.

Development History

  • Reading
    ,
    Pioneer Theatre Company Play-By-Play New Reading Series
    ,
    2014
  • Reading
    ,
    TACT/The Actors Company Theatre NewTACTics New Play Series
    ,
    2014
  • Reading
    ,
    Alabama Shakespeare Festival Southern Writers' Project Festival of New Work
    ,
    2013

Production History

  • Professional
    ,
    Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
    ,
    2019
  • Professional
    ,
    Actors Theatre of Indiana
    ,
    2019
  • Professional
    ,
    Clarence Brown Theatre, Knoxville, TN
    ,
    2018
  • Professional
    ,
    City Lights Theater Company, San Jose, CA
    ,
    2018
  • Professional
    ,
    Majestic Theater, West Springfield, MA
    ,
    2018
  • Professional
    ,
    Red Mountain Theatre Company, Birmingham, AL
    ,
    2018
  • Professional
    ,
    Lamb Arts Regional Theatre, Sioux City, IA
    ,
    2017
  • High School
    ,
    Parnassian Society, Columbia High School, Maplewood, NJ
    ,
    2017
  • Professional
    ,
    Peninsula Players, Wisconsin
    ,
    2016
  • Professional
    ,
    Florida Studio Theatre, Sarasota, FL
    ,
    2016
  • Professional
    ,
    Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theatre, Cape Cod, MA
    ,
    2016
  • University
    ,
    The Theatre Company University of Detroit Mercy
    ,
    2016
  • Professional
    ,
    Pioneer Theatre Company (mainstage world premiere), Salt Lake City, WI
    ,
    2015

Awards

ATCA/Steinberg New Play Award (Nominee)
,
American Theatre Critics Association
,
2016
Winner
,
Broadway World - Best Play - Appleton, WI
,
Broadway World
,
2016
Winner
,
Broadway World Award - Best New Work - Salt Lake City
,
Broadway World
,
2015
Finalist
,
National Playwrights Conference
,
Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center
,
2014