A Note from Vivienne about “Blues for an Alabama Sky”

Welcome to PlayMakers’ 2022/2023 season opener, Pearl Cleage’s seminal work, “Blues for an Alabama Sky.” Pearl’s writing stirs the soul, and her beautiful exploration of a group of young dreamers in the midst of the Harlem Renaissance resonates with a timelessness that is found only in the best of theatre.

Good plays are always timely. Regardless of when they’re written or where they are set, a really good play chips away at things humanity is always struggling with. I love that Cleage’s “Blues” touches on so many issues that we continue to grapple with as a society—the constructs of race, gender, sexuality, and class—and does so with such empathy and acuity that it artfully reveals our common humanity. This is a fascinating story filled with characters we care about in a world full of life, music, and style—it’s truly a gift for theatre artists to take on this work.

And helming this production, I’m thrilled to welcome back to PlayMakers the brilliant Valerie Curtis-Newton, who last joined us for her production of “Skeleton Crew.” Through an illustrious career as a theatre founder, director, and educator in her home base of Seattle and around the country, Val is truly an inspiring woman of the theatre and among the best in the business. She and her team of collaborators have created an electrifying evening of theatre.

You know, when you program a play as part of a season of theatre, its individual resonances start to multiply. Life imitates art as much as art imitates life. It’s uncanny. Thank you for joining us to kick off our new season of work. The gift of making it is only complete in the sharing of it—with you! I hope you join us on the journey all year.