Press Release

PlayMakers Repertory Company Presents “Blues for an Alabama Sky”

PlayMakers Repertory Company proudly presents “Blues for an Alabama Sky,” a play by Pearl Cleage. The production runs from September 7 to September 25 and is directed by Valerie Curtis-Newton.

“Cleage’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 in only in the best of theatre,” said Vivienne Benesch, PlayMakers Producing Artistic Director. “I’m thrilled to welcome back to PlayMakers the brilliant Valerie Curtis-Newton, who is creating an electrifying evening of thought-provoking, relevant and moving theatre.”

“Blues for an Alabama Sky” takes the audience to New York in the summer of 1930. The hopeful notes of the Harlem Renaissance haven’t rung true for Angel, a failed Cotton Club singer, and her group of friends. Could their fortunes change at the hands of a handsome newcomer from Tuskegee, who sees in Angel a memory of lost love and a reminder of Alabama skies where the stars are so thick it’s bright as day?
“I love how Cleage’s presents us such a vivid portrait of young people in the midst of their dreams, trying to live authentically,” Curtis-Newton said. “A good play is always timely. It should be about an issue that we as a society have yet to solve. And ‘Blues for an Alabama Sky’ wrestles these issues with such empathy and acuity that it artfully reveals our common humanity.”

Health & Safety Guidelines:
Since March 2020, PlayMakers’ priority has been the health and safety of patrons, artists, and staff, and giving its Company the chance to return to work safely, following all state, industry, and University safety guidelines. In accordance with recent changes to state and University guidelines, PlayMakers will no longer require proof of COVID vaccination or negative PCR test for our productions. Additionally, mask-wearing is strongly encouraged but not required.

We recognize that these changes may raise questions or concerns for some of our audience members. Please be assured that we will continue with these increased health & safety procedures:

  • Our Company will be fully vaccinated and required to test at least once a week.
  • Added HEPA filtration will continue to be in use in all public spaces, along with increased sanitation.
  • Masks and hand sanitizer will be available to all patrons.

“Blues for an Alabama Sky” marks the PlayMakers debut of André G. Brown (“Afterwords” at 5th Avenue Theatre). The production also features Heinley Gaspard (“The Skin of Our Teeth,” “How I Learned What I Learned”), Jamar Jones (“A Wrinkle in Time,” “The Skin of Our Teeth”), and Saleemah Sharpe (“The Skin of Our Teeth,” “Gloria,” “A Doll’s House, Part 2”).

The Creative Team of “Blues for an Alabama Sky” includes Valerie Curtis-Newton (Director; “Skeleton Crew”; Head of Directing and Playwriting, University of Washington’s School of Drama), Matthew Smucker (Scenic Designer; PlayMakers debut), Melanie Burgess (Costume Designer; PlayMakers debut), Marcus Dilliard (Lighting Designer; ““The Tempest,” “Metamorphoses,” “Imaginary Invalid”), Larry D. Fowler Jr. (Sound Designer; PlayMakers debut), Jacqueline E. Lawton (Resident Dramaturg; “Stick Fly,” “Edges of Time”), Gwendolyn Schwinke (Resident Vocal Coach; “Yoga Play,” “Dairyland”), Sarah Smiley (Stage Manager; “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “An Enemy of the People”), and Aspen Jackson (Resident Stage Manager; “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”).

This play is rated PG-13; we encourage patrons to use their own discretion in determining the age appropriateness of the material. Please contact our Box Office for more details. 

For information and to purchase tickets, call 919.962.7529 or visit Individual ticket prices start at $20.

Performance and Special Event Schedule:

  • September 7–9, 7:30 p.m. — Preview performances
  • September 10, 7:30 p.m. — Opening Performance & Press Opening
  • September 13, 7:30 p.m. — All-access performance for attendees with special needs, with sign language interpretation and audio description
  • September 18, 2:00 p.m. — Open captioned performance, with dialog, stage direction, and sound effects communicated on a “universal access” live caption unit

About PlayMakers Repertory Company:
PlayMakers Repertory Company is North Carolina’s premier professional theatre company. For more than 45 years, we have produced relevant and courageous work that tells stories from and for a multiplicity of perspectives and creates transformational impact in our immediate and extended communities. We are proud to be part of a 100-year tradition of playmaking at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. PlayMakers has been named one of the “best regional theatres in America.”
PlayMakers Contacts: 

  • For press information and interviews, contact Ellen Bradley, Marketing Consultant, or 919.923.6883
  • For photos or poster art and other PlayMakers questions, contact Rosalie Preston, Associate Director of Marketing, or 919.962.6997