TUSCALOOSA, AL – Theatre Tuscaloosa will open its season with the world premiere of Launch Day (Love Stories from the Year 2108) October 21-30, 2022 in the Bean-Brown Theatre on the Martin Campus of Shelton State Community College.
Launch Day (Love Stories from the Year 2108) is one of six winning plays selected for production as part of the American Association of Community Theatres (AACT) NewPlayFest 2022 program. NewPlayFest exists to foster the creation of new plays for American community theatres. Theatre Tuscaloosa was selected along with five other theatres from across the country to produce one of the winning plays.
In Launch Day (Love Stories from the Year 2108), eager to escape our troubled planet, brilliant engineer Jada is blasting off on a risky mission to colonize another world. Ex-boyfriend Zegg, however, believes the Earth and their relationship can be saved. Zegg strives to convince Jada to stay, but his new robotic arm has its own plans. Jada and Zegg are among six couples navigating a high-tech, perilous future in this science-fiction comedy. In a series of connected stories, the couples encounter spiteful computers, brain-controlling advertisements, bizarre new animals, and more. As the launch clock ticks down, love strives to overcome the complexities of post-modern life.
“We are excited to produce the world premiere of this show here in Tuscaloosa! Working with the cast has been a blast, and I can’t wait for the public to experience Michael Higgins’ brand new work,” said Director Tina Turley.
Higgins attended early rehearsals in Tuscaloosa and will return to attend opening night of the show. A Cleveland-area native, Higgins is a Chicago writer and playwright, whose work has been performed around the country. Although the official world premiere is occurring in Tuscaloosa, portions of Launch Day (Love Stories from the Year 2108) have received staged readings at Benchmark Theatre in Denver, Capital Stage in Sacramento, and Chicago Dramatists in Chicago. Higgins’ play The Chip has been produced in New York and Chicago. His play Tracy and Her Dream Guys was published in The Best New Ten-Minute Plays 2019. Higgins is a former legal affairs reporter for the Chicago Tribune and has a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania.
The cast includes Margaret Carr, Gabriel Carden, Amaria Jackson, Ebony Wesley, Jessica Briana Kelly, DeAnthony Mays, Sam Hodo, Brandy Johnson, Kazarious Brown, Mileidy Crespo-Jones, Hallie Grace Hamner, Steven Yates, and understudy Gracie Price.
“This is the first time I’ve directed a futuristic show,” said Turley. “As a huge sci-fi fan myself, working with my production team to imagine the future has been a dream come true.”
The production team includes Jameson Sanford, scenic designer; Jeanette Waterman, costume designer; Lyndell McDonald, lighting designer; Charles Prosser, sound and props designer; Rebecca Kling, movement director; and Ashlyn Lambert, stage manager. Kathy Pingel has served as AACT’s representative and dramaturg.
Theatre Tuscaloosa’s 2022-23 season is presented in partnership with Shelton State Community College and is sponsored by Cartography Consulting, WVUA23, Tuscaloosa Med Spa, Alabama State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the City of Tuscaloosa, and signature sponsor Claire Friday. The 2022-23 media partner is Tuscaloosa Radio. NewPlayFest is made possible by the Jack K. Ayre and Frank Ayre Lee Theatre Foundation and Dramatic Publishing.
Performance dates and times are as follows: Friday, Oct. 21 at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday and Wednesday Oct. 23 & 26 at 2 p.m.; Thursday and Friday Oct. 27 & 28 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday Oct. 29 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday Oct. 30 at 2 p.m. A pay-what-you-can final dress rehearsal will be presented on Thursday, Oct. 20 at 7:30 p.m., proceeds of which support the Charlie Dennis Memorial Scholarship. Higgins will host a free pre-show discussion on Friday, Oct. 21, at 6:30p.m. in the Alabama Power Recital Hall.
Tickets are $19 for adults, $17 for seniors, members of the military and SSCC Employees, $14 for students, children, and groups of 10 or more, and $7 for SSCC students. This play is appropriate for ages 13 and up.
Tickets and more information are available at https://www.theatretusc.com/launch-day or 205.391.2277
Theatre Tuscaloosa is a 501c3 not-for-profit community theatre located on the Martin Campus of Shelton State Community College. Theatre Tuscaloosa has been enriching the greater Tuscaloosa community since 1971 through quality theatrical productions and educational outreach.