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Pearl Cleage

Pearl Cleage is an Atlanta-based writer whose work has won commercial acceptance and critical praise in several genres. An award-winning playwright whose Flyin' West was the most produced new play in the country in 1994, Pearl is also a best-selling author whose first novel, What Looks Like Crazy On An Ordinary Day, was an Oprah Book Club pick and spent nine weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Her subsequent novels have been consistent best sellers and perennial book club favorites.

A Ritual for the Alliance Theatre at Almost Fifty
Essay

A Ritual for the Alliance Theatre at Almost Fifty

5 May 2017

Playwright Pearl Cleage shares her ritual at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Alliance Theatre’s new theatre space on March 30, 2017. 

Rage in Context
Essay

Rage in Context

23 July 2016

Play recommendations from playwright Pearl Cleage for contextualizing the current anger felt by many Americans.

Pearl Cleage
Essay

Pearl Cleage

Making a Life in the Theatre

4 June 2016

Playwright Pearl Cleage discusses growing up in a politically active family, the challenges faced by actors and directors of color, and the need for truth in theatre.

Why Pearl Cleage, Why Alliance Theatre?
Essay

Why Pearl Cleage, Why Alliance Theatre?

15 March 2016

Artistic Director Susan Booth and Resident Playwright Pearl Cleage discuss their working relationship at the Alliance.

Scenes from a Residency
Essay

Scenes from a Residency

Pearl Cleage

16 October 2015

Commons Producer Christian Bishop documents Pearl Cleage's residency at the Alliance Theatre through a series of videos.

Soul Serenade #3
Essay

Soul Serenade #3

A Few Words on Scrooge and Santa

17 December 2013

Pearl Cleage writes about color-conscious casting in productions of A Christmas Carol, and the importance of representation during the holidays and beyond.

Soul Serenade #2
Essay

Soul Serenade #2

The Challenge of Vera Stark

2 December 2013

The day after the opening, I get an email from a lawyer friend who says: “Okay, Pearl, you’re the expert. Explain the second act of that play we saw last night.” I sigh and put on the coffee. My hands hover over the keys. I’m not sure what to say or how to say it. Not sure where to find the intersection of honest critique, institutional loyalty and sisterhood solidarity, I plunge in, hoping for the best.

Soul Serenade
Essay

Soul Serenade

Thoughts on a Residency in Progress

26 October 2013

Pear Clearge talks about the complexity of her residency at The Alliance as it brings together the subject of ingenuity/institution and context of location.

In Search of the Artistic Home
Essay

In Search of the Artistic Home

3 April 2012

Jamie Gahlon has asked theatre artists from around the country to talk about their personal search for an artistic home. Pearl Cleage continues this series.

Soul Serenade
Series

Soul Serenade

A series of occasional reflections from Pearl Cleage, Mellon Playwright in Residence at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia.