Pearl Cleage at the Alliance Theatre

Playwright

Pearl Cleage is an Atlanta-based writer who is currently Mellon Playwright in Residence at the Alliance Theatre. Her works include Flyin' West, Blues for an Alabama Sky, What I Learned in Paris, The Nacirema Society Requests the Honor of Your Presence at a Celebration of Their First One Hundred Years, Tell Me My Dream, A Song for Coretta, and Late Bus to Mecca. She is also the author of eight novels including What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day. She and her husband, writer Zaron Burnett, Jr., are also the authors of We Speak Your Names, a poem commissioned by Oprah Winfrey. Pearl is currently at work on a new play commissioned by the Alliance.

Theatre

The Alliance Theatre strives to set the highest artistic standards and create the powerful experience of shared theater for a diverse audience. Above all else, we value excellence, pursued with integrity and creativity, and achieved through collaboration. View, edit or add to their profile on the New Play Map.

More from the Residency

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.

Oh, the Feels! Or, What Is the Collision Project?
Essay

Oh, the Feels! Or, What Is the Collision Project?

17 September 2014

Anne Towns shares an overview of the Alliance Theatre Collision Project. 

Twentieth Anniversary Production of Pearl Cleage's Blues for an Alabama Sky
Essay

Twentieth Anniversary Production of Pearl Cleage's Blues for an Alabama Sky

4 August 2014

This season, Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre will present a twentieth anniversary production of "Blues for an Alabama Sky" by playwright in residence Pearl Cleage. The Alliance premiered the play during their 1995 season.

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.

Vera Stark: Passing and the Complex Landscape of Identity Formation at Emory University in Atlanta—Wednesday 9 October 2013
Video

Vera Stark: Passing and the Complex Landscape of Identity Formation at Emory University in Atlanta—Wednesday 9 October 2013

Emory University and Alliance Thatre present Vera Stark: Passing and the Complex Landscape of Identity Formation panel discussion filmed on 9 October 2013.