Festival of New Works

Learn More about the Festival of New Works

Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition winner, DATA, will be presented virtually in an interactive, live experience produced in partnership with Georgia State University's Creative Media Industries Institute, May 6 – 23, 2021.
Four competition finalists will be presented as free, virtual readings in the Festival of New Works, May 16 – 21, 2021.

The Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition continues to spotlight the best emerging playwrights with a virtual, interactive production of this year’s winning play DATA and virtual readings of the four finalists. The 17th competition winner, DATA is a is a fast-paced thriller that looks behind the closed doors of Silicon Valley. DATA is written by Matthew Libby and the virtual production is directed by Susan V. Booth.     

DATA takes audiences into the world of highly controversial technologies and the people who create them. In DATA, Maneesh is a brilliant entry-level programmer content to work in the low-stress environment of User Experience until he learns the true nature of his company’s confidential business. Faced with a crisis of conscious, Maneesh must come to terms with his own American identity and the personal and societal cost of his work.  

To accomplish a visually compelling and COVID-safe video capture of DATA for streaming, the Alliance partnered with Georgia State University’s Creative Media Industries Institute (CMII). The production relied heavily on the CMII green screen studios, labs, and motion-capture software. The facilities allowed the actors to remain 10-20 feet apart while filming scenes where they will appear to be sitting on the same couch, or playing a game of ping-pong.  

In addition to the filmed production of DATA, each live performance will begin with an interactive lobby experience developed by Atlanta-based company, SUBSUME. A tech platform for storytellers, SUBSUME allows audience members to create their own avatar, walk around, talk and interact with other audience members, and enter the virtual theater to watch the production together, all from their own computer screen.  

The cast of DATA includes Jake Berne (Actor’s Express: Skintight), Clare Latham (Off Broadway: Fairview), Stephen Hu (Berkeley Rep: The Great Wave), and Cheech Manohar (Broadway: Mean Girls).

The creative team of DATA is led by Director Susan V. Booth, Alliance Theatre Jennings Hertz Artistic Director, and includes Assistant Director Jayson T. Waddell, Lighting Designer Andre Allen, Editor Ron Heidt, Sound Designer Chris Lane, Location Scout David Luse, Prop Designer Suzanne Cooper Morris, Costumer Designer Leslie Taylor, and Line Producer Amanda Watkins.     

Live virtual performances of DATA are Thursdays - Sundays, May 6 – 20, 2021. The streaming production is also available on-demand, without the live experience, anytime between May 6 – 23, 2021.

(Update: Due to popular demand, DATA has been extended through June 6.)

Tickets and Info



In addition to the presentation of DATA, the Alliance will host a FESTIVAL OF NEW WORKS featuring a showcase of all the digital content the Alliance has produced over the past year for its streaming platform Alliance Theatre Anywhere, plus a virtual presentation of the four finalists from the 2020/21 Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition. The finalist readings will happen virtually via zoom and are free and open to the public. RSVPs are required.


Mother of Exiles
A virtual reading via Zoom
Tuesday, May 18, 2021, 4:00 p.m.

By Jessica Huang (Juilliard)
Directed by Pirronne Yousefzadeh
In 1898 California, a pregnant Eddie Loi faces deportation. In 1998 Miami, her grandson Braulio accidentally summons her spirit while patrolling the border. In 2063, somewhere on the ocean, their descendants try to survive the climate crisis. An epic multigenerational tale of sacrifice, love, and survival that spans 150 years in 90 minutes.

Thank you for joining us!

The Singularity Play
A virtual reading via Zoom
Wednesday, May 19, 2021, 4:00 p.m.

By Jay Stull (Columbia)
Directed by Keenan Tyler Oliphant
In an unused room at the Google offices in Manhattan, a theater troupe has gathered to rehearse a new play written by an advanced AI named "Denise." In an art that relies so substantially upon our human-ness, what does it mean to cede the stage to artificial intelligence? Who are we when reflected by the intelligence we’ve created?

Thank you for joining us!

Harpers Ferry 2019
A virtual reading via Zoom
Thursday, May 20, 2021, 4:00 p.m.

By Kaela Mei-Shing Garvin (Indiana University)
Directed by Ibi Owolabi 
At the Harpers Ferry National Park In sleepy West Virginia, park rangers gather to prepare for the anniversary of John Brown’s infamous raid on Harpers Ferry one hundred sixty years after the event. When race and politics enter the equation, history repeats itself in a surprising and violent way.

Thank you for joining us!

2020: a going away party play
A virtual reading via Zoom
Friday, May 21, 2021, 4:00 p.m.

By Keyanna Khatiblou (Northwestern)
Directed by Jamil Jude
First generation Iranian-American Mina is throwing a party for her closest friends and for you, the audience. Using games, flashbacks, and storytelling, the ensemble reflects on the modern American identity and shares a retelling of Mina's parents falling in love and staying in love while fleeing the Iranian Revolution. 2020: A GOING AWAY PARTY PLAY is a celebration of multicultural identities and exploration of what it means to leave or lose your home country.

Thank you for joining us!


Alliance Theatre Anywhere Showcase
Sunday, May 16, 2021
For 24 hours, we are going to spotlight our new works and digital content on Alliance Theatre Anywhere. Programming includes the digital series Laugh Track – a sketch comedy show produced with Dad’s Garage; Spotlight Studio – a series of original new work by local Atlanta artists created for a digital platform; and more.


Meet Our Generous Sponsors