Post-show discussion – Friday, March 23

The first post-show discussion of the 2007 season set the bar pretty high – playwright Pearl Cleage took center stage and answered questions from the audience after the show ended. It was an honor to have her with us, and an exciting night for me, for the actors, and for the audience.

Pearl talked about the importance of hopes and dreams for characters throughout her plays and novels, the characters’ names (“Angel” is intentionally ironic; “Guy” is not), the ways in which feminism informs her writing, and a lot more.

The most interesting answer of the night came in response to a question about the title – what Blues for an Alabama Sky means and where it comes from. The answer was a story – a night when she was driving to a production of Flyin’ West at the Alabama Shakespeare Theater in Montogomery while knowing that the Ku Klux Klan was marching on a street nearby. Looking out the car window at the starry night sky, the title of this play came to her, she said, as a way to express the contradictions of that beautiful and flawed state. Those contradictions play out in the character of Leland, and his impact on the world the other characters inhabit drives this beautiful and heart-breaking story.

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