Alabama Story continues The Rep’s Mainstage season with a potent collision of art and politics. Running January 2-27, this new play by Kenneth Jones is directed by Paul Mason Barnes.
A determined librarian and a segregationist senator face off over an innocent children’s book in 1959 Montgomery. Depicting the marriage of two rabbits – who happen to have different-colored fur – the story has Sen. E.W. Higgins calling for a book ban. But even as the pressure mounts, librarian Emily Wheelock Reed refuses to yield to censorship. Inspired by true events, Alabama Story is a stirring testament to free expression.
Jones will be in town during the play’s opening week and available for interviews with local media.
Jeanne Paulsen stars as the no-nonsense librarian Reed. Nominated for a Tony Award in 1994 for her performance in The Kentucky Cycle, Paulsen makes her Rep debut in this production.
Carl Palmer portrays the antagonistic Senator Higgins, while Corey Allen and Anna O’Donoghue play a pair of long-lost friends whose unexpected reunion provides the play with its other narrative thread. Larry Paulsen (Hamlet, 2017) plays Garth Williams, the author of the children’s book at the heart of the play, along with several other characters, while Carl Howell (Hamlet, 2017) appears as Reed’s assistant at the library.
The Rep’s casting director is McCorkle Casting Ltd.
This production the 10th play Barnes has directed at The Rep, following 2017’s well-received mounting of Hamlet.
The design team includes scenic designer William Bloodgood, costume designer Dorothy Marshall Englis (The Humans, 2018), lighting designer Kenton Yeager (Peter and the Starcatcher, 2015) and sound designer Barry G. Funderburg (Hamlet, 2017). Tony Dearing will stage manage the production.
Alabama Story is sponsored by Wells Fargo Advisors and St. Louis Public Radio.
Tickets for Alabama Story are now on sale at repstl.org, by phone at 314-968-4925 or in-person at The Rep box office, located at 130 Edgar Road on the campus of Webster University. Ticket prices range from $19 to $92. Pick-your-own subscriptions of The Rep’s three remaining Mainstage shows are also available.
Show times are Tuesdays, selected Wednesdays and selected Sundays at 7 p.m.; Thursdays, Fridays and selected Saturdays at 8 p.m. Matinee performances are selected Wednesdays at 1:30 p.m., Saturdays at 4 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.
For more information on the production, visit repstl.org/alabama-story
Lynn Venhaus has had a continuous byline in St. Louis metro region publications since 1978. She currently reviews films for Webster-Kirkwood Times and KTRS Radio, covers entertainment for PopLifeSTL.com and co-hosts podcast PopLifeSTL.com…Presents, and writes features and news for Belleville News-Democrat daily newspaper. She is a member of CCA, AWFJ and St. Louis Film Critics Association.