Too Heavy for Your Pocket
by Jireh Breon Holder directed by Margot Bordelon
Originally produced at Alliance Theatre, Atlanta, GA
February 04 to February 26, 2017
About the Premiere Production:
Synopsis: In rural Tennessee at the height of the Civil Rights Movement, two young couples struggle to understand justice, love, and their own responsibilities. When Bowzie gets a scholarship to Fisk University, he has the opportunity to improve his family’s life. His education goes beyond the classroom, as he risks everything to become a Freedom Rider and joins the fight against racism in the Deep South, leaving his obligations as husband and friend behind. A beautifully written look at the personal cost and private struggles behind public events, Too Heavy for Your Pocket speaks powerfully about the bonds of friendship and what defines family and community. Too Heavy for Your Pocket is the 2017 winner of the Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition.
Artistic Statement: Too Heavy for Your Pocket is a play with only four actors that feels like a much larger theatrical event. The play’s intimate concerns—two couples made up of four close friends—tell a story of sweeping social change in the early 1960s. The characters, all in their early twenties, embrace adult responsibility with gusto but live with the passionate engagement of youth. They are of their time, but their language and rhythms feel contemporary. Too Heavy for Your Pocket reminds us the social change of the 1960s grew out of strong communities willing to change quickly in the cause of freedom and equality. The play will be frequently produced because it is a small cast play with big ideas and teaches an important lesson about the price of social engagement all the while being entertaining and lively.
Grant Statement: The Alliance Theatre's world premiere of Too Heavy for Your Pocket will be produced on our 220-seat Hertz Stage as part of our 2016-17 season. With an additional week of rehearsal, the production will rehearse from January 10 to February 3, 2017, with 20 performances from February 4-24. Support from the Edgerton Foundation will extend Too Heavy for Your Pocket’s rehearsal period from a budgeted three to four weeks. This additional week of rehearsal will enable the creative team to make essential adjustments to the script, even more important since this is Mr. Holder’s first professional production. An extra week gives the team time to go down creative roads, see the results, and make changes as opposed to working in a linear fashion without seeing results until the week of opening night.
Cast: Rob Demery, Nicolette Robinson, Stephen Ruffin
Additional Funders: Kendeda Foundation
Set Designer: Reid Thompson
Lighting Designer: Liz Lee
Costume Designer: Sydney Roberts
Sound Designer: Elisheba Ittoop