“Tell Me Something Good” by Alabama playwright Audrey Cefaly gets Theatre UAB world premiere March 9-13

The four new, short plays, tenderly crafted stories of ache and longing, examine the most ordinary and disparate of characters in high-stakes moments of self-doubt.

TellMeJoomlaA collection of short plays by award-winning Alabama playwright Audrey Cefaly will have its world premiere with Theatre UAB, March 9-13.

Tell Me Something Good” will feature four new plays, performed for the first time. Cefaly’s tenderly crafted stories of ache and longing examine the most ordinary and disparate of characters in high-stakes moments of self-doubt: some life-threatening, some bordering on life-ending, all life-affirming.

Theatre UAB is the performance company of the University of Alabama at Birmingham College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Theatre.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. nightly March 9-13, in UAB’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center, Odess Theatre. Tickets are $15, $6 for students, and $10 for UAB employees and senior citizens. For tickets, call 205-975-2787, buy online at AlysStephens.org, or visit the Alys Stephens Center Box Office, 1200 10th Ave. South. These plays contain adult language.

Cefaly employs an innovative structure for “Tell Me Something Good.” The four plays are not presented as separate dramas. Instead, the playwright breaks the individual stories apart and then interweaves the numerous scenes back together into one continuous evening of theater, keeping the audience guessing what is coming next. The playwright examines the universality of human fragility, ache and need for love with empathy and unbounded humor. Audiences will cry, both in sorrow and in joy, and laugh with unexpected abandon, says Director Jack Cannon, MFA.

“The Story of Walter,” the longest of the four plays, follows Walter, a single father recovering from a broken, toxic relationship and facing raising his young daughter by himself. “Consider the Ficus” overhears the ending of a long-time relationship between Nate and Garrison on the day that the Supreme Court legalizes same-sex marriage. “Bloodbath at the Fillmore” takes place in the catwalks of a small, empty theater where celebrity author Max Jones, who is suffering a mental and emotional breakdown, hides as his fans chant his name from the main auditorium, demanding he come to the stage and read from his books. The final play, “The Suicide Play,” is the darkest of the collection. Set on the rooftop of a building, Michael and Ariel evaluate the worth of their lives against the pain of existence only to find each other’s companionship.

The cast is Søren Klinger of LaGrange, Georgia; Evan Wilson of Homewood, Alabama; Brett Everingham of Marietta, Georgia; Abigail Coats of Florence, Alabama; Ruby Maghoney of Enterprise, Alabama; Isabel Behr of Nashville, Tennessee; Anna Whitlock of Alabaster, Alabama; and Cannon, who will perform in addition to directing. 

The crew is stage managers Lauren Macari of Weston, Florida, and Kaylee Radney of Oxford, Alabama; sound board operator Sadie Farmer of Birmingham; and light board operator Ashlynn Jones of Stevenson, Alabama. Student designers and directors are Kierra Price of Tallahassee, Florida, assistant director; Gracie Roth of Fairhope, Alabama, costume design; Dustin Green of Hoover, set design; and Allie Nichols of Tupelo, Mississippi, set design. Lighting design is by the UAB Lighting Design class: Bailey Dumlao of Germantown, Tennessee; Emma Mansour of Cullman, Alabama; Rachel-Marie Strazza of New York, New York; Clara Vee of Flint, Michigan; Alex Wallace of Enterprise, Alabama; and Amanda Waller of Johns Creek, Georgia.

Theatre UAB faculty Marlene Johnson is dialect coach; Ed Zuckerman is technical director; and Kelly Allison is lighting designer; with staff J. Marc Quattlebaum, properties master; David Page, sound designer; and Shae Glenn, assistant technical director.