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Autumn Ness in Babble Lab, 2024

Babble Lab Travels to Atlanta's Alliance Theatre

Posted on June 6, 2024

Children’s Theatre Company’s world-premiere production Babble Lab was created to be easily transferable to the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta as part of their Theatre for the Very Young programming this summer.  

We talked with Kyia Britts, Associate Production Manager and Company Manager about the co-production.

Q: How did the co-production come about?
A: The co-production originated during the planning of the current season; originally CTC was planning to produce Babble Lab in the 2020-2021 season. CTC’s Artistic Director, Peter C. Brosius, recognized that Christopher Moses, the Artistic Director at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, would be an ideal partner. Chris had initiated the Alliance’s Theatre for the Very Young program, and theatre for that age group holds a special place in his heart.

Q: How have the two organization been working together? 
A: Both organizations were involved in the production from the beginning of this current season. They shared costs, ensured the set could be stored and shipped easily, and planned for the same designers and production staff to be available for runs of the show in Minneapolis and in Atlanta.

Given the complex cues for projections, lighting, and sound changes, it was crucial for the Alliance to experience the live calling of the show. [Calling a show refers to the Stage Manager’s role in executing each projection, light, or sound cue during the performance.] Liz Campbell, the Alliance Stage Manager, participated during the Minneapolis run and called the show, while CTC’s Stage Manager, Stacy McIntosh, recorded her calling of the show to share with the Alliance team. Additionally, Stacy will be in Atlanta during their rehearsals to provide her expertise.

Q: Will it be exactly the same at the Alliance?
A: Most aspects of the production will stay the same, including the cast. Playwright and actor Autumn Ness will reprise her role as the Scientist, and her understudy, Morgen Chang, will be on call in Minneapolis, ready to fly to Atlanta on a moment’s notice if needed. Given the non-English “language” used in the play, it would be challenging for another actor to learn it, and Morgen already has a full set of costumes made specifically for her. 

However, there will be some differences due to the stage and lobby layout at the Alliance. Unlike in Minneapolis, where the Scientist collects sounds from audience members in the lobby before leading them into “The Lab,” patrons at the Alliance will enter “The Lab” directly. To create a more intimate feel, the Alliance is modifying their stage to be more level with the audience, allowing the Scientist to move through the audience to collect sounds at the beginning of the show. 

Autumn Ness in Babble Lab, 2024

Babble Lab will run June 22-July 28 at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta
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