TUSCUMBIA - The Ritz Theatre is kicking off its 2021 season with an outdoor production of Split in Three. The play will be performed on The Commons in front of the Tennessee Valley Museum of Art. Shows will be at 2pm on May 15 and 16 and May 22 and 23. The May 16 performance will be followed by a Talkback discussion with cast, crew, and community. Tickets are $15 each and are available at tennesseevalleyarts.org or by calling 256-383-0533. Split in Three, by Atlanta playwright Daryl Lisa Fazio, confronts and examines identity, family, race, and faith in the Deep South of the late 1960s. The Supreme Court has ruled that segregation must end in this last Mississippi Delta County, and two poor white sisters are surprised to meet a mixed-race sister they never knew they had. Stephanie Vickers, the Arts Integration Program Director for the Tennessee Valley Art Association, is the Director of the Ritz’s production. According to Vickers, the art association chose this play due to its timely messages and themes. “While Split in Three is set within the historic event of school desegregation in the South, deeper themes emerge: how we define family, the metamorphosis of identity, learning to stand up for oneself and standing up for others,” said Vickers. “It is both an unflinching confrontation of the hostility of the time and an indictment of our present reality. The final message is one of transformation and hope—for the characters in the play, but also for us.“
Split in Three will be performed on the expanse of green lawn called The Commons, in front of the Tennessee Valley Museum of Art in Tuscumbia, AL. This outdoor venue was chosen for the safety of the performers and audience and to explore the tradition of found theatre. “Theatres across the globe are energizing their communities by putting on plays in the open air,” said Vickers. Our creative team decided we were up for the challenge. Using the museum’s entrance as a backdrop defines this particular production as found theatre, in which staging is improvised into a non-traditional space. ”While audience members are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance, tickets will also be available at the door. The play contains strong language and sensitive thematic content referencing racial discrimination, including racial slurs. CDC guidelines for outdoor events will be followed. For more information about this and other events by the Tennessee Valley Art Association, visit tennesseevalleyarts.org.