Discussion: Ethics on Stage An ethical discussion presenting material from the 11th winner The C.A. Lyons Project, with a chance to meet the winning playwright, Tsehaye Geralyn Hbert. No reservation required. Feb. 16 at 7 p.m. at the Emory Center for Ethics, 1531 Dickey Drive, on the Emory campus.

Finalist Reading: Pocketful of Sand Written by Emily Dendinger, the reading will be on Feb. 17 at 2 p.m.

Finalist Reading: An Alien in Inwood Written by Kimberly Barrante, Dramatic Writing: Tisch School of the Arts at NYU, and directed by 2014 Atlanta Artist Fellow Suehyla El-Attar, the reading will be on Feb. 17 at 7:30 p.m.

Alumnus Reading: Making Myth Written by Virginia Grise, 2010 Competition Finalist for blu, and directed by Karen Robinson, the reading will be on Feb. 18 at 2 p.m.

Finalist Reading: Evanston: A Rare Comedy Written by Michael Yates Crowley, The Juilliard School, and directed by Veronika Duerr, 2015 Atlanta Artist Fellow, the reading will be on Feb. 19 at 2 p.m.

Discussion: A conversation with Celise Kalke and The C.A. Lyons Project author and Alliance/Kendeda competition winner Tsehaye Geralyn Hbert on Feb. 19 at 5 p.m.

Finalist Reading: Ballast Written by Georgette Kelly, Hunter College, and director TBD, the reading will be on Feb. 19 at 7:30 p.m.

For more information, visit alliancetheatre.org.

The Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition spotlights some of the best emerging playwrights, hosting a full production for the winner and staged readings for the four finalists.

The 11th competition winner, “The C.A. Lyons Project,” will make its premiere on the Hertz Stage Feb. 13 through March 8. The play is written by Tsehaye Geralyn Hbert, a recent graduate of the MFA program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and will be directed by former Associate Artistic Director of the Alliance Theatre, Kent Gash.

The show tells the story of dancer and choreographer C.A. Lyons, played by James Brown III (Broadway: Rocky, Ghost, The Color Purple). He is the founder of one of the city’s most important African-American dance companies, and he is dying of AIDS. When Lyons can no longer hide his sexuality or illness, his three lead dancers must find the strength and individual creative push to keep his company going without their charismatic leader and decide the best way to carry on his legacy. Set in Chicago in the 1980s at the beginning of the AIDs crisis, “The C.A. Lyons Project” is a unique theatrical event where dance and theatre mingle throughout.

The Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition solicits plays from the leading MFA graduate programs in the U. S. and then conducts a rigorous selection process to find four finalists and one winning play. The winner receives a full production as part of the Alliance Theatre regular season. The winner and four finalists also receive development opportunities for their works including staged readings with industry professionals in Washington, D.C. and Atlanta. The Competition provides student playwrights with the opportunity to transition into the world of professional theatre.

Aside from Alliance Artistic Director Susan V. Booth and Director of New Projects Celise Kalke, this year’s selecting judges included Jason Loewith, Artistic Director, Olney Theatre Center; Susan Feder, Program Officer, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; and Kwame Kwei-Armah, Artistic Director, Center Stage.

The four 2014 finalists will be heard in staged readings Feb. 16 - 19, during the New Play Festival celebrating new work. All readings and events are free and open to the public. Reservations are preferred and can be made by calling the Woodruff Arts Center Box Office at 404-733-5000.

“The C.A Lyons Project” will premiere Feb. 13-March 8 on the Hertz Stage at the Alliance Theatre, located at the Woodruff Arts Center at 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. in Atlanta. Tickets start at $25 and are available at The Woodruff Arts Center Box Office in person or by calling 404-733-5000. Tickets are also available online at alliancetheatre.org/calyons.