Essential Theatre resurrects a heart-wrencher, ‘The Resurrection of Alice’

An online encore of Perri Gaffney's Helen Hayes Award–nominatted solo play.

“If you like theatrical storytelling—the kind that catches you by the heartstrings, gets you all wrapped up, then doesn’t let loose until the very end—you’re going to love The Resurrection of Alice.” So wrote John Stoltenberg in his review of the 2013 production of the one-woman play written and performed by two-time Helen Hayes Award nominee Perri Gaffney.

Now The Essential Theatre has announced plans to stream a taped encore performance of Perri Gaffney’s The Resurrection of Alice on demand November 22, 2020, through January 10, 2021, on a Pay-What-You-Can basis.

Actress/Playwright Perri Gaffney as Alice. Photo by Sharon C. Farmer © 2013.

The Helen Hayes Award–nominated one-woman play is a heartwarming, funny, and poignant exploration of a young girl’s journey into a prearranged marriage with a much older man in order to financially sustain her family following the Great Depression of the 1930s. The Resurrection of Alice is recommended for ages 17 and up for its mild sexually suggestive situations.

The low-cost admission program is made possible by generous support from DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Arts Forward Fund, a component fund of the Greater Washington, DC Community Foundation of the National Capitol Region. Said Founder/Artistic Director S. Robert Morgan: “We were originally going to present this as a low price-point option, but after considering the numbers of people forced out of work because of this pandemic, we decided to allow views per household for whatever patrons can afford, not including ticket portal service fees.

“To create new theatre audiences is our most important institutional objective,” Morgan continued, “This is our gift to our entire community.”

For tickets and more info, visit or call 800-868-3006.

Actress/Playwright Perri Gaffney as Alice. Photo by Sharon C. Farmer © 2013.

The Essential Theatre is a nonprofit professional theater dedicated but not limited to producing theater reflective of the African American experience that explores and celebrates America’s rich, diverse cultural landscape. Paramount to the company’s mission is the implementation of programs for youth in Washington, DC’s metropolitan area that promote interdisciplinary education and positive self-esteem. Founded in 1989, the company hosts a play-development program, The Essential Theatre’s New Play Reading Series, the Children’s Program in Public Schools/Young Audiences, and the Women’s Works Program. The company also maintains relationships with area social services programs to provide job training opportunities.

Perri Gaffney is happy for this taped encore performance of The Resurrection of Alice for The Essential Theatre. Other stage credits include OFF-BROADWAY: Harlem Duet, The Waiting Room, and Bee-Luther-Hatchee. REGIONAL THEATRE: Skeleton Crew (Curious Theatre, Westport Theatre), Familiar (Guthrie, Seattle Rep.), Having Our Say (Philadelphia Theatre Company, Jubilee Theatre), The Sting of White Roses (NC Black Rep), To Kill a Mockingbird (Syracuse Stage, Virginia Stage), Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (St. Louis Rep., Lyceum Theatre), Steel Magnolias (American Stage), The Road Weeps the Well Runs Dry (Perseverance Theatre, USF), A Raisin in the Sun (GEVA), Macbeth, Death and the King’s Horseman, The Music Man (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), The Resurrection of Alice (Best Actress BTAA & AAAAC Awards (eta Creative Arts), Best Playwright & Best Play BTAA Nominations. She was nominated for a Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Lead Actress (for the performance run of The Resurrection of Alice, presented by The Essential Theatre). She appeared in Intimate Apparel (ATL, Cleveland Playhouse, OSF), Polk County (McCarter Theatre, Berkeley Rep, Arena Stage: Helen Hayes Award Nomination Best Supporting Actress in a Musical).  FILM/TV: Master (Netflix), Brainworks (PBS), As the World Turns (recurring Nurse Bentley), Law & Order and Law & Order: SVU, So Close, Deep Trouble, Fake Preacher, East 182 Street, Thunderborn. BOOKS: The Resurrection of Alice (Perri Tales Publications); Managing Artists in Pop Music and The Business of Broadway (with Mitch Weiss for Allworth Press).

Perri has four solo shows: The Resurrection of Alice, Josephine, Harriet Speaks, and Just Me. They are perfect for fundraisers, senior centers, churches, schools (elementary through college), and other educational organizations. Each show has a study guide to make talkbacks and tests both fun and informative. Visit to watch excerpts. Email her at [email protected] for more information and/or to book a performance.

SEE The Resurrection of Alice’ at The Essential Theatre, John Stoltenberg’s review of the 2013 production


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