Activist company

Horizon Theater Company will present the world premiere of Shay Youngblood’s SQUARE BLUES this month

Love and revolution are at the center of the world premiere of Shay Youngblood’s acclaimed play, Square Blues, about three generations of a black southern family who share a passion for activism, art and following your heart . But they don’t always agree on methods, especially when their protests threaten their freedom and security. Square Blues will premiere on the Horizon Stage from July 22 to August 21 (press opening July 29).

In this expansive, timely and magical comedy-drama, the Blue family faces a crossroads. Only together can they find the courage to stand up for what they believe in as they redefine what makes a family and what keeps it together. Horizon is located at Little Five Points/Inman Park (1083 Austin Avenue NE, Atlanta, GA 30307, ​​at the corner of Euclid and Austin Avenues). Free parking. Performances take place Wednesday to Friday at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 3 and 8 p.m., Sundays at 5 p.m. Tickets and information are available at or 404-584-7450.

Directed by Thomas W. Jones II (Horizon Artistic Associate, Blackberry Daze, Da Kink in My Hair, Sweet Water Taste), Square Blues has “…a virtue of instinct, urgency and necessity…an honesty no frills…” (Edward Albee, judge for the 21st Century Playwrights Award). Shay’s first play, Shakin’ the Mess Outta Misery, premiered at Horizon in 1988 and has been seen around the world for the past three decades. This production features a cast of Atlanta-based professional theater and television actors and designers, including award-winning resident set designers Moriah and Isabel Curley-Clay.

“We are thrilled to present Shay’s play about passionate activists from three generations in this time of upheaval and change in our world. With the great racial toll of the past two years, Square Blues is current and urgent,” comments Horizon Co-Artistic / Production Manager Lisa Adler. “The play examines how activism changes as we age and the need for the work and perspective of each generation. What can we learn from the past? What needs to change to progress? What is the Future of Activism How Different Generations Can Work Together We hope the piece will spark discussion about how we can work together across generational divides to find common ground that unifies and amplifies our efforts to change.


Welcome to Fifth Avenue Happy Café, an Atlanta kosher soul food restaurant and hangout for civil rights activists in the 60s. Now it’s the early 90s and the Blue family, matriarch Odessa, son Square and granddaughter Karma still serve fried catfish and lemon pound cake and work for social change. Square (played by Jay Jones) has been collecting names on petitions demanding financial reparations and a public apology for decades of slavery. But now he has a large (and illegal) tax refund received while claiming a black reparations tax credit. His mother Odessa demands that he repay him before being arrested. The same goes for his longtime girlfriend and fellow campaigner Miss Tuesday. Odessa doesn’t want to risk losing the coffee, given to her by her great love, Blue’s father, a white Russian Jew. They were also rebels, an interracial couple deeply in love in the 1940s and 50s when intermarriage was illegal. Odessa’s granddaughter Karma (played by Chantal Maurice) continues the militant tradition in a new form today, creating a provocative public performance with spray paint and nude models to draw attention to the homelessness, LGTQ rights and AIDS/HIV. She is in love with her accomplice Lola (Patty De La Garza), a Latin poet who persuades her to move to California. But when Karma ends up in jail for his “artistic deeds” and Blue faces jail time with his “dark revenge,” the three generations of the family must decide how to move forward – together or on separate paths – and how much to risk in their quest. of change.