Theatrical Outfit has dubbed its 38th season, launching tonight with the dramatic comedy "The Savannah Disputation, " as its "Season of Compassion."
Producing artistic director Tom Key calls the 2014-15 season opener by Georgia-born playwright Evan Smith "the toughest comedy I know of, " and thinks it's the perfect response to an increasingly divisive political climate.
Smith's script takes off with two plain-as-potatoes sisters of the Roman Catholic persuasion who lose their Southern charm when a peppy evangelical Christian appears at their door. Directed by Tess Malis Kincaid, the show is described as a debate about religion, life, convictions and finding kindness where you might least expect it.
Previews are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Friday and 2:30 p.m. Saturday, with opening night at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Through Sept. 7. Tickets, $20-$50.
The rest of the Outfit (84 Luckie St. N.W., Atlanta) season:
Oct. 9-26: Athol Fugard's "My Children! My Africa!" a three-character thriller set in segregated South Africa in which a humane black teacher tries to convince a favorite student that education, not violence, is the answer to the nation's problems. Part of Africa Atlanta 2014.
Dec. 4-21: "The Gifts of the Magi" by Mark St. Germain, music by Randy Courts. The musical about a penniless husband and wife in 19th century New York is based on two O. Henry stories.
Dec. 22-23: Truman Capote's "A Christmas Memory," adapted and performed by executive artistic director Tom Key.
Feb. 12-March 1, 2015: Lauren Gunderson's "Silent Sky, " regional premiere of a period romance about American astronomer Henrietta Leavitt (1868-1921).
April 9-26, 2015: John Patrick Shanley's "Storefront Church," the final part of the Pulitzer Prize-winner's "Doubt" trilogy. The relationship between spiritual experience and social action comes into question when the mortgage crisis forces a Bronx borough president to confront an unorthodox minister.
Subscription packages (which do not include "Gifts of the Magi" or "Christmas Memory"), $80-$150: 877-725-8849, www.ticketalternative .com.