The Temple Bombing

Alliance Stage | Atlanta , GA | March, 2017

The Alliance Theatre and Tectonic Theater Project


The Temple Bombing


Jimmy Maize


Jimmy Maize

Scenic Design

Meredith Ries

Costume Design

Sydney Roberts

Sound Design

Kendall Simpson

Video Design

David Bengali

On October 12, 1958, a bundle of dynamite blew through the wall of Atlanta’s oldest synagogue. Following 1954’s Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision, Rabbi Rothschild of The Temple had become a public advocate for the progress of Civil Rights. The explosion and national support for The Temple community bolstered Atlanta city leaders’ resolve to investigate and prosecute the crime, paving the way for dramatic social change. The Temple Bombing, inspired by the award-winning book The Temple Bombing by Melissa Fay Greene, is a world premiere presented on the occasion of The Temple’s 150th anniversary. This world premiere documentary theatre piece (created in associate with the Tony Award Winning Tectonic Theater Project) tells this story using found text from interviews, transcripts, press clippings, and the non-Fiction book of the same name.

The flexible space of this set, featuring a painted scrim obscuring a bombed-out wall upstage, created delicious opportunities for the lighting design to conceal and reveal different layers as the text and emotional arc of the play required.  We also employed a limited color palette to help distinguish between scenes taking place within the court room (our main narrative framing structure), scenes in the Temple, scenes in the 1958 timeline, and scenes in the 1913 timeline. The lighting equipment was as exposed as the theatrical conventions used to tell the story, but just as magical in its implementation.

Photos by Jake DeGroot and David Bengali