Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Guests Help Solve Gwinnett Historic Courthouse Murder Mystery

Gwinnett County Parks & Recreation will partner with Page2Stage Productions and Stacey Sparks Events to present “The Haunting on the Square,” a chilling murder mystery dinner event at the Gwinnett Historic Courthouse. Leading up to Halloween, the event will take place 7:00-9:00pm on Fridays, including October 8, 15, 22, and 29.

Guests will explore designated areas of the Courthouse with paranormal guides. When spirits surface from a 100-year-old murder, it will be up to visitors to solve the mystery at the Courthouse. (Please note that all events and historical depictions for this murder mystery are fictional.)

Prior to the murder mystery event, the Gwinnett Historic Courthouse will serve a buffet dinner consisting of a penne pasta bar with options of grilled chicken, beef meatballs or grilled vegetables, as well as marinara or alfredo sauce. Italian salad, fresh parmesan, garlic bread, chocolate mousse dessert shooters, and tea and coffee service will also accompany the dinner.

This event features improvisation from Page2Stage performer favorites including Jason Caldwell, Kate Rasnick, Ariel Stewart, and Ilene Miller. Jonathan Strickland also joins the cast, the senior writer from and an Atlanta improv artist. Beth Peters, assistant director of Ghosts of Georgia Paranormal Investigations, consults on the project to create realistic elements of ghost hunting and encounters.

Admission is $30 per person for Gwinnett County residents, $50 per person for non-residents and is suitable for ages 16 and up. Reserved tables for 10 are also available for $250 (a $50 discount). Advanced registration is required. Gwinnett Historic Courthouse is located at 185 W Crogan Street in downtown Lawrenceville.

For more information and to register, call 770-822-5450 or visit

SCAD Performing Arts Department Opens 2010/11 Season with Tony Award-winning Play, “Art”

October 21–24

Season continues with the introduction of SCAD’s improvisational theatre, a world-premiere dance piece, a multi-media adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451” a comedy about an adolescent Charlie Brown, and the classic musical “Hair” 

The SCAD performing arts department will kick off its 2010/11 season with the Tony Award-winning comedy, “Art,” by Yasmina Reza, adapted by Christopher Hampton and directed by Vivian Majkowski. The show will run at Arnold Hall Auditorium, 1810 Bull St., Thursday, Oct. 21–Saturday, Oct. 23 at 8 p.m., with a matinee Sunday, Oct. 24 at 3 p.m.

Reza’s 90-minute comedy is about three friends who find their friendship tested when one of them buys a very expensive white painting. His friends' surprising reactions touch off a series of personal confrontations. This witty, intelligent and often funny play explores the power of art to engage the imagination and the enduring bonds of friendship.

French playwright Yasmina Reza won the Tony Award for “Art,” which has been produced worldwide and translated into more than 30 languages. British playwright Christopher Hampton won an Academy Award for the screen adaptation of his play “Dangerous Liaisons” and was nominated for his adaptation of “Atonement.”

When ”Art “opened on Broadway, Ben Brantley of The New York Times called it a “very funny play,” and John Heilpern of New Yorker declared, “We can’t be friends anymore if you don’t enjoy ‘Art.’”

Tickets for “Art” are $15 for general admission; $10 for seniors, military and students; $5 with a valid SCAD ID; and free with valid SCAD ID on Thursday, Oct. 21 only. Tickets may be purchased in person at the Savannah box office window, located at the Trustees Theater, 216 E. Broughton St., by calling 912.525.5050, or by logging onto

2010/2011 SEASON

The 2010/2011 SCAD performing arts season will continue with:

• “The Improv Show,” SCAD performing arts’ first series of improvisational theater events. Nov. 11–14 at the Mondanaro Theater, 217 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

• “La Traversée,” a world premiere dance piece conceived and choreographed by Vincent Brosseau about the immigrant experience. Feb. 10–13, at the Lucas Theatre, 32 Abercorn St.

• “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury, adapted from his novel of the same name, directed by SCAD performing arts artistic director Sharon Ott, a multimedia adaptation of the classic American novel about a futuristic world in which the media controls the masses, censorship prevails over intellect and books are illegal. March 9–13 at the Lucas Theatre, 32 Abercorn St.

• “Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead” by Bert Royal, directed by Mark Tymchysyn, a comedy about the “Peanuts” gang as typical angst-ridden teenagers, May 5–8, at the Mondanaro Theater, 217 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

• “Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical” with book/lyrics by James Rado and Gerome Ragni, music by Galt McDermott, directed by SCAD performing arts chair Michael Wainstein. “Hair” is one of the great American musicals of the 20th century, about the counter-culture sexual revolution and anti-Vietnam War movement of the ‘60s. May 12–22 at the Lucas Theatre, 32 Abercorn Street.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Center for Puppetry Arts Presents Charlotte’s Web, Opening September 30

This month, E.B. White’s classic children’s book Charlotte’s Web hits the stage at the Center for Puppetry Arts. A celebration of compassion, friendship and ingenuity, this charming tale has captivated generations with its enduring story of the lengths to which friends will go to help each other. Adapted for the stage by Joseph Robinette, Charlotte’s Web presents the adventures of that terrific pig Wilbur and his barnyard friends through the magic of puppetry.

The story begins one morning on Mr. Arable’s farm where the family awakes to find that a litter of pigs has been born during the night. Farmer Arable is pleased with the pigs, except for the runt of the litter, which he considers to be small and worthless. The farmer wants to kill the pig, but Mr. Arable’s daughter, Fern, protests. Fern rescues the runt and names him Wilbur. Fern cares for Wilbur until he grows bigger and must be moved to her Uncle Homer’s farm.

On Homer Zuckerman’s farm, Wilbur, young and innocent, is confused and scared by the other animals on the farm. Wilbur misses the Arable farm - especially Fern - until he befriends Charlotte, a gray spider who lives above his pen in the barn. Charlotte is wise and teaches Wilbur about true friendship. When Wilbur finds out that he is being fattened up to be slaughtered, Charlotte uses her amazing ability to weave words into her web above Wilbur’s pen. The words describe Wilbur as “Some Pig,” “Radiant” and “Terrific.” The miracle in Zuckerman’s barn attracts the attention of the press. The news spreads quickly throughout the community about “Zuckerman’s Famous Pig.”

With Charlotte’s help, Wilbur becomes a celebrity and is saved from the slaughterhouse. Soon afterward, the time comes for Charlotte to lay her egg sac. After she accomplishes this, Charlotte becomes weak and dies. Wilbur is greatly saddened, but pledges to care for the egg sac until the baby spiders hatch. As Charlotte’s children emerge from the egg sac, Wilbur begins to understand that life is ongoing and ever-changing and that friends are never forgotten.

“Charlotte’s Web is a classic story that shows the courage, love, and respect that true friendship can inspire. These characters are timeless, hilarious, and very real” comments director Michael Haverty.

Dressed in black from head to toe, the show’s five puppeteers remain in the shadows as they manipulate their puppets in the lighted playing areas, a technique called “Czech Black” puppetry as Czech Black technique as it originated in the Czech Republic of Central Europe. The puppets in this show are controlled by a mechanism in back of their heads that the puppeteers use to make the characters turn their heads, look up and down and focus on objects and other characters.

Families can have fun exploring their creativity, before or after the show, in the Create-A-Puppet Workshop, where they can create their own Wilbur Pig Hand Puppet; admission is included in the All-Inclusive ticket cost.

Charlotte’s Web opens on September 30 and will host special preview days on September 28 and 29 at 10:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. each day. The show will run September 30 through October 31 at the following times:

· Tuesday – Friday: 10:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.
· Saturday: 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.
· Sunday: 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.

To welcome fall weather and the opening weekend of Charlotte’s Web, Center for Puppetry Arts will be transformed into a fun-filled fairground, with activities and entertainment for all. On Saturday, October 2 and Sunday, October 3, guests are invited to don their best costumes and enjoy FREE family-friendly amusement, while learning more about the world of puppetry. Visitors will have the opportunity to vote on a favorite puppet from the Center’s museum in the “Best of Show” competition. A blue ribbon will be awarded to the winning puppet, which will be announced on the Center’s Facebook fan page. Other entertainment will include a County Fair Photo Booth--complete with props like handlebar mustaches and a prize-winning apple pie-- and games with exciting prizes like free tickets, finger puppets and an autographed cast photo.

All-Inclusive Tickets for patrons two-years-old and older are $16.00 ($14.82 + tax) and include admission to the performance, Create-A-Puppet Workshop (or Create-A-Puppet To-Go Kit), and all museum exhibits. Membership and group rates are available. ORDER TICKETS ONLINE AT WWW.PUPPET.ORG OR CALL THE TICKET SALES OFFICE AT: 404-873-3391.

Charlotte’s Web is produced by special arrangement with DRAMATIC PUBLISHING, Woodstock, Illinois.
@softnblue (music & dance)
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Monday, September 20, 2010

High on list of things to do: Go see @PageantAtlanta

I'm already laughing... and all I did was watch people TALK about seeing Pageant Atlanta at the 14th Street Playhouse! I know we've told you about it before on here, but we're hearing so many comments about the play that we had to share again. A bunch of our friends have been to see it and they are unanimous in their praise.

It's playing through October 24th so you have plenty of opportunities to see it once, or maybe twice! I think this one is going to become a cult fave based on what I'm hearing. I'll let you know 'cause I'm going to see it, too. for half-price ticket offer.

Here are a few people talking about seeing it:

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Georgia Shakespeare is Pleased to Announce The World Premiere of The Odyssey: a Journey Home

Based on the work of Homer
Directed by Richard Garner
Adapted by Richard Garner and Georgia Shakespeare’s Associate Artists

Opening Night, October 8

Georgia Shakespeare announces the World Premiere of The Odyssey: the Journey Home, based on the work of Homer, adapted by Richard Garner and the Associate Artists of Georgia Shakespeare, and directed by Richard Garner. The show runs October 7-31 and there are several special events planned during the run to honor and raise awareness for veterans.

In celebration of the 25th Anniversary Season, Richard Garner, Producing Artistic Director, and Georgia Shakespeare kick off “The Icarus Project” a 10-year long program that will produce company-generated and/or company-adapted work, giving the company’s Associate Artists a vehicle through which they may flex different muscles and work from the other side of the table. The program launches with The Odyssey: a Journey Home.

In this clever adaptation of Homer’s breathtaking epic, the physical, psychological and emotional challenges Odysseus overcomes in his return from fighting the Trojan wars mirror those of the modern warrior. Returning from war is a journey that only begins with arriving home. The Odyssey: a Journey Home examines the issues around re-entry and explores the actuality of “coming home”.

“Our veterans arrive home in a matter of hours, versus Odysseus’ 10-year trip, but their journey doesn’t end at home’s threshold. In many ways, it is just beginning,” says Garner. “And yet, the parallels between Odysseus and today’s soldiers are stunning. It’s been a real eye-opener to explore this concept of warriors and to realize how very little has changed over these hundreds of years.”

The cast features Joe Knezevich (in his 12th season at Georgia Shakespeare) as Odysseus, Chris Kayser (21st season) as Zeus, Carolyn Cook (16th season) as Athena and Neal A. Ghant (6th season) as Poseidon, among others.


Free and Open to the Public:

On Saturday, October 30, at 4:30pm, The ArtReach Foundation, Inc., will host a symposium to discuss issues facing veterans today. The panel will also discuss the play and how Odysseus’ journey, and the demons he faced along the way, represent issues veterans are facing upon returning home currently. The panel consists of The ArtReach Foundation Founder and Executive Director, Susan Anderson; Psychiatrist and Chair of the Board of Directors of The ArtReach Foundation Christina O’Hara; and Georgia Shakespeare’s Producing Artistic Director and The Odyssey: a Journey Home director and adapter, Richard Garner.

Free and Discounted Tickets for Military Guests
Georgia Shakespeare will give away 50 tickets per performance to military personnel with a valid ID, on a first-come, first-served basis. Each military guest with an ID will be given two tickets, and the opportunity to purchase up to two more at the discounted rate of $15 each.
@softnblue (music & dance)
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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Rent, the Modern Broadway Tour de Force, is Coming to the University of West Georgia

Performances will run from Sept. 29 – Oct. 2 at 7:30 p.m., with matinee performances Oct. 2 and Oct. 3 at 2:30 p.m. in UWG’s Townsend Center Mainstage Theatre. Tickets are $10 for adults, $7 for seniors, and free with a UWG Student ID.

Rent, written by the ever-inspiring Jonathan Larson, is the story of 20-something artists living the bohemian lifestyle in the lower east side of Manhattan in the early 1990s. Artists, filmmakers, and musicians, along with many other colorful characters, live in the throes of young love, passion and ambition with the unifying belief that “it’s better to burn out than fade away.” Larson was living proof to such a bold claim. Just before the debut of his masterpiece, Larson died at the age of 35, during the final rehearsal of Rent. Almost two decades later, this Pulitzer Prize winning musical is world-renowned, rendering Larson immortal through his art.

The UWG production will pay particular homage to the street artists of New York City in the late 1980s. For more information call (678) 839- 4722.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Horizon stages World Premiere of New South Play Festival "Night Blooms"

Atlanta’s own Margaret Baldwin finds a local home for the World Premiere of Night Blooms at Horizon Theatre. On a historic night in 1965 Selma two families deal with conflicts and find their differences are not necessarily black and white, Night Blooms, Sept 24 - Oct 24, 2010.

Inspired by Baldwin’s own family history during this historic period in Selma, the playwright began development with a question: “How did people deal with generational conflicts within their own families at a time when massive change and social tensions are suddenly knocking on their front door?” Baldwin answers this by focusing the play on an “everyday family redefining their relationships on a night of historic change”.

Through Baldwin’s research into that period in Selma’s history, she found that few things are as simple as they might first appear. “The more you dig into it, the more you see the complexities of the individuals and their relationships with each other.”

Night Blooms is a product of the New South Play Festival where Horizon is at the forefront of developing and showcasing new work by Southern writers about who we are today in the New South. This World Premiere production is sponsored by the Macy’s Foundation.

About the Play

Two families – one white and one black – cope with change in Selma in 1965. On the day of the march, the Stafford household laughs, cries, celebrates a bloom, and waits for news when an unexpected freedom fighter appears on their doorstep. Night Blooms is a moving story of ordinary people and extraordinary change.

About Margaret Baldwin

Margaret Baldwin is a local playwright, director and performer. Born and raised in Atlanta, she has produced her plays, solo, and ensemble performance works throughout US. Her most recent play, Her Little House, received a National 2004 AT&T Onstage Award for its world premiere at Horizon Theatre Company. Other recent works on Atlanta stages include Alice Through the Wonderglass (2003), a play for young audiences commissioned and produced by Synchronicity Performance Group, and The Wet Nurse Sings, a solo work Margaret wrote and performed as part of Synchronicity’s Anton Acts Out (2002). The Wet Nurse Sings and another solo work, The Deepest Part of the Creek, will be published this spring in a book of monologues edited by the Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis, MN. Margaret has an MFA from the Iowa Playwrights Workshop and is a member of the Dramatists Guild.

The Artistic Team/Cast

Heading up the creative team is director Karen Robinson
Night Blooms Artistic Team
Scenic Designer Jeffrey Weber
Lighting Designer Mary Parker
Costume Designer Sydney Roberts
Sound Designer Tom Jenkins
Prop Designer Kate LaFoy

The Cast

Lucinda Carter - Jill Jane Clements*
Ruth Stafford - Lala Cochran
Lucy Stafford - Bethany Anne Lind
Shep Carter - Tom Thon*
Geneva Willis - Marguerite Hannah*
Raynelle Willis - Brittney London
Clayton Carter - Harrison Long*

*Member of Actors Equity Association

Ticket Information
Performances of Night Blooms, Sept 24 – Oct 24, 2010:
Wed & Thurs, 8 PM
Friday, 8 PM,
Saturday Matinee, 3 PM, (10/02, 10/09, 10/16)
Saturday, 8:30 PM
Sunday, 5 PM
Opening Night, 8 PM

Tickets range from $20-$35 and may be purchased by calling the Box Office at 404.584.7450 or visiting Horizon Theatre Company is located in Little Five Points at the corner of Euclid and Austin Avenues (1083 Austin Avenue). All seating is General Admission. Groups of 10 or more receive $3 off per ticket. Reserved seating for groups of 25 or more is available. For more information on booking a group, call the box office at 404.584.7450.

About Horizon Theatre Company

Horizon Theatre Company, 1083 Austin Avenue, connects people to each other, the community and the world through professional, contemporary theater. For more information about tickets, group sales, or to receive a season brochure, call 404.584.7450 or visit

Horizon Theatre Company is grateful for the sponsorship by the Turner Voices initiative of Turner Broadcasting, who provides generous support to the 2010 season. Additional major funding is provided by the Metro Atlanta Arts Fund, as well as the Fulton County Commission under the guidance of the Fulton County Arts Council. Horizon Theatre is also supported in part by the Georgia Council for the Arts through appropriations of the Georgia General Assembly. The Council is a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional funding is provided by the City of Atlanta, Office of Cultural Affairs.
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Alliance Theatre Presents the World Premiere of 'The Nacirema Society Requests the Honor of Your Presence at a Celebration of Their First One Hundred Years'

October 20 – November 14, 2010

Alliance Theatre artistic director Susan V. Booth and New York Times best-selling author Pearl Cleage collaborate this fall on the world premiere of The Nacirema Society Requests the Honor of Your Presence at a Celebration of Their First One Hundred Years. This romantic comedy takes a lighthearted look into one of Southern society’s grandest traditions, the annual cotillion. As the new African-American debutants prepare for their introduction into the exclusive Nacirema Society of Montgomery, Alabama, their strong-willed grandmothers work behind the scenes to manage young love, the revelation of old flames, and the glare of the national spotlight. The Nacirema Society boasts a combination of some of the nation’s finest actresses, including the Tony Award winning Trezana Beverly, Atlanta’s own Andrea Frye, and acclaimed television, film and stage actress Jasmine Guy.

The play, produced in partnership with the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, will launch in Montgomery, Alabama on September 24th before continuing on to Atlanta for the October 27th opening. This unique collaboration between two of the southeast’s most iconic theaters underscores Atlanta’s commitment to developing nationally significant new plays that elevate and speak to the cultural heritage of our community. As Pearl Cleage’s first new play in over a decade, this lively production filled with love, intrigue and comedy, brings the famed novelist back to her playwriting roots.

“In recent years, I’ve witnessed an evolution in theater in which productions are relying less on stereotypes or cultural norms of a specific demographic, and more on telling stories of love, joy, loss, and everything in between that have universal appeal,” says Cleage. “I hope The Nacirema Society will encourage people to move beyond focusing simply on the political and social climate of this period in our nation’s history and enjoy a wonderful romantic comedy that appeals to audience members across all generations.”

The Nacirema Society is the third production in the Alliance’s 42nd season roster, following the lively Charles Dickens-inspired Twist, and Sammy and Me, a tribute to late world-class entertainer Sammy Davis, Jr.

“In a season ranging from world premiere musicals to Pulitzer worthy dramas, The Nacirema Society represents the best of what the Alliance does, and what the Alliance can do in partnership with one of our city’s leading artists,” said director Susan V. Booth. “To welcome the incomparable Pearl Cleage home to our stage with this sparkling new masterwork is a gift for our audiences, our communities and for all of us lucky enough to work on this project.”

Six of the eight performers in The Nacirema Society cast have Atlanta ties. In addition to the much beloved Jasmine Guy, who plays New York Times reporter Janet Logan, the cast includes award-winning actress Andrea Frye. She returns to the Alliance to play Catherine Green, one of the two family matriarchs for this production. Frye was most recently featured at the Alliance in sold out hit Jar the Floor. On stage in The Nacirema Society, she matches wits with Tony® Award winning actress Trazana Beverley, who plays the other matriarch Grace Dubose Dunbar.

Performances are Tuesday through Friday at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 2:30 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2:30 p.m., Oct. 20- Nov. 11, 2010 on the Alliance Theatre’s Alliance Stage. There are no Saturday matinees October 23 or 30. Tickets to The Nacirema Society are $20-$50 and may be purchased by calling the box office at 404.733.4600 (Mon. – Fri. 10 a.m. – 8 p.m., Sat. 12 p.m. – 8 p.m., Sun. 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.), or online at

Discounted rates for groups of 10 or more are available by calling 404.733.4690. Discounted rates are also available for members of the military, seniors and students. The Alliance Theatre is located at the Woodruff Arts Center, at the corner of Peachtree and 15th Street, in Midtown Atlanta.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Atlanta Lyric’s 31st Season To Open With “The Music Man”

Tony Award-Winning Musical Plays the Strand Theatre in Marietta

Atlanta Lyric Theatre, the metro area’s only local professional musical theatre company, will kick off its 31st season with one of the most famous and popular musicals of all time, Meredith Willson’s “The Music Man,” playing September 17 through October 3 at The Strand Theatre on the Marietta Square. Tickets are $30-$45, with discounts for seniors, students, groups, and season tickets that offer a savings as low as 30%!

“The Music Man” won the Tony Award for Best Musical in 1958, against stiff competition from “West Side Story.” It also won 4 other Tonys and the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Musical, and ran for almost 1400 performances. The show has enjoyed two Broadway revivals and numerous high-profile productions around the world, including a Chinese translation staged in Bejing’s Central Opera Theater in 1987. It remains a popular standard that is produced by regional and community theaters everywhere. Atlanta Lyric Theatre’s production features a large cast of all ages and many songs that are part of our cultural heritage, like “Gary, Indiana,” “Till There Was You,” and “Seventy-Six Trombones.”

Alan Kilpatrick, who has been a favorite with Atlanta audiences for years, will play the role of fast-talking traveling salesman Harold Hill. Kilpatrick has been featured at The Lyric as Will Rogers in “The Will Rogers Follies,” Moonface Martin in “Anything Goes,” and recently as Wilbur Turnblad in “Hairspray.”

The Lyric is proud to introduce Atlanta newcomer Emily Stokes as the strong-minded, romantic Marian. Stokes recently completed her Masters of Music from Indiana University in Bloomington.

Others in the cast include Ingrid Cole, Googie Uterhardt, Marcie Millard, Robert Wayne, Mary Welch Rogers, Kathleen McCook, Kayce Grogan-Wallace, Al Dollar, Becca Potter, Alyssa Payne, Caroline Freedlund, Max River Roberts, Skylar Nicholson, Jenna Rohrbach, Hope Valls, Ian Baxter, Marcus Megahee, Kyle Haak, Mahalia Jackson, Becky Simmons, Justin Thompson, Katie Veldhuis, Matthew Pino and James Marshall.

Broadway’s Glenn Rainey, who is featured in the cast as Marcellus, directs “The Music Man”. Choreography is by Ricardo Aponte, with music direction by Michael Fauss. Costumes are by Lindsey Paris, lighting design by Bradley Bergeron, sound design by Bobby Johnston, and scenic design by Lyric Technical Director BJ Garmon.

All performances are held at The Earl Smith Strand Theatre at 117 N. Park Sq., on the historic Marietta Square.

For tickets and information call 404-377-9948 or visit
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