Georgia Ensemble Theatre (GET), North Fulton’s only professional theatre company, will present the third production of its 18th “X-traordinary” Season with the world premiere of Tokens of Affection, by award-winning Atlanta Playwright Topher Payne, at the Theatre’s home in the Roswell Cultural Arts Center, 950 Forrest Street, Roswell, GA 30075. This production is generously sponsored by the Macy’s Foundation.
About the Play:
Playwright Topher Payne calls this new romantic comedy, “THE PARENT TRAP for grown-ups!” Tokens of Affection deals with “empty nesting,” the complications of romance, and family dysfunction. What is a husband to do when his wife of 37 years announces she’s leaving? Both seek solace at the homes of their grown children, to panicked and hilarious results.
Artistic Director Robert J. Farley says of producing this world premiere, “I am so excited about this play. Creating something from the ground up is always exhilarating and admittedly a bit scary. The journey with Topher Payne has been wonderful, and I’m thrilled for GET to get ‘bragging rights’ on this one, because I believe it’s going to ‘have legs!’”
About the Playwright/Director:
Topher Payne was this year’s selection for “Best Local Playwright” by the readers of Creative Loafing, and was voted “Best Local Writer” and “Best Actor” by the readers of The GA Voice. Process Theatre Company’s production of his play Above the Fold won the 2009 Metro Atlanta Theatre Award for Best Original Work and Best Play of the Year. He is a columnist for The GA Voice, Project Q Atlanta and Fenuxe Magazine. Favorite directing projects include productions of On Golden Pond, Impossible Marriage, and Stories I Ain’t Told Nobody Yet. In May, he will premiere the farce Lakebottom Proper at the State Theatre of Georgia, The Springer Opera House.
In his Director’s Notes for this play, Topher writes, “(As) my wedding day was approaching … I attempted to picture what the marriage I was committing to would look like several decades down the road. It scarcely seems possible that you could make a vow in your twenties and manage to live up to it in your seventies. Eventually I sorted out my thoughts the only way I know how: I wrote a play. My first love story. It began with a couple who have lived more years together than they did apart, who have somehow lost sight of what makes them work. Then more voices began to show up, and I realized it was a play about how we give our hearts to the variety of people God guides into our lives. And then there are misunderstandings and lots of messy complications.” He goes on to say of this GET production, “The cast of Tokens of Affection has done such incredible work capturing those seemingly contradictory aspects of relating to people we love: the challenges, and the laughter.”
About the Cast:
The cast of Tokens Affection features Judy Leavell (GET’s The Lady with All the Answers and Steel Magnolias), John Stephens (Theatre Gael Artistic Director, Conversations with My Wife at Theatre in the Square), Shelly McCook (Season’s Greetings and Twentieth Century at GET), Kelly Criss (River Rat & Cat and And Then They Came for Me tour at GET), Matthew Myers (Dracula at Aurora Theatre, Waiting for Godot at Theatre Gael), and Googie Uterhardt (You Can’t Take it With You at Theater Emory, Music Man and Little Shop of Horrors at Atlanta Lyric). The design team includes Stephanie Polhemus as Scenic Designer, Bryan Rosengrant as Lighting Designer, Linda Patterson as Costume Designer, and Jason Polhemus as Sound Designer. Topher Payne directs the show; and Hayley Brotherton is Stage Manager.
Tickets for Tokens of Affection:
Tokens of Affection runs January 6-23, 2011, with performances on Wednesdays at 7:30pm, Thursdays through Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 2:30pm. There will be two Saturday 4pm matinees: January 15 and 22. Tickets range in price from $23-$33, with student, senior and group discounts also available. Tickets may be purchased online at www.get.org or by calling GET at 770-641-1260. All performances will be at the Theatre’s home at the Roswell Cultural Arts Center, 950 Forrest St., Roswell, GA 30075.
Next up at Georgia Ensemble Theatre: Inherit the Wind (Feb. 24-Mar. 13, 2011); and Forbidden Broadway (April 7-24, 2011).
For information and tickets, call 770-641-1260, or visit us online at www.get.org.
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