Thursday, July 28, 2011

Theatre in the Square opens 30th season with a bit of nostalgia

August 7 - September 11, 2011
Opening Night: Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Theatre in the Square will open its 30th season with On Golden Pond, August 10 – September 11, 2011 on the Main Stage. On Golden Pond was the first production the theatre produced, in September 1982, in the space that is now Cool Beans Coffee. Tickets are on sale now online at and by phone at 770-422-8369.

Norman (Pete Thomasson) and Ethel Thayer (Judy Leavell) return to their summer home for the 48th time on Golden Pond in Maine only to have their normally quiet escape disrupted by a their daughter’s (Agnes Hardy) arrival with her fiancĂ©e, Bill (Chuck Horton), and his mouthy 13-year-old son, Billy (Elijah Marcano and Charlie Garland). The production is a heartwarming portrayal of family struggles, love, and relationships, but it is also very humorous, especially when Charlie (Bart Hansard), the mailman, is around.

“I thought it would be well to observe this milestone season by recalling how it all began – with this show and its impact on that first audience of Mariettans, mostly longtime or original residents. The buzz that first night was overwhelmingly positive and we knew that we had started something that could last, although we weren’t thinking 30 years out, of course,” says Co-Founder and Producing Director Palmer Wells. The play, which was written by Ernst Thompson, has won numerous awards both for its staged productions and the 1981 film that starred Katharine Hepburn and Henry Fonda. The artistic team behind this production includes director Heidi Cline McKerley, lighting designer Bradley Bergeron, set designer Seamus Bourne, costume designer Marie Estes, sound designer Thom Jenkins, dialect coach Kathleen McManus, and props designer Lindsay Moore.

To celebrate the 30th season, tickets to the performances Friday, August 12 and Sunday evening, August 14 will be 30% off when patrons ask for the 30th anniversary special. Preview tickets on August 7 and 9 are only $12. Regular tickets are $24 to $33 and are available at the Theatre in the Square Box Office by calling 770-422-8369 or online at Discount rates are available for groups of 12 or more by calling 770-422-8369. Theatre in the Square is located off of historic Marietta Square at 11 Whitlock Ave.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Atlanta Lyric Presents Tony-Award Winner “Thoroughly Modern Millie”

2002 Best Musical to Play the Strand Theatre in Marietta

The winner of six Tony Awards including Best Musical, “Thoroughly Modern Millie” was 2002's most awarded new show on Broadway.

Now the spectacular experience that is “Millie” is coming to The Strand Theatre (117 N. Park Square, Marietta) on the Marietta Square September 16th through October 2nd. This red-hot musical is kicking off Atlanta Lyric Theatre’s 32nd season. The production is directed by Lyric Artistic Director Brandt Blocker and choreographed by award winning choreographer Karen Hebert.

Based on the 1967 Oscar-winning film of the same name, “Thoroughly Modern Millie” takes audiences back to the height of the Jazz Age, when "moderns"- including a flapper named Millie Dillmount - were bobbing their hair, raising their hemlines, entering the workforce, and rewriting the rules of love. This singing, dancing, romancing musical takes place in Manhattan, 1922, with all the jazz-age razzmatazz you want in a big, bright, brand-new Broadway blockbuster. It's the story of a Midwestern girl who arrives in New York determined to take the town by storm. USA Today says “Millie” is "a thoroughly delightful experience." And as Time Out New York says, "you can't see this kind of whirling, transporting pop entertainment anywhere else!"

Starring as Millie Dillmount is Broadway and Lyric veteran Claci Miller (Broadway: Annie Get Your Gun; Alliance: Sister Act; Atlanta Lyric: Little Shop of Horrors, Cabaret, The It Girl). Maxim Gukhman (Indianapolis: Footloose; Fireside Theatre: Fiddler on the Roof; Atlanta Lyric: Rent) plays Jimmy Smith, a charming, care free young man who pines for Millie’s affection. However, Millie has set the standard of marrying her single, stuffed-shirt boss Trevor Graydon, III played by Bryant Smith (Gateway Playhouse: A Chorus Line; Jersey Productions: Once Upon a Mattress; Theatre in the Square: Stealing Dixie).

Jennifer Smiles Plumley (Alliance: The Game of Love and Chance; Theatre in the Square: The 1940’s Radio Hour; Atlanta Lyric: 42nd Street) plays Miss Dorothy Brown, friend of Mille and love interest of Trevor Graydon, III. Playing the mysterious and sinister Mrs. Meers, proprietress of the Hotel Priscilla, is Marcie Millard (Stage Door: Master Class; Georgia Ensmble: Forbidden Broadway; Atlanta Lyric: The It Girl). Mary Nye Bennett (Horizon: Avenue Q; Rocky Mountain Rep: Always Patsy Cline; Atlanta Lyric: 42nd Street) plays Miss Peg Flannery, the curmudgeonly head stenographer to Mr. Graydon. As Mrs. Meers’ Chinese henchmen are Jono Davis (Atlanta Lyric: Rent) as Ching Ho and Andy Danh (Atlanta Symphony: La Boheme) as Bun Foo.

Featured as Muzzy van Hossmere, the famed singer and bon vivant, is Atlanta chanteuse Marsha Dupree (Spoleto N.C: Too Marvelous for Words; Atlanta Lyric: Jerry’s Girls).

Others in the cast include Aaron Carter, Becca Potter, Becky Simmons, Brittanie Bagby Baker, Chris Lewis, Courtney Bowers, Elizabeth Neidel, Fenner Eaddy, Helen Varner, Matthew Lummus, Micahel Persson, Nathan Lubeck, Victoria Drothler and Zack Everhart.

With music direction by Blocker, “Thoroughly Modern Millie” features scenic design by Tommy Cox, costume design by Lindsey Paris, lighting design by Bradley Bergeron, make up and hair design by George Deavours, and sound design by Bobby Johnston.

A delightful valentine to the long-standing spirit of New York City and the people who seek to discover themselves there, this stage version of “Thoroughly Modern Millie” features 15 songs, including two from the 1967 film, four standards from the 1920s and nine new songs by Jeanine Tesori (music) and Dick Scanlan (lyrics).

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

Performance Schedule

September 16, 17, 18
Friday & Sat. @ 8:00, Sun. @ 2:00
Sept. 22, 23, 24, 25
Thurs., Fri. & Sat. @ 8:00, Sun. @ 2:00
Sept. 29, 30 October 1 & 2, 2011
Thurs., Fri. & Sat. @ 8:00, Sat. & Sun. @ 2:00

Friday, July 1, 2011

Alliance Theatre Collision Project Helps Teenagers Find Their Voice

For the past 10 years, the Alliance Theatre has collaborated with teenagers all across Atlanta, helping them to discover their unique voice through the Collision Project.

“The Collision Project was literally one of the very best programs I've ever participated in. The program had a great impact on the students as well, for it wasn't just a matter of teaching; it was a matter of sharing,” said Oyama, Collision playwright 2005 and nationally recognized artist and educator.

WHAT: For three weeks each summer, the Alliance Theatre assembles a diverse group of 20 teenagers from metro Atlanta to explore and unpack a classic text under the guidance of a professional playwright and director. Past playwrights include Michael Rohd, Janece Shaffer, Oyamo, Chay Yew, Mark Valdez, and Lauren Gunderson.

Through improvisational exercises, oral history, choreography, the individual performing talents they possess, and their writing, the teenagers create a new piece inspired by the classic text but perceived through their own utterly unique and contemporary prism. The Collision Project affords teens a unique theatrical experience and gives them ownership of a performance at the Alliance. It also gives students validity – confidence in their talents, strength for the future, and power in their decisions.

This summer marks the 10th Anniversary of this extraordinary program—the brainchild of Alliance Theatre Artistic Director Susan Booth. What better way to celebrate this milestone than to have NY Times bestselling author and renowned playwright Pearl Cleage working with our students as the resident playwright. Under the direction of Rosemary Newcott, the Sally G. Tomlinson Artistic Director of Theatre for Youth & Families, these students will wrestle with themes found in the Declaration of Independence, creating an original piece of theatre based on their interaction with this text.

“The Collision Project was an empowering experience where I discovered how truly powerful my young voice could be,” said Olivia Aston, Collision Project alumni 2004 and current Alliance Theatre employee.

Imagine being seventeen again. How expansive was your world? How predictable? Where was the wonder? What parts of you now, were being defined, then? Who were you before the hair grayed, before the feet narrowed, before the knees gave out and the tummy sagged – who were you? How did you believe? What did you believe? Who did you believe?

And when did you become conscious? Spiritually, emotionally and physically, when did your mind altering epiphanies come? And when they did come, did they wash over you? Did they chip away at you? Or, did they make you stronger, more dimensional, more desirous, more courageous…


WHEN: Friday, July 15th at 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, July 16th at 2:30 p.m. includes alumni post show discussion

WHERE: The Alliance Theatre Hertz Stage
RSVP for 2 free tickets:

Come witness this powerful theatrical experience as these young people discover their own voice on the Alliance Hertz Stage. This project is free to all participants through generous support from the Zeist Foundation and Georgia Pacific.