Basketball and Theatre Collide in Alliance Theatre's World Premiere of THE TALL GIRLS, Now thru 3/30
Rehearsals started today for the Alliance Theatre's world premiere of THE TALL GIRLS, a play set in the depression-era Midwest where the success of a girls' basketball team may be the only way to a better life for the team's members. Playwright Meg Miroshnik, winner of the 2012 Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition for her play The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls, has been described by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as "a ferocious talent with a promising career in store."
THE TALL GIRLS will be directed by Susan V. Booth, Jennings Hertz Artistic Director of the Alliance Theatre, and will run on the Hertz Stage from today, March 7 - 30, 2014. Opening night is Wednesday, March 12, 2014.
"THE TALL GIRLS is a piece ostensibly about sports, that is really about identity and hope - how we craft the former in pursuit of the latter," said Director Susan V. Booth. "This is a play about a community of women striving both toward an individual sense of self and a collaborative goal. Here is a ballgame."
"When writing THE TALL GIRLS, I wanted to capture the exciting elements of a live sporting event - the unpredictability and thrill of not knowing the outcome until the end," said Playwright Meg Miroshnik. "No matter how much you rehearse, you can't guarantee, or fake, making a basket. There's a real adrenaline rush in taking that risk in front of an audience."
The brave cast members tasked with playing basketball live on stage are Travis Smith (Ghost Brothers of Darkland County) as the mysterious basketball coach Haunt Johnny, and the girls basketball team made up of Lauren Boyd (Regional: King Lear, Amadeus) as Inez, Veronika Duerr (Alliance Theatre: No Exit) as Lurlene, Kally Duling (Regional: The Fifth of July, Bus Stop) as Almeda, Emily Kitchens (Regional: Grace, or the Art of Climbing, Three Sisters) as Jean, and Hayley Platt (Atlanta Shakespeare Company: King Leare, A Midsummer Night's Dream) as Puppy.
THE TALL GIRLS will be the final production in the Alliance's 10th Anniversary Season of the Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition. The Alliance is thrilled to support new American playwrights through its commitment to the competition, which provides developmental opportunities and readings for all finalists as well as a full production for one winning play each season.
Over the lifetime of the competition the Alliance has recognized and supported early career playwrights who have gone on to have highly successful careers in theatre. Since her time at the Alliance, Miroshnik has written more than four new plays that have had multiple productions at theatres all around the country including La Jolla Playhouse, Center Theatre Group, South Coast Repertory, the McCarter Theatre Center, and the Kennedy Center.
"I am so honored by the invitation to return to the Alliance and Atlanta and for the opportunity to work with the incredible Susan V. Booth," added Miroshnik. "I could never have imagined three years ago - when I dropped my Alliance/Kendeda Graduate Playwriting competition entry into the mail - that a single envelope could yield such a warm, welcoming artistic home."
Performances of THE TALL GIRLS are Tuesday through Thursday at 7:30pm, Fridays at 8:00pm, Saturdays at 2:30pm and 8:00pm, and Sundays at 2:30pm and 7:30pm, March 7 - 30, 2014. Opening Night is March 12, 2014, 8:00pm. There will be no 2:30pm performance on March 8 and no 7:30pm performance on March 30.
Tickets start at $25 and are available at the Woodruff Arts Center Box Office in person or by calling 404-733-5000. Tickets are also available online at www.alliancetheatre.org/thetallgirls. 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, 1280 Peachtree Street, NE, Atlanta, GA 30309, at the corner of Peachtree and 15th Street, in Midtown.
Page to Stage
In conjunction with the 10th Anniversary of the Alliance/Kendeda National Graduation Playwriting Competition, we're offering our Hertz Stage patrons a chance to see where the play really begins, as words on the page and ideas in the imagination of the playwright. Taking our cue from the book club model, we'll be hosting a series of pre-show discussions with Alliance Playwright in Residence Pearl Cleage. Participants will receive an electronic copy of the script one month in advance before coming together to explore the playwright's ideas and their own. Looking at the play from the inside out adds an exciting dimension to the experience of actually seeing the show come alive. The Page to Stage opportunity for THE TALL GIRLS is March 18, 2014, 6:30pm. Page to Stage is free with a ticket to the March 18, 7:30pm performance of THE TALL GIRLS.
College students may purchase $10 tickets for all shows on the day of the performance by showing their student ID at the Woodruff Arts Center Box Office. Subject to availability.
About the Alliance Theatre: Founded in 1968, the Alliance Theatre has become the leading producing theatre in the Southeast, creating the powerful experience of shared theatre for diverse people. The Alliance values excellence, pursued with integrity and creativity, and achieved through collaboration. Reaching more than 200,000 patrons annually, the Alliance delivers powerful programming that challenges adult and youth audiences to think critically and care deeply. Under the leadership of Susan V. Booth, Jennings Hertz Artistic Director, the Alliance Theatre received the Regional Theatre Tony Award in recognition of sustained excellence in programming, education and community engagement.
Known for its high artistic standards and national role in creating significant theatrical works, the Alliance has premiered more than 80 original productions including Tony Award winners "The Color Purple," by Alice Walker, "Aida," by Elton John and Tim Rice, and Alfred Uhry's "The Last Night of Ballyhoo." The Alliance has a reputation for developing important American musicals with a strong track record of Broadway, touring, and subsequent productions, including the world premieres of Sister Act: The Musical, Come Fly Away, Bring It On: The Musical, Stephen King and John Mellencamp's Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, and the American premiere of Zorro, with music by the Gipsy Kings. The Alliance also creates and nurtures the careers of playwrights through the Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition, producing a premiere for the competition winner as part of the regular season with national networking opportunities for four finalists. The works produced by the Alliance allow locally based artists the chance to create on a nationally watched stage, building and sustaining Atlanta's artistic community.
Each year, the Alliance Theatre Acting Program and Education Department reaches close to 50,000 students through performances, acting classes, drama camps, and in-school initiatives. The Alliance creates and produces plays for young audiences at every age level: from the Collision Project, where high school artists create and perform new work based on a classic text, to the ground breaking Theatre for the Very Young, creating interactive shows for infants and toddlers. The Alliance also offers community education classes for all ages and abilities of theatre interest; and adult student productions of unproduced plays in development, working with local and national playwrights.
An active participant in Georgia classrooms, the Alliance has developed programs using theatrical techniques to aid in student learning through storytelling and problem solving. The Alliance Theatre Institute for Educators and Teaching Artists equips teachers with theatrical techniques that link directly to school curriculum, align with the Georgia Performance Standards, and increase student learning. Other programs include GA Wolf Trap, a nationally recognized professional learning program that focuses on literacy skills for children in Pre-K - 2nd Grade, and Dramaturgy K-12, a unique program that empowers students to create research material that both informs Alliance productions and prepares peer audiences. Twice recognized by the Federal Department of Education as leaders in the field of arts education, these programs reflect the Alliance's commitment to city wide arts access.
The Alliance continuously delivers the finest talent, art and educational opportunities for Atlanta audiences-proving once again that the Alliance is where great theatre lives. For more information, visit www.alliancetheatre.org or call 404.733.4650.