Georgia Shakespeare Premieres THE EMPEROR AND THE NIGHTINGALE, 7/14-8/3

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Georgia Shakespeare Premieres THE EMPEROR AND THE NIGHTINGALE, 7/14-8/3

Ancient China comes to life through song, dance and puppetry in Georgia Shakespeare's World Premiere family musical The Emperor and the Nightingale, July 14 - August 3, 2012 at the Conant Performing Arts Center on the campus of Oglethorpe University. Based on the Hans Christian Andersen story, the show will delight children with its tale of true inner beauty. Opening Night is Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 7 p.m. Tickets are available by calling 404.504.1473 or online at www.gashakespeare.org.

Directed by Allen O'Reilly, this new musical full of humor and compassion will charm children and adults alike with cleverly funny songs, a gorgeous setting, and a story that warms the heart. April-Dawn Gladu, the creator of 2011's The Jungle Book, wrote the book and lyrics for the musical, and the production features original music by Composer James Woodward and choreography by Ann Marie Gideon.

Audiences will be transported to the time of the Song Dynasty, when an ailing Emperor, who has been captivated by the elegant, yet simple Nightingale's song, keeps her caged to sing for him and ease his distress. However when he is presented with the mechanical and colorful Jade Bird, he quickly loses interest in the Nightingale, who returns to the forest.

When the Jade Bird's song fails to improve the Emperor's condition, the Nightingale returns to the palace and saves the Emperor from death. The Emperor then realizes that true beauty lies within and is transformed into the wisest ruler in the land.

The cast features Ann Marie Gideon as the lovely Nightingale and Terrance Jackson as the troubled Emperor, with Anna Kimmell in the role of the sparkly Jade Bird. In his role as Choir, Caleb Clark controls five comic marionettes, giving each character a unique personality through silly voices in one of the musical's most hilarious songs.

Performances are Tuesday through Saturday at 10 a.m., Tuesday, July 17 and July 24 at 7 p.m., and Saturday, July 21 and July 28 at 1 p.m. Tickets are $13, and all performances are general admission. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.gashakespeare.org or call the Georgia Shakespeare Box Office at 404.504.1473. Discounts are available for groups, seniors, students and members of the military.

The 2012 season is made possible by Charles Loridans Foundation, The Kendeda Fund, The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, Metropolitan Atlanta Arts Fund, The Shubert Foundation, The Home Depot Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts and Turner Voices.

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