Fulton Theatre Annouces New Emerging Writers Series in Honor of Ellen A. Groff
A year following the death of beloved Fulton Theatre Trustee EmeritusEllen Arnold Groff, Fulton Theatre announces the creation of a new performance series in her honor. The Ellen Groff Studio Series will be an annual collection of performances taking place in the theatre's 4th floor Studio Theatre. The focus of the series will be emerging writers, new work, and challenging topics that were central to Mrs. Groff's love of the theatre art form. Marc Robin, the Fulton's Artistic Director commented, "Ellen and I spent countless hours talking about what motivates us as artists. She loved the intellectual challenge of new work, under-represented ideas, and theatre that got your blood pumping. And she always wanted to see the 4th floor space developed in a way that built a regular audience that wanted to share her artistic tastes."
Mrs. Groff left an endowed gift to the theatre through her estate. The Fulton's staff and trustees have been meeting with her family to discuss ways to use that funding in a way that would honor her most appropriately. Robert Groff, her husband commented, "Ellen wasn't interested in bricks and mortar. She wanted to see art created and ideas discussed. Having this series at the Fulton will allow Ellen's personal work in the art field to continue in perpetuity." Over the years, the Groff's hosted in their home a continual string of artists working at the Fulton - playwrights, designers, actors, and directors. She was able to see ideas born from a discussion in a living room turned into theatrical work seen by thousands and published for subsequent production. She was particularly fond of the work of playwright Tim Slover, whose play Joyful Noise (centered on the life of Handel) resulted in two commissions from the Fulton, Treasure (about Alexander Hamilton) and Lightning Rod (about Benjamin Franklin). Appropriately, the inaugural season of the Ellen Groff Studio Series will open with a residency, workshop and public reading of Slover's latest work, Virtue (about the controversial life and writings of Hildegard of Bingen). Slover will be teamed with director Marc Robin and actors from Fulton productions in developing the latest draft of this piece and presenting a staged reading on Friday, January 17, 2014. Other works in the 2014 Series and performance dates will be announced shortly.
Each work will be presented as a staged reading followed by a question and answer session with the playwright and artistic team. Tickets for the readings are $10 and available at the Fulton Ticket Office (717) 397-7425 or online at www.thefulton.org.