GTA's February Festival Of Theatre Preparing Laughs For Northeast Georgia Patrons
When the Gainesville Theatre Alliance invented its February Festival of Theatre 10 years ago, a chief goal was to enrich their season with more modern scripts, which traditionally have smaller casts. In order to provide enough opportunities for the emerging theatre artists they train as the Theatre Dept. for both UNG and Brenau University, producing modern scripts meant doing two different shows at once. After edging onto the stage testing if enough patrons would show up when their productions competed with each other, GTA discovered there is a BIG appetite in the short days of winter for live theatre - and the February Festival of Theatre became an annual event.
Northeast Georgia theatre patrons continue to benefit as the festival also means that there's something for everyone in the audience as well, as seen in this year's two productions: Noises Off, and Men on Boats.
Noises Off is a legendary farce, featuring a show within a show that goes as horribly, delightfully wrong as it possibly could. Often referred to as the funniest comedy ever put on stage, sardines will fly, pants will drop, and doors will slam, but the show must go on. There will be a free, one-hour Stage Tour at 6pm on Jan. 29, at Brenau's Hosch Theatre (429 Academy St., Gainesville) and the play runs Feb. 12-23.
Men on Boats is the true(ish) story of John Wesley Powell's 1869 expedition, when the one-armed captain and a crew of insane yet loyal volunteers set out to chart the course of the Colorado River. Ten men and four boats take on the Grand Canyon and the American wilderness in a witty, boldly written adventure. The catch? The cast is all female. There will be a free, one-hour stage at 6 pm on January 31 at the Lake Lanier Olympic Boat House (3105 Clarks Bridge Road, Gainesville, GA), and the show runs Feb. 15-23.
Tickets for each show are $12-24, depending on patron age and seat location, and can be purchased online at www.gainesvilleTHEATREalliance.org or by calling the Box Office at 678.717.3624, Monday - Friday from 10am to 4pm. Online patrons can select their own seats, and MasterCard, Visa and Discover are accepted. Both productions also offer a discounted Preview night, on Monday, Feb. 11, for Noises Off (tickets $13) and a Men on Boats Preview on Thursday, Feb.14, (tickets $10) for which tickets go on sale Jan. 28.