Theatrical Outfit to Present THE GIFTS OF THE MAGI and A CHRISTMAS MEMORY, 12/4-21 & 12/22-23

Theatrical Outfit continues its "Season of Compassion" with the uplifting musical The Gifts of the Magi and storytelling event A Christmas Memory, which explores the compassion needed and realized when people really love each other and can triumphantly navigate adversity.

THE GIFTS OF THE MAGI IS WRITTEN BY MARK ST. GERMAIN. MUSIC BY RANDY COURTS. DIRECTED BY HEIDI CLINE MCKERLEY. MUSICAL DIRECTION BY S. RENEE CLARK. CHOREOGRAPHY BY JEFF MCKERLEY.

Featuring Nick Arapoglou*, S. Renee Clark, Caroline Freedlund,

Kayce Grogan-Wallace, Jeff McKerley*, Bernardine Mitchell*, Glenn Rainey*

A CHRISTMAS MEMORY IS ADAPTED BY TOM KEY FROM A SHORT STORY BY TRUMAN CAPOTE.

Featuring Tom Key*.

*member of Actors' Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States

THE GIFTS OF THE MAGI story: It is Christmas, the season of giving, but for young penniless lovers Jim and Della, the prospects are bleak. Each valiantly struggles to find the perfect gift for the other. Meanwhile, forgotten man Soapy comically attempts to get thrown in jail for a free meal and place to sleep. Characters "City Him" and "City Her" join in the hustle and bustle of cold 19th Century New York. News Vendor Willy warmly guides the way with wise council and soaring melodies. A charming and transcendent musical that asks, "Is the wisdom in the gift or in the giving?"

A CHRISTMAS MEMORY story: Theatrical Outfit will feature Artistic Director, Tom Key, on stage for his one-man adaptation of Truman Capote's cherished story, "A Christmas Memory." An Alabama native himself, Key narrates the semi-autobiographical tale of seven-year-old Alabama boy, Buddy, and his unique friendship with his elderly eccentric cousin, like "a lost pair of kites hurrying towards heaven."

WHY THIS PLAY, WHY NOW?: When a story like O'Henry's The Gifts of the Magi becomes a classic for generations, I imagine that at least a few readers, or a scholar or two, are curious if the story was based on an actual event. Perhaps part of the reason such a story becomes a classic in the first place is because readers hope that it is true. And, in the case of O'Henry's out-of-work, newly-wed, by turns grateful and terrified, exhausted and, most importantly, deeply in love characters, Jim and Della, what might be the most hopeful fact of this fiction's success is the possibility that we, too, know that to give as they do is what it is to be alive. Thank you for attending this ritual of Theatre that makes fiction immediately plausible and eternally true. -- Tom Key, Artistic Director

THE GIFTS OF THE MAGI run dates: December 4, 2014 - December 21, 2014

- Previews at 7:30 p.m. December 4 and 5

- Opening night performance is at 7:30 p.m. December 6

- Remainder of run is 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday -- with no Saturday matinee opening week

A CHRISTMAS MEMORY run dates: Two Days Only: Monday and Tuesday, December 22-23 at 7:30 p.m.

DID YOU KNOW? Theatrical Outfit is committed to using the best Atlanta talent onstage and behind the scenes. You'll rarely see a New York or Los Angeles-based actor on our stage.

ABOUT THE CAST OF THE GIFTS OF THE MAGI:

Nick Arapoglou: Nick Arapoglou is returning to The Gifts of the Magi for the third season. His Theatrical Outfit credits include: My Name is Asher Lev and Big River. Recent credits: Urinetown at Fabrefaction, Tempest at Georgia Shakespeare, Spring Awakening at Actor's Express, Avenue Q at Horizon Theatre (Suzi Award for Lead Actor) and Romeo in Romeo and Juliet at the Atlanta Shakespeare Tavern. Nick has appeared in over 20 commercials, and TV shows on VH1 and BET.

S. Renee Clark: S. Renee is best known for her musical contributions as a performer, music director, arranger, composer and is happy to be back on the T.O. stage in a non-musical role for the second time. Other acting credits include Theatrical Outfit's Waiting to Be Invited (Ms. Louise) and Mahalia (Mildred, Aunt Duke); Center for Puppetry Arts' Brer Rabbit (Narrator) and Ruth and the Green Book (Mama); Horizon Theatre's Madeline's Christmas (Mrs. Murphy).

Caroline Freedlund: Caroline is returning to the Theatrical Outfit stage, where she also has been seen in The Gifts of the Magi for the last two years. Other Atlanta credits include Next to Normal (Alliance Theatre), Urinetown (Fabrefaction Theatre), Sweet Charity, A Chorus Line (Aurora Theatre), A Diva's Christmas (Serenbe Playhouse) and Gypsy (Atlanta Lyric), among others. Caroline holds a B.A. in Dance from KSU.

Kayce Grogan-Wallace: Kayce, of Marietta, has more than 30 years of performance experience under her belt. Performing in such shows as Hairspray, RENT, Ragtime, Hair and recently the Fabrefaction production of Urinetown. She is a Suzi Bass Award winner for Best Musical Ensemble in Ain't Misbehavin'. She is a graduate of Kennesaw State University where she earned a Bachelor's of Arts in Theatre & Performance Studies. She is currently a Theatre Educator in the Marietta City Schools system and is a former Teacher of the Year for the middle school.

Jeff McKerley: Jeff has called Atlanta his artistic home for twenty-seven years. Out of twelve nominations, he has received two Suzi Bass Awards (Outstanding Actor in a Musical & Outstanding Choreography for Cabaret). Recent projects: Shrek: The Musical at The Alliance Theatre and Spamalot at The Atlanta Lyric Theatre. Upcoming: Catch Me If You Can and Damn Yankees! at The Lyric and Winter's Tale at The Shakespeare Tavern.

Bernardine Mitchell: Bernardine is an Atlanta native who has performed nationally and internationally in a wide range of roles that includes Mahalia Jackson in Mahalia, Bessie Smith in Bessie's Blues, Mrs. Potts in Disney's Beauty and the Beast, Velma and Mother Shaw in Crowns, Alice in Big River and the Matron in Chicago.

Glenn Rainey: Glenn reprises his role in Magi and previously appeared at Theatrical Outfit in Tent Meeting and, before that, Big River, where he, Heidi, and Jeff last worked together. A native Atlantan, he has worked on almost every Atlanta stage, and has had an association with Theatrical Outfit for over 25 years.

ABOUT THE CAST OF A CHRISTMAS MEMORY:

Tom Key: Tom Key is dedicated to the Theatrical Art Form as a catalyst to creating community. He has served as Executive Artistic Director of Theatrical Outfit since 1995 where his drive to tell "Stories That Stir The Soul" in the heart of downtown with the best artists of the city has developed the company into one of Atlanta's major performing arts institutions. As an actor, he has appeared in over a 100 productions from Off-Broadway to Los Angeles and is one of Atlanta's most celebrated performing artists.

THE GIFTS OF THE MAGI PLAYWRIGHT: Mark St. Germain has written Camping With Henry And Tom (Outer Critics Circle and Lucille Lortel Awards), Out of Gas On Lover's Leap, Forgiving Typhoid Mary (Time Magazine's "Year's Ten Best"), Ears On A Beatle, The God Committee, The Collyer Brothers At Home, The Gifts of The Magi (co-written with Randy Courts), The Book of the Dun Cow (co-written by Randy Courts), Johnny Pye and the Fool-Killer (winner of an AT&T "New Plays For The Nineties Award"), Jack's Holiday, and Stand By Your Man: The Tammy Wynette Story. As a dramatist, St. Germain shows a strong preference for historical fiction, bringing to life historical events and personalities with vivid, imagined dialogue. Some of the more familiar St. Germain plays include: The Best of Enemies and Freud's Last Session.

A CHRISTMAS MEMORY AUTHOR: Truman Capote was an American author, screenwriter and playwright, many of whose short stories, novels, plays, and nonfiction are recognized literary classics, including the novella Breakfast at Tiffany's (1958) and the true crime novel In Cold Blood (1966), which he labeled a "nonfiction novel." At least 20 films and television dramas have been produced of Capote novels, stories, and plays.

ABOUT THEATRICAL OUTFIT: Atlanta's second-oldest professional theater company was founded in 1976 and has been led by Executive Artistic Director Tom Key since fall 1995. Key led the company through the creation of its award-winning downtown home, the Balzer Theater at Herren's, the first U.S. theater to achieve LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The theater is on the historical site of Herren's, the first Atlanta restaurant to voluntarily desegregate (in 1963). Theatrical Outfit tells consistently high-quality, soul-stirring stories, often from great classics and contemporary literature that feature many of the best writers of the American South: Carlyle Brown, Truman Capote, Evan Davis, Horton Foote, Harper Lee, Cormac McCarthy, Flannery O'Connor, Walker Percy, Sherry Shepard-Massat, Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder, Hank Williams and Tennessee Williams.




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