East End Special Players to Present NYC Showing of GIGI! THE LIFE OF A DOLL, 4/12

East End Special Players to Present NYC Showing of GIGI! THE LIFE OF A DOLL, 4/12

This Saturday, April 12th, The East End Special Players are pleased to present a special New York City showing of their original theater piece, Gigi! The Life of a Doll at the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF)'s Florence Gould Hall.

The East End Special Players are a troupe of learning challenged and differently abled adult actors out of East Hampton, NY. They have come together every Saturday for nearly thirty years to create, develop, and perform original theater pieces. Their productions have ranged from Kokobrite, inspired by African folktales and dance, to explorations of their lives as learning-challenged adults in You are a Petunia in My Garden. With humor, grace, sincerity and enthusiasm, The East End Special Players have built a devoted following of theatergoers in their home community of East Hampton, NY, and garnered standing ovations and rave reviews in performances throughout the tri-state area.

Gigi! The Life of a Doll, which opened during the summer of 2012 at The Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor, NY, continues the actors' stories. Through the lens of a doll named Gigi, the actors share their lives with their audience. At turns somber and hilarious, the players draw viewers into their worlds and minds through brief vignettes ranging from an existential crisis to a whimsical dream.

Jacqui Leader, the artistic director of The East End Special Players (EESP), has been a key figure in the troupe's success. Originally from Detroit, Leader lived in New York City, where she studied theater, and London before relocating to Amagansett, NY. She has performed in theater productions across Long Island and founded a children's theater program called Kids Connect. Twenty years ago, Leader approached EESP, and under her direction, the Players have blossomed as actors and as individuals. Mary Spitzer, a board member of EESP, noted on Jacqui's 20th anniversary with the players that, "Jacqui [is] a guiding light for the Players. Her unique and inspiring techniques have given this troupe...skills to express the talents they never knew they had."

The East End Special Players have been creating theater since 1985. Started as a Saturday program for the developmentally disabled by the Towns of East Hampton and Southampton, their first director, Helen Rudman, chose theater as the emphasis of the program. The Players have performed at the Governor's mansion in Albany, at Camp Venture in Westchester, at Guild Hall in East Hampton, Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor, Westhampton Performing Arts, Southampton College, and Dowling College. In recent years, their performances in local high schools have garnered standing ovations as students experience valuable awareness of the abilities of the learning challenged.

Tickets are $10 General Admission, and $40 for a Voluntary Contribution Ticket. They can be purchased by calling 800 982 2787 or by visiting eastendspecialplayers.com.

For more information, visit eastendspecialplayers.com.

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