Aurora Theatre Presents Gray Area – A New Comedy About Civil War Re-enactors

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Gray Area at Atlanta's Aurora Theatre

Bart Hansard, Glenn Rainey, Bryan Brendle and Scott Warren star in Gray Area. Photo by Chris Bartelski, taken at the Historic Oakland Cemetery

Aurora Theatre’s 16th Sensational Season continues with a great new comedy about Civil War re-enactors called Gray Area by John Ahlin, running October 6 to 30, 2011.

In Gray Area, a scathing theater critic and radio commentator, Sherman Farragut, takes a gratuitous swipe at Civil War re-enactors as his final public salvo. When “good ole Dixie boys” Randall, Horse and Keith read his remarks they decide they cannot let him go unchallenged. They decide to bring the windbag below the Mason-Dixon Line for retribution. This comical collision of worlds is a full out black-white, blue-gray, blue-red raging debate. Stereotypes are the biggest casualty in this delightfully uncivil comedy. This timely production coincides with Georgia’s Civil War Sesquicentennial, commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War in Georgia.

“This is historically a good time to talk about stereotypes. We need for society to engage in CIVIL disagreement. From a political, religious, and sociological perspective, the news (whichever station you watch) shows that we are having difficulty listening to one another in a cordial manner,” comments Aurora Theatre Producing Artistic Director Anthony Rodriguez. “We hope by poking fun at two immovable forces, we can start to dismantle prejudice and in a sly manner and extol a little virtue of compassion.”

Since 2003, homegrown talent Sherri Sutton has enjoyed international success as a stand-up comedian and monologist highlighted by opening for Rosanne Barr in NYC in 2007. After 8 years of showing the world how funny the south can be, Aurora welcomes Sherri back to the Atlanta theatre scene as the director of this Southern fried comedy. Her hilarious cast abounds with Aurora Theatre favorites. As the puffed-up Yankee radio persona Farragut, Glenn Rainey (Aurora Theatre: A Catered Affair, Kiss Me, Kate; Broadway: Beauty and the Beast) returns to Aurora Theatre. Representing the Rebs are Bart Hansard (Aurora Theatre: The Dinosaur Musical, Buy My House, Please!; Television: Tyler Perry’s House of Payne, Good Eats) as the know-it-all Keith, Bryan Brendle (Aurora Theatre: Dracula) as the wildcard Randall and Scott Warren (Aurora Theatre: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde) as the loveable simpleton Horse.

Gray Area won the Virtual Theatre Project’s ‘The Pen Is A Mighty Sword’ international play competition, receiving highly acclaimed productions in Los Angeles and New York. Actors Theatre of Louisville 2001 In-house Play competition awarded John Ahlin first prize for his 10 minute play Nem. Mr. Ahlin has written scores of scripts for the comedy group Movie Madness, half a dozen educational plays of his have been performed around the country and his plays What the Morph Brothers Did, Death Down East and The Brain Show have all been produced. As an actor, Mr. Ahlin has appeared on Broadway in Waiting for Godot (with Bill Irwin, Nathan Lane, John Goodman and John Glover), Journey’s End (2007 Tony Award for Best Revival), The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Voices in the Dark, One Mo’ Time, Whoopee! and Macbeth. Off-Broadway, John portrayed Orson Welles in Austin Pendleton’s Orson’s Shadow and has appeared as Falstaff six times, most recently in Henry IV at the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival. His TV acting credits include Law and Order: SVU, Third Watch, and As the World Turns.

Gray Area by John Ahlin plays at the Aurora Theatre in Lawrenceville October 6 to 30. Performances are Wednesday to Saturday at 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $16 to $30. The Wednesday Discount Matinee will be on October 26 at 10 a.m. with $16 tickets. For more information or tickets call 678-226-6222 or visit http://www.auroratheatre.com/.

**Special Performance Thursday, October 20: Playwright and Actor John Ahlin will join the cast of Gray Area for a Post-show Discussion where they will take questions from the audience.