The Alliance Theatre is pleased to present the world premiere of THE GELLER GIRLS, a new production by Atlanta Playwright Janece Shaffer and Directed by Susan V. Booth, Jennings Hertz Artistic Director of the Alliance Theatre. THE GELLER GIRLS will run on the Alliance Stage from January 15 – February 9, 2014. Opening night is Wednesday, January 22, 8:00pm.
Janece Shaffer is a nationally produced, award-winning playwright. Her works (Broke, Managing Maxine, Bluish, He Looks Good in a Hat) have been produced in Atlanta, St. Louis, Sarasota, Toronto and Phoenix. Her play Broke, which premiered at the Alliance in 2011, was awarded the Gene-Gabriel Moore Playwriting Award for Best World Premiere by an Atlanta playwright and earned Actress Tess Malis Kincaid a Suzi Award for Best Lead Actress in a Play. As an observer of human relationships and a chronicler of Atlanta life, Shaffer has created a piece that explores the rich history of Atlanta during the Cotton States and International Exposition of 1895 and its effects on one Atlanta family.
“Welcoming Janece Shaffer home is always a gift for the Alliance Theatre and our audiences,” said Susan V. Booth. “And with THE GELLER GIRLS, she is bringing us all a joyous and deeply human look at a particularly vivid Atlanta moment; the 1895 Cotton States Exposition was so purely the moment when Atlanta claimed its rightful role as an international and wholly inclusive city.”
“The first glimpse I had of the Cotton States Exposition was through these amazing black and white photos of Piedmont Park brimming with all kinds of art and music, innovation and possibility, and I thought, ‘I want to lose myself there, as a writer; I want to imagine what it must have been like for young women of that day to see – in a single afternoon – scandalous Hoochie Coochie girls alongside suffragettes and the first exhibition ever for women,’” said Playwright Janece Shaffer. “Yes, there’s the drama of the exposition, but at its heart, THE GELLER GIRLS is a play about family, about the dreams we have for our children and the ones they have for themselves – and how we reconcile that is a timeless struggle.”
THE GELLER GIRLS tells the story of young sisters Rosalee and Louisa Geller. For them, Atlanta is full of opportunity and optimism for the future. Rosalee has finally convinced her father to help her open her own dress shop and Louisa’s childhood sweetheart should be about to officially pop the question. But Atlanta is on the eve of the Cotton States and International Exposition of 1895. And just like the Exposition was a huge catalyst for change and development in Piedmont Park, Atlanta, and the entire South, it brings change and uncertainty to the Geller girls. It also brings them the charming, handsome Charles Heyman from New York, and opens a door to the world beyond Atlanta that they may not be willing to close.
The five member cast of THE GELLER GIRLS is made up of some of Atlanta’s favorite actors and includes Mark Cabus (Georgia Shakespeare: The Tempest, Tennessee Repertory Theater: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf) as Albert Geller, Courtney Collins (Alliance credits: Into the Woods, Managing Maxine) as Sarahann Geller, Ann Marie Gideon (Horizon Theatre: Time Stands Still, Georgia Shakespeare: Hamlet, Metamorphoses) as Louisa Geller, Courtney Patterson (Alliance Theatre: By the Way, Meet Vera Stark, August: Osage County, Managing Maxine) as Rosalee Geller, and Joe Sykes (Out of Hand Theatre: Group Intelligence, Actor’s Express: Pluto, Wolves)as Charles Heyman.
Performances for THE GELLER GIRLS are Tuesday through Thursday at 7:30pm, Fridays at 8:00pm, Saturdays at 2:30pm and 8:00pm, and Sundays at 2:30pm and 7:30pm, January 15 – February 9, 2014. Opening Night is January 22, 2014, 8:00pm. There will be no 2:30pm performance on January 18.
Tickets start at $30 and are available at The Woodruff Arts Center Box Office by calling 404.733.5000 or visiting www.alliancetheatre.org/thegellergirls. Discount rates for groups of 10 or more are available by calling 404.733.4690. Discount rates are also available for members of the military, seniors and students. The Alliance Theatre is located at The Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta, GA 30309 – at the corner of Peachtree and 15th Streets, in Midtown Atlanta.