Basketball and Theatre Collide in Tall Girls

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Rehearsals started today for the Alliance Theatre’s world premiere of THE TALL GIRLS, a play set in the depression-era Midwest where the success of a girls’ basketball team may be the only way to a better life for the team’s members.   Playwright Meg Miroshnik, winner of the 2012 Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition for her play The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls, has been described by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as “a ferocious talent with a promising career in store.”  THE TALL GIRLS will be directed by Susan V. Booth, Jennings Hertz Artistic Director of the Alliance Theatre, and will run on the Hertz Stage from March 7 – 30, 2014.  Opening night is Wednesday, March 12, 2014.

THE TALL GIRLS is a piece ostensibly about sports, that is really about identity and hope – how we craft the former in pursuit of the latter,” said Director Susan V. Booth.  “This is a play about a community of women striving both toward an individual sense of self and a collaborative goal. Here is a ballgame.”

“When writing THE TALL GIRLS, I wanted to capture the exciting elements of a live sporting event – the unpredictability and thrill of not knowing the outcome until the end,” said Playwright Meg Miroshnik. “No matter how much you rehearse, you can’t guarantee, or fake, making a basket. There’s a real adrenaline rush in taking that risk in front of an audience.”

The brave cast members tasked with playing basketball live on stage are Travis Smith (Ghost Brothers of Darkland County) as the mysterious basketball coach Haunt Johnny, and the girls basketball team made up of Lauren Boyd (Regional: King Lear, Amadeus) as Inez, Veronika Duerr (Alliance Theatre: No Exit) as Lurlene, Kally Duling (Regional: The Fifth of July, Bus Stop) as Almeda, Emily Kitchens (Regional: Grace, or the Art of Climbing, Three Sisters) as Jean, and Hayley Platt (Atlanta Shakespeare Company: King Leare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream) as Puppy.

THE TALL GIRLS will be the final production in the Alliance’s 10th Anniversary Season of the Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition.  The Alliance is thrilled to support new American playwrights through its commitment to the competition, which provides developmental opportunities and readings for all finalists as well as a full production for one winning play each season.

Over the lifetime of the competition the Alliance has recognized and supported early career playwrights who have gone on to have highly successful careers in theatre.  Since her time at the Alliance, Miroshnik has written more than four new plays that have had multiple productions at theatres all around the country including La Jolla Playhouse, Center Theatre Group, South Coast Repertory, the McCarter Theatre Center, and the Kennedy Center.

“I am so honored by the invitation to return to the Alliance and Atlanta and for the opportunity to work with the incredible Susan V. Booth,” added Miroshnik.  “I could never have imagined three years ago – when I dropped my Alliance/Kendeda Graduate Playwriting competition entry into the mail – that a single envelope could yield such a warm, welcoming artistic home.”

Performances of THE TALL GIRLS are Tuesday through Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8:00pm, Saturdays at 2:30 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., March 7 – 30, 2014.  Opening Night is March 12, 2014, 8 p.m.  There will be no 2:30 p.m. performance on March 8 and no 7:30 p.m. performance on March 30.

Tickets start at $25 and are available at the Woodruff Arts Center Box Office in person or by calling 404-733-5000.  Tickets are also available online at www.alliancetheatre.org/thetallgirlsDiscounted rates for groups of 10 or more are available by calling 404.733.4690.  Discounted 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 Street, in Midtown.

THE TALL GIRLS is part of the Turner Series on the Hertz Stage.  This season is also sponsored by The Home Depot.

The Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition is supported by a 2005 gift by the Kendeda Fund, the National Endowment for the Arts, and The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust.