The new theatrical season for the Gainesville Theatre Alliance (GTA), which includes both classical and contemporary fare, begins in August with "Lombardi," a Tony-award winning play about Hall of Fame football coach Vince Lombardi.
GTA is a 34-year-old, nationally acclaimed collaboration of the University of North Georgia, Brenau University, theatre professionals, and the community that has yielded state and national awards. More than 25,000 patrons attended GTA shows last season. The upcoming season continues GTA's long history of featuring theatre professionals directing, acting and designing alongside talented college theatre students.
Cordell Cole, a current student pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in acting, has a role in the upcoming production of "Lombardi."
"I feel that GTA has done a wonderful job of preparing me for a career in the arts. Our professors have trained us to be well-rounded artists. We are constantly challenged to grow in talent and as a person every year," Cole said.
Derrick Ledbetter, an alumnus who was in the GTA program from 2002 to 2007 and also has a role in "Lombardi," said his experience has helped him in his acting career.
"Being at GTA established a tremendous foundation that not only helped me get into a very competitive graduate school, but also provided me with skills and a philosophy that has extended in to my career as an actor in New York City," he said.
In August, the GTA SouthernStage in Buford will present Eric Simonson's "Lombardi" at the Buford Community Center's Sylvia Beard Theatre. Based on the best-selling biography, "When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi," by Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Maraniss, "Lombardi" is about the life and times of one of America's most inspirational and mercurial personalities.
A free stage tour, which includes a peek behind the scenes, is set for Aug. 8 at 6 p.m. Evening performances will run from Aug. 16 to Sept. 1; matinees are offered on Aug. 18, Aug. 25 and Sept. 1. Tickets are $18-20 for adults, $16-18 for seniors and $12-14 for students, depending on seat location. This play is rated PG-13.
GTA SouthernStage was launched a year ago when Buford city officials invited GTA to partner with them to create a resident professional company in Buford's new $18 million community center.
Other upcoming productions include "Alice in Wonderland," "Guys & Dolls," "Chicago," "The Glass Menagerie," and "Sense & Sensibility."
- WonderQuest: GTA for Young Audiences presents "Alice in Wonderland," at Brenau University's Pearce Auditorium in October. The production will include a free stage tour on Sept. 24, and special events following the Oct. 4 and Oct. 6 family performances. Additional family performances and school matinees also are offered. This play is rated G.
- "Guys & Dolls," winner of a Tony and a Pulitzer, will play during November at Brenau's Hosch Theatre in the John S. Burd Center. The play, adapted from the book by Jo Swerling and Abe Burrows, includes music and lyrics by Frank Loesser. A free stage tour is set for Oct. 29. This play is rated PG.
- "Chicago," which has won six Tony Awards, a Grammy and other awards, is one of two productions planned for the GTA's February Theatre Festival. "Chicago" will be in the Hosch Theatre. In addition to the free stage tour set for Jan. 28, UNG and Brenau faculty, staff and students can get free advance tickets to select shows; free tickets are available two weeks before opening night. The play is rated PG-15.
- Tennessee Williams' "The Glass Menagerie," one of the most frequently studied and staged plays around the world, will run throughout February at the Ed Cabell Theatre on UNG's Gainesville Campus. A free stage tour is set for Jan. 30. UNG and Brenau faculty, staff and students can get free advance tickets to select shows; free tickets are available two weeks before opening night. The play is rated PG.
- GTA will wrap up the 2013-14 season in April with "Sense & Sensibility," adapted from Jane Austen's classic novel. The production will be in the Ed Cabell Theatre on UNG's Gainesville Campus; a free stage tour is scheduled for March 25. UNG and Brenau faculty, staff and students can get free advance tickets to select shows; free tickets are available two weeks before opening night. The play is rated G.
Discounted package subscriptions and individual tickets to GTA performances may be purchased at www.gainesvilletheatrealliance.org or by calling the Box Office at 678-717-3624. For more information about UNG's theater program, including dates and times of upcoming shows, visit the department website.