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GTA awarded $10K grant, launches new season with Mermaid Song

The Gainesville Theater Alliance launches its 37th season with Mermaid Song on Sept. 30.

The Gainesville Theater Alliance (GTA) will launch its 2016-2017 season with the stage production "Mermaid Song," Sept. 30-Oct. 2, 7 and 8 in Brenau University’s Historic Pearce Auditorium, 500 Washington St. SE, Gainesville, Georgia.

GTA is a nationally acclaimed collaboration of the University of North Georgia (UNG), Brenau University, theater professionals and the north Georgia community.

"Mermaid Song," written and directed by Gay H. Hammond, director of WonderQuest and resident dramatist for GTA, is a classic fairy tale of a princess from beneath the waves who risks everything in a strange new world of hope and adventure. Based on the tale of Hans Christian Anderson, the production is romantic, funny and teaches about the power and beauty of a selfless heart.

Hammond has written more than 35 plays, both for WonderQuest and GTA, including adaptations of "Alice in Wonderland," "The Frog Prince," "Sleeping Beauty," and scripts for MainStage audiences including "Barbary Allen" and "The Raven and the Nightingale."

In addition to celebrating the opening of its 37th season, GTA is also celebrating a $10,000 grant received from the Georgia Council for the Arts (GCA).

"This grant from the Georgia Council for the Arts is an award based on the quality of our work and service to the community of northeast Georgia, making GTA the only university theatre program supported by them," said, Jim Hammond, department chair and artistic and managing director of GTA.

GCA is an organization with a mission is to cultivate the growth of vibrant, thriving Georgia communities through the arts. It is currently part of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, which promotes creative industries in the state, and measures Georgia’s "creative economy" as representing a combined $29 billion in revenue, including 200,000 employees earning $8 billion in wages.

"With this grant, we are able to enhance our professional guest artist program, bringing to Gainesville some of the southeast’s finest actors, directors and designers, and we plan to grow the Georgia arts community by providing professional development for Atlanta-area and Georgia artists by offering at least three professional development workshops by some of the professional artists with whom we contract for GTA productions," Hammond said.

Ticket prices for Mermaid Song are $10-12 for adults and seniors and $7-8 for students and children, depending on seat locations.

To get details on special "Mermaid events" associated with performances and purchase tickets, visit or call the Box Office at 678-717-3624, Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.                                

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