Making New Holiday Memories

With the holidays upon us it’s time to slow down a bit and spend precious time with family and friends. A big part of this season are holiday traditions, and of course, making memories. Taking time to reflect on holiday memories and create new ones is something that stays with you forever. Here at Georgia Ensemble Theatre (GET), our mission of connecting audiences and artists of all ages is really about just that, making great experiences and providing cherished memories.

This holiday season we’re so glad to be able to bring to the greater Atlanta community a production that certainly fits the bill of laughter and cheer, and one that creates great memories with family and friends. We’ll be running the hilarious, A Tuna Christmas, December 13 – 29 (Fridays – Sundays) in Brookhaven at the Conant Performing Arts Center at Oglethorpe University with the production directed by Atlanta favorite Topher Payne.

Left, Jill Hames in character. Right, Enoch King in character. Photos courtesy of Casey Gardner.

A Tuna Christmas is the second in a series of comedic plays (preceded by Greater Tuna and followed by Red, White and Tuna) written by Ed Howard, Joe Sears, and Jaston Williams, with each set in the fictional town of Tuna, Texas—the “third-smallest” town in the state. Part of the fun is that two actors portray the more than 20 citizens of Tuna, making split-second costume changes in a world where the Lion’s Club is too liberal and Patsy Cline never dies! The local radio personalities Thurston Wheelis and Arles Struvie report on Tuna’s yuletide activities, including the hotly contested Christmas lights contest and a disaster-waiting-to-happen community theatre production of none other than A Christmas Carol.

Director of the production, Topher Payne, has a long history with the comedy and told us:

“Over the course of my career, I’ve built the set for A Tuna Christmas, worked as a quick-change dresser, and performed in a national tour. I don’t think I’ve ever so thoroughly done my homework before directing a production.”

“When each actor in the production is playing eleven characters, the play is completely transformed by their talents and strengths. I think that’s part of the enduring appeal—even if you’ve seen A Tuna Christmas before, you haven’t seen it with Enoch King and Jill Hames, so there’s a whole new show waiting for you.”

“Our fastest head-to-toe costume change has to be completed in eight seconds—and the script does not leave room for error. If you don’t complete the change, the play comes to a stop—which is quite terrifying but also incredibly motivating. It’s like a NASCAR pit crew backstage, and it is a marvel to behold. This time of year, I’m looking for something that makes me laugh, surprises me, and embraces community. A Tuna Christmas checks every one of those boxes.”

If comedy isn’t your thing, then how about some good old rock ‘n’ roll? Here at GET we’ve also got a wonderful concert experience coming up that you won’t want to miss. Tara Vaughan’s SHE ROCKS: The Women of Rock will kick off at our home at the Roswell Cultural Arts Center right after the new year,  January 2 – 19, and will no doubt be a highlight of our season. Multi-talented musician Tara Vaughan (from the band that brought you Yesterday and Today: The Interactive Beatles Experience) will take you on a rockin’ ride through the 60s, 70s, and 80s with the hits of the world’s greatest female rockers.

Tara Vaughan and her all-star band. Photo courtesy of billymcguigan.com.

Backed by an all-star band, Tara performs music from artists like Janis Joplin, Linda Ronstadt, Aretha Franklin, Blondie, Heart, and many more. In this unique review, Tara masterfully presents an evening of classic rock ‘n’ roll with the focus on female artists and songwriters. And before you ask, yes, you can get up and dance to these legendary songs of your past. Ah, talk about great memories!

So as we all jump into this holiday season and slide into the new year, we here at Georgia Ensemble Theatre wish you and yours the very best as you create new memories that last a lifetime. As usual, you can find all the information and tickets at our website, get.org.