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Latest Stageworks production opens at Grand Theatre Friday
by Monica Burge
April 09, 2013 11:04 AM | 1114 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
From left, Ginny Slifcak, Karen Ruetz and Donna Young rehearse a scene from the Stageworks Inc. upcoming production ‘First Baptist of Ivy Gap,’ which opens Friday.
From left, Ginny Slifcak, Karen Ruetz and Donna Young rehearse a scene from the Stageworks Inc. upcoming production ‘First Baptist of Ivy Gap,’ which opens Friday.
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The latest Stageworks production, which debuts Friday at the Grand Theatre, is a poignant tale about six friends who manage to preserve their friendship in the midst of life’s challenges.

“First Baptist of Ivy Gap” tells the story of these women, who bond, in spite of personal struggles — some troubling, some more devastating that others —that nag their sense of well being over a span of 25 years.

“They discover that facing these things are better done together, that no matter how insignificant or major the problem, having friends helps get them through tough times,” said director Leslie McCrary.

The show is about the secrets and dreams of these women during World War II and later during the Vietnam era and McCrary said the audience will be able to relate to these six women in some way.

“Their problems are real and strike a familiar note with many people, from the loss of a child, the loss of a love, a career choice to realizing that the best place for someone to be is right where they are,” McCrary said.

Though it deals with serious issues, “First Baptist of Ivy Gap” has its share of laughs.

It stars Ann Burgess as Edith Ellington, Karen Ruetz as Mae Ellen Rafferty, Donna Young as Olene Wiffer, Corinne Scott as Luby Moore, and Amanda George as Sammy Porter and Ginny Slifcak as Vera Reynolds.

McCrary said the cast has captured their characters “beautifully.”

“The real bonus is that they have become close friends during the process,” McCrary said. “The affection they show for one another on stage is genuine and they are already making plans to get together after the show closes. I could not have asked for a better, more receptive group of actors to bring to the stage in this production.”

McCrary said the audience will be able to glean wisdom from the show.

“Friends can make a huge difference in how we deal with life’s ups and downs,” McCrary said. “And friendships that last over years grow and change as each person grows and changes.”

Show dates for the production are Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased through the Grand Theatre box office.

Information: (770) 386-7343.
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