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December 19, 2014
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Posted: Tuesday, August 5th 2014 at 1:54pm

GTA opens 35th season with free Discovery Series project: Half Mile Down, a bluegrass drama

By Staff
EMAIL STORY CONTACT EDITOR PRINT
GAINESVILLE - When writers begin putting pen to paper, the rule of thumb is “write what you know.” So when University of North Georgia theatre major Rob Brooksher decided to write a musical as his senior thesis project, he focused on two elements he knows and loves: Lake Lanier and bluegrass music.

The result is Half Mile Down, a rollicking Appalachian love story told through new folk tales and original music that will be performed at 8:15, August 15-17, on the banks on Lake Lanier at 3550 Clarks Bridge Rd. Gates to the venue, a farm 15 minutes from downtown Gainesville, will open at 6:00 for pr-eshow picnicking and activities.

Borrowing pieces of Gainesville’s history and the creation of Lake Lanier, Half Mile Down follows one town's struggle after learning that Round Valley Electric plans to flood their town to create a lake. As the town bands together to try to save their homes, unlikely forces collide to underscore a classic Southern story of family, hope and love – with a good helping of humor.

Brooksher collaborated on the script with Brenau graduate Christina Jundt, who is directing the show and was part of the Gainesville Theatre Alliance training program as well. Brooksher composed all of the production’s music for the cast of 15.

“Our goal in choosing a waterside, farm setting for Half Mile Down is to create a complete experience, transporting audience members back to the early 20th century, with outdoor games, canoeing and kayaking,” Brooksher explained. “We are hoping people will come with their families to picnic and play. We’ll even have a “Provisions Store” selling lemonade, sweet tea and snacks.”

Audience members are encouraged to wear comfortable walking shoes and bring camp chairs, picnics, blankets and bug spray, though limited seating is provided.

Performances are free, but "pay what you can" donations are encouraged, with proceeds (after production costs) supporting the Soque River Watershed Association, which works to improve water quality and education about the conservations of Georgia's natural rivers.

Half Mile Down performances are approximately 90 minutes in length and are appropriate for all audiences.

For more information on any of these performances or to purchase MainStage tickets, call the GTA Box Office at 678-717-3624, or go online at gainesvilleTHEATREalliance.org.
Associated Categories: Business News, Local/State News

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Gainesville, GA 30501
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