Acrosstown hosts celebration, fundraising gala

The Acrosstown Repertory Theatre Community Celebration and Fundraising Gala at The Wooly on Friday will feature actors from the season’s new productions like, from left, Elle Grant, Will Winter and Emily Baker, who are shown at last year’s event.

Suzanna Mars/Correspondent/file
Published: Thursday, August 1, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, July 31, 2013 at 4:11 p.m.

Though the Acrosstown Repertory Theatre is about to begin its 34th season, the theater nestled on South Main Street endeavors to get the word out about its productions. “You can call us off-Broadway or off-of Main Street,” said Jerry Rose, vice president of the Acrosstown Repertory Theatre board.


Acrosstown Repertory Theatre Community Celebration and Fundraising Gala

What: Event offers preview scenes from the ART’s upcoming 2013-2014 season
When: 7-10 p.m. Friday
Where: The Wooly, 20 N. Main St.
Cost: $5-$10
Info: 234-6278,

On Friday, the Acrosstown hosts its third annual Community Celebration and Fundraising Gala to preview its upcoming 2013-2014 season at The Wooly, 20 N. Main St.

The primary purpose of the event is to draw the attention of Gainesville theater-goers to new productions in the season rather than raise money, said Karelisa Hartigan, president of the Acrosstown Repertory Theatre board.

“The theater has been in Gainesville for over 30 years but many don’t know that we’re located in South Main Street,” she said. Although the theater is located in the Baird Center, 619 S. Main St., the fundraiser is planned at The Wooly in downtown to promote the discovery of the theater and because of its close location to the Top Restaurant, which will cater the event. The gala was held in the Thomas Center the past two years, but the move to The Wooly downtown should make the theater better known, said Rose.

During the event, Acrosstown actors will perform scenes from the seven productions planned for 2013-2014. The fall shows include “12 Angry Jurors,” a mixed-gender performance of “Twelve Angry Men,” in which a 19-year-old man is on trial for the murder of his father; “Fright Night,” a production featuring Edgar Allen Poe’s “Masque of the Red Death,” “The Monkey’s Paw” and “The Tell Tale Heart”; and “Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol,” a story in which Marley tries to save Scrooge’s soul as well as his own.

Performances planned in 2014 are “The Peppermint King,” a “voyage and return” story that begins in 1920s Ukraine but ends up in a magical red-and-white land; “Corpus Christi,” a modern-day Passion play that depicts gay men living in present Texas as Jesus and the Apostles; “The Gin Game,” a Pulitzer Prize-winning play about a woman who enters a “home for the aged” and plays gin rummy while discussing life with her opponent; and “The Foreigner,” a comedy set in a rural fishing lodge in Georgia where an Englishman pretends to be a visitor from an exotic country who doesn’t understand English.

“We hope to, again, offer a wide variety of shows, some well-known, some not so well-known,” Rose said. “We have developed a reputation for the edgy and unusual, and as an alternative theater experience.”

Tickets to Friday’s event are $5, which includes two sodas, or $10, which includes two servings of wine or beer. The Top restaurant will serve hors d’oeuvres throughout the night and a cash bar will be available as well.

The event also offers a chance to meet the people involved in the productions and learn about such programs as ARTiS, the Acrosstown in School educational program, as well as traveling performances and Dark Night Productions, which are shows staged during the interim periods between mainstage performances.

Some of the Dark Nights shows from last season included “Geneva,” a staged reading of George Bernard Shaw’s political satire about 20th-century political leaders, as well as improvisational performances and a monologue about growing up in South Africa.

Friday’s event also will include information on volunteering both onstage and behind-the-scenes.

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