Speakeysie News Desk 2/24/2020
Date & Time: March 13th, 2020 at 7:30pm
Starting March 13th, Elm Street Cultural Arts Village presents the Georgia Premiere of Helvetica, a new work written by Will Coleman, in which children’s book author Helvetica is introduced three different times in her life and how her experiences weave together to tell her story. Helvetica Burke was one of the most famous and respected children’s authors in the world. Her books had captivated millions, but the life she led wasn’t quite a storybook affair. Through the eyes of her beloved stuffed bear, Myron, we see the three women she was – the past, present, and future of the person no one knew.
Helvetica was first produced at the Auburn University at Montgomery in 2015, and has since had full productions across the country at various theatre companies as well as several readings, and is having its first production in Georgia at Elm Street Cultural Arts Village. Helvetica won Best Script from the Planet Connections Theatre Festivity in 2016 and the Getchell Award from the Southeastern Theatre Conference in 2015.
Will Coleman is a Chicago-based, award-winning playwright and composer. His work has been produced across the country, at venues such as the Mill Mountain Theatre, Rising Sun Performance Company, Tesseract Theatre Company, Great Plains Theatre Conference, Southeast Theatre Conference, and more. He was anthologized in The Best American Festival Plays 2015, and has published short plays with YOUTHPlays. He has an MFA in Playwriting from the Playwright’s Lab at Hollins University. Other plays include Krugozor!, Squid Hunt!, Zombie Boyfriend!, and some plays that don’t end with an exclamation point.
When asked about what he wants audiences to experience with Helvetica, Coleman said, “My biggest ‘thing’ in my work is that I’m much more interested in starting a conversation than communicating a specific idea. I’m a big believer in the collaborative nature of theatre, and I’d like the play to inspire a discussion in the car between two people on their way home. I also hope that people think about their own childhoods and why we think we have to change to adapt to the real world.”
This production of Helvetica will be directed by Nicole Adkins, who directed Elm Street’s March 2018 of Decision Height by Meredith Dayna Levy, a play about the first female service pilots in the United States during World War II that was also a Georgia Premiere. “This is a rich and complex play,” Adkins says. “It spans Helvetica’s lifetime from childhood to middle years to senior and beyond, and as such, touches upon a number of relatable issues and struggles that we, as humans, can’t help but encounter. It’s funny, whimsical, real, and at several points, heartbreaking, but ultimately it’s about personal courage and finding hope in the darkness. Something we all need.”
Helvetica runs from March 13th through March 22nd for two weekends. The play contains strong language as well as mature themes and is recommended for audiences ages 16 and up. Teenagers, young adults, and parents will enjoy a more serious and mature play that explores the different experiences of human life in relation to age and time, and the existential nature of the human experience. Concessions, Reformation beer, and wine will be available for purchase.
Tickets are on sale now at www.elmstreetarts.org or can be purchased at the door.
Friday/Saturday March 13th, 14th – 7:30pm
March 20th, 21st – 7:30pm
Sunday March 15th – 2:30pm
March 22nd – 2:30pm *ASL-interpreters will be at this performance for those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing
City Center Auditorium 8534 Main St. Woodstock, GA 30188 Call 678.494.4251 for More Information