The Tall Girls
by Meg Miroshnik
directed by Susan V. Booth
originally produced at Alliance Theatre,
March 7, 2014
through March 30, 2014
(Pictured: Playwright Meg Miroshnik)
Set against the backdrop of the depression-era Midwest is a story about women’s basketball in the 1930’s where the success of one girls’ basketball team may be the only way to a better life for these characters. Women’s basketball was very popular in the 1930s. The era produced some notable female basketball stars and saw at least one professional team transition to the same regulations by which men’s basketball abided, challenging commonly held beliefs about beauty and femininity. With The Tall Girls, Meg Miroshnik tackles a complicated subject from a unique female perspective that is simultaneously active, engaging, and poetic. Susan Booth chose to direct The Tall Girls after getting to know Meg and observing The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls process, which had its premiere at the Alliance Theatre in February 2012. As a female director, Susan responded to the play’s celebration of pioneering female athletes from the 1930s and the play’s depiction of American women’s athletic history. Ms. Booth is also excited about the design and dramaturgical challenges of the play’s basketball demands.
Ms. Miroshnik holds the slot as the final production in the 2013/14 Hertz Stage season that is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the National Graduate Playwriting Competition, a program that has given the Theatre the opportunity to truly support the best up and coming playwrights as well as build the Alliance’s reputation as an institution that is dedicated to new work for the American theatre; Meg was the 9th winner of the Competition with The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls. She has shown that she is one of the brightest emerging American playwrights in the field today and the Alliance is thrilled to have the chance to work with Meg on a second significant world premiere. Few plays exist about women and sports for the American stage, and fewer still that move away from a simple story of triumph over adversity. The girls in The Tall Girls triumph by dribbling. Even the desire to play is a spark of hope in a small Minnesota town in the 1930s. The play combines the story of a basketball league with the larger story of women’s social advancement, or lack thereof, in the early decades of the 20th century. The play ends on a bittersweet note, not hopeful or hopeless, but with a reminder of how far America has come since that time.
This grant allows the Alliance to extend the rehearsal period for Meg Miroshnik’s The Tall Girls from the budgeted three week process to four weeks. The extra time will be especially useful given the extreme physicality of the production which involves a creative partnership with the WMBA team, The Atlanta Dream. The ultimate result is that the script’s potential is fully realized to the playwright’s vision for the Atlanta audience’s enjoyment and for a continued life after its world premiere.
Additional Funding: The Tall Girls is part of the Turner Series on the Hertz Stage
• Atlanta Dream WNBA team – In-Kind
• Delta Air Lines – Official Airline of the Alliance Theatre
• Marriott Residence Inn – Official Hotel of the Alliance Theatre
• The Home Depot – Set Construction Sponsor of the Alliance Theatre
• Made possible with grants from the City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs, the Fulton County Arts Council, Georgia Council for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Director: Susan V. Booth