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Spring Musical ‘The Spitfire Grill’ Opens Feb. 28 on the Armstrong Campus

The triumphant musical “The Spitfire Grill” will open at the Jenkins Hall Mainstage Theatre on the Georgia Southern Armstrong Campus in Savannah, Georgia, on Feb. 28 and will run through March 4.

James Valcq’s “The Spitfire Grill,” an American musical based on the 1996 film with the same title, is directed by Associate Professor of Theatre and Acting Pamela Sears, MFA, and local musical director Warren Heilman. The show cast includes University students.

“This piece was chosen for our season as a reminder of the strength in community,” said Sears. “When we individually feel neglected or afraid, opening our doors and hearts to someone may just be the first step to perspective and hope. Without revealing too many spoilers, ‘The Spitfire Grill’ depicts clear examples of this.”

“The Spitfire Grill,” tells the story of a feisty parolee, Percy, who travels to the small town of Gilead, Wisconsin, for a fresh start. She gets a job at an eatery called Hannah’s Spitfire Grill around the time the establishment goes up for sale. There are no takers for the only eatery in the depressed town, so newcomer Percy suggests to the shop owner that she raffle it off. The new owner will be chosen by composing an essay on why they should own the restaurant. Before long, mail is arriving by the wheelbarrow full, and things are definitely cookin’ at the Spitfire Grill.

The production premiered in September 2001, days before the United States was devastated by the attack on the World Trade Center. Sixteen years later, the uplifting theme of acknowledging a dark past on a journey to healing is as resonant now as it was then. Driven by a heartfelt, folk-inspired score and a cast of strong-will characters, “The Spitfire Grill” celebrates pure Americana. Moving seamlessly between dialogue and song, the characters of rural Gilead, Wisconsin, share their secrets while realizing nature’s capacity to revitalize the human spirit.

Performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. each night Feb. 28 through March 3, and at 3 p.m. for the final performance on March 4. Tickets are free for University students, faculty and staff with a valid University ID. General admission tickets can be purchased for $15 at tickets.armstrong.edu or by calling 912-344-2801 from noon to 3 p.m. Monday-Friday. Discounted rates are available for seniors, children, University alumni and military.

The event is hosted by the Department of Communication Arts in the College of Arts and Humanities.

Georgia Southern University, a public Carnegie Doctoral/Research institution founded in 1906, offers 142 degree programs serving more than 27,000 students through nine colleges on three campuses in Savannah, Statesboro, Hinesville and online instruction. A leader in higher education in southeast Georgia, the University provides a diverse student population with expert faculty, world-class scholarship and hands-on learning opportunities. Georgia Southern creates lifelong learners who serve as responsible scholars, leaders and stewards in their communities. Visit GeorgiaSouthern.edu.

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