Playwright: Meg Miroshnik. Director: Alumna Anna Pieri.
Approx. Runtime: 2 Hours | Location: Cellar Theatre
Dates: September 21-22. 25-28 @ 8PM, September 23 & 30 @ 2:30PM
1930s America: 15-year old Jean moves to the rural town of Poor Prairie to look after her volatile younger cousin, Almeda. When a teacher with a mysterious past arrives at their high school, he enlists the girls of Poor Prairie to put together a basketball team. The game becomes a means for them to escape the dreary realities of being a woman in Depression-era America. The Tall Girls examines the struggles of the team to be taken seriously in a time where women's sports were looked at as a novelty rather than a true athletic endeavor.
DIRECTORS NOTES: ALUMNA ANNA PIERI
When I read The Tall Girls, I was reminded of my time as a center, grabbing a rebound off the backboard and immediately taking a defensive stance (elbows out!) while I looked for an outlet to take the ball down the court. I just needed to keep the opposition off me long enough to pass the ball to a teammate. When people ask me why I chose to pursue theatre, I respond that performance is an outlet for the emotional weight of humanity. By giving voices to the voiceless, theatre artists offer enough relief from the tedious, or mundane, or terrifying world to give the audience a chance to listen to these voices. Together we have a chance to find a way out. Jean, Al, Inez, Lurlene, Puppy and Johnny are all looking for their own ways out. The looming cloud of the “Dust Bowl” is omnipresent in Poor Prairie, a fictional town somewhere in the middle-western plains states. Title IX didn’t exist for these women and their prospects were slimmer than their families’ wages. Meg Miroshnik crafts a story from the dust, celebrating the smell and feel of the earth and sky. Miroshnik’s grandfather coached an undefeated team of young ladies in 1934 in Glyndon, MN, a town only ten minutes from my home in which I spent many a weekend playing travelling basketball. The Tall Girls transports me back to those very days, in a place where the sunlight is part of the smell and taste of the world; where every ounce of strength and hope I could muster was gifted to the girls on the court and the coaches screaming from the sidelines. Leave it all behind, and come play ball with us.