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Holly puts Woody Allen classic back on stage
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‘Play It Again, Sam'

When: 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays through Aug. 21

Where: Holly Theater, 69 W. Main St., Dahlonega

Tickets: $15, call 706-864-3759

"Play It Again, Sam" is a theatrical play written by Woody Allen, then put on film in 1972. It tells the story of a man dealing with a messy divorce and seeking advice from his friends and even the ghost of Humphrey Bogart.

"We wanted to do something that covered a bunch of different genres," said Geoffrey Kridel, executive director of the Holly.

"It's a fun, young cast, made of people in their 20s and early 30s. We pulled from the community as well as college (North Georgia College & State University)."

Kridel talked about the sentiment around the theater in anticipation of the opening performances.

"Everyone is massively excited. Opening week is always a mixture of excitement and nervousness. But when the house lights go down and the stage lights come up, everyone is ready because they know what to do," he said.

Preparation is the key to a good performance, and the cast and crew at the Holly have been working for several months to ensure the quality of the show.

It started with an open audition in June. After filling the roles for eight women and two men, the cast got busy rehearsing.

"It's generally about a 15- to 18-week process from auditions to scripts to performance. All the while, the crew is busy building the stage and preparing the set," Kridel said.

"It's kind of an elaborate plan, and it's similar to a warzone. It's a lot of chess pieces being moved."

According to Kridel, the Holly holds open auditions for all of its theatrical performances, hoping to draw talent from the community.

"We ask anyone who has ever considered theater to come to the auditions. It's amazing the talent we find. We find everything from seasoned actors to first-time naturals, and everything in between," Kridel said.

"Play It Again, Sam" is being directed by Caroline Allen, who has a master's degree in fine arts and teaches at NGCSU, according to Kridel.

The play opens Friday, with performances at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays through Aug. 21.

Tickets are $15 and can be purchased by calling the Holly Theater at 706-864-3759 or online.