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Troupe regroups for theater 'destination'
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‘Don’t Dress for Dinner’
When: 8 p.m. today-Saturday, May 13-15 and 20-22
Where: Holly Theater, 69 W. Main St., Dahlonega
How much: $15 adults, $12 students, $14 seniors
More info: 706-864-3759 or click here

Want to join?
Actors are welcome to join the Green Mountain Theater Company to help with upcoming productions.
More info: 706-564-5772

Dahlonega’s Foy Tootle hopes to start a resurgence of theater in Dahlonega.

The transplant from Savannah had success for many years there with a nonprofit theater group that would bring the arts to senior centers and schools, providing an arts education along with a range of offerings on stage.

Now, he said, he wants to create the same atmosphere in Dahlonega.

“My goal is to make Dahlonega a theater destination,” said Tootle, artistic director for the Green Mountain Theater Company. The troupes will present “Don’t Dress for Dinner” starting this weekend and for the following two weekends downstairs at the Holly Theatre in Dahlonega.

The group’s last production was about three years ago, but Tootle and his wife, company founder Julie Best, have since regrouped with the help of North Georgia College & State University film professor Carrie Schrader and a few other students for this latest production.

Tootle said he hopes to expand the theater company’s offerings into a true community theater, with Shakespeare performances outdoors at Hancock Park off the downtown square or traveling groups that will bring the arts to schools and local senior citizens.

The kickoff show at the Holly is just one of many venues in town that would be perfect for theater, he said.

“There’s other venues that aren’t being utilized,” he said, noting places like Prospector Hall, which have enough space but can be off the beaten path.

“I’ve been working in theaters for 27 years now,” he said. “We’re going to become nonprofit. My goal is to do shows at senior centers, elementary schools, high schools, and keep a whole group of actors working.”

The new production is decidedly more adult in its theme, though. A comedy, the play centers around a case of mistaken identity between a man, his wife and his lover.

“For this area, it’s nothing you couldn’t see on television,” he said. But compared with recent Dahlonega productions, it’s “much more grown up, absolutely.”

For its run at the Holly, Tootle said the show is a nice break from more family-friendly fare. And down the road, hopefully even more productions from the troupe will grace the stage at the Holly, or other venues around town. Already, Tootle said, plans are in the works for a summer series.

“Dahlonega has a lot of empty spaces that could be used for theater,” he said. There’s no reason there can’t always be a show going on at the Holly, for example, he said.

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