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Tyler Terry, left, John Mark Waynick and Amy Golden perform a scene in Neil Simon’s 'The Star-Spangled Girl.'
Daily photo by Gary Cosby Jr.
Tyler Terry, left, John Mark Waynick and Amy Golden perform a scene in Neil Simon’s 'The Star-Spangled Girl.'

Hartselle theater group presents comedy 'The Star-Spangled Girl'

By Patrice Stewart
pstewart@decaturdaily.com · 340-2446

The College Street Players, a new theater group in Hartselle, will perform a Neil Simon comedy, "The Star-Spangled Girl" this weekend.

The Hartselle Fine Arts Center, in the historic Burleson school building, will be the site for the group's Friday and Saturday evening performances and Saturday matinee.

"This comedy is about love, politics and friendship," said director Christie Kieschnick. "Two roommates are writing for a political magazine, and the all-American girl next door stirs everything up and shakes up their lives completely."

She said this play is not one of Simon's best known, "but it's a really funny show, and I decided to do it because it's a small cast and a simple set, which really fit the bill for our group right now."

The cast includes three residents of southern Morgan County who have gotten involved with the new theater group.

Amy Golden, as Sophie, lives in Hartselle and works at the Huntsville Botanical Garden. John Mark Waynick, as Andy, is a third-grade teacher at Barkley Bridge Elementary School, while Tyler Terry, a senior at Hartselle High School, plays Norman.

The director earned a degree in theater arts at St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas. She also has a master's in speech language pathology and works in that field at Barkley Bridge Elementary.

Kieschnick moved to Hartselle about five years ago when her husband, Kevin, became pastor of Christ Our Redeemer Lutheran Church there. She joined the board of the College Street Players at its initial meeting about a year ago.

"We started out as a group formed to handle entertainment for a fundraiser for the old Burleson school building, and then we decided to keep going and put on plays there," she said.

The first show, "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" in December, "was a huge success," she said. They held an arts camp last summer and are talking about doing it again.

The building is in various stages of renovation. Kieschnick said some former classrooms have been painted and are used as dressing rooms. They will use the auditorium of the former school, which can seat up to 250, for performances.

"We were able to use items already in the building for our 'Star-Spangled Girl' set, which is a simple bachelors' apartment without anything fancy," she said.

Lisa King is president of College Street Players, and Ed Balch is treasurer. He was active with Bank Street Players in Decatur, which passed along some funds, costumes and makeup when it dissolved.

If you go

What: College Street Players production of “The Star-Spangled Girl,” a comedy by Neil Simon

When: Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 2 and 7:30 p.m.

Where: Hartselle Fine Arts Center, 307 College St. in old Burleson school building

Tickets: $8 in advance and $10 at the door for adults ($4 and $5 for children); for tickets or information, call 318-1995 or 318-8009

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