The Book Club Play
By Karen Zacarías
A comedy about books and the people who love them.
Ana lives in a letter-perfect world with an adoring husband, the perfect job, and her greatest passion: Book Club. But when her cherished group becomes the focus of a documentary film, their intimate discussions about life and literature take a turn for the hilarious in front of the inescapable camera lens. Add a provocative new member along with some surprising new books titles, and these six friends are bound for pandemonium. A delightful new play about life, love, literature, and the side-splitting results when friends start reading between the lines.
Length & Content
The Book Club Play runs 2 hours and 15 minutes including a 10 minute intermission. The play includes mild language and adult situations.
Artistic Director’s Note
Are you now, have you ever been—or would you like to be—in a book club? Or are they a cultural phenomenon whose appeal escapes you? In this play, Karen Zacarías comically explores this pervasive past time that has exploded in recent years, embraced by women, men, people from all demographics, walks of life, political views, and interest areas. What makes them so popular? In the play, a “famous documentarian” is tackling that very question by installing a camera in Ana’s living room to record what goes on in her inner book club sanctum and unlock its secrets. Of course, under the inescapable eye of the camera and this witty playwright’s pen, the stakes and comedy rise, and the perfect book club goes haywire.
“Why Book Club?” asks film-maker Lars Knudsen in a sealed envelope à la reality television. And, that’s a good question for the playwright and Horizon as well. “I had been in a book club for 14 years,” explains Zacarías. “It’s a great opportunity to talk about things bigger than our daily lives. And, it’s an excuse to share your life and connect with other people. So book clubs can become a really wonderful social gathering place, but also can become a Petri dish for feelings and things going wrong as well.” And therefore, they are ripe with potential for conflict and comedy! The actual spark for the play came from her own club. “We had an incident happen at my book club. It was about someone joining who didn’t get along with everyone. It wasn’t anything like the play, but the idea of what disrupts things was so interesting to me. Human beings being what they are, there is always rebellion when it comes to rules.”
The Book Club Play is a smart, fun contemporary story with heart that brings together an ensemble of Atlanta’s most talented professional actors—the kind of upbeat comedy that has become one of Horizon’s trademarks over the years. Hopefully, you will recognize yourself, your friends, family, and colleagues in this motley crew. Horizon’s mission is to connect people, inspire hope, and promote positive change through the stories of our times. The Book Club Play is a perfect fit with that mission with its wry look at how books shared can change our lives.
“Humans have a deep need to share stories,” believes director Jeff Adler. “They connect us to others and more deeply to ourselves. Stories explored together (whether in books, movies, or plays!) give us continuity, resilience, and provide a road map of growth and change.” They can help us deepen our life, imagine new solutions, and give fresh perspective, especially when discussed among friends with wine, coffee, food, and chocolate. Book clubs can nourish the body, mind and spirit.
“The real story of book-clubbing these days is a story of flight,” says Nathan Heller in his Slate Magazine article on the history and relevance of book clubs, “Book Clubs: Why do we love them so much?” “Clubbers are fleeing the future of daytime TV and Internet-cat porn that looms before all mortal flesh…Most people these days occupy a kind of hinterland between high and low culture, between self-consciousness and self-liberation—some people navigate these grounds with what they call irony; others, earnestness—and it’s clear we’re due to be huddled here for some time. Book clubs are one effort to set up community in the landscape. They are our bid to stay on the same page across the blur of modern life.”
Theatre is our effort to set up community in our landscape. It is best enjoyed with friends who together take a respite from the world to laugh, feel, think, and enjoy their shared humanity around this contemporary campfire—preferably with a good meal before and drinks or dessert afterward. Theatre, books, and clubs of all kinds connect us and make our lives richer. As book club leader Ana says in the play, “People want them. People need them. I know I do.”
Lisa Adler, Co-Artistic Director
Opening January 17, 2014
Wednesday, Thursday & Friday at 8:00 PM
Saturday at 3:00 PM and 8:30 PM
Sunday at 5:00 PM
$25 – $40*
Upgrade to VIP for $15. VIP tickets include reserved seating and a complimentary beverage.
Bring your Book Club!
Group pricing is available for parties of 10+. Groups of 10-24 receive $3 off the general admission ticket price. Groups of 25+ receive $5 off the general admission ticket price. VIP upgrades are available for $15 per ticket. Call 404.523.1477 x111 for more information.
*Ticket prices are subject to change. Buy early for best pricing. 8% sales tax will be added to all ticket orders. Internet convenience fee added to all online orders. No refunds, exchanges, or late seating.
Will – John Benzinger
Rob – Bryan Brendle*
Lily – Danielle Deadwyler*
Ana – Wendy Melkonian*
Jen – Maria Rodriguez-Sager
Alex – Dan Triandiflou*
Jen (replacement) – Denise Arribas
Ana (replacement) – Deb Bowman*
Rob (replacement) – Scott Warren
Playwrights – Karen Zacarías
Directors – Jeff Adler
Scenic and Costume Designers – Isabel A. Curley-Clay & Moriah Curley-Clay
Lighting Designer – Mary Parker
Sound Designer – Thom Jenkins
Costume Designer – Abby Parker
Prop Designers – Christa Seekatz
Video Designer – Jon Summers
Stage Manager – Julianna M. Lee*
*Member of Actors’ Equity Association
“An enjoyable must-see for all of Atlanta’s book and theatre lovers!”
“Melkonian delivers a flawless performance.”
– Atlanta Theater Fans
“The set…is a knockout.”
Atlanta INtown – The Book Club Play
Atlanta Theatre Fans – The Book Club Play
BroadwayWorld.com – Book Club Play Brings Intellect, Laughs to Horizon
Busking at the Seams Review – The Book Club Play is all for the love of the book
BroadwayWorld – Wendy Melkonian Brings Humor from Page to Stage in Horizon’s The Book Club Play
How to Start a Book Club
Huffington Post – Five Reasons to Join a Book Club
Arena Stage – Paging the Playwright: A Conversation with Karen Zacarías
Arena Stage – Say Hi to Low, Hello to High: An Introduction to the High vs. Low Art Debate
Arena Stage – The Bookshelf: A Brief Guide to the Books Referenced in The Book Club Play
Oprah.com – How to Start a Book Club
Slate.com – Book Clubs: Why do we love them so much? Is it the zucchini bread?