Creativity, Faculty, Featured, Theatre|July 16, 2013 1:45 pm

Hollins Theatre Director Ernie Zulia to Head Barter Theatre Production of “Good Ol’ Girls”

 Hollins University Theatre Director Ernie Zulia is helping bring the off-Broadway hit show featuring stories by two of Hollins’ most celebrated authors to the stage of the State Theatre of Virginia.

Zulia is directing Good Ol’ Girls, a musical about love, loss, and laughter that redefines the modern Southern woman, at Barter Theatre in Abingdon, August 16 – September 7. Hollins alumnae Lee Smith and Jill McCorkle, who have earned their place among the most prolific and acclaimed Southern writers,  joined forces with Nashville songwriters Matraca Berg (who has written for Reba McIntire, the Dixie Chicks, and Kenny Chesney) and Marshall Chapman (who has penned songs for Jimmy Buffett and Wynonna Judd) to create the show. Adapted by Paul Ferguson, Good Ol’ Girls will be performed at Barter by a professional cast of six women from Georgia to Dallas to Nashville to New York City.

Barter Theatre Producing Artistic Director Richard Rose saw Good Ol’ Girls during its extended, box office record-breaking run at Hollins Theatre in 2012 and decided to produce it in the 2013 season. He invited Zulia to direct the production and recreate the successful formula that made the musical so popular with Hollins audiences.

Barter is gathering the five authors for “An Evening of Song and Story” on Monday, August 19 at 7:30 p.m. on the theatre’s main stage. Smith, McCorkle, Berg, Chapman, and Ferguson will sing original songs, discuss how they brought the musical to the stage, and talk about what it means to them to be a “good ol’ girl.” McCorkle believes any women can be a good ol’ girl, and they don’t just live in the South.

“She might live in Durham, North Carolina, or Akron, Ohio, or Denver, Colorado, or, well, anywhere,” she explains, describing good ol’ girls as “women of all types and ages in all different places coming to terms with some big issues in life.”

“Our characters don’t shy away from these issues, either, such as love, marriage, pregnancy, work, abuse, faith, family, and aging,” adds Smith. “These are not Southern issues. These are universal.”

Tickets to all performances of Good Ol’ Girls and “An Evening of Song and Story” can be purchased by calling 276-628-3991 or visiting for more information. Barter recommends both shows for mature teens and adults.

“An Evening of Song and Story” is a fundraiser for Barter’s Annual Fund for Artistic Excellence.

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