Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 6/20/24

New play from The Notebook musical writer brings humor and heart to Inman Park theatre

Performances begin Friday, 6/28

Horizon Theatre kicks off its spectacular 40th season of the best in contemporary theatre with the new comedy The Game, playing June 28 – July 28. Alyssa and Homer are in a marriage that’s hit a glitch. And it’s all due to the massively engrossing online game that’s wreaking havoc on the lives of couples everywhere. When she puts together a support group for other women in a similar situation, the game enters a new level where all’s fair in love and war. Bekah Brunstetter’s (Horizon’s The Cake, NBC’s This is Us, and Broadway’s The Notebook) hilarious and heartfelt comedy brings technology and community together in the most unexpected ways.

The Game is a perfect introduction to our 40th season,” said Horizon Theatre Co-Artistic/Producing Director Lisa Adler. “We looked all over the country for plays that we loved by amazing writers whose stories that would matter to our audiences. We were delighted to find this new, up-to-the-minute comedy by the author of our hit The Cake. ​ It’s funny, warm and all about re-discovering the spark in your marriage and the power of friends. ​ It’s the perfect summer comedy for fun with friends or partners!”

The Game tells the story of Alyssa (Jennifer Alice Acker, Horizon’s RoeNobody Loves You), whose husband Homer (Chris Hecke, Horizon’sCompleteness) has become obsessed with playing The Game, a popular online video game, to the detriment of their marriage. ​ In a last-ditch effort to get him back, Alyssa recruits fellow “gaming widows” on Facebook to join together to find a solution. This eclectic support group includes out-going, Poshmark-loving mom Rhonda (Marcie Millard, Horizon’s The Cake); sweet, elderly Myra (Shannon Eubanks*) who shares crockpot recipes and wisdom; Jen (Michelle Pokopac*, Horizon’s The Wolves), a war photographer whose female partner is going through a tough time; and Cleo (Hope Clayborne, Atlanta Shakespeare school tour) a young pregnant military wife who is new in town. The women bond together to find ways to woo their partners away from the screen and back to their side. ​ In the process, they win new friends and discover new paths in their lives.

The Game was commissioned by PlayMakers Repertory Company in Chapel Hill, North Carolina under Producing Artistic Director Vivienne Benesch. The show received its first public performance on April 10, 2024. ​ The commission project invited playwright Brunstetter to imagine a new comedy inspired by the ancient Greek play Lysistrata in which women go on a sex strike to convince their husbands to stop a war.

With titles like NBC’s This is Us and Broadway’s The Notebook in her repertoire, Bekah Brunstetter is well-versed in storytelling that mixes comedy and drama and tugs at the heartstrings. ​ Her hit play The Cake at Horizon Theatre (starring Marcie Millard, who also appears in The Game) chronicled a Southern baker wrestling with the decision of baking the cake for and attending the wedding of her best friend’s daughter who is marrying a woman. The playwright is well-versed in video games via her husband, from which she drew inspiration for the play. As Brunstetter told BroadwayWorld, “I’ve had to really come to understand why he loves them and the purpose they serve in his life. So, I just thought it would be a great adaptation of Lysistrata because obviously there’s a real war happening in our world right now, but we’ve also got a lot of video games that have brought the concept of war into our domestic spaces.” The result is a play that touches on universal themes of community, friendship and love in the face of ever-evolving technology that can divide.

The set and lights are by Horizon resident designers Moriah and Isabel Curley-Clay and Mary Parker, joined by April Carwell on costumes, Cori Williams on props and Amy Levin on sound and projections.

Performances begin June 28, with a Press Opening on July 5 at 8pm. Performances are Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 5 p.m. ​ Seating is general admission with a reserved seating section for subscribers. ​ General admission tickets starts at $30 on Wednesdays and Thursdays and $35 on Friday nights, Saturday nights and weekend matinees. There will be no matinee on Saturday, June 28 and no performance on Thursday, July 4. Prices rise as performances fill up, so patrons are encouraged to order early for the best prices and availability. ​ Students under 25 can get $20 tickets with valid student ID by calling the box office or purchase Student Rush Tickets 30 minutes before show time if seats are available. There is limited accessible seating for those needing mobility accommodations, and it must be reserved by phone. For tickets and more information, visit horizontheatre.com or call the Box Office at 404.584.7450.

Horizon Theatre’s 40th season is set to feature thrilling Atlanta premieres, returning favorites and, above all, stories that inspire connection, hope and positive change. After The Game takes the stage as the season opener, the rest of the season line-up includes the hilarious, touching Wild with Happy, the critically-acclaimed West End musical Amélie, the 2024 Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award-nominated I Carry Your Heart With Meand the caper-telenovela Laughs in Spanish. Also to come this season are the returns of Madeline’s Christmas during the holiday season and Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 in January 2025. More information on the 24/25 Season can be found at horizontheatre.com/plays/mainstage. Season Subscriptions are on sale now, with 5 and 6-Show Packages starting at $80. Subscriptions can be purchased by filling out the online form and mailing or e-mailing it in (boxoffice@horizontheatre.com), or by calling the Box Office at 404.584-7450 x100. More information on subscriptions can be found at horizontheatre.com/tickets/subscriptions.

For full actor and creative team bios visit horizontheatre.com/plays/the-game