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The City of Conversation at Horizon Theatre Gives a Look at the Present, Through the Eyes of the Past

By Amanda Cantrell
The City of Conversation by Anthony Giardina opens May 20, at Horizon Theatre Company in Little Five Points/Inman Park. This timely and ambitious show looks at politics as they were, to reveal politics as they are. Washington DC was once a place where people actually talked to each other, where adversaries fought on the Senate floor and then smoothed things out over drinks and hors d’oeuvres. But it was all about to change, and Hester Ferris has a frontrow seat as she hosts the Georgetown dinner parties that can alter the course of Washington’s politics. When her beloved son Colin suddenly turns up with an ambitious Reaganite girlfriend and a shocking new conservative world view, Hester must choose between preserving her family and defending the causes she’s spent her whole life fighting for.
While watching the auditions, Co-Artistic Director Lisa Adler notes, “I was listening to these lines being read and found myself going ‘oooo, that’s a good point.’ And ‘wow, I guess times haven’t changed.’ I am so amazed at how applicable some of the issues that are addressed in this play are today.  It is a period piece, taking place over 30 years, while watching this one family change and grow. It is definitely a political drama, but it is also a family drama, and given the pending elections, I couldn’t have found a better piece that will allow audiences to see both sides of the aisle today.”
Local Atlanta stars will catapult this already stellar script.  Hester Ferris will be played by Tess Malis Kincaid, who audiences will recognize from shows at the Alliance, True Colors, Aurora Theatre, Georgia Shakespeare, Actor’s Express and many more. Tess was most recently seen at Horizon as Masha in summer 2015’s smash hit Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.  Playing her romantic opposite, Chris Kayser will be tackling the role of Senator Chandler. Chris played Scrooge at the Alliance for many years, but was also seen at the Georgia Shakespeare Festival, Actor’s Express, and Theatre Emory, just to name a few. Newcomers to Horizon, Justin Walker, who many will recognize from his recent role in Wit at the Aurora, as well as his many roles at Warehouse Theatre and Serenbe Playhouse, will tackle Colin, while Rachel Garner, from the recent successful run of Charley’s Aunt at Georgia Ensemble, will play the divisive girlfriend Anna.
Opening May 20, and running Tuesday through Sunday until June 25, The City of Conversation is guaranteed to have you talking long after the curtain closes. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit or call the box office at 4404-584-7450. Horizon Theatre Company is nestled between Little Five Points and Inman Park at 1083 Austin Avenue.

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