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Arts Agenda - South central

ART Station Theatre subtly shifts its tactics with the opening of The Exact Center of the Universe September 29. While the Stone Mountain playhouse has spent nearly the past two years developing and debuting locally written plays, this season artistic director David Thomas gives his playwrights a break to cultivate their works in progress, opting instead to offer the regional debuts of scripts already tested in New York or Los Angeles.Exact Center, written by playwright and opera librettist Joan Vail Thorne, proved a success of 1999's off-Broadway season, earning a rave even from the über-curmudgeon John Simon of New York magazine. Set in the 1950s and 1960s, it depicts a feisty Southern matron (Judy Leavell), her son Appleton (Ritchie Crownfield) and "the women that come between them," with a cast that includes Karen Howell, Heidi Cline and Jane Bushway.
Directed by David Thomas, The Exact Center of the Universe features flying gossip, exposed secrets and a tree house Bridge Club, and promises to fit comfortably with the kind of gentle Southern entertainment in which the theater specializes.
The Exact Center of the Universe plays Sept. 27-Oct. 29 at ART Station, 5384 Manor Drive, Stone Mountain. Performances are Wed.-Sat. at 8 p.m. and Sun. at 3 p.m. $15-$21. Call 770-469-1105 for information.



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