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The Tall Girls

The Tall Girls
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Meg Miroshnik
Publisher: Samuel French
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 98
Pub. Date: 2014
ISBN-10: 0573703655
ISBN-13: 9780573703652
Cast Size: 5 women, 1 man

About the Play:

The Tall Girls is a full-length drama by Meg Miroshnik. Set in a dusty, desolate Midwestern town, The Tall Girls is an old-fashioned play about hopes, dreams, and aspirations. It tells the story of a Depression-era high school girls' basketball team cobbled together by a mysterious man with a murky past. The girls have their sights set beyond the scorched horizon of their meager little town, and dream that playing basketball will give them a shot at a better life.

The Tall Girls takes place in fictional Midwestern town of Poor Prairie – a dusty speck on the map during the Depression. Fifteen-and-a-half-year-old Jean has been exiled to what she fears is her "grave town" to be caretaker for her wild younger cousin, Almeda. It's a grim, dangerous place to eke out an existence, especially for girls. The future means marriage, multiple pregnancies and a hard-scrabble existence – until a handsome man gets off the train. But this man is mysterious. He's from Poor Prairie, but nobody knows where he's been and his story's got some…gaps. A few things are clear, though – he's teaching at the high school, he knows basketball, and most importantly, he has the only inflated basketball in town. Determined to make it out of Poor Prairie, Almeda rounds up five girls, including Jean, to form a basketball team, but the girls struggle to escape the perception that their love of basketball is little more than a novelty. The play takes place during a time when basketball was considered "dangerous" for girls and a murky committee of townspeople threatens to stamp out girls' sports altogether. Inspired by the flourishing and decline of high school girls' basketball teams in the 1930s rural Midwest, The Tall Girls asks: Who can afford the luxury of play? And what is the cost of childhood?

Looking for a scene for class? Featuring a strong ensemble of female characters written for high school and college actors, The Tall Girls examine issues of class and gender amidst the historic Dust Bowl of the 1930s, when a pioneer like Babe Didrikson was carving her name in sports history and challenging culturally accepted ideals of beauty and femininity. She played golf and basketball at the professional level while winning 3 Olympic medals in track and field in 1932.

The Tall Girls premiered in 2014 at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta. Since then the play had regional premieres at professional theatres across the US and has become a popular choice for college theatre productions as a showcase of student talent.

Cast: 5 female, 1 male

What people say:

"A tour-de-force by the playwright... The Tall Girls has a more realistic edge, with a bittersweet (emphasis on the bitter) second act that upsets all of the outward tropes of the ‘stand up and cheer' genre." — Arts Atlanta

"What was so nice about [The Tall Girls] is that it is out of the ordinary, in a genre unique unto itself, and thoroughly entertaining...It's too good to run for just three weeks." — Atlanta Cultural Arts

"The Tall Girls, Meg Miroshnik's lovely, heartbreaking play about five young women in a dead-end Midwest town during the Great Depression, is one of those all-American stories that not only beautifully captures a very specific time and place, but also suggests the inner lives of those with big dreams undermined by countless social obstacles. It is, in the very best sense of the term, an old-fashioned play, with richly developed characters and a tightly woven story." — Chicago Sun Times

About the Playwright:

Meg Miroshnik is a Los Angeles based American playwright. She is the recipient of a 2012 Whiting Award, the 2011-2012 Alliance/Kendeda Graduate Playwriting Award, and was a finalist for the 2012 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. Her work has been developed or produced by the La Jolla Playhouse, O'Neill National Playwrights Conference, Center Theatre Group, South Coast Rep, the McCarter Theatre Center, among others. She holds an MFA in Playwriting from the Yale School of Drama.