Kennesaw State Department of Theatre and Performance Studies to present “The Spitfire Grill”

image of neon spitfire grill on rainy window
"The Spitfire Grill" is a heartwarming story about human connections. 

Heartwarming story of forging human connections and finding contentment in one’s new home

KENNESAW, Ga. (Nov 9, 2021) — Kennesaw State University’s Department of Theatre and Performance Studies (TPS) will present “The Spitfire Grill” November 16-20 at the Onyx Theater on the Kennesaw campus. “The Spitfire Grill” offers a heartwarming story about finding redemption and building meaningful relationships in one’s new home. A parolee arrives in a small Wisconsin town and struggles to find her place in a community of troubled souls who gather at a well-worn diner. Her presence sparks re-connections and reconciliations that bring the community together.

Director Timothy Ellis said, “This musical is a heartwarming story because it’s a journey of connecting with other human beings. It asks, ‘what’s holding you back from finding ultimate happiness?’ Everyone has their own prison in life, and it’s finding a way to break out of that prison to find contentment. For some of these characters, it’s a realization of ‘this is how I was living, and this was how it was holding me back.’” 

Music director Amanda Wansa Morgan added that “the characters are seeking redemption from their shame and guilt—freedom from their prisons—and when they find each other, they find their way out. Everyone has a struggle; everyone has a common ground. We have more empathy for folks we interact with daily.” 

Featuring a gorgeous score inspired by American folk music, “The Spitfire Grill” has an Appalachian feel, “yet it’s small and intimate, with a five-piece band, including violin, cello, and acoustic guitar. It’s going to sound lovely in the Onyx Theater, kind of like musical theatre meets Joni Mitchell,” said Morgan. 

Erin North (Percy), a TPS senior, said, “The music is so beautiful and warms up the show from the deep conversations happening onstage. It reminds you to just keep living! There’s so much power in human connection, and it can remind you to accept where you are now but allow the past to launch you to where you want to be in life. This musical is the sigh of relief, the breath of fresh air, and I hope audiences leave with some inspiration to keep pressing forward.”

Alex Osborne (Effy), also a TPS senior, said that “it will have you crying, giggling, and gasping while empathizing with and connecting to such a unique story.” Osbourne was able to get into her character in part because she used her grandmother as inspiration. “Effy is absolutely ridiculous! She reminds me a lot of my grandmother, whom I love deeply, but who is a bit of a gossip in her hometown. Plus, the costumes I have been given to wear by our costume designer, student Sophie Gordon, are some of my favorites; these gorgeous costumes really helped me bring Effy to life.” 

“In this moment of the world, it’s good for audiences to see a story that’s real, that they can relate to, but that is uplifting. It’s not an escape, but it’s life affirming,” said Morgan. 

Tickets for "The Spitfire Grill" are sold out. Learn more about the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies

--Kathie Beckett