Family Acts
By Rhea Palmer
Sep 6, 2008 - 9:12:24 AM

What in the world do you do with a broken-down abandoned theatre which is in the middle of Georgia? This is the question asked by two completely different women. Katie Harder writes soap opera scripts for All Our Lives – the soap opera her mother played a starring role in until she died. Randa Jennings is the daughter of a stage actor who could never quite get a break. Neither one has a clue the other exists until a letter from a lawyer summoning them down to the humid, small town of Massonville, Georgia whose only claim to fame is a run-down dilapidated theatre.

Prepared to cut ties with this neglected, haggard place, the two women set up an appointment with a local developer to discuss offers to sell and tear down the old place and be replaced by condominiums.


As they repeatedly re-visit the theatre, however, it reaches out and touches their hearts with an intensity neither is quite ready to explore. The question is still out there on who the mystery benefactor is and as they find out bits and pieces of a unknown past, they become more and more reluctant to let a piece of their family history go.


It’s very difficult to imagine a life without knowing family so realizing you have a physical connection to relatives you never knew makes rational thinking completely irrational. Louise Shaffer shares with us the life of the Venable Opera House as it reveals its secrets bit by bit. A very fun book to read and it will open your eyes to how children really view their family life.

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