Performing at West End Arts Center, 945 Ralph David Abernathy Boulevard, Atlanta, GA 30310
Box Office: 866.811.4111, Office Phone: 404.212.0815
Essential Theatre, Atlanta, GA
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Bringing Atlanta What's New

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This year, the Essential Theatre Play Festival will be moving to its NEW HOME at the West End Arts Center, located at 945 Ralph David Abernathy Boulevard.  (It’s just ten minutes away from Little Five Points, two blocks off of I-20, and near the West End MARTA train station.)  We’ll be presenting the World Premieres of both THAT UGANDA PLAY and RAVENS AND SEAGULLS in repertory, along with staged readings of six other new works by Georgia authors in our Bare Essentials Reading Series.

Bare Essentials Play Readings
Open readings of new plays in development.

Tickets are free,
Donations accepted.
Complimentary wine before and after the readings!

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Essential Theatre Connects with Deaf Audiences

"Connecting with Deaf Audiences" is Essential's initiative to reach out to deaf community members and share with them the same great theatre opportunities we've been sharing with the hearing members of our community for the past 25 years. Read More

Get Involved
Become part of the Essential Theatre Play Festival. The Essential Theatre is looking for volunteer board members who enjoy theatre and have experience serving on a non-profit board or can help with event planning, marketing, public relations, fundraising, graphic design, advertising and group sales. Volunteer or Sign up for Essential Theatre Emails

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For the latest information about the Essential Theatre and to take part in the conversation, please visit our theatre festival blog, Follow Essential Theatre on Twitter and Become an Essential Facebook Fan.

2014 Festival Lineup
July 18 - August 17, 2014
Performing at The West Ends Arts Center

Essential Theatre congratulates the CO-WINNERS of this year’s Essential Theatre Playwriting Award!  Both of these plays will receive full productions as part of the 2014 Essential Theatre Play Festival, running from July 18 – August 17.

That Uganda Play
World Premiere

by Theroun Patterson, directed by Amber Bradshaw

Stray DogsAn epic story that moves from America to Africa and back again, imagining theghosts of war, political corruption and personal betrayal that might lie behind the recent anti-Gay legislation in thenation of Uganda. One of the co-winners of the 2014 Essential Theatre Playwriting Award.

Theroun won the 2011 Essential Award for his family drama A THOUSAND CIRCLETS, which was a big hit in that year’s Essential Festival.  In 2013 it went on to a successful production at the Detroit Repertory Theatre

by Karla Jennings, directedby David Crowe

Swimming with JellyfishThree women face the final days of their ailing sister's life in this moving family drama. Emotionally raw and sometimes painfully funny, it's a transcendent study of love and mortality and survival. One of the co-winners of the 2014 Essential Theatre Playwriting Award.

Essential Theatre produced Karla’s play IMAGES IN SMOKE in the second Essential Theatre Festival, back in 2000.  That production was named one of the Best of the Year by Creative Loafing.  Other plays of hers have won the Playwrights First Award, the Pillars Playwriting Prize and the Hermann Kesten Fellowship.

Become an Usher
Please come back in May to start signing up. We are seeking two ushers for each performance. Simply follow the link to our OvationTix calendar and select USHER tickets and you will be taken to a page to sign-up. Choose one or two $0 tickets. Please visit our online Theatre Festival Usher Information to determine performance dates and availability. Click HERE to volunteer.

Wish List
Are you an events planner who knows how to throw a party and enjoys fundraising, please contact Peter Hardy. If you'd like to help the Essential Theatre, there are lots of ways you can get involved! We're always on the lookout for free (or inexpensive) copying or printing services. Free or inexpensive paint, wood and other building materials are needed every year. Free rehearsal space can help us save money and get our productions ready to open.

And, of course, cash donations are always welcome! As ticket prices cover a small fraction of our productoin costs we especially appreciate our donors. Essential Theatre is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization so your donations are tax deductible. Please help us to support new work by Georgia Playwrights! Make a donation or become a sponsor today!

Essential Theatre Play Festival Productions


[Logo   for the Atlanta Coalition of Performing Arts]

The Essential Theatre is a proud member of the Atlanta Coalition of Performing Arts and C4.

Funding is provided by the Atlanta Bureau of Cultural Affairs, Fulton County Board of Commissioners under the guidance of the Fulton County Arts Council and the Georgia Council for the Arts