-by Artistic Director Peter Hardy
Some years ago, Phillip DePoy provided music for one of the early Essential Festival shows, and here’s the program bio I composed for him: “Phillip DePoy is a celebrated man of letters, notorious for far too many things to go into here.”
Phillip’s a musician, playwright, author, director … and an old friend, who’s worked with most of the theaters in Atlanta at one time or another. (And his lovely wife, Lee Nowell, directed five productions for the Essential Festival, including a play by the then 18-year-old Lauren Gunderson). Last week I went to see the World Premiere of Phillip’s play EDWARD FOOTE at the Alliance Theatre — a stunning production that was brilliantly directed by Chris Coleman, who founded Actor’s Express years ago (and has been based in Portland, Oregon for the past decade or so). Phillip’s play takes an ancient story (that you might just recognize) about a community living under a curse — and how its people come to understand the reasons for and origin of that curse — and transposes it to an isolated valley in Depression-era Appalachia. The Essential Theatre is all about supporting new work by Atlanta playwrights, and this is one you don’t want to miss.