Author Archives: jennifer

“Neighbors,” an exhibition of visual art created in West End and surrounding communities

AArt Exhibit Post Cards part of our continued partnership with the West End Performing Arts Center and Eyedrum Art and Music Gallery, during the Festival this summer you get to enjoy a unique art exhibit when you come to see the show: Neighbors, an exhibition of visual art created in West End and surrounding communities.
Curated by Princess Jones, on behalf of Eyedrum Art and Music Gallery, and in collaboration with Essential Theatre and the West End Performing Arts Center, this exhibit is on display July 9-29 and features works by Wycliffe “Linc” Bennett, Nate Dyer, Heather Johnson, Children in the Forever Family Program, Paper Frank, Carlton Mackey, Paul Tilghnmon and Afred Conteh. The Opening Reception will be July 24 before the Opening Night performance of Ravens & Seagulls. We hope you will come join us for both events and enjoy some great work by a variety of Georgia artists!

Neighbors, an exhibition of visual art created in West End and surrounding communities, runs July 9-29. Curated by Princess Jones.
Princess will graduate from Georgia State University in December 2014, with a degree in studio art with a concentration in textiles. She is serving as an intern for Eyedrum Art and Music Gallery this summer. She has also completed internships with the office of Fulton County Arts and Culture and Synchronicity Theatre.

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Meet the Playwright: Robin L. Burke

Time has just flown, and NEXT MONDAY we will be kicking off the 2014 Essential Theatre Festival with our first Bare Essentials reading, Trolls by Robin L. Burke of Snellville, Ga.

We had a chance to speak with the playwright, and here is what she had to say:

Tell us about the show we are going to see this Monday night.
TROLLS is a farce about a practical-minded attorney who discovers her father believes his river home has trolls.  I guess it’s a pretty fair question to wonder what inspired that.

What was your inspiration for writing this play?
The first live-theatre production I remember my parents taking me to see was ARSENIC AND OLD LACE.  I will never forget how my parents, my sister, and I laughed as we watched it.  It’s a classic theatre comedy, and I will never forget how it made me feel.  There was no deep meaning, no wrenching drama, just the pure joy of theatre taking place on the stage in front of me.

What my family saw that night was an excellent community theatre production done by Clarksville Little Theatre in Clarksville, Indiana, which is now one of the oldest continually operating community theatres in the nation.  Clarksville Little Theatre is just across the bridge from Louisville, Kentucky – which is where I grew up and the setting for my play.  Louisville, in fact, has a few bridges over the Ohio River and always seems to be debating where and how many more to build.  When I decided to write a comedy, the idea of creating a kind of new mythology for the city I grew up in seemed irresistible, and since bridges were part of the identity of Louisville, trolls seemed an almost inevitable theme.

Nevertheless, at its heart, TROLLS is an ode to that night I shared with my family in that little community theatre. I really think I wrote TROLLS because I simply wanted to re-capture that moment in time, and that pure joy of theatre I experienced with them.

How did you get started writing plays?
That’s pretty simple.  I’ve been involved in theatre since I was fourteen.  I graduated from the University of Louisville with a double-major in Theatre and English.  Now that I have a child at home, my time is too limited for most activities related to theatre, but I can write on my own schedule.  I suppose playwrighting is the natural outlet for my love of theatre at this time in my life.

Are you working on any new projects at the moment?
I’m sure many of your readers visit Cades Cove in the Smoky Mountains National Park.  I wrote, produced, and directed the AUTO TOUR OF CADES COVE, which is an audio tour that you download to your smartphone, tablet, or ipod.  Then, as you drive the cove, the AUTO TOUR OF CADES COVE tells the history of the cove in the style of an old-fashioned radio drama. That tour has just become available on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon.com, and other sites through Robinwing.com.  I’m also currently working on a young adult science fiction novel set in Stone Mountain, Georgia called I AM HUMAN.

Directed by Peter Hardy, Trolls is a family farce involving cheating husbands, alcoholic sisters, a video-game-obsessed teenager and — oh yeah — the neighborhood may have been invaded by trolls!

CAST:
Sarah Lancaster Cave, Theo Harness, Holly Stevenson, Betty Mitchell, Doug Kaye, Jessica Fern Hunt, William Joel Coady, Lake Roberts and Bob Smith.

The reading starts at 7:30pm in the Black Box at 7Stages Theatre. A talkback will follow the reading.

Please be sure to join us for the 2014 Festival Opening Reception at 7pm as well! Wine, refreshments and fellowship — followed up by a reading of a great and fun new play. We can’t wait to see you there!

 

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RAVENS & SEAGULLS |The Essential Theatre Festival

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE- ATLANTA, GA

RAVENS & SEAGULLS, written by Karla Jennings, one of the co-winners of the 2014 The Essential Theatre Playwriting Award, focuses on three women who face the final days of their ailing sister’s life. Through exploring the dynamics of sisterhood and familial strife and companionship, RAVENS & SEAGULLS is at once emotionally raw and painfully funny, standing as a transcendent study of love, mortality and survival.

Since the beginning of the festival in 1999, The Essential Theatre has committed to producing at least one new play a year by a Georgia playwright. Essential began its annual Essential Theatre Playwriting Competition in 2001, strengthening its ties to local writers by establishing the only competition exclusively dedicated to playwrights in the state of Georgia. That competition results in a sixteen year tradition aptly named The Essential Theatre Festival, a rotating repertory of the recipients’ work as fully realized productions.

WHO: The Essential Theatre

WHAT: RAVENS & SEAGULLS | The Essential Theatre Festival

WHERE: West End Performing Arts Center, 945 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd, Atlanta GA

WHEN: July 23, 24, 26. August 1, 3, 4, 6, 9, 10, 14, 15, 17.

VITALS:

Website:http://www.EssentialTheatre.com

Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/NewPlays/timeline

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/ATL_Essential

Youtube:https://www.youtube.com/user/EssentialTheatre

Venue:http://fultonarts.org/index.php/events-and-exhibitions/performance-venues/west-end-performing-arts-center-black-box-theatre

PRESS:

https://www.essentialtheatre.com/category/articles-and-reviews/

The mission of The Essential Theatre is to nurture and produce exciting and challenging new work by Georgia playwrights and expand the theatre experience of audiences by presenting world and regional premieres not previously seen in the Atlanta area. Going forward, Essential  aims to give Georgia playwrights an ever-stronger voice across the country and in the world, and in doing so, continuing to enrich the community of artists and audience members at home. Essential Theatre is a 501(c) 3 non-profit.

PRESS CONTACT:
Deisha Oliver­Millar, Bang! Arts
Miles Jenson, Bang! Arts
Direct: (404­) 663­-3833

###

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That Uganda Play | The Essential Theatre Festival 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE- ATLANTA, GA-

That Uganda Play, written by Theroun Patterson, one of the co-winners of the 2014 The Essential Theatre Playwriting Award, is an epic story that moves from America to Africa and back again, imagining the ghosts of war, political corruption and personal betrayal that might lie behind the recent anti-Gay legislation in the nation of Uganda.  Previously, Theroun won the Essential Award back in 2011 for his family drama A Thousand Circlets, which was a big hit in that year’s Essential Theatre Festival.

Since the beginning of the festival in 1999, The Essential Theatre has committed to producing at least one new play a year by a Georgia playwright. Essential began its annual Essential Theatre Playwriting Competition in 2001, strengthening its ties to local writers by establishing  the only competition exclusively dedicated to playwrights in the state of Georgia. That competition results in a sixteen year tradition aptly named The Essential Theatre Festival, a rotating repertory of the recipients’ work as fully realized productions

WHO: The Essential Theatre

WHAT: That Uganda Play |The Essential Theatre Festival 2014

WHERE: West End Performing Arts Center, 945 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd, Atlanta GA

WHEN: July 17, 18, 19, 25, 30, 31. August 2, 3, 7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 16

VITALS:

Website:http://www.EssentialTheatre.com

Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/NewPlays/timeline

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/ATL_Essential

YouTube:https://www.youtube.com/user/EssentialTheatre

Venue:http://fultonarts.org/index.php/events-and-exhibitions/performance-venues/west-end-performing-arts-center-black-box-theatre

 

PRESS:

Creative Loafing 2011http://clatl.com/atlanta/atlanta-actor-turns-award-winning-playwright-with-a-thousand-circlets/Content?oid=3430353

Encore Atlanta 2011http://encoreatlanta.com/artsscene/artsbits/2011/from-the-stage-to-the-page.html#.U4wGkovn-00

The mission of The Essential Theatre is to nurture and produce exciting and challenging new work by Georgia playwrights and expand the theatre experience of audiences by presenting world and regional premieres not previously seen in the Atlanta area. Going forward, Essential  aims to give Georgia playwrights an ever-stronger voice across the country and in the world, and in doing so, continuing to enrich the community of artists and audience members at home. Essential Theatre is a 501(c) 3 non-profit.

PRESS CONTACT:
Deisha Oliver­Millar, Bang! Arts
Miles Jenson, Bang! Arts
Direct: (404­) 663­-3833

###

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Third Annual Atlanta Fringe Festival previews TONIGHT — with contributions from 11 different Georgia artists!

Atlanta Fringe 2014 is upon us, and this year’s Festival features 20 different performance groups from all over the country. We at Essential, of course, are super proud to report that of those, 11 different groups are Georgia artists. Way to represent!

Tonight at 8:00 at 7Stages Theatre,
check out the FREE PREVIEW PARTY
and get a sneak peek of all of the shows!

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On the docket from Georgia, you will see:

Middle Eastern Dance, from Awalim Dance Company of Stone Mountain
Belly Dancing, from Beyond Borders of Atlanta
Spoken Word/Storytelling, by Corey Bradberry of the Collective Project in Atlanta and the KSU Tellers from Kennesaw
A circus/dance collaboration by Sith Penguin of Clarkston
Comedies presented by Embarc Productions of Fayetteville, EvyDani Endeavors of Atlanta, Puppets Playing Pretend of Atlanta, Shalloewood Productions of Marietta, Will Go Far of Stone Mountain and Twinhead Theatre of Atlanta

This is the third annual Atlanta Fringe Festival, and each year it just gets better. If you’ve been to one before, you know. If you haven’t, it’s time you find out! Check out this year’s offerings tonight for FREE. See you at the Festival!

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Thanks to everyone who contributed to our 2014 Festival power2give!

SO MUCH THANKS to all 60 of our amazing, incredible and SOOO appreciated power2give campaign donors. Thanks to your support, this summer’s festival will continue to deliver the excellent theatre you’ve come to expect from Essential and our playwrights and artists, and we will be able to achieve all the goals we set for ourselves to better serve the artists and audiences who make our work worthwhile.

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you each and every one:

Mark Perloe
Jennifer Kimball
Chris Carlsten
Justin Bradshaw
Cathy Jamison
Mary Marshall
Jill Buechner
Patricia Wright
Portia Cue
Judy Beasley
Rial Ellsworth
Jo Howarth-Noonan
Charlotte Fleck
Yolanda Asher
Topher Payne
Ellen McQueen
Bob Smith
Theo Harness
Brenda Porter
Joseph Gantt
Lenny Pallats
Susan Steifel
Vynnie Meli
Klimchak
Timothy McDonough
Kathleen McManus
Rebecca Westlake
Richard Belcher
Hank Kimmel
Sarah Cave
Kelly Christopher
Steven Ritchie
Robert Drake
Jill Patrick
Danyale Taylor
Hilary King
DeWayne Morgan
David Keith Best
Lee Buechele
Lori, Thom & Sydney Stanley
Doug Kaye
Stephanie Wilkinson
Lesley Gray
Claire Bronson
Ida McQueen
Joanna Daniel
Karla Jennings
Neeley Gossett
Jessica Tanner
Barbara O’Haley
Melissa Hardy-Trevanna
Kathleen Sia
Amanda Cucher
Jill Lobo
Annie Harrison Elliott
Bill Bozarth
Charles Swint
Kathy Manning

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