There’s no doubt that getting your play produced is one of the most challenging tasks of a playwright, and we at Essential are proud of our role as facilitators in this pivotal part of the development process for Georgia playwrights.
But there’s a lot that goes into developing a play before it gets its first production. Atlanta boasts a diverse but supportive network of individuals and organizations that offer opportunities for readings and play development, and our Bare Essentials play reading series is part of that tapestry. Traditionally taking place on “dark” nights during our festival, in 2015 Bare Essentials is breaking free of the festival and taking place year-round. Our first reading for 2015 was a Bare Essentials living room reading of UNDERWORLD, a new play by Karen Wurl, on April 15. Here’s what our artistic director, Peter Hardy, had to say about the event:
I’ve been a fan of Karen’s work for 25 years, and she was the first Georgia playwright that we produced in the first Essential Festival, back in 1999.
Later she won our contest for MISS MACBETH in 2005, and she wrote one of the pieces featured in our 2007 piece about women’s dreams,
UNDERWORLD is a fascinating and scarily funny look at a mother descending into the depths of an increasingly surreal Little 5 Points, in search of her drug addict
daughter. We had a wonderful read and discussion of the play with some top-notch actors (Suzanne Roush, Jill Perry, Robin Bloodworth, James Donadio,
Lake Roberts, Christie Vozniak, James Baskin, Ellen McQueen and Stephanie Friedman) and we look forward to continuing to develop this play with Karen, who is one of Atlanta’s best writers. In the meantime, we’re in discussions with seven different directors about planning new Bare Essentials readings for the months ahead.
Bare Essentials readings will be announced as they are scheduled, and we will still have our traditional three readings during the festival as well. If you are interested in supporting new work by Georgia playwrights or would like to find out more about the Bare Essentials reading series and how you can be involved, contact us today!