Curious Reveries

Ashley Anderson, last seen on Essential’s stage in the title role of the box office hit Ada and the Memory Engine by Lauren Gunderson, can currently be seen in an entirely different kind of performance at The Space in Smyrna.  Just four performances remain of the exciting show Curious Reverie, created by Havoc Movement Company, “…a self-described ‘action-circus theatre’ group whose upcoming gallery show is as likely to appeal to lovers of fairy tales as to fans of death-defying stunts.” You won’t want to miss it!


Hallmark Movie Improv with Topher Payne

Two shows for the price of one at Dad’s Garage! The first half is Dad’s classic long form improv show. The second half features Topher Payne, who is an Essential veteran, one of Atlanta’s premier playwrights and a (we’re totally being serious about this) Hallmark channel movie writer. Topher will narrate as the Dad’s gang improvise a Hallmark movie right before your eyes.

Shows on Dec 7 and Dec 21 at 10:30pm. for tickets.

UPDATE:  Dec 28 added performance was a success:


We’ve been named Best New Play Incubator of 2018 by Atlanta Magazine!

“Celebrating 20 seasons of developing new plays by Georgia playwrights, Essential Theatre has launched the careers of some of the nation’s most important contemporary writers.” -Atlanta Magazine


We’re so proud to have been named Best New Play Incubator of 2018 in December’s issue of Atlanta Magazine! It’s a heartwarming and inspiring way to round out an already pretty incredible year!



7 Stages opens 40th season with iconic Waiting for Godot

“Every time I see Godot, I become more convinced that its secret stars are Pozzo and Lucky (Bart Hansard and Matt Baum), the indelibly weird master and servant…Hansard makes a delightful comedic meal of the role, with dainty body language, infantile mood swings and puffed-up prideful moments.”
-Curt Holman, ArtsATL

Running now through October 14,  catch Essential family member Bart Hansard as Pozzo in 7 Stages’ 40th season opener, Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett. Lots of other Essential friends have worked behind the scenes to bring this production to life as well: Efrem Whitaker (2010 Darker Face of the Earth and 2017 BeltLine & Beyond) and Jennifer Kimball (Essential Managing Director) make up the stage management team, and 2018 Festival designers Kacie Willis (sound design, Woke) and Josh Oberlander (Festival set design) also lent their support in the creation of the show.

The 2018 GODOT team on opening night at 7 Stages!

And there’s more Essential goodness in store in 7 Stages’ 40th season: Topher Payne’s Angry Fags returns to their stage in March 2019!



Lots of Essential Faces in Nick’s Flamingo Grill on the Hertz Stage

SEP 29 – OCT 28, 2018
Now through October 28 on the Hertz Stage, Nick’s Flamingo Grill by Atlanta’s own Phillip DePoy and featuring a host of familiar faces from Essential’s stage throughout the years, including Robin Bloodworth, Dan Triandiflou, Cordell Cole, and from our most recent festival, Fred Galyean (WOKE) and Asia Howard (Bare Essentials reading: BABY SHOWER FOR THE ANTI-CHRIST).

Essential Theatre fun at the 2018 Decatur Book Festival

Essential Theatre was graciously hosted by Georgia Humanities, in the Humanities Pavilion of the Decatur Book Festival, for the second year in a row, and we had a great time! We got visits from several familiar faces throughout the weekend, and we made lots of new friends too!


FCAC visits the 2018 Festival

Today we had some special guests in the audience: Lionell Thomas and Emmitt Stevenson, directors of long-standing Essential supporting organization, the Fulton County Arts Council.

What a great way to close out the Festival! Today FCAC Directors Lionell Thomas and Emmitt Stevenson joined us for our closing performance of WOKE. (pictured L to R: Essential Artistic Director Peter Hardy, FCAC Director Lionell Thomas, WOKE director Ellen McQueen, WOKE playwright Avery Sharpe, and FCAC Director Emmitt Stevenson)

The Fulton County Arts Council grant is actually the first grant that Essential ever applied for – and the first grant we ever received, back in 2005. Since that time, Fulton County has been a steadfast supporter of Essential’s work – and since 2014, we’ve partnered with a Fulton County Performing Arts Center to produce the festival, in addition to receiving a grant from the FCAC.

Fulton County has been a vital part of the fabric of our support network over the past almost 15 years, helping us to grow and remain true to our commitment to bring Atlanta what’s new and give Georgia playwrights a voice.  With their continued support, we look forward to bringing the best new work by Georgia playwrights to life for years to come.