In the just-released ArtsATL “Year in Review,” this summer’s World Premiere of Avery Sharpe’s WOKE was named “Play We Couldn’t Shake.” Curators of the list added, “The summer of 2018 can be described as the summer of Avery Sharpe; we sincerely hope it’s the first of many.”
All three of the Best Performers named in the list – Anthony Goolsby, Ashley Anderson, and Lee Osorio – have Essential ties as well!
Big Congratulations to Betty Hart, who just won the True West Award in Denver, Colorado! Before moving to Denver, Betty played a big part in some of Essential’s growth years, directing productions of JIM CROW AND THE RHYTHM DARLINGS, THE DARKER FACE OF THE EARTH, A THOUSAND CIRCLETS and EVELYN IN PURGATORY.
Returning at Theatrical Outfit November 21 – December 23, 2018, this holiday hit by Decatur native and Essential veteran playwright Lauren Gunderson features Amelia Fischer (Dispossessed, 2016 Essential Theatre Play Festival) in the title role. The production team is peppered with other familiar Essential names, including Lee Osorio and Galen Crawley in the cast, Alex Riviere (lighting design) and Barbara Gantt O’Haley (production stage manager).
“When my co-author Margot Melcon and I started Miss Bennet, we wanted to create a holiday story for everyone that explores the complexities of family and love. It had to be funny, moving, romantic and smart. It had to be something Jane Austen would approve of. We are so proud of the play and the incredible reception its premiere received across the country last year. I can’t think of a better community with whom to share this story than my Theatrical Outfit family.” –Lauren Gunderson, playwright
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.
dadsgarage.com for tickets.
“September has always marked the moment of New Beginnings for me—under the turning leaves and crisping air in my Oregon home town all plans seemed grand, anything was possible, and folks were sure to be impressed by the latest revision of me. I was thinking about all that while taking in Rachel Graf Evans’ intelligently quirky play Built to Float at The Essential Theatre Play Festival in late August and then discussing it with the play director Peter Hardy. To put things into perspective, Hardy is also the Founding Artistic Director of the Essential which is celebrating its 20th Anniversary this year. Round about Labor Day, he’ll already be thinking about Year 21. Graf Evans is the 2018 co-winner of The Essential Theatre Playwriting Award (along with Avery Sharpe for his piece Woke). On Labor Day, she will have said adieu to Atlanta and her position as DG’s Atlanta Region Ambassador and begun navigating the graduate school scene at Temple University. So let’s do a little review…” Read more on the Dramatist Guild website!
Thanks to Sara E. Crawford for shining a spotlight on Essential’s own Peter Hardy this week!
“Today, the talented Atlanta playwright and founding Artistic Director of the Essential Theatre, Peter Hardy, stops by to talk about his creative process. I first met Peter in a group called the Working Title Playwrights in Atlanta….” Read more…
Come see Essential regulars Alex Van and Philip Mertz, along with the rest of their talented cast, in Pinch ‘n’ Ouch’s current production of Fool for Love by Sam Shepard! Runs two more weekends, with Industry Night this coming Monday night.
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 Fagsreturns to their stage in March 2019!