Showcasing Georgia’s Best Playwrights

Essential Theatre
Play Festival

August 11 – September 3
at 7Stages Theater in Little Five Points

Featuring the world premiere productions of the 2023 Essential Theatre Playwriting Award winner, The Manuscript by Matt Hoffman, and 2020 Co-Winner The Wishing Place by Beverly Austin, and presenting Hush Harbor Lab’s workshop reading of Yanni Stone and the Honey Pot Trap by Anterior Leverett, Carolyn Cook’s new play Walk With Me: Loving Steps on the Dementia Journey produced in partnership with Anne McSweeney and CEU Creations, and the Bare Essentials Play Reading Series.

It’s our busiest lineup yet! You won’t want to miss it.

Named Best New Play Incubator by Atlanta Magazine in 2018, Essential Theatre has given Georgia playwrights a voice for the past twenty-two years, producing 30+ World Premieres and helping launch the careers of nation-wide successes like Topher Payne and Lauren Gunderson. 

In the press:

AJC Preview: Essential Theatre festival brings Georgia-based plays to the stage through Sept. 3

Creative Loafing: ABOUT TOWN: Essential In More Ways Than One

Broadway World: The Essential Theatre Play Festival to Return to 7Stages Theatre

ArtsATL: Essential Theatre festival brings Georgia-based work back to 7 Stages Theatre

Audience Response:

“Both plays this year are exceptional.”

“If you love Atlanta theatre, Essential always makes August the best part of summer.” – Pat Hurley

“This a wonderful festival. It’s great to have an organization supporting Georgia playwrights.” -Brenda Niforth

“Thank you Essential Theatre for making this platform available for Georgia writers and actors.”

“My favorite theatre to see…are the stories that I don’t expect. The stories that are new/old/different/weird and I have had that every time I’ve been to the festival.” – Casey Gardner Ford

“I really enjoyed the whole experience. Love the focus on Georgia writers.” – Marsha Moore Harding

You won’t want to miss ANY of what we’ve got in store for you at the 2023 Essential Theatre Play Festival:

Join Us!

August 11 – September 3

This summer, Essential Theatre returns to 7Stages Theatre in Little Five Points.

7Stages Theatre, in the heart of Little Five Points
1105 Euclid Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30307

2023 Festival Plays

The Manuscript, by Matthew Hoffman

The Manuscript

World Premiere opens Friday, August 11, 2023 A compelling psychological drama about what we owe…

Read More

2023 Funders and Supporters