FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – ATLANTA, GA – MAY 27, 2014
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. The award for this competition? Production of the play in that year’s Festival and a cash stipend. Now in its 14th year, TheEssential Theatre Playwriting Award co-recipients are Karla Jennings and Theroun Patterson. Their works Ravens & Seagulls and That Uganda Play (respectively) are being brought to life over the course of July and August at The West End Performing Arts Center. Complimenting these two world premieres, this year’s Bare Essentials portion of the festival will expand to include six readings of works-in-progress by Georgia playwrights.
Karla Jennings’ Ravens & Seagulls encapsulates the dynamics between four sisters, brought together to wade through the impending death of the youngest. Emotionally raw and painfully funny, its a transcendent study of love, mortality, and survival. Featuring the incredible cast of Teresa Deberry, Patricia French, Jill Perry, Gina Rickiki, Sam Traquina, Sarah Wallis and Kathleen Wattis.
Theroun Patterson’s piece, That Uganda Play, 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. This summer’s powerful cast includes Olubajo Sonubi, Brody Wellmaker, Jennifer Alice Acker, Tiffany Denise Mitchenor, Portia Cue, Blaire Hillman, Kevin Stillwell, Alex Van and Sedonia Monet.
WHO: The Essential Theatre
WHAT: The 2014 Essential Theatre Festival
WHERE: West End Performing Arts Center, 945 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd, Atlanta GA
WHEN: July 18-August 17 2014
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.