Avery Sharpe is an actor and recently a playwright from Atlanta, GA. After studying Acting and Spanish at Kennesaw State University, he has performed at a variety of stages across Atlanta. Some of his recent credits include: Pearl Cleage’s Tell Me My Dream (Alliance Theatre), A Bucket of Blessings (Alliance Theatre), and Marcus; Or the Secret of Sweet (Actor’s Express). He has also done voiceover work and various commercials in the TV/Film world, but can be found most frequently at Dad’s Garage Improv Theatre where he performs weekly as a company member. As a playwright, he has discovered a passion for telling stories that echo the beautiful complexity of humanity, which is why he is excited to be making his debut as a playwright with Woke. He looks forward to writing more compelling stories in the future, and he wants to thank all of the brilliant minds and generous hearts that have supported him throughout this journey.
Woke is a play that follows two friends from different backgrounds who are trying to navigate the already rocky transition from high school to college. When a calamitous event captures national attention, they are forced to wrestle with their different understandings of social awareness. Through family, romance, and their own friendship, they painstakingly and comically explore what it truly means to be woke.
Honestly, this is my first playwriting venture, and I wouldn’t even consider myself a playwright by any means. In undergrad, I had experience writing solo performance pieces which always turned out fine, but I didn’t really try my hand at playwriting until this piece. As I neared the end of undergrad, I postulated that any marginalized person who thinks they even MAYBE could write should try it out. Many of my colleagues and I frequently talked about the lack of representation in stories that were written so it seems I finally got around to caving in to the peer pressure.
Avery’s play, Woke, is a co-winner of the 2018 Essential Theatre Playwriting Award and premieres August 4, 2018 as part of the 20th Essential Theatre Play Festival.