Bare Essentials Play Reading Series

Join us on August 14, 22 and 29 at 7:30pm for developmental readings of four new plays.

All readings in the Bare Essentials series are free and open to the public. Be sure to stay after for exciting conversation with the director, cast and playwright!

The 2023 Bare Essentials Play Reading series will feature four new plays by Georgia playwrights:

August 14 – WATER BOYZ by Kwik Jones, directed by Damian Lockhart

The bond of brotherhood is challenged as tensions rise between three young entrepreneurs hustling for freedom and stability on the streets of Atlanta.

Featuring the reading talents of Brian Ashton Smith, Will Oliver, David J. Wilkerson, Kyrun Walker-Smith, Tony Fox

Meet the Playwright: Kwik Jones

August 22 – THE ROCK AND THE HARD PLACE by Emily McClain, directed by Kyle Brumley

A desperate woman tries to save the life of her father, condemned to be executed for a crime she’s sure he didn’t commit.

Featuring the reading talents of Camille Monae, Olubajo Sonubi, Fidelle Peeks, Chase Steven Anderson, Michael Hanson, Sage Kim Gray, and Jeff Hathcoat, with Kyle Brumley reading Stage Directions.

Meet the Playwright: Emily McClain

August 29 – PAS DE DEUX by Sarah Swiderski, directed by Kati Grace Kirby

The interplay of mind and body between an aging former ballerina, addicted to pain medication, and the spirit of the young dancer she was.

Featuring the reading talents of Julia Barton, Kathleen McManus, Patty de la Garza, Charlie Thomas, Janet Metzger, and Tyra Watkins

and THE OTHER BONES by Beverley Sylvester, directed by Julia Barton

Memories of Halloweens past haunt this poetic fantasy about a teenage girl’s grief, watched over by the memory of the younger sister she lost.

Featuring the reading talents of Gracie Wallace, Tim Colee, Ali Bhamani, Oliva Schaperjohn, Joey Davila, and Kati Grace Kirby

Curated by Essential’s Founding Artistic Director, Peter Hardy, himself a national award-winning playwright who’s had over 30 productions of his work done around the country and has had plays chosen for the National Playwrights’ Conference and the Lanford Wilson New American Play Festival and received playwriting awards from the National Playwrights’ Conference, the Festival of Southern Theatre and the New Southern Theatre Festival.

What our playwrights say:

I love staged readings because they allow a play to take its first baby steps towards coming to life. When I’m writing the dialogue I hear it in my head a certain way but until it’s actually coming out of the mouths of performers I don’t know if it’s working the way I thought. Staged readings also give a great sense of the flow and momentum of the piece as a whole. They are a part of my creative process with every script I write.

-Emily McClain, The Rock and the Hard Place reading Aug 22, 2023

Thank you for everything you did to help make the reading happen and come off so smoothly! As a first time playwright, seeing the work performed on stage meant the world to me.

-Matt Hoffman, The Manuscript reading June 6, 2022.