, Festival

Bare Essentials Play Reading Series

Join us on August 12, 20 and 27 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 2024 Bare Essentials Play Reading series will feature four new plays by Georgia playwrights:

Aug 12 – FALSE AWAKENING by Jacob Ryan Martinez

In shards of glass like the pieces of a shattered mirror, we see a man running away from his feelings of failure as a husband and father and from the fear of his own sexuality.

Aug 20 – LIZ FRANK by Keely Herrick

Elizabeth, the heroine of Mary Shelley’s classic novel FRANKENSTEIN encourages the author to find a more satisfying ending to the wedding night of Victor Frankenstein and his wife – one where she doesn’t get murdered by a monster. Can you blame her?

and FULL TERM by Jazzë A. Lewis

Three Black women tell us of their very different experiences going through life and pregnancy.


While Mom and Dad are arguing, two kids ease their fears and express their anxiety by making up a puppet show with stuffed animals as their audience.

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 audiences are saying…

“It exposed me to something I didn’t know about- how plays are crafted- and the amazing talent we have in Georgia.”

“Programs like this are vital for the survival of Georgia theatre”

“The delight of discovering new talent is a major draw, and connecting with stories close to our own communities and backyards is a wonderful gift.”

In the press:

Coming soon!

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.