Southern Fried Bake-Off

Red bucket of chicken, seated and smiling at the viewer, on a bue background with the text "Southern Fried Bake-Off" above it and the text "Brand New Plays in 24 Hours" and "Freshness Guaranteed" appearing in starbursts on either side.

On January 5-6, 2024, Essential Theatre launched a new 24 Hour Play Festival at Core Dance in downtown Decatur (here’s the press release). A variation on past Atlanta 24 hour play festival formats, the Southern Fried Bake-Off is an exhilarating 24 hours where participants write, rehearse, and perform brand new plays based on a Bake-Off theme and a list of “ingredients.”

“We want to come together and create new work just for the fun of it,” shares Bake-Off co-creator Emily McClain, “and the Bake Off model allows for maximum creative challenge in a short time frame like a 24 hour plays festival.”

Our first Bake-Off was so much fun, we’ve got ourselves a new tradition!

The Concept: Using the Paula Vogel Bake Off model, a group of playwrights will come together and write individual plays that are inspired from a central piece of art/theme and list of “ingredients” that must be present in their plays in some way. Pieces are written and produced in a workshop-production style within 24 hours. 

The Mission: To create new works in a short time in a manner that fosters collaboration and builds community between theatre artists and playwrights from various backgrounds and experience levels. To have fun creating something together without the pressure of “polishing.” 

The Goal: To start the year off right, by having fun with friends, doing what we do best! To come together and have some fun with folks from across our community.

The Tagline: Y’all Come Play! Let’s tell some stories that weren’t here yesterday!

The Team: Brought to you by Essential Theatre, in partnership with Core Dance and the Decatur Arts Alliance

Read more about our inaugural Bake-Off or sign up for our mailing list to make sure you’re there for the next one!