Southern Fried Bake-Off: The 24 Hour Play Festival is back in town!

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Essential Theatre brings back the 24 Hour Play Festival this January, in partnership with Decatur Arts Alliance and Core Dance

December 2023 – Essential Theatre hits the ground running for their 25th Anniversary season on January 5-6, 2024 with the first annual Southern  Fried Bake-Off, a 24 Hour play festival where playwrights, actors, and crew come together at Core Dance in downtown Decatur for an exhilarating 24 hours to write, rehearse, and perform brand new plays based on a Bake-Off theme and a list of “ingredients.”

“What better way to kick off the new year than getting together with people we like to do something we enjoy, be creative and just have fun together?” asks Elisabeth Cooper, one of the theater’s Education Associates and a long-time Atlanta theatermaker.

“The Bake Off model allows for maximum creative challenge in a short time frame like a 24 hour plays festival,” explains Bake-Off co-creator Emily McClain.

The event promises to be a good time for everyone involved, thanks to partner support from the Decatur Arts Alliance and Core Dance.

“We’re so excited to be a part of this event,” shares Core Dance’s Executive Director, Elizabeth Labe-Webb. “Process and experimentation are essential to an artist’s life,” she continues, “and partnerships like this fit our commitment to making space for making art.”

“DAA is thrilled to help coordinate this exciting new 24-hr play festival with Essential Theatre,” shares Angie Macon of the Decatur Arts Alliance, “Everyone mark your calendars for the January 6th performances – Let’s kick off 2024 with exciting theatre opportunities in the city of Decatur!”

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

To participate: Submit your name for consideration by December 8. Playwrights and performers will be selected by random lottery and notified by December 11. (Playwrights), (Performers)

To purchase tickets:

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For media inquires: 
Jennifer Kimball, Managing Director
[email protected]

Calendar Listing
Southern Fried Bake-Off 24 Hour Play Festival
January 5-6, 2024
The Essential Theatre at
Core Dance
133 Sycamore Street, Decatur GA 30030