The 2017 Essential Theatre Play Festival Is Right Around the Corner!

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2017 ESSENTIAL FESTIVAL press kit with photos

Atlanta, July 2017 – Tickets are now on sale for the 19th Annual Essential Theatre Play Festival, which kicks off in just a few weeks!

This summer, Essential Theatre continues its tradition of premiering the best new work by Georgia playwrights for Atlanta audiences with the 19th Annual Essential Theatre Play Festival. The festival runs July 28 through August 27 at the West End Performing Arts Center, located at 945 Ralph David Abernathy Boulevard.

This summer, audiences will see the World Premiere of Another Mother by G. M. Lupo, the 2017 Essential Theatre Playwriting Award winner; the Regional Premiere of Ada and the Memory Engine, written by two-time Essential Theatre Playwriting Award Winner and nationally acclaimed playwright Lauren Gunderson; a two night limited presentation of Atlanta playwright John D. Babcock III’s Independent, and three readings from the Bare Essentials Play Reading Series, co-presented again this summer with Working Title Playwrights, the premiere playwright development organization in Atlanta.

Shows are performed in a rotating repertory. To view the performance schedule or purchase tickets, go to

“Since our first festival in 1999, the Essential Theatre has presented 29 new works by 24 different Georgia writers, all receiving productions of the highest artistic quality through Essential and many going on to receive future productions elsewhere in Atlanta and across the country. Join us this summer to see the best new locally-made theatre and celebrate the rich and varied Essential Theatre tradition!”

About each play:

Ada and the Memory Engine by Lauren Gunderson, premiering July 28, 2017
Directed by Ellen McQueen
Featuring the acting talents of: Ashley Anderson, Mark Cosby, Kathleen McManus, Evan Alex Cole, Holly Stevenson, Brandon Partrick, and Sean Kelley
Creative Design Team: Lito Tamez (set), Harley Gould (lights), Matthew Mammola (projections), Dan Bauman (sound), Jane Kroessig (costumes), Julie Skrzypek (props), Elisabeth Cooper (production management).
One of the latest plays penned by our very first Essential Theatre Playwriting Award Winner and the Most Produced Living Playwright in America in 2016, Lauren Gunderson, this play is about the world’s first computer programmer, Ada Lovelace. Described by the Huffington Post as “a rare and special artistic achievement: an intelligent play about intelligent historical people that has been crafted by intelligent theatre artists for an intelligent audience,” this delightful play gives you plenty to think about whether you’re a poet, a programmer, a history buff, a technophile or a hopeless romantic.

Another Mother by G. M. Lupo, premiering August 4, 2017
Directed by Peter Hardy
Featuring the acting talents of: Rylee Burton, Nina Jones, Kristin Storla, Christie Vozniak, Trey York, Kelly Quinn, Sarah Falkenburg Wallace
Creative Design Team: Lito Tamez (set), Harley Gould (lights), Matthew Mammola (projections), Dan Bauman (sound), Jane Kroessig (costumes), Kathy Manning (props), Elisabeth Cooper (production management).
Winner of the 2017 Essential Theatre Playwriting Award, this play follows the journey of Genevieve as she pieces together the mysterious identities and relationships between her biological mother, her birth mother and the mother who raised her.

Essential Theatre Presents: Independent by John D. Babcock III
Aug 17 & 18 ONLY
Directed by John Ammerman
Featuring the acting talent of Dan Triandiflou, appearing courtesy of Actor’s Equity
Dan Triandiflou stars in a one-man performance as director John Cassavetes, the Godfather of American independent films.

Bare Essential Play Reading Series
Co-Produced with Working Title Playwrights
Readings of new plays by Georgia playwrights.
All readings in the Bare Essential series are free and open to the public.

Now in its eighteenth year, the Essential Theatre Playwriting Competition is the only contest exclusively dedicated to the work of Georgia playwrights. The winning play receives both a full production and a $600 cash prize. Playwrights must be current Georgia residents, and the plays must be previously unproduced. There are no restrictions as to style, length or subject matter. Plays are accepted year-round, and the deadline for the 2019 Essential Theatre Playwriting Award competition is April 23, 2018. For more information or to submit your play, visit

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For media inquires
Jennifer Kimball, Managing Director
[email protected]
(404) 587-3853

Calendar Listing
The Essential Theatre Festival
July 28th – August 27th
The Essential Theatre at West End Performing Arts Center
945 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd, Atlanta, GA 30310
Tickets available at

Essential Theatre: Giving Georgia Playwrights a Voice since 1999