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We’re about to start rehearsals for this summer’s 2010 Essential Theatre Play Festival, and we’ve got lots of plans for marketing and reaching out to new audiences – but we can always use some new ideas. Here’s a rundown of some of the angles, story elements and subject matter that we’re dealing with this summer, and I’d like to know if anyone has suggestions about ways we might leverage these to reach out to particular groups, organizations or audience segments (with offers for group sales, or cross promotion, or whatever!). We’d also be interested in arranging for talkback sessions, etc.

If you have the chance to look over this material and it gives you any ideas, please E-mail Me! . We’d appreciate it!

Rita Dove’s THE DARKER FACE OF THE EARTH is a poetic tragedy that takes the Greek legend of Oedipus (born under a curse that he will grow up to murder his father and marry his mother) and transposes it to a slave plantation in the American south. The author is a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and a former Poet Laureate of the United States. We will be bringing her to Atlanta for the July 8 opening of her play. We hope to reach out to those interested in African-American culture and history, classical literature and contemporary African-American literature, and poetry in general.

My play SALLY AND GLEN AT THE PALACE is about the friendship of two college students working in the lobby of a movie theatre in 1973. It is full of the love of movies from that period, and memories of a time of single-screen movie houses whose atmosphere was very different from the multi-plexes of today. We’d love to reach out to lovers of movies everywhere, as well as those concerned with the issues of date rape and sexual abuse.

Gabriel Dean’s QUALITIES OF STARLIGHT is the world premiere of a play about a noted young astronomer who comes back to his childhood home in the mountains of northern Georgia for the first time in several years, to discover that his parents have become addicted to crystal meth. It’s a dark comedy about serious issues, and we’d like to reach out to groups concerned with drug addiction as well as to astronomers and all those interested in the stars.

Please visit our Wine & Words, An Essential Evening of Georgia Wines, Playwrights and more! website or make a silent auction donation.