Monday, January 17, 2011

Congratulations Artistic Director Peter Hardy is Published

Essential Theatre Artistic Director Peter Hardy has had his first short story published, in the British fantasy anthology POSTSCRIPTS: THE COMPANY HE KEEPS. Hardy has sold two additional stories, and is the prize-winning author of over twenty produced plays, including SALLY AND GLEN AT THE PALACE, presented as part of the 2010 Essential Theatre Play Festival, and for which he was named the Critic’s Pick for Best Atlanta Playwright by Creative Loafing. SALLY AND GLEN was listed as one of the best theatre productions of the year by Atlanta Theatre Buzz and the Sunday Paper.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Essential Theatre Noted in The Best of 2010

The Best of 2010
by Brad Rudy

Best Actor In A Play
Jacob York-Sally and Glen at the Palace (Essential)

Best Director Of A Play

Ellen McQueen-Sally and Glen at the Palace

Best Play

Peter Hardy's Sally and Glen at the Palace

Congratulations to all the other folks who got mentioned, especially friends and Essential colleagues like Spencer Stephens, Topher Payne, Jane Kroessig, Matt Felten, Bethany Ann Lind and Brad Raymond!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Dramatist Guild: Atlanta News

National News: Atlanta
by Pamela Turner

When I first came to Atlanta it surprised me. I'd expected something that was a slightly urban version of Deliverance with a little dash of Scarlett's Tara thrown in. My former husband and I moved from our native Pacific North-west because of his job promotion and my resulting chance to go to grad school. He didn't like it and returned, but I stayed, mostly because of school, but also because what I found was a city with an active arts scene and some pretty cool green spaces. This kind of misconception followed by pleasant surprise was revisited on me two times this summer. The first experience was as a "playwright guest" at the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas (LMDA) conference and the second was as an audience member at the Essential Theatre Play Festival production of Peter Hardy's Sally and Glen at the Palace

The more recent event at Essential was surprising because it is only the second time in their twelve-year history that Hardy, who is founding Artistic Director, has included one of his own plays. Written just before the birth of Essential, Sally and Glen received an award from The New Southern Theatre Festival at the Mockingbird Public Theatre in Nashville and was produced at Theatre Southeast in Tallahassee. After that, though, Hardy turned his attention to the support and promotion of other playwrights through his Play Festival. He produces two regional premieres each year along with a full production of the Essential Theatre Playwriting Award winner. The com-petition is open to playwrights residing in Georgia who submit new work. (The 2010 winner is Gabriel Jason Dean's Qualities of Starlight.) Even with all that good karma investment, Hardy had to wrestle with the decision to put his own work front and center, ‘Cause, y'all know, despite the new call to action over self-producing, there are still a whole lotta folks holding up big signs that read "Vanity Production." Fortunately, Hardy has gotten nothing but love taps over his move and may even have set the self-production rad meter over on the plus side. Hardy says that this comic drama about two college students navigating life while working at a movie theatre is a bit of departure from his usual more "highly theatrical, surreal work," even though it is based on his own experiences. And that leads to another little surprise, because this is a fascinating side of Hardy I never knew about. Imagine that. The best news is that he responded to my notice for the next regional DG meeting by saying he would probably come because "I'm feeling more like a playwright now."

Monday, January 3, 2011

Essential Theatre was represented at WordFeast

On December 12, the Essential Theatre was represented at WordFeast, an annual literary reading event that benefits the Atlanta Food Bank. Theroun D’Arcy Patterson, winner of the 2011 Essential Theatre Playwriting Award for his family drama A THOUSAND CIRCLETS, was there to read a scene from the play with Betty Hart, who will be directing the Essential Theatre’s World Premiere production this summer, as part of the Essential Theatre Play Festival (running in July and August at the Actor’s Express space).

Also performing their work at WordFeast were prize-winning writers like Pearl Cleage, Topher Payne, Melissa Green, Jon Goode and David Fulmer.

Keep an eye out – we’ll soon be announcing the other two plays to be presented in next summer’s Essential Festival!