Sunday, March 27, 2011

Congratulations to Atlanta Playwright Karla Jennings

Essential Theatre playwright Karla Jennings (we produced the World Premiere of her play IMAGES IN SMOKE in 2000) has a new play that will be opening up Northern Kentucky University's Y.E.S. Festival on April 7. MONSTROUS BEAUTY is about the Teutonic drama queen and saint of Nazi kitsch, Leni Riefenstahl, one of the scariest artists of our time, who surged from dancer to Third Reich Uberfrauline to prisoner to American cultural icon. Co-starring Marlene Dietrich as the good twin, the play explores the labyrinth of personal morality and America’s disturbing embrace of an exceptionally disturbing artist.
Congratulations to Karla!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

2011 Technical and Production Positions Available

For information on 2011 Essential Theatre Festival, check out For questions regarding internship and employment opportunities, contact production manager Jennifer Brown at


Internships for all positions are now available for Essential Theatre's 2011 New Play Festival! Opportunities are available in marketing, fundraising, all areas of design production, and running crew. Customizable internships are also available upon request. Contact production manager Jennifer Brown at Please send a resume if you have one, and indicate your area of interest. Please also list your general availability between May and July, as we have a variety of opportunities available with varying time commitments.

Stage Manager

The stage manager will be responsible for attending and running all rehearsals for the show with which they are involved and distributing rehearsal and performance reports to the production and design staff, as well as the other festival stage managers, following every rehearsal and performance. Stage manager will run lights and sound for performances as well as maintaining props and costumes during the run of the show. The stage manager is also expected to participate in strike for their show when it closes and may be asked to participate in strike for the festival after the final show’s closing performance. Stipend offered.

Production Assistant/Asst Stage Manager

Production assistants will join the festival when we move into Actor's Express and will primarily serve as an assistant to the stage manager. Responsibilities will include tracking of props backstage during the show, assisting with scene changes and costume quick changes as needed, and possibly running lights, sound, and/or projections as deemed necessary by their stage manager. Production assistants will also assist in changeover/rep responsibilities as needed. A stipend is offered for this position.

Assistant Technical Director

The ATD will report directly to the Technical Director and will assist with coordinating and creating the technical aspects of the show. Responsibilities will include carpentry and painting as well as coordinating of volunteers and interns interested in participating in these tasks. ATD must be available during the day on June 22 through opening of the final play, as well as more flexible time prior to load-in for set construction. ATD is also expected to be available for strike the final weekend in July. A stipend is offered for this position.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Lauren Gunderson, two-time winner of the Essential Theatre Playwriting Award

Access Atlanta has an article on Decatur-born playwright Lauren Gunderson, whose new play "Exit, Pursued By A Bear" is currently being produced by Synchronicity. Lauren's a two-time winner of the Essential Theatre Playwriting Award.

General Auditions for A Thousand Circlets

Saturday, March 19, from Noon to 3 p.m.

Location: 1083 Austin Avenue Northeast, Atlanta, GA 30307 The Juggler’s Room in the Little Five Points Community Center (the building that Horizon Theatre is located in). It’s on the top floor, the first door on your right as you come to the top of the stairs.

Director: Betty Hart


"A Thousand Circlets" will be one of three productions running in repertory in the 2011 Essential Theatre Play Festival, which will run from June 30 – July 31 at Actor’s Express.

Please bring in two contrasting monologues, totaling not more than 4 minutes. We will NOT be reading from the play at this time.

Non-union casting. All roles will be stipend-paid.

All the characters are African-American.

Casting Breakdown:
  • Earl Leighton The family patriarch, an architect, self made, proud, on the verge of realizing a life’s ambition: to build a skyscraper, 60 yrs. old.
  • Liz Kensey Leighton Earl’s second wife, a retired literature professor, runs an efficient household, sharp, quite comfortable amongst the trappings of wealth; 57 yrs. old.
  • Caleb Leighton The eldest son, a CFO in his father’s architecture firm, a father of two, workaholic, a blunt instrument; 35 yrs. old.
  • Rebecca Leighton Earl’s daughter, a journalist, a wanderer, complicated, passionate, recently fired; 33 yrs old.
  • Grey Kensey Earl’s stepson, an architect at a small firm in New York, a bit lost, stubborn, independent to a fault; 32 yrs. old.
For appointment time: Email or call 404-212-0815.
Mailing Address: Essential Theatre, 1414 Foxhall Lane #10, Atlanta, GA 30316.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Break a Leg!

The Essential Theatre says BREAK A LEG! to the cast, crew (and author!) of Synchronicity Performance Group's World Premiere of Lauren Gunderson's revenge comedy, "Exit, Pursued By A Bear". Opening this Friday (March 4) in the Backstage Theatre at 7 Stages.

Lauren was the first-ever winner of the Essential Theatre Playwriting Award, back in 2001, for "Parts They Call Deep", a play that she wrote when she was just 17. She later went on to win another award from us, for her science-drama "Background", and she's been having a wonderful career ever since, getting commissions and productions all around the country.

Lauren says:

”The Essential Theatre has been fundamentally important for my career. When I was very young and unsure of how to sustain my work in theatre, they gave me strength. I speak from experience when I say that I will always credit them with my early success and confidence."

And a reminder -- the submission deadline for the 2012 Essential Theatre Playwriting Award is coming up soon, on April 23. Visit for submission guidelines.

Coming up this summer: The 2011 Essential Theatre Play Festival, featuring the Regional Premieres of Lee Blessing's "Great Falls," Melanie Marnich's "A Sleeping Country", and the World Premiere of our 2011 Award winner, Theroun D'Arcy Patterson's "A Thousand Circlets". The Festival will be running June 30 - July 31, at Actor's Express!