Friday, August 17, 2012

Essential Theatre Announces Literary Internship

Essential Theatre is seeking a select few interns for the fall semester. If interested, please
submit a resume and cover letter to the email indicated in the internship description below. To
learn more about Essential Theatre’s mission and work, check out our website
and look for us on Facebook. Class credit is available for all internships.

Literary Intern
We are looking for up to two literary interns to work with our artistic director to review
submissions to the 2013 Essential Theatre Playwrighting Competition.

We receive over 50 submissions each year, but only one will be awarded the cash prize and be produced in next summer’s festival. Learn about all the elements that go into the play selection process while significantly contributing to the shape of the next Essential Theatre Festival! We are hoping to reach a decision on the award by the end of October, so the majority of this internship will take place during September and October.

Interns will read and review plays and submit a brief report on each to Mr. Hardy for discussion.
Reports should include a brief synopsis, a list of merits and challenges that each play would
present if it were to be produced, and a brief statement expressing why the play should or
should not be chosen as the award winner. Reports may be submitted via email. Interns and Mr.
Hardy will meet periodically throughout the semester, via phone or in person, to discuss the
plays that have been reviewed. The number of plays each intern reviews will depend on the
number of credit hours sought for this internship.

To apply for this internship, please submit a resume and letter of interest to Peter Hardy at
. Be sure to include “LITERARY INTERNSHIP” in the subject of your email!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Essential Theatre Development Internships

We are looking for up to three interns to assist with grant writing and fundraising development during the fall semester. Gain valuable experience finding funding sources and creating grant applications.

Interns will join 
 the Fundraising Committee’s biweekly meetings and will assist with the tasks that are developed from these meetings. Tasks will primarily consist of researching fundraising opportunities, ensuring that application requirements are met before applications are submitted, identifying new non-grant-based fundraising opportunities and developing and implementing other fundraising ideas. Interns will complete three webinars through the Foundation Center during the semester as well and submit a one-page review of each that includes how the webinar relates to their work with Essential. The webinars are free, and archived webinars can be viewed at interns’ convenience.

To apply for this internship, please submit a resume and letter of interest to Jennifer Kimball at Be sure to include “FUNDRAISING INTERNSHIP” in the subject of your email!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Our Best Festival Ever Closes

We are grateful for our incredibly talented playwrights, cast, crew, designers and directors without whom this year's festival would not have been possible. For the first time, we produced three critically acclaimed new plays by Georgia playwrights. We also wish to thank our audience for making this our best festival ever. Watch this brief video to hear what lies ahead for Essential Theatre. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

We Have a Winner!

"Essential Theatre is proud to announce our first Walk-On Role winner for Bat-Hamlet, Cedric Floyd!
Cedric will be appearing in the 8pm performance this Friday, July 27. Congratulations Cedric! We look forward to sharing the stage with you!

Raffle tickets, as well as tickets to our remaining performances, are available online
. Raffle winners are drawn one week prior to the date of the performance in which they will appear. Time is running out, so get your tickets today!"

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Ophelia Describes Hamlet from The Essential Theatre 2012 Play Festival's World Premiere Bat-Hamle

Ophelia describes her last date with Hamlet from the Essential Theatre Play Festival's world premiere of Bat-Hamlet by Jordan Pulliam.

Running in repertory July 2012 as part of the Essential Theatre's 2012 Play Festival. Visit for more information and to buy tickets!

Kate Graham as Ophelia

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Essential Shines at LMDA Confab

We're proud and happy to announce that Theroun Patterson's powerful family drama A THOUSAND CIRCLETS, winner of the 2011 Essential Theatre Playwriting Award (and successfully produced in our 2011 Festival) has been picked up for a second production -- an 8-week run at the Detroit Repertory Theatre, next spring.  That makes two Essential Award winners in a row that have gone on to a second production (the first being our 2010 prize-winner, Gabriel Dean's QUALITIES OF STARLIGHT, which was recently produced in Washington, D.C. in the Source Theater Festival).

On June 29, Theroun Patterson and Irepresented the Essential Theatre at the LMDA's Writers Night, hosted by the Alliance Theatre.  LMDA stands for Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas, and such folks from all over the country got a chance to hear about Atlanta theatres and their work with new plays, and the Essential Theatre got a lot of shout-outs from the different writers and directors speaking there. Learn more about LMDA

For the past fourteen years, the Essential Theatre has been the leading supporter and producer of new work by Georgia playwrights.  Next week we'll be opening our 2012 Essential Theatre Play Festival, running July 6 - August 5 at Actor's Express, and featuring THREE World Premieres by Georgia writers -- our first ever All-Georgia Festival!  The shows will be Topher Payne's EVELYN IN PURGATORY, Jordan Pulliam's BAT-HAMLET and THE LOCAL, a collaborative portrait of the City of Atlanta featuring the work of almost THIRTY Atlanta writers, musicians and storytellers.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Complimentary Tickets for Teachers

The Essential Theatre offers a free ticket (and a complimentary glass of wine) for the July 5 Preview performance of its World Premiere production of Topher Payne’s EVELYN IN PURGATORY, a prize-winning drama about public school teachers.  Topher’s play won the 2012 Essential Theatre Playwriting Award for best play written by a Georgia resident.  Set in the infamous “rubber room” of New York City’s public school system, the playwright describes it as being “like The Breakfast Club for teachers.”

The Preview performance will be at 8 p.m. on July 5 in the Actor’s Express space (located in the King Plow Art Center (  Teachers with an i.d. will be admitted for free and can receive a complimentary glass of wine (which can be taken into the theatre).  Reservations cannot be made in advance for these free admissions, so come early!

For more information (and to watch a brief video of the playwright discuss the play with his director, Betty Hart), visit or call 404-212-0815.

Please share with your favorite teacher. 

THE LOCAL Thanks Atlanta for Your Support

As many of you know, THE LOCAL is being produced as one of three world premiere Georgia plays in the Essential Theatre Play Festival, running from July 6th through August 5th at the King Plow Arts Center--tickets are on sale now at THE LOCAL recently ran a fundraising campaign through to enable the show to be as beautiful as we were inspired to make it, and I’m happy to say that we have met our goal! So now the production is ready to fly and we want to tell you a little about it. 

THE LOCAL is a collaborative theatre project made of short pieces that is OF Atlanta, FOR Atlanta, and BY Atlanta. Earlier this year, we sent out a call for short pieces set in Atlanta and received over 80 submissions--way more than we could use. In fact, we couldn't include some pieces that we quite liked, so we've decided to have, on one night of the Festival, an auxiliary reading of some of our favorite submissions that didn't make it into THE LOCAL -- we're calling that evening OTP (Outside The Play). 

In addition to the submissions that were chosen, the show includes pieces scripted from true stories of people who live here, some born natives, some who've chosen for various reasons to make the city their home. There are also a few commissioned pieces. And there's a character called The Conductor, dressed as a train conductor, who appears from time to time to guide the audience through the show. (After all, Atlanta did begin life as a train station called Terminus.) 

At the top of act two, The Conductor informs the audience that their tickets to the show are also tickets for a door prize and awards the lucky winner a gift certificate from an Atlanta business. We are currently soliciting donations of door prizes from Atlanta businesses that would like to be featured -- but they have to be Atlanta businesses, no chains, unless they were born or are based here. We want to support the locals! 

Another aspect of the show is the projections of photographs of actual Atlanta locations that set the stage for the different scenes. Some of the photographs were submitted by supporters through KickStarter, as were many short messages of support which we’ll put on a projected virtual graffiti wall. And a local graffiti artist is even painting a mural on part of the set. 

What we’ve striven for in developing this piece is to have voices from diverse neighborhoods, backgrounds, and communities sharing their stories. Most of us tend to go to the same places, have the same experience of the city, and most of us are ignorant of a lot of the rest of the city where we all live. We imagine the audience sitting together, peeking into each other’s Atlanta and expanding our understanding: laughing together about what we share and getting to hear from the inside about what is outside our own experience. We hope the play will stimulate a curiosity to explore and learn more about our shared hometown. 

 You can buy tickets, check out the performance schedule, and find more information about THE LOCAL at

Monday, May 28, 2012

Our Volunteer Ushers are Essential

Essential Theatre seeks two volunteer ushers for each performance. This year's festival run July 5 through August 5, 2012 but those who sign-up early will have their choice of performances.

Simply follow the link to our OvationTix calendar and select USHER and you will be taken to a page to sign-up. Choose one or two $0 tickets. Ushers are asked to please arrive 60 minutes prior to curtain time. Preferred dress is black skirt or slacks and white shirt. After the performance, we ask that you assist in cleaning up inside the theatre space.

Parking is free at Essential Theatre @ Actors Express.  If you have questions, please email: mperloe AT essentialtheatre DOT com.

Take a picture of this neat little photo with your cell phone and it will take you to our calendar page or simply click on this link:

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Changing Face of Theatre Criticism

The changing face of theatre criticism in Atlanta has been a subject that fascinated me for some time, having closely observed it for 25 years now. There are a lot of things I miss about the days when you'd get the Friday AJC and one or two theatre reviews would be on the front page, maybe with some more inside. And there are things about those days that I don't miss (the power that one or two reviewers had). But I can't help but see this as part of a much larger picture, how the nature of media has changed over that time (more and more rapidly, it seems). Nowadays, it seems like anybody can start a blog or a website and be a critic, and just about anybody (it takes a little more money) can start a theatre company. There's a lot to be said for this, but we've also lost a lot, and the story is still changing so much that I don't think we can really see where we're at.

What is the relationship of the artist and the critic? What has it been in the past, what is it now, and what should it be? I've been thinking for years now about writing a play or a novel about this subject, but it seems to me like the story is still emerging, and no telling where it will go next.

Peter Hardy

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Are you proud to call Atlanta home?

THE LOCAL. Is a collaborative theatre project made of short pieces by different Atlanta artists. All the pieces are set in different Atlanta locations. There are also pieces based on real stories collected from local people. The stage is set f or the many locations through the use of projected photographs.

THE LOCAL is being produced by The Essential Theatre in July, 2012, as part of a three play festival performing in the King Plow Arts Center in Atlanta. The Essential has got the bare bones covered but this project wants to fly. There are playwrights, poets, choreographers, photographers, designers, songwriters, rappers, dancers, and more artists involved, all with wonderful creative ideas that need some financial fertilizing to fully flower.

So we’ve come to Kickstarter. A few thousand dollars will enable this project to be as beautiful as we are inspired to make it. Studio time for musicians, an urban street choreographer, and a specially constructed silk flame/feather dance veil are just three of the elements needed to fulfill our vision.

The show is lot about belonging (and the other face of that -- not belonging). Finding where you belong, how you belong, finding your place. How you shape the place you live, and how it shapes you. It's about where we live, physically and metaphorically.

There’s a long term vision for this project as well. Down the road, we’d like to take the project down the road. Imagine ten or twelve cities across the country doing their own LOCALS, then networking with each other to produce another set of shows composed of pieces drawn from all the cities. Each city would have a different show because each one would choose different scenes.

For instance, one city might choose to do all the Occupy scenes from all the different cities, each colored by the culture and the climate of its location.  Another city might choose to do all the scenes about favorite hangout joints. Or all the Gay Pride scenes. Another might just choose their favorite scenes, no matter what the setting. Performers from the original LOCALs would travel to the other cities to perform their pieces for audiences in other parts of the country and network with artists from all over America.  Each production would speak to both regional essence and the national zeitgeist and help to connect artists and audiences across the nation.

But that's down the road. Right now, we're raising money to make this first show. And we would very much like to have you help it happen with your financial support and to join us on stage by signing our graffiti wall with a personal message. Thanks!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Bat-Hamlet Walk On Role

Win a walk-on role in Jordan Pulliam’s Bat-Hamlet, a comic book re-telling of Shakespeare’s Hamlet!

To Enter:
Simply follow the link to our OvationTix calendar and select BAT-HAMLET WALK ON RAFFLE tickets and you will be taken to a page to sign up. Only 25 raffle tickets are available per performance date, so get yours now! Purchase of a raffle ticket does NOT reserve you a seat in the audience. If you would like to attend a performance, you will need to purchase regularly priced tickets as well.

One week prior to each show date, a winner will be selected and notified via email.

You may enter as many times per performance as there are raffle tickets available, and you may enter for as many or as few performances as you would like. Winners will be notified through the contact information provided at time of raffle ticket purchase, so please be sure to provide your preferred contact information.

Winners will be notified via e-mail one week prior to the show date, allowing you time to tell your friends and family when they can come see YOU onstage!

Winners should arrive one hour prior to showtime for costume fitting and rehearsal. A seat will be reserved for the winner to watch the first act of the show. After intermission, the winner will stay backstage in the greenroom and be cued by the Assistant Stage Manager to enter for his/her scene. Each winner will receive an autographed poster from the show as well as a digital picture of themselves with the entire cast.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

More Good News For Essential's Alumni

Three of the finalists being considered for the Eugene O'Neill Center's National Playwrights Conference this year are Georgia writers who've had World Premieres produced by the Essential Theatre: Karla Jennings, Gabriel Jason Dean and Lauren Gunderson! Congrats to all three of them (and also to Adam Szymkowicz, whose "Food For Fish" we produced in 2009). The Essential Theatre helps send Georgia playwrights out into the world!