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SCENES & MOTIONS: Not me. Us: six chances to connect

These plays may reflect our all-too-human longings

S&M MHE2 2
Photo credit: Courtesy of Alliance Theatre
MAYBE HAPPY ENDING: Cathy Ang and Kenny Yang star at the Alliance Theatre.

Why should I step outside of my warm home where I am often tantalized with endless streaming of Amazon Prime and Netflix and CBS All Access ... and make my way to a live stage production on a chilly winter night? An experience that can pull me away from hearth and home is a performance that surprises me, upsets me, or makes me feel something, suddenly and deeply. 

That usually means art that puts me intimately in touch with someone else’s reality. I have yet to see the six productions described below, but from what I have read about them I believe they each share the same dramatic DNA. They offer the promise of a powerful or playful hour or two experiencing what it is to be alive and aware while sitting still in a room filled with strangers.

Maybe Happy Ending

Maybe Happy Ending is a sci-fi musical now playing at the Alliance Theatre through February 16. Set in Seoul, Korea, 50 years in the future, it is a tragicomic love story about two robotic servants known as “helperbots” living in an apartment building for obsolete models. Before they meet and fall in a certain type of “love,” Claire and Oliver are living alone and isolated like “hikikomori,” the Japanese cultural phenomenon in which people never leave their rooms for years at a time. 

The English-language premiere of Maybe Happy Ending in Atlanta is directed by Tony nominee Michael Arden (Once on This Island, Spring Awakening). ”Humanity has been around for a while and grown cynical,” says Arden. “Compared to humans, Claire and Oliver are innocent and trusting. They have a pure way of connecting to each other and to the larger world they discover together.” 

Composer Will Aronson and lyricist Hue Park shared their owns observation in their author’s note for the play. “It’s easy to imagine a future when people start to become indistinguishable from their electronic gadgets. But underneath this, all the old human longings and fears and dreams are still there, unchanged …. Once you take that risk and go out into the world, you have the possibility of experiencing something beautiful. But you don’t have any kind of guaranteed happy ending out of it. It’s all a question mark.” 

If the romantic sci-fi premise of Maybe Happy Ending isn’t a compelling enough emotional tractor beam to pull you in, this Alliance production is also full of stellar Broadway talent. This includes scenic design by Dane Laffrey (Once on This Island), costume design by Clint Ramos (The Rose Tattoo, Eclipsed), lighting design by Travis Hagenbuch, projections design by Sven Ortel (Newsies the Musical), and sound design by Peter Hylenski (Beetlejuice, Once on This Island). 

Originally written in Korean, Maybe Happy Ending premiered in Seoul in 2016 to smash success, winning six Korean Music Awards. Like so many other popular Alliance musical premieres, (Aida, The Color Purple, Bring It On, The Prom, etc.), it’s easy to imagine a not-too-distant future where Maybe Happy Ending ends up on Broadway and earns its own accolades.

$10-$85. Through Feb. 16. Alliance Theatre. 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. 404-733-4650. https://alliancetheatre.org/production/2019-20/maybe-happy-ending

This Random World: The Myth of Serendipity

“… the cascading series of coincidences neatly illustrates the idea that, as the title suggests, we are all hostages to chance.” — Charles Isherwood, The New York Times.

Since 1981, American playwright Steven Dietz has had over 50 of his plays and adaptations produced across the US and around the world; indeed, over the past 10 years, no living playwright has had as many of their plays produced on American stages. Out of Box Theatre is the first ATL ensemble to present Dietz’s This Random World: The Myth of Serendipity since it premiered at the Humana Festival of New American Plays in Louisville four years ago. More than one publication has described the play by saying it “asks the serious question of how often we travel parallel paths through the world without noticing.”

Dietz’s wistful comedy of missed connections reveals brief emotional moments in the lives of an aging mother, her grown son and daughter, and four other people all just one degree of separation away. Their stories intersect so closely that audiences are convinced they’ll all collide or converge sooner or later. But they … .

Dietz doesn’t go for the easy, expected dramatic payoff. In This Random World, serendipity is less about coincidental encounters down the street or at the other end of the world, and more about missing someone by a just few moments. None of Dietz’ characters will ever know what they’ve missed. But we will. And perhaps leave the theatre poignantly wondering, “if only…”

$22. Feb. 14-23. Out of Box Theatre, 585 Cobb Pkwy. S, Suite C-1, Marietta. 678-653-4605. http://www.outofboxtheatre.com/randomworld

Fun Home

Under the leadership of Artistic Director Freddie Ashley, Actor’s Express has had 13 seasons of popular success mounting bold productions of major musicals and critically acclaimed dramas. This track record is reason enough to buy a ticket to anything they do at their cozy quarters in the King Plow complex on the Westside. But by any theatrical standard, Fun Home is something special: a wholly original 90-minute musical about what happens when you finally see your parents through grown-up eyes.

The loyal fanbase for Alison Bechdel’s long-running Dykes to Watch Out For comic strip adored Fun Home as a graphic novel when it was published to rave reviews in 2006. By 2013, Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori had adapted the book into a musical premiering Off Broadway at the Public Theater. Fun Home became a critical sensation once again, not only named Best Musical by the New York Drama Critics’ Circle, but also a finalist for that year’s Pulitzer Prize in Drama. After several reruns by popular demand, Fun Home moved to Broadway in 2015, where it won five Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Original Score, and Best Book for a Musical. The following year, the live cast recording won a Grammy award.

The TV ads for the first national tour screamed, “Welcome to a musical about a family that’s nothing like yours — and exactly like yours.” Okay. So, I wonder, how many of you can relate to this author’s wonder years? Alison’s autobiographical tale, which traces the childhood events that led to her becoming a graphic novelist, allows her to reflect upon herself at various points in the past — three ages, played by three actresses. The oldest version often shares the stage with one of the younger versions and looks sweetly or critically at herself at various points in her past. 

As Small Allison, she remembers her funeral director/home remodeler/high school teacher dad as spirited, eccentric, preoccupied, and demanding. She romps around the “fun home,” the family’s nickname for the funeral parlor, hiding in the coffins with her two brothers. She doesn’t realize her father is also a closeted, very repressed homosexual having secret affairs. Later, Medium Allison, the college freshman, finds the courage to come out as a lesbian, first to a female classmate she loves and later to her parents. Finally, looking back on her father’s struggles from the vantage point of middle age, she comes to believe that his untimely death must have been suicide.

I said I haven’t seen these productions. However, I did see the Broadway production of Fun Home with the original cast. I can tell you that the script is one of the best I’ve heard in a musical. Very smart and achingly honest. Incisive, wry, compelling, and yet, at certain moments, laugh-out-loud funny. But the music and the songs are what really make this piece of theater so moving and emotionally powerful. The music and lyrics are woven as effortlessly as the best works of Stephen Sondheim, and I can tell you from memory that the sounds of Fun Home seamlessly shift from giddy to gorgeous, melancholy to zany, angry to haunting, and, ultimately, to heartbreaking and luminous. 

Even if Actor’s Express does half as good a job as the Broadway cast, this Fun Home promises to be one of the highlights of the theater season.

$20-$40. Showtimes vary. Through Feb. 16. Actor’s Express, 87 West Marietta S.t N.W. Suite J-107. 404-607-7469. https://www.actors-express.com/plays/fun-home

Tribes

British playwright Nina Raine explained in a 2010 interview that the idea of writing Tribes came to her after she saw a documentary about a deaf couple who were expecting a child and were hoping it would be born deaf. It occurred to Raine that this family was essentially a tribe whose members wanted to pass on values, beliefs, and language to their children. Each tribe has its own rituals, hierarchies and ways of communicating that are often hard for “outsiders” to understand. She began to see that there were tribes everywhere, including individual families, religious communities, and groups like the (self-defined) deaf community. 

Raine’s play focuses on a dysfunctional middle-class British Jewish family with three grown children, all living at home. One of the two sons, Billy, born deaf, was raised to read lips and to speak but was never taught sign language. Billy’s family, like every other, behaves like a club with its own private language, jokes, and rules. In this Jewish household, arguments, no matter how heated, are considered an expression of love. 

But then Billy meets Sylvia, a hearing woman born to deaf parents who is now slowly going deaf herself. She hates that she’s losing her hearing and begins teaching Billy sign language. After learning about the values of the deaf community, Billy confronts his own family’s beliefs and values. Finally, it is the deaf family member who demands to be heard.

DramaTech, Georgia Tech’s student-run theatre organization, has been around for 73 years. Tribes is an award-winning script, and many productions feature a deaf actor in the role of Billy. This might well be a student production worth seeking out.

$8-$15. 8 p.m. February 7–15, DramaTech Theatre, 349 Ferst Drive. 404-894-3481. https://dramatech.org/events/

Wooden Nickels

In this new one-act play at Theatre Emory directed by Atlanta theatre legend Tim McDonough, two brothers from a Jewish family in Lubbock, Texas, tell the story of their father and his eccentric con-man cousin. Novelist Joseph Skibell (A Curable Romantic) wrote Wooden Nickles based on an essay about Jack Tiger, his father’s cousin, which first appeared in Skibell’s book My Father’s Guitar and Other Imaginary Things. Critic Dara Bramsom called the essay collection “a chronicle of experience and aging, the process within which a part of us — no matter how much we resist it — inevitably echoes our parents.” Others have compared Skibell’s style to “Mark Twain meets Isaac Bashevis Singer meets Wes Anderson.”

7:30 p.m. Feb. 26-29; 2 p.m., March 1.  , Theatre Emory, 1602 Fishburne Drive # 230. 404-727-0524. http://theater.emory.edu/home/shows-events/calendar.html#/?i=1

Stellaluna

When Stellaluna unexpectedly falls into the middle of a bird family’s home, the baby fruit bat is graciously accepted as one of them, but only if she acts like a bird. “Mama Bird told me I was upside down. She said I was wrong...” says the little bat. “Wrong for a bird, maybe, but not for a bat!” Eventually, Stellaluna finds other bats and reunites with her mother. She introduces the birds to her bat family, and she and the birds decide that, despite their many differences, they are still friends. This world premiere adaptation at the Center for Puppetry Arts celebrates self-discoveries, unlikely friendships, and how we can be so different yet feel so much the same. 

Creative wizard Jon Ludwig adapted the story and directed the original production, which has been mounted on the largest set ever built at the Puppetry Center, and where every visual detail is closely based on the beloved children’s book by Janell Cannon. The author said she wrote the book to demonstrate that feeling like “a bat in a bird’s world” was universal. She must have been right, because since its publication in 1993, Stellaluna has sold well over two million copies globally and been translated into 30 languages. 

$19.50 and $25. Showtimes vary. Through March 8.Center for Puppetry Arts, 1404 Spring St. N.W. https://puppet.org/programs/stellaluna-2/

Parents. Families. Memory. Childhood. Nesting. Dreams. I definitely see patterns here, and they’re matching my mood in this, my 60th winter.

So, brave the slight chill of Atlanta this February and March. Get inside a theatre, meet some of these all-too-human families, and see if you recognize some part of your soul in one or more of these characters. Sitting there in the dark, listening, you might also discover a new, even more fascinating version of yourself. — CL —



More By This Writer

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  string(5983) "This month, from October 3–6, Atlanta-based choreographer George Staib and dance company Staibdance present the world premiere of fence, their most political and socially driven work to date. Staib, working with 13 of our city’s boldest contemporary dancers and a visionary international design team, is expanding on the visceral emotions and cultural tensions that fueled his critically acclaimed dance work moat when it premiered at Emory’s Schwartz Center three summers ago.

Like moat, fence is also inspired by the choreographer’s painful memories of growing up in pre-revolutionary Iran and Reagan-era rural Pennsylvania. Staib’s latest work invites the audience on a personal journey exploring power and powerlessness, the experience of being the outsider, and how the idea of “otherness” can rob us of our power or, ultimately, become the source of our power in this life.

As a young child in Iran in the early 1970s, Staib attended the Tehran American School on the outskirts of the nation’s ancient capital. His classmates were mostly from the U.S. and Europe. As the only student who had been born and raised in Iran, he was painfully self-conscious of his outsider status at school. Staib felt real fear when two American students were lured to a remote part of the campus by two Iranian men who suddenly stabbed the boys through a fence that separated the school from a mostly deserted landscape.

Two years later, in 1977, Staib’s family fled Iran and immigrated to rural Pennsylvania. George grew up in America during the Iranian Revolution and in the shadow of the hostage crisis at the U.S. Embassy that ultimately led to President Jimmy Carter’s political defeat and helped elect Ronald Reagan. In the wake of those global events, and inside yet another fence that surrounded his American high school, Staib felt like even more of an outcast than he had back in Tehran. Other students often hurled rocks at him and his sister and shouted racist, anti-Iranian insults.

Four decades after the emotional and political turmoil of his childhood, Staib now serves on the dance faculty of Emory University. He founded his Atlanta-based dance company in 2012. As a working artist and as an American citizen during these Trumpian dark times, Staib sees the South as a region with many of the same power dynamics (race, religion, gender, class) that he faced in his native Iran and in rural Pennsylvania in the early 1980s.

“In fence,” Staib explains, “the dancers delineate and rearrange space; they destroy it, and then move on, as a parallel symbol of the desire to alter the self and to deny any sense of otherness. They examine the tension that exists between what is and what may be; the tension between the moment of betrayal and the moment power is taken away from any individual; and ultimately, the provocative precipice of reclaiming our ground.”

Perhaps more than in any previous work premiered by Staibdance (wishdust, moat, attic, snap, versus, and nameday), Staib’s intensely physical vocabulary in fence bonds with traditional Iranian dance. Iranian dance movement is rarely, if ever, performed with, or in front of, members of the opposite sex. fence blends these traditional gender-specific movements with original dance vocabulary created collaboratively by Staib, co-choreographer/managing director Sarah Hillmer, and the dancers themselves, whose contrasting movements explore feelings of unrest on both a personal and a global level.

Over the past seven seasons, Staibdance premieres have been performed by a who’s who of Atlanta dance talent. The latest all-star team includes Anna Bracewell, Nicole Johnson, Jimmy Joyner, Britanie Leland, Chrystola Luu, Gianna Mercandetti, Laura Morton, Amelia Reiser, Virginia Spinks, and apprentice dancers Patsy Collins, Bailey Harbaugh, Catherine Messina, and Benjamin Stevenson.

Beginning with their premiere of attic at Emory in 2015, Staibdance has also given special attention to creating compelling physical and sensory environments as part of each complete dance work. Using funds from a major National Dance Project (NDP) Production Award grant from the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA), Staib has gathered a tantalizingly impressive creative design team to carry out his vision.


Jessica Anderson and Sebastian Monroy, the genius duo behind Into Outof Studio, are weaving a sensory-based digital experience within the work. Anderson, the creative technologist behind the Design & Innovation Lab at Spelman College, serves as creative/technical advisor. Designer Gregory Catellier creates distinct spaces and moods with light, scenic designer Sara Ward Culpepper sculpted the titular fence inhabiting the space, and former Atlanta Ballet costume designer Tamara Cobus chose the physical textures and patterns the dancers move within.

Enveloping it all is original music rooted in Middle Eastern scales, harmonics, rhythms, and Iranian vocals. Electronic musician and composer Ben Coleman (formerly of Judi Chicago and Noot d’ Noot) blurs the elements in real time, creating a cross-pollination of sounds, texts, and otherworldly ambiance. All this talent was paid for by the NDP Production Award — Staibdance was one of only two grant recipients from the Southeast and the first Georgia-based arts organization to ever receive the highly competitive award, so kudos to them for that.

Ultimately, George Staib and everyone at Staibdance wants this dance work to be part of a dialogue on power. As they enter the venue, the audience is surrounded by a world of projected images of people’s personal journeys, via posts from the company’s hashtag campaign that asks, “What takes your power?” (#staibdancefence #givespower #takeyourpower) As audiences exit the performance space, they leave through an entirely different world of projected images, centered on the ways the global hashtag community reclaims their power. -CL-"
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Like ''moat, fence'' is also inspired by the choreographer’s painful memories of growing up in pre-revolutionary Iran and Reagan-era rural Pennsylvania. Staib’s latest work invites the audience on a personal journey exploring power and powerlessness, the experience of being the outsider, and how the idea of “otherness” can rob us of our power or, ultimately, become the source of our power in this life.

As a young child in Iran in the early 1970s, Staib attended the Tehran American School on the outskirts of the nation’s ancient capital. His classmates were mostly from the U.S. and Europe. As the only student who had been born and raised in Iran, he was painfully self-conscious of his outsider status at school. Staib felt real fear when two American students were lured to a remote part of the campus by two Iranian men who suddenly stabbed the boys through a fence that separated the school from a mostly deserted landscape.

Two years later, in 1977, Staib’s family fled Iran and immigrated to rural Pennsylvania. George grew up in America during the Iranian Revolution and in the shadow of the hostage crisis at the U.S. Embassy that ultimately led to President Jimmy Carter’s political defeat and helped elect Ronald Reagan. In the wake of those global events, and inside yet another fence that surrounded his American high school, Staib felt like even more of an outcast than he had back in Tehran. Other students often hurled rocks at him and his sister and shouted racist, anti-Iranian insults.

Four decades after the emotional and political turmoil of his childhood, Staib now serves on the dance faculty of Emory University. He founded his Atlanta-based dance company in 2012. As a working artist and as an American citizen during these Trumpian dark times, Staib sees the South as a region with many of the same power dynamics (race, religion, gender, class) that he faced in his native Iran and in rural Pennsylvania in the early 1980s.

“In ''fence'',” Staib explains, “the dancers delineate and rearrange space; they destroy it, and then move on, as a parallel symbol of the desire to alter the self and to deny any sense of otherness. They examine the tension that exists between what is and what may be; the tension between the moment of betrayal and the moment power is taken away from any individual; and ultimately, the provocative precipice of reclaiming our ground.”

Perhaps more than in any previous work premiered by Staibdance (''wishdust, moat, attic, snap, versus'', and ''nameday''), Staib’s intensely physical vocabulary in ''fence'' bonds with traditional Iranian dance. Iranian dance movement is rarely, if ever, performed with, or in front of, members of the opposite sex. ''fence'' blends these traditional gender-specific movements with original dance vocabulary created collaboratively by Staib, co-choreographer/managing director Sarah Hillmer, and the dancers themselves, whose contrasting movements explore feelings of unrest on both a personal and a global level.

Over the past seven seasons, Staibdance premieres have been performed by a who’s who of Atlanta dance talent. The latest all-star team includes Anna Bracewell, Nicole Johnson, Jimmy Joyner, Britanie Leland, Chrystola Luu, Gianna Mercandetti, Laura Morton, Amelia Reiser, Virginia Spinks, and apprentice dancers Patsy Collins, Bailey Harbaugh, Catherine Messina, and Benjamin Stevenson.

Beginning with their premiere of ''attic'' at Emory in 2015, Staibdance has also given special attention to creating compelling physical and sensory environments as part of each complete dance work. Using funds from a major National Dance Project (NDP) Production Award grant from the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA), Staib has gathered a tantalizingly impressive creative design team to carry out his vision.

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  string(6601) " Staibdance Fence Web  2019-10-03T16:05:20+00:00 staibdance_fence_web.jpg    atlanta dance arts scenes and motions culture fence scenes&motions The give and take of power 24177  2019-10-03T15:59:06+00:00 SCENES AND MOTIONS: ‘fence’ allows painful memories to escape jim.harris@creativeloafing.com Jim Harris EDWARD MCNALLY Edward McNally 2019-10-03T15:59:06+00:00  This month, from October 3–6, Atlanta-based choreographer George Staib and dance company Staibdance present the world premiere of fence, their most political and socially driven work to date. Staib, working with 13 of our city’s boldest contemporary dancers and a visionary international design team, is expanding on the visceral emotions and cultural tensions that fueled his critically acclaimed dance work moat when it premiered at Emory’s Schwartz Center three summers ago.

Like moat, fence is also inspired by the choreographer’s painful memories of growing up in pre-revolutionary Iran and Reagan-era rural Pennsylvania. Staib’s latest work invites the audience on a personal journey exploring power and powerlessness, the experience of being the outsider, and how the idea of “otherness” can rob us of our power or, ultimately, become the source of our power in this life.

As a young child in Iran in the early 1970s, Staib attended the Tehran American School on the outskirts of the nation’s ancient capital. His classmates were mostly from the U.S. and Europe. As the only student who had been born and raised in Iran, he was painfully self-conscious of his outsider status at school. Staib felt real fear when two American students were lured to a remote part of the campus by two Iranian men who suddenly stabbed the boys through a fence that separated the school from a mostly deserted landscape.

Two years later, in 1977, Staib’s family fled Iran and immigrated to rural Pennsylvania. George grew up in America during the Iranian Revolution and in the shadow of the hostage crisis at the U.S. Embassy that ultimately led to President Jimmy Carter’s political defeat and helped elect Ronald Reagan. In the wake of those global events, and inside yet another fence that surrounded his American high school, Staib felt like even more of an outcast than he had back in Tehran. Other students often hurled rocks at him and his sister and shouted racist, anti-Iranian insults.

Four decades after the emotional and political turmoil of his childhood, Staib now serves on the dance faculty of Emory University. He founded his Atlanta-based dance company in 2012. As a working artist and as an American citizen during these Trumpian dark times, Staib sees the South as a region with many of the same power dynamics (race, religion, gender, class) that he faced in his native Iran and in rural Pennsylvania in the early 1980s.

“In fence,” Staib explains, “the dancers delineate and rearrange space; they destroy it, and then move on, as a parallel symbol of the desire to alter the self and to deny any sense of otherness. They examine the tension that exists between what is and what may be; the tension between the moment of betrayal and the moment power is taken away from any individual; and ultimately, the provocative precipice of reclaiming our ground.”

Perhaps more than in any previous work premiered by Staibdance (wishdust, moat, attic, snap, versus, and nameday), Staib’s intensely physical vocabulary in fence bonds with traditional Iranian dance. Iranian dance movement is rarely, if ever, performed with, or in front of, members of the opposite sex. fence blends these traditional gender-specific movements with original dance vocabulary created collaboratively by Staib, co-choreographer/managing director Sarah Hillmer, and the dancers themselves, whose contrasting movements explore feelings of unrest on both a personal and a global level.

Over the past seven seasons, Staibdance premieres have been performed by a who’s who of Atlanta dance talent. The latest all-star team includes Anna Bracewell, Nicole Johnson, Jimmy Joyner, Britanie Leland, Chrystola Luu, Gianna Mercandetti, Laura Morton, Amelia Reiser, Virginia Spinks, and apprentice dancers Patsy Collins, Bailey Harbaugh, Catherine Messina, and Benjamin Stevenson.

Beginning with their premiere of attic at Emory in 2015, Staibdance has also given special attention to creating compelling physical and sensory environments as part of each complete dance work. Using funds from a major National Dance Project (NDP) Production Award grant from the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA), Staib has gathered a tantalizingly impressive creative design team to carry out his vision.


Jessica Anderson and Sebastian Monroy, the genius duo behind Into Outof Studio, are weaving a sensory-based digital experience within the work. Anderson, the creative technologist behind the Design & Innovation Lab at Spelman College, serves as creative/technical advisor. Designer Gregory Catellier creates distinct spaces and moods with light, scenic designer Sara Ward Culpepper sculpted the titular fence inhabiting the space, and former Atlanta Ballet costume designer Tamara Cobus chose the physical textures and patterns the dancers move within.

Enveloping it all is original music rooted in Middle Eastern scales, harmonics, rhythms, and Iranian vocals. Electronic musician and composer Ben Coleman (formerly of Judi Chicago and Noot d’ Noot) blurs the elements in real time, creating a cross-pollination of sounds, texts, and otherworldly ambiance. All this talent was paid for by the NDP Production Award — Staibdance was one of only two grant recipients from the Southeast and the first Georgia-based arts organization to ever receive the highly competitive award, so kudos to them for that.

Ultimately, George Staib and everyone at Staibdance wants this dance work to be part of a dialogue on power. As they enter the venue, the audience is surrounded by a world of projected images of people’s personal journeys, via posts from the company’s hashtag campaign that asks, “What takes your power?” (#staibdancefence #givespower #takeyourpower) As audiences exit the performance space, they leave through an entirely different world of projected images, centered on the ways the global hashtag community reclaims their power. -CL-    CHRISTINA MASSAD FENCE: ‘Dancers delineate and rearrange space.’  0,0,10    scenes&motions "scenes and motions" dance arts atlanta culture "Fence"                             SCENES AND MOTIONS: ‘fence’ allows painful memories to escape "
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Tuesday September 17, 2019 12:42 pm EDT
An Interview with Rebeca Robles of the Atlanta Theatre Club. | more...
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  string(7187) "!!!!“And because there is something they can’t see people think it has to be special, because people always think there is something special about what they can’t see, like the dark side of the moon, or the other side of a black hole, or in the dark when they wake up at night and they’re scared.” 
!!!!― Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Art in any form can help us to see. And to feel. Art, at its best, helps us think and perhaps even to understand.

Take for instance The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Mark Haddon’s best-selling “mystery novel” (2003) (and subsequent theatrical adaptation) is told from the point of view of Christopher, a special teenager who’s better at solving equations than navigating a world that’s out of sync with how his mind works. After being wrongly accused of murdering his neighbor’s dog, he resolves to find the real culprit. When his investigation uncovers painful truths about his family, he dares to strike out on his own.

In his blog, author Mark Haddon wrote "Curious Incident is not a book about Asperger's or any specific disorder. If anything, it's a novel about difference, about being an outsider, about seeing the world in a surprising and revealing way.”  As a book and as a play, Christopher’s coming-of-age story has become a hero’s quest fascinating readers and audiences all over the world.

Speaking to critic Maddy Costa in The Guardian, playwright Simon Stephens agreed that the irony is that “Christopher sees stories as lies, and theatre as dishonest. But it's through the lie that you find the greater truth. That's why you need to expose the mechanics of it.” This revealing irony is a big part of what got two metro area artistic directors, Lisa Adler (Horizon Theatre) and Justin Anderson (Aurora Theatre), excited about mounting the Atlanta premiere of one of the most popular dramatic scripts of the past decade.

“Christopher faces tremendous challenges because of his otherness,” says Anderson. “He’s desperately trying to find his place in the world. He overcomes so many obstacles that, by the end of the play, he and the audience come to understand that (his) otherness is perfect. Ultimately, our young hero is equal to everyone else and deserves respect as a valuable member of his family and his community.”

Anderson adds, “I’m fascinated by how bodies move in physical spaces, and so I’m thrilled to be able to use our combined tools and talents to make visible the thought process of these characters and to reveal the inner mystery of this young man’s mind. In many ways, ‘Curious Incident…’ is the most ambitious creative project I’ve ever been involved with.”

Might Atlanta audiences have unusually high expectations for this premiere? Perhaps.

Consider that, over the past seven years, the international bestseller has been adapted to the stage by Simon Stephens and premiered at the Royal National Theatre in London where it won seven Olivier Awards. To dramatize the intricate workings of Christopher’s brilliant imagination, the British creative team developed a state-of-the-art computerized LED lighting system, transforming a mostly bare set into a hypnotic grid of lights at key points in the story. At any moment, the giant white box of the stage became a swirling kaleidoscope of math equations, a speeding passenger train, a maze of London streets, or a star-filled expanse of interstellar space.

In 2015, the Royal Theatre production opened on Broadway to rave reviews and earned five Tony Awards, including ‘Best Play.’ Since then, touring productions and foreign language translations have wowed audiences in over a dozen countries across Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. And now, two small local theaters are co-producing and co-directing a new production with a local cast that will rely less on dazzling LED lighting effects, and more on ingenious original choreography. It will run at Horizon in L5P Sept. 20–Oct. 27 and at Aurora in Lawrenceville, Jan 9.–Feb 9., 2020.

As you might expect, theatre co-founder Lisa Adler is thrilled to open Horizon’s 36 season with “Curious Incident…” by adapting it to Horizon’s intimate stage in the Little Five Points Community Center. “Simon Stephens’ play is a great example of movement theatre at its best,” says Adler. “Our ensemble of eight actors will be telling a lot of this story with their bodies. Depending on the needs of a given scene, they’ll stand or stretch to become a closet, a piece of furniture, or the cabin of an imaginary spaceship.” The veteran director explains that “even though Christopher is a teenage character who can’t stand being touched, there are times when we’ll show him moving in space by having ‘invisible’ actors lifting him up walls and through the air.”

“Christopher is fascinated with math problems, puzzles, and seeing clues hidden in plain sight,” says Adler. “So, we’re basing our set design and choreography on all these elements as well as on Tetris, P.T., and other video games. We’re using projections, panels, portals, sound effects — lots of clever stage tricks to solve the stage puzzles this unique script presents.” Adler is quick to add, “Creatively, we’re having as much fun as with any play we’ve ever done, and we’re working to involve the audience in the puzzle-solving fun.”

To bring forth the best possible performances from their ensemble, Adler and Anderson invited Chicago-based “movement director” Roger Ellis to join their “trinity of perspectives.” The three directors are collaborating in rehearsals for four weeks leading up to opening night.

Anderson describes the play and the trio’s directorial arrangement as a “beautiful marriage of realism, surrealism, and dreamlike moments.” “We’re definitely learning from each other,” he adds. “The conversations and creative debates make for a super creative fusion. It feels like the very best ideas are bubbling to the top.”

I write this as someone who marveled with glee at the ingenuity of the Broadway production I witnessed four Septembers ago, and someone who was deeply moved by Christopher’s personal journey. And I’ll add that as a man with more than a little bit of an OCD personality, I certainly have my own mental challenges with obsessing over patterns and yearning to find order in a miraculous but often chaotic universe.

Personally, I can’t wait to see The Curious Incident of The Dog in The Night-Time again, both at Horizon this month and at Aurora in January. I’ve got to admit I’m curious (pun intended) to see how well they solve the puzzles of producing this very special play.

!!!!  The Curious Incident of The Dog in The Night-Time, directed by Lisa Adler and Justin Anderson.
!!!!Sept. 20–Oct. 27
!!!!Horizon Theatre
!!!!1083 Austin Ave., Atlanta.
!!!!404-584-7450. https://www.horizontheatre.com/
!!!!      Jan. 9–Feb. 9
!!!!Aurora Theatre
!!!!128 East Pike St., Lawrenceville
!!!!678-226-6222, https://www.auroratheatre.com/
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Art in any form can help us to see. And to feel. Art, at its best, helps us think and perhaps even to understand.

Take for instance The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Mark Haddon’s best-selling “mystery novel” (2003) (and subsequent theatrical adaptation) is told from the point of view of Christopher, a special teenager who’s better at solving equations than navigating a world that’s out of sync with how his mind works. After being wrongly accused of murdering his neighbor’s dog, he resolves to find the real culprit. When his investigation uncovers painful truths about his family, he dares to strike out on his own.

In his blog, author Mark Haddon wrote "Curious Incident is not a book about Asperger's or any specific disorder. If anything, it's a novel about difference, about being an outsider, about seeing the world in a surprising and revealing way.”  As a book and as a play, Christopher’s coming-of-age story has become a hero’s quest fascinating readers and audiences all over the world.

Speaking to critic Maddy Costa in The Guardian, playwright Simon Stephens agreed that the irony is that “Christopher sees stories as lies, and theatre as dishonest. But it's through the lie that you find the greater truth. That's why you need to expose the mechanics of it.” This revealing irony is a big part of what got two metro area artistic directors, Lisa Adler (Horizon Theatre) and Justin Anderson (Aurora Theatre), excited about mounting the Atlanta premiere of one of the most popular dramatic scripts of the past decade.

“Christopher faces tremendous challenges because of his otherness,” says Anderson. “He’s desperately trying to find his place in the world. He overcomes so many obstacles that, by the end of the play, he and the audience come to understand that (his) otherness is perfect. Ultimately, our young hero is equal to everyone else and deserves respect as a valuable member of his family and his community.”

Anderson adds, “I’m fascinated by how bodies move in physical spaces, and so I’m thrilled to be able to use our combined tools and talents to make visible the thought process of these characters and to reveal the inner mystery of this young man’s mind. In many ways, ‘Curious Incident''…''’ is the most ambitious creative project I’ve ever been involved with.”

Might Atlanta audiences have unusually high expectations for this premiere? Perhaps.

Consider that, over the past seven years, the international bestseller has been adapted to the stage by Simon Stephens and premiered at the Royal National Theatre in London where it won seven Olivier Awards. To dramatize the intricate workings of Christopher’s brilliant imagination, the British creative team developed a state-of-the-art computerized LED lighting system, transforming a mostly bare set into a hypnotic grid of lights at key points in the story. At any moment, the giant white box of the stage became a swirling kaleidoscope of math equations, a speeding passenger train, a maze of London streets, or a star-filled expanse of interstellar space.

In 2015, the Royal Theatre production opened on Broadway to rave reviews and earned five Tony Awards, including ‘Best Play.’ Since then, touring productions and foreign language translations have wowed audiences in over a dozen countries across Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. And now, two small local theaters are co-producing and co-directing a new production with a local cast that will rely less on dazzling LED lighting effects, and more on ingenious original choreography. It will run at Horizon in L5P Sept. 20–Oct. 27 and at Aurora in Lawrenceville, Jan 9.–Feb 9., 2020.

As you might expect, theatre co-founder Lisa Adler is thrilled to open Horizon’s 36{SUP()}th{SUP} season with “Curious Incident''…''” by adapting it to Horizon’s intimate stage in the Little Five Points Community Center. “Simon Stephens’ play is a great example of movement theatre at its best,” says Adler. “Our ensemble of eight actors will be telling a lot of this story with their bodies. Depending on the needs of a given scene, they’ll stand or stretch to become a closet, a piece of furniture, or the cabin of an imaginary spaceship.” The veteran director explains that “even though Christopher is a teenage character who can’t stand being touched, there are times when we’ll show him moving in space by having ‘invisible’ actors lifting him up walls and through the air.”

“Christopher is fascinated with math problems, puzzles, and seeing clues hidden in plain sight,” says Adler. “So, we’re basing our set design and choreography on all these elements as well as on Tetris, P.T., and other video games. We’re using projections, panels, portals, sound effects — lots of clever stage tricks to solve the stage puzzles this unique script presents.” Adler is quick to add, “Creatively, we’re having as much fun as with any play we’ve ever done, and we’re working to involve the audience in the puzzle-solving fun.”

To bring forth the best possible performances from their ensemble, Adler and Anderson invited Chicago-based “movement director” Roger Ellis to join their “trinity of perspectives.” The three directors are collaborating in rehearsals for four weeks leading up to opening night.

Anderson describes the play and the trio’s directorial arrangement as a “beautiful marriage of realism, surrealism, and dreamlike moments.” “We’re definitely learning from each other,” he adds. “The conversations and creative debates make for a super creative fusion. It feels like the very best ideas are bubbling to the top.”

I write this as someone who marveled with glee at the ingenuity of the Broadway production I witnessed four Septembers ago, and someone who was deeply moved by Christopher’s personal journey. And I’ll add that as a man with more than a little bit of an OCD personality, I certainly have my own mental challenges with obsessing over patterns and yearning to find order in a miraculous but often chaotic universe.

Personally, I can’t wait to see ''The Curious Incident of The Dog in The Night-Time'' again, both at Horizon this month and at Aurora in January. I’ve got to admit I’m curious (pun intended) to see how well they solve the puzzles of producing this very special play.

!!!! %%% ''The Curious Incident of The Dog in The Night-Time'', directed by Lisa Adler and Justin Anderson.
!!!!Sept. 20–Oct. 27
!!!!Horizon Theatre
!!!!1083 Austin Ave., Atlanta.
!!!!404-584-7450. https://www.horizontheatre.com/
!!!! %%%  %%%  %%% Jan. 9–Feb. 9
!!!!Aurora Theatre
!!!!128 East Pike St., Lawrenceville
!!!!678-226-6222, https://www.auroratheatre.com/
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  string(7799) " Curious Publicity Email  2019-09-05T14:40:54+00:00 curious-publicity-email.jpeg    scenes&motions ‘A Curious Incident,’ indeed 22838  2019-09-05T14:44:40+00:00 SCENES AND MOTIONS: ‘The Dog in the Night-Time’ tony.paris@creativeloafing.com Tony Paris EDWARD MCNALLY Edward McNally 2019-09-05T14:44:40+00:00  !!!!“And because there is something they can’t see people think it has to be special, because people always think there is something special about what they can’t see, like the dark side of the moon, or the other side of a black hole, or in the dark when they wake up at night and they’re scared.” 
!!!!― Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Art in any form can help us to see. And to feel. Art, at its best, helps us think and perhaps even to understand.

Take for instance The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Mark Haddon’s best-selling “mystery novel” (2003) (and subsequent theatrical adaptation) is told from the point of view of Christopher, a special teenager who’s better at solving equations than navigating a world that’s out of sync with how his mind works. After being wrongly accused of murdering his neighbor’s dog, he resolves to find the real culprit. When his investigation uncovers painful truths about his family, he dares to strike out on his own.

In his blog, author Mark Haddon wrote "Curious Incident is not a book about Asperger's or any specific disorder. If anything, it's a novel about difference, about being an outsider, about seeing the world in a surprising and revealing way.”  As a book and as a play, Christopher’s coming-of-age story has become a hero’s quest fascinating readers and audiences all over the world.

Speaking to critic Maddy Costa in The Guardian, playwright Simon Stephens agreed that the irony is that “Christopher sees stories as lies, and theatre as dishonest. But it's through the lie that you find the greater truth. That's why you need to expose the mechanics of it.” This revealing irony is a big part of what got two metro area artistic directors, Lisa Adler (Horizon Theatre) and Justin Anderson (Aurora Theatre), excited about mounting the Atlanta premiere of one of the most popular dramatic scripts of the past decade.

“Christopher faces tremendous challenges because of his otherness,” says Anderson. “He’s desperately trying to find his place in the world. He overcomes so many obstacles that, by the end of the play, he and the audience come to understand that (his) otherness is perfect. Ultimately, our young hero is equal to everyone else and deserves respect as a valuable member of his family and his community.”

Anderson adds, “I’m fascinated by how bodies move in physical spaces, and so I’m thrilled to be able to use our combined tools and talents to make visible the thought process of these characters and to reveal the inner mystery of this young man’s mind. In many ways, ‘Curious Incident…’ is the most ambitious creative project I’ve ever been involved with.”

Might Atlanta audiences have unusually high expectations for this premiere? Perhaps.

Consider that, over the past seven years, the international bestseller has been adapted to the stage by Simon Stephens and premiered at the Royal National Theatre in London where it won seven Olivier Awards. To dramatize the intricate workings of Christopher’s brilliant imagination, the British creative team developed a state-of-the-art computerized LED lighting system, transforming a mostly bare set into a hypnotic grid of lights at key points in the story. At any moment, the giant white box of the stage became a swirling kaleidoscope of math equations, a speeding passenger train, a maze of London streets, or a star-filled expanse of interstellar space.

In 2015, the Royal Theatre production opened on Broadway to rave reviews and earned five Tony Awards, including ‘Best Play.’ Since then, touring productions and foreign language translations have wowed audiences in over a dozen countries across Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. And now, two small local theaters are co-producing and co-directing a new production with a local cast that will rely less on dazzling LED lighting effects, and more on ingenious original choreography. It will run at Horizon in L5P Sept. 20–Oct. 27 and at Aurora in Lawrenceville, Jan 9.–Feb 9., 2020.

As you might expect, theatre co-founder Lisa Adler is thrilled to open Horizon’s 36 season with “Curious Incident…” by adapting it to Horizon’s intimate stage in the Little Five Points Community Center. “Simon Stephens’ play is a great example of movement theatre at its best,” says Adler. “Our ensemble of eight actors will be telling a lot of this story with their bodies. Depending on the needs of a given scene, they’ll stand or stretch to become a closet, a piece of furniture, or the cabin of an imaginary spaceship.” The veteran director explains that “even though Christopher is a teenage character who can’t stand being touched, there are times when we’ll show him moving in space by having ‘invisible’ actors lifting him up walls and through the air.”

“Christopher is fascinated with math problems, puzzles, and seeing clues hidden in plain sight,” says Adler. “So, we’re basing our set design and choreography on all these elements as well as on Tetris, P.T., and other video games. We’re using projections, panels, portals, sound effects — lots of clever stage tricks to solve the stage puzzles this unique script presents.” Adler is quick to add, “Creatively, we’re having as much fun as with any play we’ve ever done, and we’re working to involve the audience in the puzzle-solving fun.”

To bring forth the best possible performances from their ensemble, Adler and Anderson invited Chicago-based “movement director” Roger Ellis to join their “trinity of perspectives.” The three directors are collaborating in rehearsals for four weeks leading up to opening night.

Anderson describes the play and the trio’s directorial arrangement as a “beautiful marriage of realism, surrealism, and dreamlike moments.” “We’re definitely learning from each other,” he adds. “The conversations and creative debates make for a super creative fusion. It feels like the very best ideas are bubbling to the top.”

I write this as someone who marveled with glee at the ingenuity of the Broadway production I witnessed four Septembers ago, and someone who was deeply moved by Christopher’s personal journey. And I’ll add that as a man with more than a little bit of an OCD personality, I certainly have my own mental challenges with obsessing over patterns and yearning to find order in a miraculous but often chaotic universe.

Personally, I can’t wait to see The Curious Incident of The Dog in The Night-Time again, both at Horizon this month and at Aurora in January. I’ve got to admit I’m curious (pun intended) to see how well they solve the puzzles of producing this very special play.

!!!!  The Curious Incident of The Dog in The Night-Time, directed by Lisa Adler and Justin Anderson.
!!!!Sept. 20–Oct. 27
!!!!Horizon Theatre
!!!!1083 Austin Ave., Atlanta.
!!!!404-584-7450. https://www.horizontheatre.com/
!!!!      Jan. 9–Feb. 9
!!!!Aurora Theatre
!!!!128 East Pike St., Lawrenceville
!!!!678-226-6222, https://www.auroratheatre.com/
     COURTESY THE HORIZON THEATRE FLY "CURIOUS:' Brandon Michael Mayes (as Christopher) in rehearsal for Horizon Theatre’s production of 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time.'  0,0,1    scenes&motions                             SCENES AND MOTIONS: ‘The Dog in the Night-Time’ "
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Thursday September 5, 2019 10:44 am EDT
‘A Curious Incident,’ indeed | more...
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  string(68) "Interpretative and ritual, modern and folk, ballet and bharatanatyam"
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  string(262) "Atlanta Ballet
Founded in 1929, Atlanta Ballet — www.atlantaballet.com — is considered one of the premier dance companies in the country. Atlanta Ballet’s eclectic repertoire spans ballet history, highlighted by beloved classics and inventive originals..."
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  string(262) "Atlanta Ballet
Founded in 1929, Atlanta Ballet — www.atlantaballet.com — is considered one of the premier dance companies in the country. Atlanta Ballet’s eclectic repertoire spans ballet history, highlighted by beloved classics and inventive originals..."
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  string(14608) "SIDEBAR: POISED FOR GREAT PERFORMANCES

!!Atlanta Ballet
Founded in 1929, Atlanta Ballet — www.atlantaballet.com — is considered one of the premier dance companies in the country. Atlanta Ballet’s eclectic repertoire spans ballet history, highlighted by beloved classics and inventive originals. In 1996, Atlanta Ballet opened the Centre for Dance Education (CDE), which is dedicated to nurturing young dancers while providing an outlet for adults to express their creativity. The CDE serves over 23,000 people in metro Atlanta each year. Atlanta Ballet’s roots remain firmly grounded in the Atlanta community and continue to play a vital role in the city’s cultural growth.


“Love Fear Loss,” by Brazilian choreographer Ricardo Amarante, is the centerpiece work of the opening program of the company’s 90th season, It follows the love story of French singer Édith Piaf from the high of new love, through the fear of intimacy slipping away, to the tragedy of losing her lifelong partner. Amarante has described his work as a celebration of the human condition and the beauty that arises from even the darkest moments in life.  The program will also include a remounting of “Vespertine,” the hypnotic 2017 work by British choreographer Liam Scarlett, a world premiere commissioned work by New York-based Claudia Schreier and a guest performance by New York-based Complexions Contemporary Ballet.

 

!!Caló Gitano Dance Academy
Marianela “Malita” Belloso was born in Caracas, Venezuela, and has been dancing flamenco for practically her entire life. She started when she was only six years old. By the time she was nine, she was already performing on television and in major flamenco stage productions with Siudy Quintero Dance Academy, the largest flamenco dance academy in Venezuela. Malita arrived in Atlanta in 2000 and formed the flamenco performance company Caló Gitano – www.calogitano.com – now the largest flamenco academy in Georgia. After opening Caló Dance Studio in Kirkwood nine years ago, Malita trained a group of advanced flamenco dancers and formed partnerships with other artists and musicians to create large-scale theater works and original flamenco musical productions as Caló Theatre Company  

!!Core Dance
Core Dance – www.coredance.org  – was co-founded in 1980 in Houston, Texas, by dancer and choreographer Sue Schroeder and her sister, Kathy Russell. Five years later, the organization added Atlanta, Georgia, as a second home base. Over four decades, Core has performed 125 pieces of original choreography across the globe, collaborating with the renowned and the obscure. The company actively encourages participation and conversation with the community, sharing what they know about bodies and movement with those dealing with abuse, homelessness, language barriers, refugee status, substance abuse, aging, and HIV/AIDS.

“If… a memoir” is a love song written for humanity. Sue Schroeder in collaboration with the Dance Artists of Core Dance, Christian Meyer (composer), and Simon Gentry (cinematographer) will create an evening-length, physical theater choreo-poem. According to Schroeder, “this new work will draw from early 1950s Beat Generation culture and influences including jazz-inspired rhythm, improvisational spirit, rejection of standard narrative values and seeming disorganization with a deliberate effect.”

!!Department of Dance at Kennesaw State University
Kennesaw State University is home to Georgia’s largest collegiate dance program and Atlanta’s first theater designed specifically for dance. Through the program’s academic and practical experiences, students develop a holistic understanding of dance as an art form while also investigating dance as a method of analysis, a mode of enquiry, and an aesthetic experience. The Department’s collaborative partnerships provide students with uniquely valuable opportunities. This year, KSU Dance launched a new partnership with Terminus Modern Ballet Theater, directly connecting students to the professional practice of dance. 

September 27, KSU Dance – www.arts.kennesaw.edu/dance – presents The Charlotte Ballet performing Johan Inger’s “Walking Mad,” a piece inspired by a quote from Socrates: “Our greatest gifts come to us in a state of madness.” KSU’s student dance company will premiere “Slang,” a new work in November.

!!Emory Dance
Emory Dance – www.dance.emory.edu –  presents a wide range of public programming each year, including Emory Dance Company concerts, the Friends of Dance Lecture Series, guest artists, dance on film presentations, and informal and site-specific performances and events. Through the Candler Concert Series, Emory Dance presents some of the finest modern dance choreographers and companies, including The Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Monica Bill Barnes & Company, David Dorfoman Dance, Doug Varone and Dancers, Urban Bush Women, the José Limón Dance Company, and Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet.

September 19, the Emory Dance Program presents a Creativity Conversation with visiting artist Dafi Altebeb, a young Israeli musician, dancer, and choreographer who has performed throughout the world. Her original dance works have premiered in major international festivals, including Internationale Tanzmesse (Dusseldorf), Les Brigittines Centre d’Art Contemporain (Brussels), Chang Mu International Dance Festival (Seoul), Ballet Preljocaj – Pavillion Noir (France), ​and Napoli Theater Festival (Italy). 

As a child in his native Iran 40 years ago, Emory Dance faculty member George Staib witnessed up close the frightening reality of religious revolution. In October, he and his brilliant company Staibdance present “Fence,” their most political and socially driven dance work to date. “Fence” examines how “otherness” can take your power or fuel it. Staib blends intensely physical movement vocabulary with traditional Iranian dance, and uses original music, lighting, and digital effects to weave the audience directly into the work.

!!Ferst Center for the Arts
The Georgia Tech Office of the Arts operates the Ferst Center for the Arts – www.arts.gatech.edu/artstech-performance-series – which presents the Arts@Tech season of professional music, dance, theater, and multimedia performances from September to April. The Georgia Tech School of Music performs multiple concerts at the Center, and DramaTech, the student theater group, performs in the James E. Dull Theatre in the back of the building. Arts@Tech has brought some of the most innovative and exciting multimedia works to be seen in the city, showcasing the highest in music and dance talents along with cutting-edge digital technologies. The works explore and explode themes of disability/mobility design, interconnectivity, LGBTQ living, and cultural celebration.


The Ferst will be the site of two of the most exciting “Don’t Miss!” productions of 2019: “Dökk by fuse*” (October 4) and “Kinetic Light: DESCENT” (November 23).


“Dökk” blends light, sound, and movement into a mind-blowing, multidimensional universe created by fuse*, an Italian digital art studio and production company. Aerial dancer Elena Annovi moves through a sequence of 10 other-worldly environments created by software that synthesizes data from social media, the sound score, the dancer’s heartbeat, and her movements. 

“DESCENT” by Kinetic Light is an evening-length dance work, choreographed by Alice Sheppard in collaboration with disabled dancer Laurel Lawson and disabled lighting and video artist Michael Maag. Featuring a unique, architectural stage that acts as a partner in the choreography and storytelling, and performed on an architectural ramp with hills, curves and peaks, “DESCENT” celebrates the pleasure of reckless abandon. The ramp is a landscape that generates its own site-specific movement as dancers Laurel and Alice discover new experiences of acceleration, resistance, and momentum. Andromeda and Venus, reimagined as interracial lovers, claim their desire as their wheelchairs fly within inches of the ramp’s edges. The thrilling work challenges our assumptions about social justice, movement and embodiment, and art and architecture. 

!!Fly On A Wall
Since their inception in 2014, Fly on a Wall – www.flyonawall.buzz – has created a body of work which includes multimedia performance, installation, and dance for film. They have been presented by Dashboard, the Alliance Theatre, Atlanta Contemporary, Art on the Atlanta BeltLine, Synchronicity Theatre, Eyedrum Art and Music Gallery, the City of Duluth, and the Marietta Performing Arts Center. 

Fly on a Wall’s work best reveals itself through inventive theatrical elements that often manifest as performative structures. These elements are integral to the work and allow the audience new dimensions with which to view it. Performance structures that Fly on a Wall has created include: large plexiglass prisms for Art on the Atlanta Beltline, a tandem bicycle generating power for a light bulb in Dashboard’s “Shifting Scapes,” an abstract home made of 20-foot-high. floor-to-ceiling paper panels inside an abandoned castor factory. Once completed, each of these structures house Fly on a Wall’s unique blend of movement and theater.

This month, Fly on a Wall is bringing Anna Long from Chicago to teach three Gaga/dancers classes and one Gaga/people class throughout the weekend. Anyone interested may drop in to a single class or purchase class passes. Space is limited, it is recommended to register early.

On Sunday, August 25, stop by The Windmill Arts Center in East Point to celebrate Fly's one-year anniversary at the Windmill as artists-in-residence with Vanguard Repertory Company. Meet team members, hang out for free refreshments, and find out what Fly on a Wall has in store for the coming year.

!!glo
In 2009, dance/choreographer Lauri Stallings and her partner, production specialist Richard Carvlin, founded the Atlanta-based company glo –  www.gloatl.org. Today, glo’s “moving artists” include Kristina Brown, Noëlle Davé, Christina Kelly, Raina Mitchell, Cailan Orn, Mary Jane Pennington, and Mechelle Tunstall. Stallings and her dancers seem to be constantly performing all over metro Atlanta and Georgia and beyond, often in public spaces, including NYC’s Central Park. Over the past decade, glo has presented civic actions, world premiere performance experiments, an international curated live art series, and public art tours across the state. The company regularly collaborates with orchestral conductors, filmmakers, rappers, and fashion and visual artists to, in Stalling’s words, “help revitalize identity in the American South.” 

Stallings is uniquely obsessed with the ways choreography can identify and amplify the fluid nature of a city. The choreographer believes that movement with a social conscience is a critical component in creating group empathy and goodwill. That’s why she and glo’s movement artists love to construct “People Parades” for folks to come together in a public place to sit, skip, stand, kneel, walk-in 2’s, prance, waltz, spin, shuffle, be still, and twist.” 

Now, as Artist in Residence of the High Museum of Art, Lauri Stallings has constructed MAPPING: Public Choreographies to loop around the entire High Museum Campus. From 12:30–1:15 p.m., every Thursday and Saturday in August, Stallings and glo invite the Atlanta community to join them on the grass of the High Museum for MAPPING: Public Choreographies. For 45 minutes, anyone can come, watch ,or join however they want..

!!Rialto Center for the Arts
The Rialto Center for the Arts at Georgia State University – www.rialto.gsu.edu – is located in one of the oldest parts of the city, downtown’s historic Fairlie-Poplar District. It opened a century ago as one of Atlanta’s first large movie houses, a decade before the Fabulous Fox. After major renovations for the 1996 Olympics, the Rialto became part of GSU’s ever-expanding campus. The annual Rialto (subscription) Series has presented an eclectic mix of world music, jazz, contemporary dance, and international programs. “Ailey II: The Next Generation of Dance” returns to the Rialto October 26. Artistic Director Troy Powell guides Ailey II’s signature pristine performances built on dynamic movement and brilliant technique.

!!Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre
The city we know as Atlanta was founded in the 1820s as Terminus. The five founding members of Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre – www.terminus-serenbe.com – came together to celebrate their shared home as a place where cultures intersect. Now in their second season, these experienced dance artists combine ballet and modern influences to create new theatrical dance works. 

On August 3, TMBT jump starts the school year and the return of their “pop up” open class series. Attend an open house at Westside Cultural Arts Center for free dance class offerings, light bites, door prizes, and a special presentation by Atlanta Optimal Performance Symposium.

Terminus opens its second season performing at Serenbe with “Lore,” the story of two siblings who share the collected heritage of their community. The work touches on the oral histories passed down through generations. TMBT invites audiences to gather around a fire as night falls in The Hollow at Serenbe to experience “Lore” October 11–20.

!!Zoetic Dance
::::
Since its first public performance in 2001, Zoetic Dance Ensemble – www.zoeticdance.org – has been a team of strong women, led by strong women. Zoetic’s dynamically athletic work embodies the feminine spirit and celebrates the power of the female body. Since 2001, their passion for female expression has attracted a range of creative women to share their visions, voices and stories of female empowerment. Zoetic, under the creative leadership of Mallory Baxley, enjoys a special partnership with Whitespace Gallery in Inman Park, which is where they’ll kick off their 2019-2020 season with a party and a preview of their upcoming work, “Saint.” The site for that December premiere will be Ambient+Studios, which began as a 109-year-old factory space near West End. “Saint” will feature original music by Xavier “Xay Zoleil” Lewis, costume design by Hannah James, and unique graphic design by Morgan Tanksley.



Return to Fall Arts Preview 2019 "
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!!Atlanta Ballet
Founded in 1929, Atlanta Ballet — www.atlantaballet.com — is considered one of the premier dance companies in the country. Atlanta Ballet’s eclectic repertoire spans ballet history, highlighted by beloved classics and inventive originals. In 1996, Atlanta Ballet opened the Centre for Dance Education (CDE), which is dedicated to nurturing young dancers while providing an outlet for adults to express their creativity. The CDE serves over 23,000 people in metro Atlanta each year. Atlanta Ballet’s roots remain firmly grounded in the Atlanta community and continue to play a vital role in the city’s cultural growth.

{img fileId="21508" stylebox="float: left; margin-right:25px;" desc="desc" max="600"}
“Love Fear Loss,” by Brazilian choreographer Ricardo Amarante, is the centerpiece work of the opening program of the company’s 90th season, It follows the love story of French singer Édith Piaf from the high of new love, through the fear of intimacy slipping away, to the tragedy of losing her lifelong partner. Amarante has described his work as a celebration of the human condition and the beauty that arises from even the darkest moments in life.  The program will also include a remounting of “Vespertine,” the hypnotic 2017 work by British choreographer Liam Scarlett, a world premiere commissioned work by New York-based Claudia Schreier and a guest performance by New York-based Complexions Contemporary Ballet.

 

!!Caló Gitano Dance Academy
Marianela “Malita” Belloso was born in Caracas, Venezuela, and has been dancing flamenco for practically her entire life. She started when she was only six years old. By the time she was nine, she was already performing on television and in major flamenco stage productions with Siudy Quintero Dance Academy, the largest flamenco dance academy in Venezuela. Malita arrived in Atlanta in 2000 and formed the flamenco performance company Caló Gitano – www.calogitano.com – now the largest flamenco academy in Georgia. After opening Caló Dance Studio in Kirkwood nine years ago, Malita trained a group of advanced flamenco dancers and formed partnerships with other artists and musicians to create large-scale theater works and original flamenco musical productions as Caló Theatre Company  

!!Core Dance
Core Dance – www.coredance.org  – was co-founded in 1980 in Houston, Texas, by dancer and choreographer Sue Schroeder and her sister, Kathy Russell. Five years later, the organization added Atlanta, Georgia, as a second home base. Over four decades, Core has performed 125 pieces of original choreography across the globe, collaborating with the renowned and the obscure. The company actively encourages participation and conversation with the community, sharing what they know about bodies and movement with those dealing with abuse, homelessness, language barriers, refugee status, substance abuse, aging, and HIV/AIDS.

“If… a memoir” is a love song written for humanity. Sue Schroeder in collaboration with the Dance Artists of Core Dance, Christian Meyer (composer), and Simon Gentry (cinematographer) will create an evening-length, physical theater choreo-poem. According to Schroeder, “this new work will draw from early 1950s Beat Generation culture and influences including jazz-inspired rhythm, improvisational spirit, rejection of standard narrative values and seeming disorganization with a deliberate effect.”

!!Department of Dance at Kennesaw State University
Kennesaw State University is home to Georgia’s largest collegiate dance program and Atlanta’s first theater designed specifically for dance. Through the program’s academic and practical experiences, students develop a holistic understanding of dance as an art form while also investigating dance as a method of analysis, a mode of enquiry, and an aesthetic experience. The Department’s collaborative partnerships provide students with uniquely valuable opportunities. This year, KSU Dance launched a new partnership with Terminus Modern Ballet Theater, directly connecting students to the professional practice of dance. 

September 27, KSU Dance – www.arts.kennesaw.edu/dance – presents The Charlotte Ballet performing Johan Inger’s “Walking Mad,” a piece inspired by a quote from Socrates: “Our greatest gifts come to us in a state of madness.” KSU’s student dance company will premiere “Slang,” a new work in November.

!!Emory Dance
Emory Dance – www.dance.emory.edu –  presents a wide range of public programming each year, including Emory Dance Company concerts, the Friends of Dance Lecture Series, guest artists, dance on film presentations, and informal and site-specific performances and events. Through the Candler Concert Series, Emory Dance presents some of the finest modern dance choreographers and companies, including The Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Monica Bill Barnes & Company, David Dorfoman Dance, Doug Varone and Dancers, Urban Bush Women, the José Limón Dance Company, and Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet.

September 19, the Emory Dance Program presents a Creativity Conversation with visiting artist Dafi Altebeb, a young Israeli musician, dancer, and choreographer who has performed throughout the world. Her original dance works have premiered in major international festivals, including Internationale Tanzmesse (Dusseldorf), Les Brigittines Centre d’Art Contemporain (Brussels), Chang Mu International Dance Festival (Seoul), Ballet Preljocaj – Pavillion Noir (France), ​and Napoli Theater Festival (Italy). 

As a child in his native Iran 40 years ago, Emory Dance faculty member George Staib witnessed up close the frightening reality of religious revolution. In October, he and his brilliant company Staibdance present “Fence,” their most political and socially driven dance work to date. “Fence” examines how “otherness” can take your power or fuel it. Staib blends intensely physical movement vocabulary with traditional Iranian dance, and uses original music, lighting, and digital effects to weave the audience directly into the work.

!!Ferst Center for the Arts
The Georgia Tech Office of the Arts operates the Ferst Center for the Arts – www.arts.gatech.edu/artstech-performance-series – which presents the Arts@Tech season of professional music, dance, theater, and multimedia performances from September to April. The Georgia Tech School of Music performs multiple concerts at the Center, and DramaTech, the student theater group, performs in the James E. Dull Theatre in the back of the building. Arts@Tech has brought some of the most innovative and exciting multimedia works to be seen in the city, showcasing the highest in music and dance talents along with cutting-edge digital technologies. The works explore and explode themes of disability/mobility design, interconnectivity, LGBTQ living, and cultural celebration.

{img fileId="21485" stylebox="float: right; margin-left:25px;" desc="desc" max="600"}
The Ferst will be the site of two of the most exciting “Don’t Miss!” productions of 2019: “Dökk by fuse*” (October 4) and “Kinetic Light: DESCENT” (November 23).


“Dökk” blends light, sound, and movement into a mind-blowing, multidimensional universe created by fuse*, an Italian digital art studio and production company. Aerial dancer Elena Annovi moves through a sequence of 10 other-worldly environments created by software that synthesizes data from social media, the sound score, the dancer’s heartbeat, and her movements. 

“DESCENT” by Kinetic Light is an evening-length dance work, choreographed by Alice Sheppard in collaboration with disabled dancer Laurel Lawson and disabled lighting and video artist Michael Maag. Featuring a unique, architectural stage that acts as a partner in the choreography and storytelling, and performed on an architectural ramp with hills, curves and peaks, “DESCENT” celebrates the pleasure of reckless abandon. The ramp is a landscape that generates its own site-specific movement as dancers Laurel and Alice discover new experiences of acceleration, resistance, and momentum. Andromeda and Venus, reimagined as interracial lovers, claim their desire as their wheelchairs fly within inches of the ramp’s edges. The thrilling work challenges our assumptions about social justice, movement and embodiment, and art and architecture. 

!!Fly On A Wall
Since their inception in 2014, Fly on a Wall – www.flyonawall.buzz – has created a body of work which includes multimedia performance, installation, and dance for film. They have been presented by Dashboard, the Alliance Theatre, Atlanta Contemporary, Art on the Atlanta BeltLine, Synchronicity Theatre, Eyedrum Art and Music Gallery, the City of Duluth, and the Marietta Performing Arts Center. 

Fly on a Wall’s work best reveals itself through inventive theatrical elements that often manifest as performative structures. These elements are integral to the work and allow the audience new dimensions with which to view it. Performance structures that Fly on a Wall has created include: large plexiglass prisms for Art on the Atlanta Beltline, a tandem bicycle generating power for a light bulb in Dashboard’s “Shifting Scapes,” an abstract home made of 20-foot-high. floor-to-ceiling paper panels inside an abandoned castor factory. Once completed, each of these structures house Fly on a Wall’s unique blend of movement and theater.

This month, Fly on a Wall is bringing Anna Long from Chicago to teach three Gaga/dancers classes and one Gaga/people class throughout the weekend. Anyone interested may drop in to a single class or purchase class passes. Space is limited, it is recommended to register early.

On Sunday, August 25, stop by The Windmill Arts Center in East Point to celebrate Fly's one-year anniversary at the Windmill as artists-in-residence with Vanguard Repertory Company. Meet team members, hang out for free refreshments, and find out what Fly on a Wall has in store for the coming year.

!!glo
In 2009, dance/choreographer Lauri Stallings and her partner, production specialist Richard Carvlin, founded the Atlanta-based company glo –  www.gloatl.org. Today, glo’s “moving artists” include Kristina Brown, Noëlle Davé, Christina Kelly, Raina Mitchell, Cailan Orn, Mary Jane Pennington, and Mechelle Tunstall. Stallings and her dancers seem to be constantly performing all over metro Atlanta and Georgia and beyond, often in public spaces, including NYC’s Central Park. Over the past decade, glo has presented civic actions, world premiere performance experiments, an international curated live art series, and public art tours across the state. The company regularly collaborates with orchestral conductors, filmmakers, rappers, and fashion and visual artists to, in Stalling’s words, “help revitalize identity in the American South.” 

Stallings is uniquely obsessed with the ways choreography can identify and amplify the fluid nature of a city. The choreographer believes that movement with a social conscience is a critical component in creating group empathy and goodwill. That’s why she and glo’s movement artists love to construct “People Parades” for folks to come together in a public place to sit, skip, stand, kneel, walk-in 2’s, prance, waltz, spin, shuffle, be still, and twist.” 

Now, as Artist in Residence of the High Museum of Art, Lauri Stallings has constructed MAPPING: Public Choreographies to loop around the entire High Museum Campus. From 12:30–1:15 p.m., every Thursday and Saturday in August, Stallings and glo invite the Atlanta community to join them on the grass of the High Museum for MAPPING: Public Choreographies. For 45 minutes, anyone can come, watch ,or join however they want..

!!Rialto Center for the Arts
The Rialto Center for the Arts at Georgia State University – www.rialto.gsu.edu – is located in one of the oldest parts of the city, downtown’s historic Fairlie-Poplar District. It opened a century ago as one of Atlanta’s first large movie houses, a decade before the Fabulous Fox. After major renovations for the 1996 Olympics, the Rialto became part of GSU’s ever-expanding campus. The annual Rialto (subscription) Series has presented an eclectic mix of world music, jazz, contemporary dance, and international programs. “Ailey II: The Next Generation of Dance” returns to the Rialto October 26. Artistic Director Troy Powell guides Ailey II’s signature pristine performances built on dynamic movement and brilliant technique.

!!Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre
The city we know as Atlanta was founded in the 1820s as Terminus. The five founding members of Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre – www.terminus-serenbe.com – came together to celebrate their shared home as a place where cultures intersect. Now in their second season, these experienced dance artists combine ballet and modern influences to create new theatrical dance works. 

On August 3, TMBT jump starts the school year and the return of their “pop up” open class series. Attend an open house at Westside Cultural Arts Center for free dance class offerings, light bites, door prizes, and a special presentation by Atlanta Optimal Performance Symposium.

Terminus opens its second season performing at Serenbe with “Lore,” the story of two siblings who share the collected heritage of their community. The work touches on the oral histories passed down through generations. TMBT invites audiences to gather around a fire as night falls in The Hollow at Serenbe to experience “Lore” October 11–20.

!!Zoetic Dance
::{img fileId="21484" desc="desc" max="1000"}::
Since its first public performance in 2001, Zoetic Dance Ensemble – www.zoeticdance.org – has been a team of strong women, led by strong women. Zoetic’s dynamically athletic work embodies the feminine spirit and celebrates the power of the female body. Since 2001, their passion for female expression has attracted a range of creative women to share their visions, voices and stories of female empowerment. Zoetic, under the creative leadership of Mallory Baxley, enjoys a special partnership with Whitespace Gallery in Inman Park, which is where they’ll kick off their 2019-2020 season with a party and a preview of their upcoming work, “Saint.” The site for that December premiere will be Ambient+Studios, which began as a 109-year-old factory space near West End. “Saint” will feature original music by Xavier “Xay Zoleil” Lewis, costume design by Hannah James, and unique graphic design by Morgan Tanksley.

{BOX( bg="#f47d5c" style="padding:15px;")}
!!::~~#000000:POISED FOR GREAT PERFORMANCES~~::
!!!::~~#000000:Emerging dance collectives on the rise~~::

{DIV(class="byline clearfix")}__~~#000000:ANGELA HARRIS~~__{DIV}
{img fileId="21486" stylebox="float: right; margin-left:25px;" desc="desc" max="600"}~~#000000:Atlanta continues to emerge and evolve as a vibrant dance city that supports the visions and dreams of professional artists. Although longstanding companies, such as the Atlanta Ballet, Ballethnic, Georgia Ballet, Full Radius, and CORE, will always have a strong presence deserving of audiences’ time and support, recently, there is a new and expanded focus on developing a fresh crop of professional dance artists in the city.~~
~~#000000:Poised to make its mark on the national dance landscape, Atlanta has caught the eye of national companies interested in moving, touring, or relocating. Ivan Pulinkala, the new dean of the College of the Arts at Kennesaw State University, envisioned the __KSU Dance Theater__ as an attractive presence for companies seeking to make a new footprint in the metro area. Last season, KSU welcomed BalletX and LA-based Body Traffic; this fall, Charlotte Ballet graces the KSU Dance Theatre stage.
As Atlanta receives more notoriety as a film hub, the ripple of national attention spreads out to the greater arts community. Atlanta native __Juel D. Lane__ — a dancer, choreographer, filmmaker, and artist — marked the spring season with stellar new works performed nationally by the Ailey II dance company. The fresh images of Lane’s dance films, ''The Maestro'' and ''PRISM'', received national acclaim. Atlanta audiences will have a chance to enjoy his films at the 2019 BronzeLens Film Festival in August.
Atlanta still has a way to go to support full-time salaries for professional dance artists. But what the city lacks in employment opportunities, it makes it up through the many companies providing outlets for professional artists to hone their skills. 
For 12 seasons running, Dance Canvas has been a leader in providing resources for emerging professional dance artists, enabling choreographers to premiere work and audiences to witness newly emerging voices in dance. The company serves as a launching platform for artists and their work, from the aforementioned films of Juel D. Lane and the work of Atlanta Dance Collective’s artistic director Sarah Stokes, to Atlanta’s newest professional dance company, The Tap Rebels.
__Dance Canvas__ currently has a call-out for artists with a deadline of August 15 for choreographers seeking an opportunity to develop new work; premieres of the selected works will take place in March 2020 at the Ferst Center for the Arts.
Recent years have witnessed the emergence of artist collectives within the dance community. Audiences should be on the lookout for exciting new work from __Terminus Modern Ballet Theater__, founded by five former Atlanta Ballet principal dancers. __Atlanta Dance Collective__ features the work of resident choreographers and boasts a strong company of a dozen contemporary dancers. __Kit Modus__, based out of Callanwolde Fine Arts Center, and __ImmerseATL__, under the direction of Sarah Hillmer, formerly of Atlanta Ballet, offer opportunities for artists to develop work and train in a collaborative space with local and nationally based guest artists. T-Lang has developed __‘The Movement Lab’__, a new studio and dance hub “intended to nurture growth and innovation.”
With the many dance artists and dance productions being dreamed up, workshopped, and presented in Atlanta this fall — from ballet and contemporary to tap and dance on film — there is something for every dance lover’s taste. I encourage readers to try something new, see all the dance that is blossoming in Atlanta, and rediscover Atlanta’s dance legacies. We are rich in tradition and brimming with new ideas.
''Angela Harris is the executive artistic director of Dance Canvas, Inc.''~~
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((fall arts preview 2019|Return to Fall Arts Preview 2019)) "
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  string(15274) " Dancer  2019-08-02T18:46:02+00:00 Dancer_sm.jpg    dance fall arts preview 2019 Interpretative and ritual, modern and folk, ballet and bharatanatyam 21499  2019-08-05T16:51:25+00:00 Fall Arts Preview 2019: Dance jim.harris@creativeloafing.com Jim Harris Edward McNally  2019-08-05T16:51:25+00:00 Atlanta Ballet
Founded in 1929, Atlanta Ballet — www.atlantaballet.com — is considered one of the premier dance companies in the country. Atlanta Ballet’s eclectic repertoire spans ballet history, highlighted by beloved classics and inventive originals... SIDEBAR: POISED FOR GREAT PERFORMANCES

!!Atlanta Ballet
Founded in 1929, Atlanta Ballet — www.atlantaballet.com — is considered one of the premier dance companies in the country. Atlanta Ballet’s eclectic repertoire spans ballet history, highlighted by beloved classics and inventive originals. In 1996, Atlanta Ballet opened the Centre for Dance Education (CDE), which is dedicated to nurturing young dancers while providing an outlet for adults to express their creativity. The CDE serves over 23,000 people in metro Atlanta each year. Atlanta Ballet’s roots remain firmly grounded in the Atlanta community and continue to play a vital role in the city’s cultural growth.


“Love Fear Loss,” by Brazilian choreographer Ricardo Amarante, is the centerpiece work of the opening program of the company’s 90th season, It follows the love story of French singer Édith Piaf from the high of new love, through the fear of intimacy slipping away, to the tragedy of losing her lifelong partner. Amarante has described his work as a celebration of the human condition and the beauty that arises from even the darkest moments in life.  The program will also include a remounting of “Vespertine,” the hypnotic 2017 work by British choreographer Liam Scarlett, a world premiere commissioned work by New York-based Claudia Schreier and a guest performance by New York-based Complexions Contemporary Ballet.

 

!!Caló Gitano Dance Academy
Marianela “Malita” Belloso was born in Caracas, Venezuela, and has been dancing flamenco for practically her entire life. She started when she was only six years old. By the time she was nine, she was already performing on television and in major flamenco stage productions with Siudy Quintero Dance Academy, the largest flamenco dance academy in Venezuela. Malita arrived in Atlanta in 2000 and formed the flamenco performance company Caló Gitano – www.calogitano.com – now the largest flamenco academy in Georgia. After opening Caló Dance Studio in Kirkwood nine years ago, Malita trained a group of advanced flamenco dancers and formed partnerships with other artists and musicians to create large-scale theater works and original flamenco musical productions as Caló Theatre Company  

!!Core Dance
Core Dance – www.coredance.org  – was co-founded in 1980 in Houston, Texas, by dancer and choreographer Sue Schroeder and her sister, Kathy Russell. Five years later, the organization added Atlanta, Georgia, as a second home base. Over four decades, Core has performed 125 pieces of original choreography across the globe, collaborating with the renowned and the obscure. The company actively encourages participation and conversation with the community, sharing what they know about bodies and movement with those dealing with abuse, homelessness, language barriers, refugee status, substance abuse, aging, and HIV/AIDS.

“If… a memoir” is a love song written for humanity. Sue Schroeder in collaboration with the Dance Artists of Core Dance, Christian Meyer (composer), and Simon Gentry (cinematographer) will create an evening-length, physical theater choreo-poem. According to Schroeder, “this new work will draw from early 1950s Beat Generation culture and influences including jazz-inspired rhythm, improvisational spirit, rejection of standard narrative values and seeming disorganization with a deliberate effect.”

!!Department of Dance at Kennesaw State University
Kennesaw State University is home to Georgia’s largest collegiate dance program and Atlanta’s first theater designed specifically for dance. Through the program’s academic and practical experiences, students develop a holistic understanding of dance as an art form while also investigating dance as a method of analysis, a mode of enquiry, and an aesthetic experience. The Department’s collaborative partnerships provide students with uniquely valuable opportunities. This year, KSU Dance launched a new partnership with Terminus Modern Ballet Theater, directly connecting students to the professional practice of dance. 

September 27, KSU Dance – www.arts.kennesaw.edu/dance – presents The Charlotte Ballet performing Johan Inger’s “Walking Mad,” a piece inspired by a quote from Socrates: “Our greatest gifts come to us in a state of madness.” KSU’s student dance company will premiere “Slang,” a new work in November.

!!Emory Dance
Emory Dance – www.dance.emory.edu –  presents a wide range of public programming each year, including Emory Dance Company concerts, the Friends of Dance Lecture Series, guest artists, dance on film presentations, and informal and site-specific performances and events. Through the Candler Concert Series, Emory Dance presents some of the finest modern dance choreographers and companies, including The Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Monica Bill Barnes & Company, David Dorfoman Dance, Doug Varone and Dancers, Urban Bush Women, the José Limón Dance Company, and Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet.

September 19, the Emory Dance Program presents a Creativity Conversation with visiting artist Dafi Altebeb, a young Israeli musician, dancer, and choreographer who has performed throughout the world. Her original dance works have premiered in major international festivals, including Internationale Tanzmesse (Dusseldorf), Les Brigittines Centre d’Art Contemporain (Brussels), Chang Mu International Dance Festival (Seoul), Ballet Preljocaj – Pavillion Noir (France), ​and Napoli Theater Festival (Italy). 

As a child in his native Iran 40 years ago, Emory Dance faculty member George Staib witnessed up close the frightening reality of religious revolution. In October, he and his brilliant company Staibdance present “Fence,” their most political and socially driven dance work to date. “Fence” examines how “otherness” can take your power or fuel it. Staib blends intensely physical movement vocabulary with traditional Iranian dance, and uses original music, lighting, and digital effects to weave the audience directly into the work.

!!Ferst Center for the Arts
The Georgia Tech Office of the Arts operates the Ferst Center for the Arts – www.arts.gatech.edu/artstech-performance-series – which presents the Arts@Tech season of professional music, dance, theater, and multimedia performances from September to April. The Georgia Tech School of Music performs multiple concerts at the Center, and DramaTech, the student theater group, performs in the James E. Dull Theatre in the back of the building. Arts@Tech has brought some of the most innovative and exciting multimedia works to be seen in the city, showcasing the highest in music and dance talents along with cutting-edge digital technologies. The works explore and explode themes of disability/mobility design, interconnectivity, LGBTQ living, and cultural celebration.


The Ferst will be the site of two of the most exciting “Don’t Miss!” productions of 2019: “Dökk by fuse*” (October 4) and “Kinetic Light: DESCENT” (November 23).


“Dökk” blends light, sound, and movement into a mind-blowing, multidimensional universe created by fuse*, an Italian digital art studio and production company. Aerial dancer Elena Annovi moves through a sequence of 10 other-worldly environments created by software that synthesizes data from social media, the sound score, the dancer’s heartbeat, and her movements. 

“DESCENT” by Kinetic Light is an evening-length dance work, choreographed by Alice Sheppard in collaboration with disabled dancer Laurel Lawson and disabled lighting and video artist Michael Maag. Featuring a unique, architectural stage that acts as a partner in the choreography and storytelling, and performed on an architectural ramp with hills, curves and peaks, “DESCENT” celebrates the pleasure of reckless abandon. The ramp is a landscape that generates its own site-specific movement as dancers Laurel and Alice discover new experiences of acceleration, resistance, and momentum. Andromeda and Venus, reimagined as interracial lovers, claim their desire as their wheelchairs fly within inches of the ramp’s edges. The thrilling work challenges our assumptions about social justice, movement and embodiment, and art and architecture. 

!!Fly On A Wall
Since their inception in 2014, Fly on a Wall – www.flyonawall.buzz – has created a body of work which includes multimedia performance, installation, and dance for film. They have been presented by Dashboard, the Alliance Theatre, Atlanta Contemporary, Art on the Atlanta BeltLine, Synchronicity Theatre, Eyedrum Art and Music Gallery, the City of Duluth, and the Marietta Performing Arts Center. 

Fly on a Wall’s work best reveals itself through inventive theatrical elements that often manifest as performative structures. These elements are integral to the work and allow the audience new dimensions with which to view it. Performance structures that Fly on a Wall has created include: large plexiglass prisms for Art on the Atlanta Beltline, a tandem bicycle generating power for a light bulb in Dashboard’s “Shifting Scapes,” an abstract home made of 20-foot-high. floor-to-ceiling paper panels inside an abandoned castor factory. Once completed, each of these structures house Fly on a Wall’s unique blend of movement and theater.

This month, Fly on a Wall is bringing Anna Long from Chicago to teach three Gaga/dancers classes and one Gaga/people class throughout the weekend. Anyone interested may drop in to a single class or purchase class passes. Space is limited, it is recommended to register early.

On Sunday, August 25, stop by The Windmill Arts Center in East Point to celebrate Fly's one-year anniversary at the Windmill as artists-in-residence with Vanguard Repertory Company. Meet team members, hang out for free refreshments, and find out what Fly on a Wall has in store for the coming year.

!!glo
In 2009, dance/choreographer Lauri Stallings and her partner, production specialist Richard Carvlin, founded the Atlanta-based company glo –  www.gloatl.org. Today, glo’s “moving artists” include Kristina Brown, Noëlle Davé, Christina Kelly, Raina Mitchell, Cailan Orn, Mary Jane Pennington, and Mechelle Tunstall. Stallings and her dancers seem to be constantly performing all over metro Atlanta and Georgia and beyond, often in public spaces, including NYC’s Central Park. Over the past decade, glo has presented civic actions, world premiere performance experiments, an international curated live art series, and public art tours across the state. The company regularly collaborates with orchestral conductors, filmmakers, rappers, and fashion and visual artists to, in Stalling’s words, “help revitalize identity in the American South.” 

Stallings is uniquely obsessed with the ways choreography can identify and amplify the fluid nature of a city. The choreographer believes that movement with a social conscience is a critical component in creating group empathy and goodwill. That’s why she and glo’s movement artists love to construct “People Parades” for folks to come together in a public place to sit, skip, stand, kneel, walk-in 2’s, prance, waltz, spin, shuffle, be still, and twist.” 

Now, as Artist in Residence of the High Museum of Art, Lauri Stallings has constructed MAPPING: Public Choreographies to loop around the entire High Museum Campus. From 12:30–1:15 p.m., every Thursday and Saturday in August, Stallings and glo invite the Atlanta community to join them on the grass of the High Museum for MAPPING: Public Choreographies. For 45 minutes, anyone can come, watch ,or join however they want..

!!Rialto Center for the Arts
The Rialto Center for the Arts at Georgia State University – www.rialto.gsu.edu – is located in one of the oldest parts of the city, downtown’s historic Fairlie-Poplar District. It opened a century ago as one of Atlanta’s first large movie houses, a decade before the Fabulous Fox. After major renovations for the 1996 Olympics, the Rialto became part of GSU’s ever-expanding campus. The annual Rialto (subscription) Series has presented an eclectic mix of world music, jazz, contemporary dance, and international programs. “Ailey II: The Next Generation of Dance” returns to the Rialto October 26. Artistic Director Troy Powell guides Ailey II’s signature pristine performances built on dynamic movement and brilliant technique.

!!Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre
The city we know as Atlanta was founded in the 1820s as Terminus. The five founding members of Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre – www.terminus-serenbe.com – came together to celebrate their shared home as a place where cultures intersect. Now in their second season, these experienced dance artists combine ballet and modern influences to create new theatrical dance works. 

On August 3, TMBT jump starts the school year and the return of their “pop up” open class series. Attend an open house at Westside Cultural Arts Center for free dance class offerings, light bites, door prizes, and a special presentation by Atlanta Optimal Performance Symposium.

Terminus opens its second season performing at Serenbe with “Lore,” the story of two siblings who share the collected heritage of their community. The work touches on the oral histories passed down through generations. TMBT invites audiences to gather around a fire as night falls in The Hollow at Serenbe to experience “Lore” October 11–20.

!!Zoetic Dance
::::
Since its first public performance in 2001, Zoetic Dance Ensemble – www.zoeticdance.org – has been a team of strong women, led by strong women. Zoetic’s dynamically athletic work embodies the feminine spirit and celebrates the power of the female body. Since 2001, their passion for female expression has attracted a range of creative women to share their visions, voices and stories of female empowerment. Zoetic, under the creative leadership of Mallory Baxley, enjoys a special partnership with Whitespace Gallery in Inman Park, which is where they’ll kick off their 2019-2020 season with a party and a preview of their upcoming work, “Saint.” The site for that December premiere will be Ambient+Studios, which began as a 109-year-old factory space near West End. “Saint” will feature original music by Xavier “Xay Zoleil” Lewis, costume design by Hannah James, and unique graphic design by Morgan Tanksley.



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Monday August 5, 2019 12:51 pm EDT
Interpretative and ritual, modern and folk, ballet and bharatanatyam | more...
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  string(183) "7 Stages

Since its founding more than 40 years ago, 7 Stages Theatre — www.7stages.org —has been devoted to producing provocative material and confronting difficult subjects..."
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  string(23751) "!!7 Stages
Since its founding more than 40 years ago, 7 Stages Theatre — www.7stages.org —has been devoted to producing provocative material and confronting difficult subjects. At press time, 7 Stages was not ready to announce the production company’s 2019-2020 season schedule. However, three productions by other companies will take place in the 7 Stages Theater in Little Five Points during the next two months. Each play poses tough questions, and focuses on characters facing severe physical, emotional, and moral challenges.

::::
With "Grounded" (August 3-17), Atlanta Theater Club (ATC) – www.atlantatheatreclub.com – is back with another intensely emotional work produced and directed by company founder Rebeca Robles. "Grounded" takes audiences into the mind and soul of a former ace fighter pilot operating military drones from a windowless trailer outside Las Vegas. The Pilot (actress Courtney Moors) watches screens to hunt and kill terrorists all day long and returns to her family each night. As the pressure to track a high-profile target mounts, the boundaries begin to blur between the desert in which she lives and the one she patrols half a world away. Robles, Moors, and seven of ATL’s most accomplished female theater artists are in control of every aspect of this Atlanta premiere including video and projection design, sound and lighting, scenic design, and wardrobe.

For the past seven seasons, Aris — “Atlanta’s stage for Celtic culture” — has brought the Celtic theatrical and literary traditions, mythology, and storytelling from the British Isles to Atlanta. Next month, Aris – Aristheatre.org – presents the Atlanta premiere of "Woman and Scarecrow" by celebrated Irish playwright Marina Carr. Emory University professor Jon Ammerman directs this very intimate play set in a dying woman’s bedroom. In the face of her death, the woman threshes out her life’s truths, sparring with a ridiculous aunt, a cheating husband, and a slippery alter ego. 

On Friday, September 27, The Object Group and 7 Stages Theatre present a sneak peek presentation of Michael Haverty’s adaptation of Albert Camus’ "L’Etranger" (The Outsider). Puppetry and noir/new wave-inspired projected cinema are integrated in an absurd investigation of Camus’ cautionary tale. The original 1942 novel is riddled with messy conflicts between existential philosophy and privileged oppression, sometimes to the apparent blindness of the author. This multimedia experience explodes the story onto stage and screen, allowing insight while tickling the mind and senses. 

!!Actor’s Express
“We seek to jumpstart individual transformations through the shared adventure of our live performances, which range from daringly provocative to audaciously hilarious.” That sentence from the mission statement for Actor’s Express Theatre — www.actors-express.com — says a lot about them — and not just what they want to accomplish as a theatre, but how. The theatre has been pushing emotional envelopes since Chris Coleman founded Actor’s Express in the basement of a church on Clairmont Road 31 years ago. Freddie Ashley has been artistic director since 2007, and few Atlanta theaters are as successful at reflecting the passion, intelligence, and geniality and flair of their leadership.

Ashley also directs most AE dramas, comedies, and musicals that attract sold-out houses night after night. Here are just some of AE’s bravest and most entertaining work of the past dozen seasons: "Stupid Fucking Bird," "Bad Jews," "Murder Ballad," "The Rocky Horror Show," "Six Degrees of Separation," "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson," "Kiss of the Spider Woman," "The Motherfucker with the Hat," "Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them," "Spring Awakening," "Slasher," "Grey Gardens," and "Hedwig and the Angry Inch."

Next month, Ashley and another smart AE cast will unveil their 31st season with "Skintight." The Atlanta premiere of "Bad Jews," playwright Joshua Harmon’s latest comedy, pokes fun at America’s obsession with youth, sex, and physical beauty. When Jodi Isaac flies across the country to visit her famous fashion mogul father for his 70th birthday, she finds that her dad’s new boyfriend is a 20-year-old porn star. OK! "Skintight" sounds like a perfect fit for Actor’s Express. 

!!Alliance Theatre
Elton John’s "Aida." "Bring It On: The Musical." "The Color Purple." "The Last Night of Ballyhoo." "The Prom." "Sister Act: The Musical." Twyla Tharp’s "Come Fly Away." 

Can you guess what all these (and many more) hit plays and musicals have in common? They were all first performed at the Alliance Theatre — www.alliancetheatre.org — right here in ATL. Over the past 51 years, the Alliance has premiered more than 100 original productions, launching important American musicals with a strong track record of Broadway, touring, and subsequent productions, including several Tony Award winners. In fact, in 2007, the Alliance won a special Tony Award as Best Regional Theater in America. 

2019-2020 will be their first full season in their lavishly renovated main stage space, which opened late last year. In "Becoming Nancy," the next big musical to premiere at the Alliance, David, a talented high school senior tries out for the school play and is cast as the female lead. It’s 1979, and everyone in his small English suburb is shocked, including David. Should he play the part? Just wait and see. Another sign that "Becoming Nancy" is set to be the Alliance’s next big hit is its director, Tony winner Jerry Mitchell, whose past musical hits include "Pretty Woman," "Kinky Boots," "Legally Blonde," "La Cage Aux Folles," and "Hairspray."

Alliance Artistic Director Susan Booth directs the Off-Broadway hit comedy "Small Mouth Sounds," to be performed downstairs at the Woodruff Arts Center on the intimate Hertz Stage. The play, running from October 4–27, follows six strangers at a five-day silent wellness retreat in the woods. Guided by an unseen guru, each one wrestles with their personal demons as their vows of silence clash with the irresistible human need to connect.

!!Center for Puppetry Arts
It’s hard to think of another Atlanta-based theatrical organization with a greater reputation for excellence and creativity than the Center for Puppetry Arts — www.puppet.org. Just a few years after puppeteer Vincent Anthony stood with Muppet master Jim Henson as they cut the opening-day ribbon in September 1978, the Puppetry Center became one of the most respected and revered creative hives for puppetry in the world. CPA has hosted  dozens of the best puppeteers and puppet theater companies from across Europe, Asia, Africa, South America and the Caribbean. The Center’s Museum is now the home of the Henson Collection and its iconic puppets from "Sesame Street," "Labyrinth," "The Dark Crystal," "Fraggle Rock," and Emmet Otter’s "Jug-Band Christmas." 

The fantastic puppet productions conceived and created at CPA have played to sold-out audiences across North America, and Artistic Director Jon Ludwig is widely considered one of the geniuses of the ancient and timeless art form. The shows range from super sweet and cute to deadly serious, even tragic. Some are strange and weird. But no matter what the show or the exhibit or the workshop, kids and grownups of all ages have a blast every time they set foot inside.

This fall, CPA lifts off with "SPACE!," Ludwig’s 2016 song-filled puppet adventure about the cosmos. "SPACE!" employs shadow puppets, hand and rod puppets, black lights, computer animation, and crystal-clear images from NASA and a rap and rock score to explain the entire universe, more or less. From red dwarf stars to the planet Neptune, from comets to black holes, and beyond, Ludwig’s latest rock opera is the perfect way for anyone of any age to celebrate the autumnal equinox.

!!Essential Theatre Play Festival
Since 1999, the annual Essential Theatre Play Festival – www.essentialtheatre.com – which was founded by Atlanta playwright-director Peter Hardy, has premiered 34 new works by 25 different Georgia writers, with many works being restaged by other Atlanta theaters and across the country. The 2019 Festival (July 25–August 24) features three full productions plus four new scripts being heard for the first time in the Bare Essentials Play Reading Series. All performances and readings take place at the West End Performing Arts Center.

July 25-August 24: Peter Hardy directs "Slaying Holofernes" by Emily McClain. The play upsets notions of past/present, fact/fiction, and personal/political as it explores the quest for justice by two women.

August 1-25: Written by Ben Thorpe and directed by Shannon Eubanks, "Babyshower for the Antichrist" takes place on the night of ‘Hell Feast’ as a small, isolated cult prepares for the birth of the Antichrist. Viewer beware: This world premiere contains moments of blood and violence, plus a talking goat.

Thursday, August 15 and Friday, August 16: In "The Attic, creator/performer Aaron Gotlieb explores the things we hold onto and those we leave behind. "

The Bare Essentials Play Reading Series includes "Day of Saturn" by Leviticus Jelks III, directed by Najah Ali (August 3); "Darger Takes a Walk" by Rosalind Sullivan-Lovett, directed by Natalie Fox (August 6); "Waiting for Big Stuff" by Allan Dodson, directed by Kati Grace Brown (August 12); and "The Odds Against Death" by Ted Westby and John D. Babcock III, directed by Bill Murphey (August 21).

!!Horizon Theatre
Eternally young Horizon Theatre — www.horizontheatre.com — founders Lisa and Jeff Adler founded their small (172 cozy seats), independent theater in 1983 and have stayed busy ever since. Year in, year out, they offer a mainstage season of six to eight contemporary plays (almost always local or regional premieres) for diverse Atlanta audiences, a family series for younger audiences, a free outdoor musical in Piedmont Park, and free outdoor performances with Little Five Arts Alive from April through October. They also create new plays from, for, and about Atlanta through their New South Play Festival program, and reach out to new audiences through their New South Young Playwrights Contest and Festival, the Horizon In-School Playwriting Workshops, the Horizon Apprentice Company (early career professionals), the Intern Program (for college students) and the high school theatre program at The New School.

From September 20 through October 27, Horizon will stage one of the most honored plays of the past decade, "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time." Four years ago, the Broadway production won the Drama Desk Award, the Outer Critics Circle Award, the Drama League Award, and five Tony Awards, including Best Play. Lisa Adler and Justin Anderson will co-direct the story of an autistic teenager who’s better at solving equations than navigating a world that’s out of sync with how his mind works. After being wrongly accused of murdering his neighbor’s dog, he resolves to find the real culprit. When his investigation uncovers painful truths about his family, he strikes out on his own, embarking on a daring train ride to London to confront his parent’s past.

!!Kenny Leon’s True Colors
This season will mark a major turning point in the story of another beloved Atlanta theater company. Tony Award-winning director Kenny Leon is departing the role of artistic director of the company that he co-founded and that now bears his name. Associate Artistic Director Jamil Jude will take over the position at Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company — www.truecolorstheatre.org. Since Leon established True Colors with Jane Bishop in 2002, the theatre has produced over three dozen productions with a focus on black storytelling. They’ve presented several of the best plays by, or adapted from works by, Langston Hughes, James Baldwin, August Wilson, Ntozake Shange, Pearl Cleage, and Dominique Morisseau, among many others. 

True Colors’ dedication to black voices in the theater continues September 24 through October 20, when they present the Atlanta premiere of "Paradise Blue," the third play the company has mounted in Dominique Morisseau’s Detroit Trilogy, which includes "Detroit ’67," and "Skeleton Crew." In "Paradise Blue," set in 1949, when Detroit’s white mayor pushed to move African Americans out of Detroit’s Black Bottom neighborhood, a musician named Blue considers selling his family’s once-thriving jazz club. Against a backdrop of gentrification and displacement, Paradise Blue encompasses the pain and suffering that accompany the erasure of black history.

!!Orange Box Theater
In Tucker, a 1,600-square-foot converted warehouse space that seats about 80 people is the staging venue for Orange Box Theater at Mark SQared Studios – www.orangeboxtheater.marksquaredstudiosatlanta.com – which presents innovative takes on classic and new theatrical works by African American artists using nontraditional casting and multimedia effects. In recent years, creative director Karlotta Washington has overseen productions of George C. Wolf’s "The Colored Museum," Michael Frayn’s "Noises Off," and "Purlie," the Tony Award-winning musical comedy based on a play by Ossie Davis.

On multiple days between October 11 and 27, Orange Box Theater will present "Sunset Baby" by Dominique Morisseau. A MacArthur Foundation “Genius Grant” recipient and Obie-award winning playwright, Morisseau recently became the first African-American woman nominated for a Tony Award in a musical category in 20 years for the Broadway hit "Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations." 

Described in a 2013 New York Times review as a “smart and bracing new play about two generations of urban outlaws,” "Sunset Baby" explores the relationship between Nina, a tough, uncompromising street hustler, and her estranged father, a former black revolutionary who shows up one day seeking reconciliation and a series of letters left with Nina by her mother.

!!Out of Box Theatre
In 2012, Carolyn Choe started Out of Box Theatre – www.outofboxtheatre.com – with the goal of producing superior quality shows without exceeding a smart, practical budget. Taking advantage of the talent and resources at hand in Marietta and the greater metro community, during the past few seasons, Out of Box Theater has established a reputation for challenging, offbeat, and daring theater productions, as well as for developing programs, such as the unBOXed Comedy Class and an internship for college graduates.

This fall, Out of Box Theatre presents "Entertaining Lesbians" (August 2-17), written and directed by the always amusing and topical Topher Payne. The play follows the exploits of Rowena Tuttle, described by Payne as “a cisgender heterosexual white woman who no one finds interesting anymore” as she tries to gain admission to an elite school for her daughter by buddying up with Atlanta’s most powerful lesbian couple.

Running October 4-20, "Evil Dead: The Musical" offers a lyrical take on the notoriously absurd, cult classic horror film by Sam Raimi (Spider-Man Trilogy). For readers unfamiliar with the source material, "Evil Dead" recounts the tribulations of a group of college students who, while spending the weekend in an abandoned cabin in the woods, unwittingly unleash an evil terror, which tries and largely succeeds in killing everyone in unspeakably gruesome ways. Perfect fodder for a musical.

From November 8–17, Topher Payne returns to direct Jordan Harrison’s "The Grown Up," a play about a boy who is given a magical crystal doorknob, which enables him to travel through space and time to see his future life.

!!PULP
Owner Will Eiseman opened the original PULP – www.pulpatlanta.com – a bookstore and gallery specializing in pop culture books and zines, original artwork, cinema art and ephemera, and photography, in Charleston, South Carolina. Since relocating to Midtown Atlanta in the summer of 2018, PULP has hosted exhibitions of cryptozoological art and large-scale street art and murals. In collaboration with Videodrome, rare films are screened on Sundays, while original theatrical performances and live comedy are staged in the store’s Black Box Theatre.

Highlights from the Black Box fall performance season include:

August 23-September 1: "The One Act Spectacular" features four of Atlanta’s top casting agents each directing a one-act play with local film and TV actors.

September 26-28: ATL Sketchfest comprises three separate comedy sketches per night staged over three consecutive nights with a cash prize awarded to “Best in Show” chosen by five anonymous judges. Organizers are also accepting comedy video shorts, which will be shown between live performances.

October 2-17: World premiere of a new stage adaptation of Roger Corman’s ’50s schlock sci-fi classic film, "Attack of the Giant Leeches," written and directed by John Babcock. 

October 25-26: The Phantom Film Festival features a horror-themed short film night of works by local filmmakers on Friday followed on Saturday by a one-night only live stage adaptation of Brian DePalma’s horror musical classic "Phantom of the Paradise."

!!Synchronicity
Synchronicity — www.synchrotheatre.com — produces theatre to spark community connections and uplift the voices of women and girls. Founded in 1997 by four women, Synchronicity presents plays for adults (Bold Voices) and families (Family Series) and offers a wide range of educational programming, including Playmaking for Kids (PFK) summer camps and after-school programs, and their award-winning Playmaking for Girls (PFG) program. Now in its fourth year, the organization’s Stripped Bare: Arts Incubator Project gives artists a space to create and present new work. The series focuses on projects that emphasize words and ideas, with minimal technical elements, and encourages young artists to think about the essentials of theatre (mostly) stripped of intricate sets, lights, props, sound design, and costumes.

From August 1–11, Synchronicity will host a revival of "2 the Left: A Tribute to the Life of Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes." Written and performed by Kerisse Hutchinson, and originally performed as part of the Stripped Bare Arts Incubator Project, this multimedia experience chronicles the life of the most controversial member of the ’90s pop music phenomenon TLC. Thomas W. Jones II directs. Sunday, August 4, there will be a talkback after "2 the Left" with the cast, crew, and members of Lopes’ family. Later this month, Synchronicity will announce two more Stripped Bare projects that will be performed September 10–12 and Nov 12–14. Tickets are free to all Stripped Bare performances, but reservations are required.

Synchronicity’s first full production of the new season is "MacBeth," Erica Schmidt’s bold adaptation of the Bard’s Scottish play running October 4–28. On an autumn afternoon, in an empty lot outside the city, seven girls meet up to perform "Macbeth," using Shakespeare’s original text. It’s not long before the blood fantasy of the play starts to seep into their real lives.

!!Theater Emory
Theater Emory – www.theater.emory.edu – is the Emory University theater department’s resident professional company and the producing organization for Theater Studies. Typically, Theater Emory presents four productions per year.

This fall’s production of "The Nether" (November 1–17), directed by Ibi Ovolabi, promises to be one of most provocative projects ever staged by Theater Emory. Jennifer Haley’s psychological crime thriller draws the audience into a detective’s investigation of a virtual world where pedophiles indulge their fantasies. The investigation sparks questions about ethical behavior as experienced in the imagination and practiced in the “real” world.

“‘The Nether’ questions the way we define something as ‘real,’ which is an idea that has fascinated philosophers for millennia,” says Brent Glenn, artistic director of Theater Emory. “As we approach a time when virtual reality may be as real as our daily lives, discomforting ethical conundrums rise to the surface. "The Nether" forces us to face that discomfort.”

!!Theatrical Outfit
::::
Founded in a converted Virginia Highlands laundromat 43 years ago, Theatrical Outfit — www.theatricaloutfit.org — is Atlanta’s second oldest professional theatre company. The Outfit produced some of its boldest, most provocative work in the ’80s out of the (now long gone) Kress Five & Dime building in Midtown, before it moved downtown in 1999 to the site of the former Herren’s Restaurant, now the Balzer Theatre. 2019-2020 marks another milestone as Atlanta theater legend Tom Key will be stepping down from the position of artistic director after 25 years. Since 1995, Key and The Outfit have had critical and popular success presenting dozens of regional and world premieres, classics, and musicals that explore diversity, equality, ethnicity, race, and faith. Key has taken great pride in programming plays by many of the best writers of the American South, including Ernest Gaines, Horton Foote, Harper Lee, Flannery O’Connor, and Tennessee Williams.

Theatrical Outfit begins “Tom’s Farewell Season” with "Our Town" and "The Laramie Project" in repertory from August 27 to September 29. Considered by many to be the greatest American play, Thornton Wilder’s "Our Town" depicts the town of Grover’s Corners in three acts: “Daily Life,” “Love and Marriage,” and “Death and Eternity.” Narrated by a stage manager character and performed with minimal props and sets, Wilder’s classic chronicles the Webb and Gibbs families as their children fall in love, marry, and eventually die. David Crowe will direct.  

In 1998, a university student named Matthew Shepard was kidnapped, beaten, and tied to a prairie fence outside Laramie, Wyoming. When he died days later, the world learned Shepard was targeted because he was gay. In its review of the original production, the New York Times observed, “‘The Laramie Project’ is ‘Our Town’ with a question mark, as in, ‘Could this be our town? It can’t happen here,’ followed immediately by ‘And yet it has.’” Clifton Guterman will direct "The Laramie Project," a play that strives to find the light in a tragedy and to reveal examples of profound compassion in its wake.

!!The Windmill Arts Center
Opened in late 2017, the Windmill Arts Center – www.thewindmillatl.com – in East Point contains an 80-seat “black box” theater plus a 40-seat “white box” space for rent as a gallery, rehearsal space, yoga studio, classroom, or for special events. Converted from a gas station/garage, the arts center now serves as the East Coast headquarters for Vanguard Repertory Company (VanguardRep), which was formed in Los Angeles in 2008 by husband and wife Sam and Elizabeth Ross (who previously lived in Atlanta), Matthew Burgos, and Elisa Blandford. 

From August 2–18, VanguardRep presents the Atlanta premiere of "Br'er Cotton," a contemporary fable about systemic racism by playwright Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm and directed by Burgos. Later in the month (August 29–September 1), The Tiny Theater Company will premiere a one-act adaptation of William Shakespeare’s "Hamlet" featuring live music and dance by an all-black cast with Tiny Theater founder Cydnei Prather directing.
Return to Fall Arts Preview 2019"
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  string(23972) "!!__7 Stages__
Since its founding more than 40 years ago, 7 Stages Theatre — www.7stages.org —has been devoted to producing provocative material and confronting difficult subjects. At press time, 7 Stages was not ready to announce the production company’s 2019-2020 season schedule. However, three productions by other companies will take place in the 7 Stages Theater in Little Five Points during the next two months. Each play poses tough questions, and focuses on characters facing severe physical, emotional, and moral challenges.

::{img fileId="21487" imalign="center" desc="desc" max="800"}::
With "Grounded" (August 3-17), Atlanta Theater Club (ATC) – www.atlantatheatreclub.com – is back with another intensely emotional work produced and directed by company founder Rebeca Robles. "Grounded" takes audiences into the mind and soul of a former ace fighter pilot operating military drones from a windowless trailer outside Las Vegas. The Pilot (actress Courtney Moors) watches screens to hunt and kill terrorists all day long and returns to her family each night. As the pressure to track a high-profile target mounts, the boundaries begin to blur between the desert in which she lives and the one she patrols half a world away. Robles, Moors, and seven of ATL’s most accomplished female theater artists are in control of every aspect of this Atlanta premiere including video and projection design, sound and lighting, scenic design, and wardrobe.

For the past seven seasons, Aris — “Atlanta’s stage for Celtic culture” — has brought the Celtic theatrical and literary traditions, mythology, and storytelling from the British Isles to Atlanta. Next month, Aris – Aristheatre.org – presents the Atlanta premiere of "Woman and Scarecrow" by celebrated Irish playwright Marina Carr. Emory University professor Jon Ammerman directs this very intimate play set in a dying woman’s bedroom. In the face of her death, the woman threshes out her life’s truths, sparring with a ridiculous aunt, a cheating husband, and a slippery alter ego. 

On Friday, September 27, The Object Group and 7 Stages Theatre present a sneak peek presentation of Michael Haverty’s adaptation of Albert Camus’ "L’Etranger" (The Outsider). Puppetry and noir/new wave-inspired projected cinema are integrated in an absurd investigation of Camus’ cautionary tale. The original 1942 novel is riddled with messy conflicts between existential philosophy and privileged oppression, sometimes to the apparent blindness of the author. This multimedia experience explodes the story onto stage and screen, allowing insight while tickling the mind and senses. 

!!__Actor’s Express__
“We seek to jumpstart individual transformations through the shared adventure of our live performances, which range from daringly provocative to audaciously hilarious.” That sentence from the mission statement for Actor’s Express Theatre — www.actors-express.com — says a lot about them — and not just what they want to accomplish as a theatre, but how. The theatre has been pushing emotional envelopes since Chris Coleman founded Actor’s Express in the basement of a church on Clairmont Road 31 years ago. Freddie Ashley has been artistic director since 2007, and few Atlanta theaters are as successful at reflecting the passion, intelligence, and geniality and flair of their leadership.

Ashley also directs most AE dramas, comedies, and musicals that attract sold-out houses night after night. Here are just some of AE’s bravest and most entertaining work of the past dozen seasons: "Stupid Fucking Bird," "Bad Jews," "Murder Ballad," "The Rocky Horror Show," "Six Degrees of Separation," "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson," "Kiss of the Spider Woman," "The Motherfucker with the Hat," "Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them," "Spring Awakening," "Slasher," "Grey Gardens," and "Hedwig and the Angry Inch."

Next month, Ashley and another smart AE cast will unveil their 31st season with "Skintight." The Atlanta premiere of "Bad Jews," playwright Joshua Harmon’s latest comedy, pokes fun at America’s obsession with youth, sex, and physical beauty. When Jodi Isaac flies across the country to visit her famous fashion mogul father for his 70th birthday, she finds that her dad’s new boyfriend is a 20-year-old porn star. OK! "Skintight" sounds like a perfect fit for Actor’s Express. 

!!__Alliance Theatre__
Elton John’s "Aida." "Bring It On: The Musical." "The Color Purple." "The Last Night of Ballyhoo." "The Prom." "Sister Act: The Musical." Twyla Tharp’s "Come Fly Away." 

Can you guess what all these (and many more) hit plays and musicals have in common? They were all first performed at the Alliance Theatre — www.alliancetheatre.org — right here in ATL. Over the past 51 years, the Alliance has premiered more than 100 original productions, launching important American musicals with a strong track record of Broadway, touring, and subsequent productions, including several Tony Award winners. In fact, in 2007, the Alliance won a special Tony Award as Best Regional Theater in America. 

2019-2020 will be their first full season in their lavishly renovated main stage space, which opened late last year. In "Becoming Nancy," the next big musical to premiere at the Alliance, David, a talented high school senior tries out for the school play and is cast as the ''female'' lead. It’s 1979, and everyone in his small English suburb is shocked, including David. Should he play the part? Just wait and see. Another sign that "Becoming Nancy" is set to be the Alliance’s next big hit is its director, Tony winner Jerry Mitchell, whose past musical hits include "Pretty Woman," "Kinky Boots," "Legally Blonde," "La Cage Aux Folles," and "Hairspray."

Alliance Artistic Director Susan Booth directs the Off-Broadway hit comedy "Small Mouth Sounds," to be performed downstairs at the Woodruff Arts Center on the intimate Hertz Stage. The play, running from October 4–27, follows six strangers at a five-day silent wellness retreat in the woods. Guided by an unseen guru, each one wrestles with their personal demons as their vows of silence clash with the irresistible human need to connect.

!!__Center for Puppetry Arts__
It’s hard to think of another Atlanta-based theatrical organization with a greater reputation for excellence and creativity than the Center for Puppetry Arts — www.puppet.org. Just a few years after puppeteer Vincent Anthony stood with Muppet master Jim Henson as they cut the opening-day ribbon in September 1978, the Puppetry Center became one of the most respected and revered creative hives for puppetry in the world. CPA has hosted  dozens of the best puppeteers and puppet theater companies from across Europe, Asia, Africa, South America and the Caribbean. The Center’s Museum is now the home of the Henson Collection and its iconic puppets from "Sesame Street," "Labyrinth," "The Dark Crystal," "Fraggle Rock," and Emmet Otter’s "Jug-Band Christmas." 

The fantastic puppet productions conceived and created at CPA have played to sold-out audiences across North America, and Artistic Director Jon Ludwig is widely considered one of the geniuses of the ancient and timeless art form. The shows range from super sweet and cute to deadly serious, even tragic. Some are strange and weird. But no matter what the show or the exhibit or the workshop, kids and grownups of all ages have a blast every time they set foot inside.

This fall, CPA lifts off with "SPACE!," Ludwig’s 2016 song-filled puppet adventure about the cosmos. "SPACE!" employs shadow puppets, hand and rod puppets, black lights, computer animation, and crystal-clear images from NASA and a rap and rock score to explain the entire universe, more or less. From red dwarf stars to the planet Neptune, from comets to black holes, and beyond, Ludwig’s latest rock opera is the perfect way for anyone of any age to celebrate the autumnal equinox.

!!__Essential Theatre Play Festival__
Since 1999, the annual Essential Theatre Play Festival – www.essentialtheatre.com – which was founded by Atlanta playwright-director Peter Hardy, has premiered 34 new works by 25 different Georgia writers, with many works being restaged by other Atlanta theaters and across the country. The 2019 Festival (July 25–August 24) features three full productions plus four new scripts being heard for the first time in the Bare Essentials Play Reading Series. All performances and readings take place at the West End Performing Arts Center.

July 25-August 24: Peter Hardy directs "Slaying Holofernes" by Emily McClain. The play upsets notions of past/present, fact/fiction, and personal/political as it explores the quest for justice by two women.

August 1-25: Written by Ben Thorpe and directed by Shannon Eubanks, "Babyshower for the Antichrist" takes place on the night of ‘Hell Feast’ as a small, isolated cult prepares for the birth of the Antichrist. Viewer beware: This world premiere contains moments of blood and violence, plus a talking goat.

Thursday, August 15 and Friday, August 16: In "The Attic, creator/performer Aaron Gotlieb explores the things we hold onto and those we leave behind. "

The Bare Essentials Play Reading Series includes "Day of Saturn" by Leviticus Jelks III, directed by Najah Ali (August 3); "Darger Takes a Walk" by Rosalind Sullivan-Lovett, directed by Natalie Fox (August 6); "Waiting for Big Stuff" by Allan Dodson, directed by Kati Grace Brown (August 12); and "The Odds Against Death" by Ted Westby and John D. Babcock III, directed by Bill Murphey (August 21).

!!__Horizon Theatre__
Eternally young Horizon Theatre — www.horizontheatre.com — founders Lisa and Jeff Adler founded their small (172 cozy seats), independent theater in 1983 and have stayed busy ever since. Year in, year out, they offer a mainstage season of six to eight contemporary plays (almost always local or regional premieres) for diverse Atlanta audiences, a family series for younger audiences, a free outdoor musical in Piedmont Park, and free outdoor performances with Little Five Arts Alive from April through October. They also create new plays from, for, and about Atlanta through their New South Play Festival program, and reach out to new audiences through their New South Young Playwrights Contest and Festival, the Horizon In-School Playwriting Workshops, the Horizon Apprentice Company (early career professionals), the Intern Program (for college students) and the high school theatre program at The New School.

From September 20 through October 27, Horizon will stage one of the most honored plays of the past decade, "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time." Four years ago, the Broadway production won the Drama Desk Award, the Outer Critics Circle Award, the Drama League Award, and five Tony Awards, including Best Play. Lisa Adler and Justin Anderson will co-direct the story of an autistic teenager who’s better at solving equations than navigating a world that’s out of sync with how his mind works. After being wrongly accused of murdering his neighbor’s dog, he resolves to find the real culprit. When his investigation uncovers painful truths about his family, he strikes out on his own, embarking on a daring train ride to London to confront his parent’s past.

!!__Kenny Leon’s True Colors__
This season will mark a major turning point in the story of another beloved Atlanta theater company. Tony Award-winning director Kenny Leon is departing the role of artistic director of the company that he co-founded and that now bears his name. Associate Artistic Director Jamil Jude will take over the position at Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company — www.truecolorstheatre.org. Since Leon established True Colors with Jane Bishop in 2002, the theatre has produced over three dozen productions with a focus on black storytelling. They’ve presented several of the best plays by, or adapted from works by, Langston Hughes, James Baldwin, August Wilson, Ntozake Shange, Pearl Cleage, and Dominique Morisseau, among many others. 

True Colors’ dedication to black voices in the theater continues September 24 through October 20, when they present the Atlanta premiere of "Paradise Blue," the third play the company has mounted in Dominique Morisseau’s Detroit Trilogy, which includes "Detroit ’67," and "Skeleton Crew." In "Paradise Blue," set in 1949, when Detroit’s white mayor pushed to move African Americans out of Detroit’s Black Bottom neighborhood, a musician named Blue considers selling his family’s once-thriving jazz club. Against a backdrop of gentrification and displacement, Paradise Blue encompasses the pain and suffering that accompany the erasure of black history.

!!__Orange Box Theater__
In Tucker, a 1,600-square-foot converted warehouse space that seats about 80 people is the staging venue for Orange Box Theater at Mark SQared Studios – www.orangeboxtheater.marksquaredstudiosatlanta.com – which presents innovative takes on classic and new theatrical works by African American artists using nontraditional casting and multimedia effects. In recent years, creative director Karlotta Washington has overseen productions of George C. Wolf’s "The Colored Museum," Michael Frayn’s "Noises Off," and "Purlie," the Tony Award-winning musical comedy based on a play by Ossie Davis.

On multiple days between October 11 and 27, Orange Box Theater will present "Sunset Baby" by Dominique Morisseau. A MacArthur Foundation “Genius Grant” recipient and Obie-award winning playwright, Morisseau recently became the first African-American woman nominated for a Tony Award in a musical category in 20 years for the Broadway hit "Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations." 

Described in a 2013 ''New York Times'' review as a “smart and bracing new play about two generations of urban outlaws,” "Sunset Baby" explores the relationship between Nina, a tough, uncompromising street hustler, and her estranged father, a former black revolutionary who shows up one day seeking reconciliation and a series of letters left with Nina by her mother.

!!__Out of Box Theatre__
In 2012, Carolyn Choe started Out of Box Theatre – www.outofboxtheatre.com – with the goal of producing superior quality shows without exceeding a smart, practical budget. Taking advantage of the talent and resources at hand in Marietta and the greater metro community, during the past few seasons, Out of Box Theater has established a reputation for challenging, offbeat, and daring theater productions, as well as for developing programs, such as the unBOXed Comedy Class and an internship for college graduates.

This fall, Out of Box Theatre presents "Entertaining Lesbians" (August 2-17), written and directed by the always amusing and topical Topher Payne. The play follows the exploits of Rowena Tuttle, described by Payne as “a cisgender heterosexual white woman who no one finds interesting anymore” as she tries to gain admission to an elite school for her daughter by buddying up with Atlanta’s most powerful lesbian couple.

Running October 4-20, "Evil Dead: The Musical" offers a lyrical take on the notoriously absurd, cult classic horror film by Sam Raimi (Spider-Man Trilogy). For readers unfamiliar with the source material, "Evil Dead" recounts the tribulations of a group of college students who, while spending the weekend in an abandoned cabin in the woods, unwittingly unleash an evil terror, which tries and largely succeeds in killing everyone in unspeakably gruesome ways. Perfect fodder for a musical.

From November 8–17, Topher Payne returns to direct Jordan Harrison’s "The Grown Up," a play about a boy who is given a magical crystal doorknob, which enables him to travel through space and time to see his future life.

!!__PULP__
Owner Will Eiseman opened the original PULP – www.pulpatlanta.com – a bookstore and gallery specializing in pop culture books and zines, original artwork, cinema art and ephemera, and photography, in Charleston, South Carolina. Since relocating to Midtown Atlanta in the summer of 2018, PULP has hosted exhibitions of cryptozoological art and large-scale street art and murals. In collaboration with Videodrome, rare films are screened on Sundays, while original theatrical performances and live comedy are staged in the store’s Black Box Theatre.

Highlights from the Black Box fall performance season include:

August 23-September 1: "The One Act Spectacular" features four of Atlanta’s top casting agents each directing a one-act play with local film and TV actors.

September 26-28: __ATL Sketchfest__ comprises three separate comedy sketches per night staged over three consecutive nights with a cash prize awarded to “Best in Show” chosen by five anonymous judges. Organizers are also accepting comedy video shorts, which will be shown between live performances.

October 2-17: World premiere of a new stage adaptation of Roger Corman’s ’50s schlock sci-fi classic film, "Attack of the Giant Leeches," written and directed by John Babcock. 

October 25-26: The Phantom Film Festival features a horror-themed short film night of works by local filmmakers on Friday followed on Saturday by a one-night only live stage adaptation of Brian DePalma’s horror musical classic "Phantom of the Paradise."

!!__Synchronicity__
Synchronicity — www.synchrotheatre.com — produces theatre to spark community connections and uplift the voices of women and girls. Founded in 1997 by four women, Synchronicity presents plays for adults (Bold Voices) and families (Family Series) and offers a wide range of educational programming, including Playmaking for Kids (PFK) summer camps and after-school programs, and their award-winning Playmaking for Girls (PFG) program. Now in its fourth year, the organization’s Stripped Bare: Arts Incubator Project gives artists a space to create and present new work. The series focuses on projects that emphasize words and ideas, with minimal technical elements, and encourages young artists to think about the essentials of theatre (mostly) stripped of intricate sets, lights, props, sound design, and costumes.

From August 1–11, Synchronicity will host a revival of "2 the Left: A Tribute to the Life of Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes." Written and performed by Kerisse Hutchinson, and originally performed as part of the Stripped Bare Arts Incubator Project, this multimedia experience chronicles the life of the most controversial member of the ’90s pop music phenomenon TLC. Thomas W. Jones II directs. Sunday, August 4, there will be a talkback after "2 the Left"'' ''with the cast, crew, and members of Lopes’ family. Later this month, Synchronicity will announce two more Stripped Bare projects that will be performed September 10–12 and Nov 12–14. Tickets are free to all Stripped Bare performances, but reservations are required.

Synchronicity’s first full production of the new season is "MacBeth," Erica Schmidt’s bold adaptation of the Bard’s Scottish play running October 4–28. On an autumn afternoon, in an empty lot outside the city, seven girls meet up to perform "Macbeth," using Shakespeare’s original text. It’s not long before the blood fantasy of the play starts to seep into their real lives.

!!__Theater Emory__
Theater Emory – www.theater.emory.edu – is the Emory University theater department’s resident professional company and the producing organization for Theater Studies. Typically, Theater Emory presents four productions per year.

This fall’s production of "The Nether" (November 1–17), directed by Ibi Ovolabi, promises to be one of most provocative projects ever staged by Theater Emory. Jennifer Haley’s psychological crime thriller draws the audience into a detective’s investigation of a virtual world where pedophiles indulge their fantasies. The investigation sparks questions about ethical behavior as experienced in the imagination and practiced in the “real” world.

“‘The Nether’ questions the way we define something as ‘real,’ which is an idea that has fascinated philosophers for millennia,” says Brent Glenn, artistic director of Theater Emory. “As we approach a time when virtual reality may be as real as our daily lives, discomforting ethical conundrums rise to the surface. "The Nether" forces us to face that discomfort.”

!!__Theatrical Outfit__
::{img fileId="21488" imalign="center" desc="desc" max="800"}::
Founded in a converted Virginia Highlands laundromat 43 years ago, Theatrical Outfit — www.theatricaloutfit.org — is Atlanta’s second oldest professional theatre company. The Outfit produced some of its boldest, most provocative work in the ’80s out of the (now long gone) Kress Five & Dime building in Midtown, before it moved downtown in 1999 to the site of the former Herren’s Restaurant, now the Balzer Theatre. 2019-2020 marks another milestone as Atlanta theater legend Tom Key will be stepping down from the position of artistic director after 25 years. Since 1995, Key and The Outfit have had critical and popular success presenting dozens of regional and world premieres, classics, and musicals that explore diversity, equality, ethnicity, race, and faith. Key has taken great pride in programming plays by many of the best writers of the American South, including Ernest Gaines, Horton Foote, Harper Lee, Flannery O’Connor, and Tennessee Williams.

Theatrical Outfit begins “Tom’s Farewell Season” with "Our Town" and "The Laramie Project" in repertory from August 27 to September 29. Considered by many to be the greatest American play, Thornton Wilder’s "Our Town" depicts the town of Grover’s Corners in three acts: “Daily Life,” “Love and Marriage,” and “Death and Eternity.” Narrated by a stage manager character and performed with minimal props and sets, Wilder’s classic chronicles the Webb and Gibbs families as their children fall in love, marry, and eventually die. David Crowe will direct.  

In 1998, a university student named Matthew Shepard was kidnapped, beaten, and tied to a prairie fence outside Laramie, Wyoming. When he died days later, the world learned Shepard was targeted because he was gay. In its review of the original production, the ''New York Times'' observed, “‘The Laramie Project’ is ‘Our Town’ with a question mark, as in, ‘Could this be our town? It can’t happen here,’ followed immediately by ‘And yet it has.’” Clifton Guterman will direct "The Laramie Project," a play that strives to find the light in a tragedy and to reveal examples of profound compassion in its wake.

!!__The Windmill Arts Center__
Opened in late 2017, the Windmill Arts Center – www.thewindmillatl.com – in East Point contains an 80-seat “black box” theater plus a 40-seat “white box” space for rent as a gallery, rehearsal space, yoga studio, classroom, or for special events. Converted from a gas station/garage, the arts center now serves as the East Coast headquarters for Vanguard Repertory Company (VanguardRep), which was formed in Los Angeles in 2008 by husband and wife Sam and Elizabeth Ross (who previously lived in Atlanta), Matthew Burgos, and Elisa Blandford. 

From August 2–18, VanguardRep presents the Atlanta premiere of "Br'er Cotton," a contemporary fable about systemic racism by playwright Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm and directed by Burgos. Later in the month (August 29–September 1), The Tiny Theater Company will premiere a one-act adaptation of William Shakespeare’s "Hamlet" featuring live music and dance by an all-black cast with Tiny Theater founder Cydnei Prather directing.
((fall arts preview 2019|Return to Fall Arts Preview 2019))"
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  string(24364) " Spotlight&Masks  2019-08-03T01:57:29+00:00 Spotlight&Masks.jpg    fall arts preview 2019 theatre Onstage and off, with actors and puppets, dealing in reality and escape 21516  2019-08-03T01:36:16+00:00 Fall Arts Preview 2019: Theater jim.harris@creativeloafing.com Jim Harris Edward McNally  2019-08-03T01:36:16+00:00 7 Stages

Since its founding more than 40 years ago, 7 Stages Theatre — www.7stages.org —has been devoted to producing provocative material and confronting difficult subjects... !!7 Stages
Since its founding more than 40 years ago, 7 Stages Theatre — www.7stages.org —has been devoted to producing provocative material and confronting difficult subjects. At press time, 7 Stages was not ready to announce the production company’s 2019-2020 season schedule. However, three productions by other companies will take place in the 7 Stages Theater in Little Five Points during the next two months. Each play poses tough questions, and focuses on characters facing severe physical, emotional, and moral challenges.

::::
With "Grounded" (August 3-17), Atlanta Theater Club (ATC) – www.atlantatheatreclub.com – is back with another intensely emotional work produced and directed by company founder Rebeca Robles. "Grounded" takes audiences into the mind and soul of a former ace fighter pilot operating military drones from a windowless trailer outside Las Vegas. The Pilot (actress Courtney Moors) watches screens to hunt and kill terrorists all day long and returns to her family each night. As the pressure to track a high-profile target mounts, the boundaries begin to blur between the desert in which she lives and the one she patrols half a world away. Robles, Moors, and seven of ATL’s most accomplished female theater artists are in control of every aspect of this Atlanta premiere including video and projection design, sound and lighting, scenic design, and wardrobe.

For the past seven seasons, Aris — “Atlanta’s stage for Celtic culture” — has brought the Celtic theatrical and literary traditions, mythology, and storytelling from the British Isles to Atlanta. Next month, Aris – Aristheatre.org – presents the Atlanta premiere of "Woman and Scarecrow" by celebrated Irish playwright Marina Carr. Emory University professor Jon Ammerman directs this very intimate play set in a dying woman’s bedroom. In the face of her death, the woman threshes out her life’s truths, sparring with a ridiculous aunt, a cheating husband, and a slippery alter ego. 

On Friday, September 27, The Object Group and 7 Stages Theatre present a sneak peek presentation of Michael Haverty’s adaptation of Albert Camus’ "L’Etranger" (The Outsider). Puppetry and noir/new wave-inspired projected cinema are integrated in an absurd investigation of Camus’ cautionary tale. The original 1942 novel is riddled with messy conflicts between existential philosophy and privileged oppression, sometimes to the apparent blindness of the author. This multimedia experience explodes the story onto stage and screen, allowing insight while tickling the mind and senses. 

!!Actor’s Express
“We seek to jumpstart individual transformations through the shared adventure of our live performances, which range from daringly provocative to audaciously hilarious.” That sentence from the mission statement for Actor’s Express Theatre — www.actors-express.com — says a lot about them — and not just what they want to accomplish as a theatre, but how. The theatre has been pushing emotional envelopes since Chris Coleman founded Actor’s Express in the basement of a church on Clairmont Road 31 years ago. Freddie Ashley has been artistic director since 2007, and few Atlanta theaters are as successful at reflecting the passion, intelligence, and geniality and flair of their leadership.

Ashley also directs most AE dramas, comedies, and musicals that attract sold-out houses night after night. Here are just some of AE’s bravest and most entertaining work of the past dozen seasons: "Stupid Fucking Bird," "Bad Jews," "Murder Ballad," "The Rocky Horror Show," "Six Degrees of Separation," "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson," "Kiss of the Spider Woman," "The Motherfucker with the Hat," "Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them," "Spring Awakening," "Slasher," "Grey Gardens," and "Hedwig and the Angry Inch."

Next month, Ashley and another smart AE cast will unveil their 31st season with "Skintight." The Atlanta premiere of "Bad Jews," playwright Joshua Harmon’s latest comedy, pokes fun at America’s obsession with youth, sex, and physical beauty. When Jodi Isaac flies across the country to visit her famous fashion mogul father for his 70th birthday, she finds that her dad’s new boyfriend is a 20-year-old porn star. OK! "Skintight" sounds like a perfect fit for Actor’s Express. 

!!Alliance Theatre
Elton John’s "Aida." "Bring It On: The Musical." "The Color Purple." "The Last Night of Ballyhoo." "The Prom." "Sister Act: The Musical." Twyla Tharp’s "Come Fly Away." 

Can you guess what all these (and many more) hit plays and musicals have in common? They were all first performed at the Alliance Theatre — www.alliancetheatre.org — right here in ATL. Over the past 51 years, the Alliance has premiered more than 100 original productions, launching important American musicals with a strong track record of Broadway, touring, and subsequent productions, including several Tony Award winners. In fact, in 2007, the Alliance won a special Tony Award as Best Regional Theater in America. 

2019-2020 will be their first full season in their lavishly renovated main stage space, which opened late last year. In "Becoming Nancy," the next big musical to premiere at the Alliance, David, a talented high school senior tries out for the school play and is cast as the female lead. It’s 1979, and everyone in his small English suburb is shocked, including David. Should he play the part? Just wait and see. Another sign that "Becoming Nancy" is set to be the Alliance’s next big hit is its director, Tony winner Jerry Mitchell, whose past musical hits include "Pretty Woman," "Kinky Boots," "Legally Blonde," "La Cage Aux Folles," and "Hairspray."

Alliance Artistic Director Susan Booth directs the Off-Broadway hit comedy "Small Mouth Sounds," to be performed downstairs at the Woodruff Arts Center on the intimate Hertz Stage. The play, running from October 4–27, follows six strangers at a five-day silent wellness retreat in the woods. Guided by an unseen guru, each one wrestles with their personal demons as their vows of silence clash with the irresistible human need to connect.

!!Center for Puppetry Arts
It’s hard to think of another Atlanta-based theatrical organization with a greater reputation for excellence and creativity than the Center for Puppetry Arts — www.puppet.org. Just a few years after puppeteer Vincent Anthony stood with Muppet master Jim Henson as they cut the opening-day ribbon in September 1978, the Puppetry Center became one of the most respected and revered creative hives for puppetry in the world. CPA has hosted  dozens of the best puppeteers and puppet theater companies from across Europe, Asia, Africa, South America and the Caribbean. The Center’s Museum is now the home of the Henson Collection and its iconic puppets from "Sesame Street," "Labyrinth," "The Dark Crystal," "Fraggle Rock," and Emmet Otter’s "Jug-Band Christmas." 

The fantastic puppet productions conceived and created at CPA have played to sold-out audiences across North America, and Artistic Director Jon Ludwig is widely considered one of the geniuses of the ancient and timeless art form. The shows range from super sweet and cute to deadly serious, even tragic. Some are strange and weird. But no matter what the show or the exhibit or the workshop, kids and grownups of all ages have a blast every time they set foot inside.

This fall, CPA lifts off with "SPACE!," Ludwig’s 2016 song-filled puppet adventure about the cosmos. "SPACE!" employs shadow puppets, hand and rod puppets, black lights, computer animation, and crystal-clear images from NASA and a rap and rock score to explain the entire universe, more or less. From red dwarf stars to the planet Neptune, from comets to black holes, and beyond, Ludwig’s latest rock opera is the perfect way for anyone of any age to celebrate the autumnal equinox.

!!Essential Theatre Play Festival
Since 1999, the annual Essential Theatre Play Festival – www.essentialtheatre.com – which was founded by Atlanta playwright-director Peter Hardy, has premiered 34 new works by 25 different Georgia writers, with many works being restaged by other Atlanta theaters and across the country. The 2019 Festival (July 25–August 24) features three full productions plus four new scripts being heard for the first time in the Bare Essentials Play Reading Series. All performances and readings take place at the West End Performing Arts Center.

July 25-August 24: Peter Hardy directs "Slaying Holofernes" by Emily McClain. The play upsets notions of past/present, fact/fiction, and personal/political as it explores the quest for justice by two women.

August 1-25: Written by Ben Thorpe and directed by Shannon Eubanks, "Babyshower for the Antichrist" takes place on the night of ‘Hell Feast’ as a small, isolated cult prepares for the birth of the Antichrist. Viewer beware: This world premiere contains moments of blood and violence, plus a talking goat.

Thursday, August 15 and Friday, August 16: In "The Attic, creator/performer Aaron Gotlieb explores the things we hold onto and those we leave behind. "

The Bare Essentials Play Reading Series includes "Day of Saturn" by Leviticus Jelks III, directed by Najah Ali (August 3); "Darger Takes a Walk" by Rosalind Sullivan-Lovett, directed by Natalie Fox (August 6); "Waiting for Big Stuff" by Allan Dodson, directed by Kati Grace Brown (August 12); and "The Odds Against Death" by Ted Westby and John D. Babcock III, directed by Bill Murphey (August 21).

!!Horizon Theatre
Eternally young Horizon Theatre — www.horizontheatre.com — founders Lisa and Jeff Adler founded their small (172 cozy seats), independent theater in 1983 and have stayed busy ever since. Year in, year out, they offer a mainstage season of six to eight contemporary plays (almost always local or regional premieres) for diverse Atlanta audiences, a family series for younger audiences, a free outdoor musical in Piedmont Park, and free outdoor performances with Little Five Arts Alive from April through October. They also create new plays from, for, and about Atlanta through their New South Play Festival program, and reach out to new audiences through their New South Young Playwrights Contest and Festival, the Horizon In-School Playwriting Workshops, the Horizon Apprentice Company (early career professionals), the Intern Program (for college students) and the high school theatre program at The New School.

From September 20 through October 27, Horizon will stage one of the most honored plays of the past decade, "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time." Four years ago, the Broadway production won the Drama Desk Award, the Outer Critics Circle Award, the Drama League Award, and five Tony Awards, including Best Play. Lisa Adler and Justin Anderson will co-direct the story of an autistic teenager who’s better at solving equations than navigating a world that’s out of sync with how his mind works. After being wrongly accused of murdering his neighbor’s dog, he resolves to find the real culprit. When his investigation uncovers painful truths about his family, he strikes out on his own, embarking on a daring train ride to London to confront his parent’s past.

!!Kenny Leon’s True Colors
This season will mark a major turning point in the story of another beloved Atlanta theater company. Tony Award-winning director Kenny Leon is departing the role of artistic director of the company that he co-founded and that now bears his name. Associate Artistic Director Jamil Jude will take over the position at Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company — www.truecolorstheatre.org. Since Leon established True Colors with Jane Bishop in 2002, the theatre has produced over three dozen productions with a focus on black storytelling. They’ve presented several of the best plays by, or adapted from works by, Langston Hughes, James Baldwin, August Wilson, Ntozake Shange, Pearl Cleage, and Dominique Morisseau, among many others. 

True Colors’ dedication to black voices in the theater continues September 24 through October 20, when they present the Atlanta premiere of "Paradise Blue," the third play the company has mounted in Dominique Morisseau’s Detroit Trilogy, which includes "Detroit ’67," and "Skeleton Crew." In "Paradise Blue," set in 1949, when Detroit’s white mayor pushed to move African Americans out of Detroit’s Black Bottom neighborhood, a musician named Blue considers selling his family’s once-thriving jazz club. Against a backdrop of gentrification and displacement, Paradise Blue encompasses the pain and suffering that accompany the erasure of black history.

!!Orange Box Theater
In Tucker, a 1,600-square-foot converted warehouse space that seats about 80 people is the staging venue for Orange Box Theater at Mark SQared Studios – www.orangeboxtheater.marksquaredstudiosatlanta.com – which presents innovative takes on classic and new theatrical works by African American artists using nontraditional casting and multimedia effects. In recent years, creative director Karlotta Washington has overseen productions of George C. Wolf’s "The Colored Museum," Michael Frayn’s "Noises Off," and "Purlie," the Tony Award-winning musical comedy based on a play by Ossie Davis.

On multiple days between October 11 and 27, Orange Box Theater will present "Sunset Baby" by Dominique Morisseau. A MacArthur Foundation “Genius Grant” recipient and Obie-award winning playwright, Morisseau recently became the first African-American woman nominated for a Tony Award in a musical category in 20 years for the Broadway hit "Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations." 

Described in a 2013 New York Times review as a “smart and bracing new play about two generations of urban outlaws,” "Sunset Baby" explores the relationship between Nina, a tough, uncompromising street hustler, and her estranged father, a former black revolutionary who shows up one day seeking reconciliation and a series of letters left with Nina by her mother.

!!Out of Box Theatre
In 2012, Carolyn Choe started Out of Box Theatre – www.outofboxtheatre.com – with the goal of producing superior quality shows without exceeding a smart, practical budget. Taking advantage of the talent and resources at hand in Marietta and the greater metro community, during the past few seasons, Out of Box Theater has established a reputation for challenging, offbeat, and daring theater productions, as well as for developing programs, such as the unBOXed Comedy Class and an internship for college graduates.

This fall, Out of Box Theatre presents "Entertaining Lesbians" (August 2-17), written and directed by the always amusing and topical Topher Payne. The play follows the exploits of Rowena Tuttle, described by Payne as “a cisgender heterosexual white woman who no one finds interesting anymore” as she tries to gain admission to an elite school for her daughter by buddying up with Atlanta’s most powerful lesbian couple.

Running October 4-20, "Evil Dead: The Musical" offers a lyrical take on the notoriously absurd, cult classic horror film by Sam Raimi (Spider-Man Trilogy). For readers unfamiliar with the source material, "Evil Dead" recounts the tribulations of a group of college students who, while spending the weekend in an abandoned cabin in the woods, unwittingly unleash an evil terror, which tries and largely succeeds in killing everyone in unspeakably gruesome ways. Perfect fodder for a musical.

From November 8–17, Topher Payne returns to direct Jordan Harrison’s "The Grown Up," a play about a boy who is given a magical crystal doorknob, which enables him to travel through space and time to see his future life.

!!PULP
Owner Will Eiseman opened the original PULP – www.pulpatlanta.com – a bookstore and gallery specializing in pop culture books and zines, original artwork, cinema art and ephemera, and photography, in Charleston, South Carolina. Since relocating to Midtown Atlanta in the summer of 2018, PULP has hosted exhibitions of cryptozoological art and large-scale street art and murals. In collaboration with Videodrome, rare films are screened on Sundays, while original theatrical performances and live comedy are staged in the store’s Black Box Theatre.

Highlights from the Black Box fall performance season include:

August 23-September 1: "The One Act Spectacular" features four of Atlanta’s top casting agents each directing a one-act play with local film and TV actors.

September 26-28: ATL Sketchfest comprises three separate comedy sketches per night staged over three consecutive nights with a cash prize awarded to “Best in Show” chosen by five anonymous judges. Organizers are also accepting comedy video shorts, which will be shown between live performances.

October 2-17: World premiere of a new stage adaptation of Roger Corman’s ’50s schlock sci-fi classic film, "Attack of the Giant Leeches," written and directed by John Babcock. 

October 25-26: The Phantom Film Festival features a horror-themed short film night of works by local filmmakers on Friday followed on Saturday by a one-night only live stage adaptation of Brian DePalma’s horror musical classic "Phantom of the Paradise."

!!Synchronicity
Synchronicity — www.synchrotheatre.com — produces theatre to spark community connections and uplift the voices of women and girls. Founded in 1997 by four women, Synchronicity presents plays for adults (Bold Voices) and families (Family Series) and offers a wide range of educational programming, including Playmaking for Kids (PFK) summer camps and after-school programs, and their award-winning Playmaking for Girls (PFG) program. Now in its fourth year, the organization’s Stripped Bare: Arts Incubator Project gives artists a space to create and present new work. The series focuses on projects that emphasize words and ideas, with minimal technical elements, and encourages young artists to think about the essentials of theatre (mostly) stripped of intricate sets, lights, props, sound design, and costumes.

From August 1–11, Synchronicity will host a revival of "2 the Left: A Tribute to the Life of Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes." Written and performed by Kerisse Hutchinson, and originally performed as part of the Stripped Bare Arts Incubator Project, this multimedia experience chronicles the life of the most controversial member of the ’90s pop music phenomenon TLC. Thomas W. Jones II directs. Sunday, August 4, there will be a talkback after "2 the Left" with the cast, crew, and members of Lopes’ family. Later this month, Synchronicity will announce two more Stripped Bare projects that will be performed September 10–12 and Nov 12–14. Tickets are free to all Stripped Bare performances, but reservations are required.

Synchronicity’s first full production of the new season is "MacBeth," Erica Schmidt’s bold adaptation of the Bard’s Scottish play running October 4–28. On an autumn afternoon, in an empty lot outside the city, seven girls meet up to perform "Macbeth," using Shakespeare’s original text. It’s not long before the blood fantasy of the play starts to seep into their real lives.

!!Theater Emory
Theater Emory – www.theater.emory.edu – is the Emory University theater department’s resident professional company and the producing organization for Theater Studies. Typically, Theater Emory presents four productions per year.

This fall’s production of "The Nether" (November 1–17), directed by Ibi Ovolabi, promises to be one of most provocative projects ever staged by Theater Emory. Jennifer Haley’s psychological crime thriller draws the audience into a detective’s investigation of a virtual world where pedophiles indulge their fantasies. The investigation sparks questions about ethical behavior as experienced in the imagination and practiced in the “real” world.

“‘The Nether’ questions the way we define something as ‘real,’ which is an idea that has fascinated philosophers for millennia,” says Brent Glenn, artistic director of Theater Emory. “As we approach a time when virtual reality may be as real as our daily lives, discomforting ethical conundrums rise to the surface. "The Nether" forces us to face that discomfort.”

!!Theatrical Outfit
::::
Founded in a converted Virginia Highlands laundromat 43 years ago, Theatrical Outfit — www.theatricaloutfit.org — is Atlanta’s second oldest professional theatre company. The Outfit produced some of its boldest, most provocative work in the ’80s out of the (now long gone) Kress Five & Dime building in Midtown, before it moved downtown in 1999 to the site of the former Herren’s Restaurant, now the Balzer Theatre. 2019-2020 marks another milestone as Atlanta theater legend Tom Key will be stepping down from the position of artistic director after 25 years. Since 1995, Key and The Outfit have had critical and popular success presenting dozens of regional and world premieres, classics, and musicals that explore diversity, equality, ethnicity, race, and faith. Key has taken great pride in programming plays by many of the best writers of the American South, including Ernest Gaines, Horton Foote, Harper Lee, Flannery O’Connor, and Tennessee Williams.

Theatrical Outfit begins “Tom’s Farewell Season” with "Our Town" and "The Laramie Project" in repertory from August 27 to September 29. Considered by many to be the greatest American play, Thornton Wilder’s "Our Town" depicts the town of Grover’s Corners in three acts: “Daily Life,” “Love and Marriage,” and “Death and Eternity.” Narrated by a stage manager character and performed with minimal props and sets, Wilder’s classic chronicles the Webb and Gibbs families as their children fall in love, marry, and eventually die. David Crowe will direct.  

In 1998, a university student named Matthew Shepard was kidnapped, beaten, and tied to a prairie fence outside Laramie, Wyoming. When he died days later, the world learned Shepard was targeted because he was gay. In its review of the original production, the New York Times observed, “‘The Laramie Project’ is ‘Our Town’ with a question mark, as in, ‘Could this be our town? It can’t happen here,’ followed immediately by ‘And yet it has.’” Clifton Guterman will direct "The Laramie Project," a play that strives to find the light in a tragedy and to reveal examples of profound compassion in its wake.

!!The Windmill Arts Center
Opened in late 2017, the Windmill Arts Center – www.thewindmillatl.com – in East Point contains an 80-seat “black box” theater plus a 40-seat “white box” space for rent as a gallery, rehearsal space, yoga studio, classroom, or for special events. Converted from a gas station/garage, the arts center now serves as the East Coast headquarters for Vanguard Repertory Company (VanguardRep), which was formed in Los Angeles in 2008 by husband and wife Sam and Elizabeth Ross (who previously lived in Atlanta), Matthew Burgos, and Elisa Blandford. 

From August 2–18, VanguardRep presents the Atlanta premiere of "Br'er Cotton," a contemporary fable about systemic racism by playwright Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm and directed by Burgos. Later in the month (August 29–September 1), The Tiny Theater Company will premiere a one-act adaptation of William Shakespeare’s "Hamlet" featuring live music and dance by an all-black cast with Tiny Theater founder Cydnei Prather directing.
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