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Edward McNally

Atlanta Writer/Critic

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Articles By This Writer

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  string(29) "Fall Arts Preview 2019: Dance"
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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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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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  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
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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(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(41) "Content:_:Fall Arts Preview 2019: Theater"
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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__
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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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Article

Friday August 2, 2019 09:36 pm EDT
Onstage and off, with actors and puppets, dealing in reality and escape | more...
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  string(34) "SCENES & MOTIONS: Breaking Through"
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  string(10392) "Immersive. Interactive. Experiential. Site specific. Whatever the term, the allure of art that invites your direct participation is very much alive all over Atlanta.
Sky Creature, LifeVisionVR, Fly on a Wall, gloATL, Flight of Swallows, Deer Bear Wolf, Out of Hand, PushPush Film &Theater, Seedworks, The Object Group, Hereafter Artist Collective, Liquid Sky, MakeShift Circus Collective, Serenbe Playhouse, and Brian Clowdus Immersive Experiences are among a growing array of ATL-based visual, media, and performing arts groups and companies creating sensory-heavy (and often phone-free) environments for exploring emotions, sharing stories, and building community.
Some of ATL’s most captivating storytellers and cultural connectors create all-enveloping environments:
• Sitting in the dark during The Black Box, you feel the cellist’s bow caress the strings. The lonely sounds massage your eardrum and open your heart.
• The night’s first sultry zephyr floats across your face, a slight kiss on your moist cheek. A sassy ingenue sails overhead from a trapeze in Ragtime: The Musical, her song of lust and passion floating through the air.
• You creep ever so gently through the Skin, the tactile environment in Sky Creature’s Sin Piel, that “holy place with a once divine presence, a place to confess, atone and heal, but that has now become a corrupted sanctuary…”  In order to pass through its gates, you must participate in a ritual that involves tasting the space you exist in.
These are just a few of the sensory experiences you may have encountered over the last few weeks, as a guest of these dreamweavers of the “stage.”
Immersive theater shows take place in abandoned warehouses or hidden basements or former mental institutions or public parks at midnight. They’re not just about stepping into an imagined world. They’re about exploring overlooked and mysterious corners of the city. Real estate-obsessed urbanites love nothing more than entrée to buildings that were formerly off-limits, and intrepid explorers love visiting neighborhoods that are off the beaten path. 
In the past year or so, several theatrical productions and creative events took place in unusual performance spaces around Atlanta. Fly On A Wall presented Byte indoors, but Dave and Public Arcana took place outside Colony Square and in a West End park. Small audiences gathering in private living rooms last fall to see the one-woman play Shaking the Wind (Out of Hand Theatre) and in the bathrooms of private residences this past spring to participate in another one-woman play, Broken Bone Bathtub.
Deer Bear Wolf produced their re-telling of the Peter Pan story, Second Star to the Right, in three parts in three outdoor locations, including a trio of large tree houses. Audiences were encouraged to dress in style to witness their version of “CLUE” inside the Swan House at The Atlanta History Center. The Sleepy Hollow Experience by Serenbe Playhouse took audiences in and around an actual horse stable, and Brian Clowdus’ The Edgar Allan Poe Experience invited everyone to enjoy a cocktail while following the tormented author in and out of four 19th-century rooms at the Wren’s Nest in West End. And back in February, gloATL held a screening of their documentary A Night of Alchemy and served food and drinks in the empty shell of the abandoned Rhodes Theater on Peachtree Street in Midtown.
Curious Holiday Encounters (7 Stages Theatre, The Object Group, Weird Sisters Theatre, etc.), The Golden Record, Dead Poets Lounge, and The Black Box (all by Hereafter Arts Collective in collaboration with other artists), and especially TRANSMIGRATION and Sin Piel by Sky Creature (formerly Saiah), also banished traditional theater’s Fourth Wall and pulled audiences out of comfort zones and deep into other lives, eras, psyches, dreams, and dimensions.
Beginning this month and into the fall, curious culture seekers and anyone seeking authentic human connection can dive head first into several immersive experiences. Mediums Collective’s first project Are We There Yet? will guide audiences through a labyrinth they’ve constructed at Windmill Arts Center in East Point where you encounter ritual and individual expressions of grief before being invited into spaces of healing. Other opportunities include gloATL’s month-long “activation” of the contemporary art in the Cousins Galleries, The Object Group’s multi-media exploration of anti-Arab racism in Camus’ “The Stranger” at 7 Stages, Liquid Sky’s steam punk celebration of the 20th anniversary of The B Complex artists studios in Oakland City, and the return of The Poe Experience with its Sleep No More-style of multi-room, interactive (and potentially confrontational) performances.
 




These days, the average age of audiences attending the often excellent productions at the more established subscription theaters tends to be 45 or older. Why are millennials and their 20-something siblings avoiding these more traditional theater and seeking out something — anything — immersive or interactive?
“Younger audiences are restless. They’re definitely less interested then their parents or grandparents in seeing a show on a stage,” says Object Group founder (and former 7 Stages associate artistic director) Michael Haverty. “They don’t want to sit in seats for two hours or more watching actors recite lines. Nowadays, everyone wants to talk to the ringmaster. This is all part of the evolution of the art of theatre.” Haverty adds, “Millennials want accessibility and flexibility. They want to be able to touch someone, be part of the performance; anything to feel part of the ‘family’ of performers around them.”  
Over the past decade, Haverty, an accomplished puppeteer and director, has created some of the most exciting and innovative work in the city. The Navigator (2013) at 7 Stages and The Breakers (2016), both presented at The Goat Farm, were popular with younger audiences who were fascinated by the surprising use of puppetry, video projections, sound effects, specially-designed props and, in the case of The Breakers, an entire house built inside a cavernous 19th century-era brick-walled factory.
Haverty left his position at 7 Stages last year to spend more time with his young son. “I’m still full of ideas for new theater works, but I’m really not that interested in directing actors on a stage anymore.”
Another multitalented Atlanta artist who’s worked in a wide range of settings is Nicolette Emanuelle, a classically trained cellist and experimental storyteller. In 2016, Emanuelle helped start Hereafter Artist Collective and began hosting the Dead Poets Lounge, a one-night event in various locations that combines literature, circus arts, acting, and live music to bring to life the poems of dead poets. Their promo blurb read as follows: “Imagine The Raven is a woman, watch Porphyria’s Lover dance in the air, and let your imagination go wild.”
Emanuelle thinks younger audiences are not so much bored with traditional theater, but desperate for something bolder. “So many people are unemployed or underemployed. They crave something that will snap them out of their funk!” She’s quick to add, “Don’t get me wrong. I really love millennials. Believe it or not, they actually have hope for the future.”
This looser, experience-based vs. plot-based approach to theater and storytelling happens in a real, physical space alongside fellow humans as opposed to virtual or smart-phone space so many people live in. Being in such close proximity to performers also heightens an awareness of the artist’s physical body. Voyeurism is part of any theatrical experience, but participatory performance often involves physical touch. In many instances, you can share an intimate one-on-one encounter with a performer. 
“As a female and a professional aerialist, I’m not comfortable with random people touching me,” declares Marilyn Chen, owner of the cirque-style entertainment company Liquid Sky. “But I understand how much everyone seems to crave authentic connection. As performers, we’re able to look into people’s eyes in a way that most nonperformers can’t. The people watching us are able to experience a kind of intimacy that they seldom have in their daily phone-focused lives.”
Few Atlanta storytellers have been as bold and adventurous with sensory performance as director/playwright Marium Khalid. Just a few years ago, Khalid was the toast of Atlanta theater with her company Saiah and their daringly immersive productions. City of Lions and Gods was ArtsATL’s choice for best production of 2011. The following year, the even more ambitious Rua | Wülf, an adult retelling of the Little Red Riding Hood story that took audiences in and out of every corner of the Goat Farm, was voted Best Play by the readers of this publication. But after Saiah’s critically acclaimed outdoor production Terminus in 2014, Khalid dropped out of sight. 
Khalid has returned with a new production company, Sky Creature, and a new show, Sin Piel, which was presented last May in The Circus School building in Grant Park. Khalid describes Sky Creature as “the next evolution of Saiah.” In her words, “We dive into truths from all perspectives and explore them through a new form, using scent, taste, touch, sight and sound — and a new form of virtual reality like you’ve never experienced before.”
Sin Piel is an enveloping sensory experience inspired by “the ‘Anatomical Venus,’ mental illness, and an exploration of spiritual darkness.” After suffering a serious, life-threatening illness over a period of two years, Khalid decided to create Sin Piel as “a journey that draws us into the innermost sacred parts of our spiritual and physical anatomy …(where) we explore the shadow and light of our internal being, as well as how we choose to engage with our individual pain …”
The scrupulously tactile and gloriously surreal Sin Piel, like all the best immersive theater works, seems to have the same goal as theater or art in any form. Namely, to move, to engage, to amuse, to enlighten, and to connect. To make us feel less alone and to build empathy and, ultimately, to make that authentic human connection all living beings long for."
  ["tracker_field_contentWikiPage_raw"]=>
  string(10597) "Immersive. Interactive. Experiential. Site specific. Whatever the term, the allure of art that invites your direct participation is very much alive all over Atlanta.
Sky Creature, LifeVisionVR, Fly on a Wall, gloATL, Flight of Swallows, Deer Bear Wolf, Out of Hand, PushPush Film &Theater, Seedworks, The Object Group, Hereafter Artist Collective, Liquid Sky, MakeShift Circus Collective, Serenbe Playhouse, and Brian Clowdus Immersive Experiences are among a growing array of ATL-based visual, media, and performing arts groups and companies creating sensory-heavy (and often phone-free) environments for exploring emotions, sharing stories, and building community.
Some of ATL’s most captivating storytellers and cultural connectors create all-enveloping environments:
• Sitting in the dark during ''The Black Box'', you feel the cellist’s bow caress the strings. The lonely sounds massage your eardrum and open your heart.
• The night’s first sultry zephyr floats across your face, a slight kiss on your moist cheek. A sassy ingenue sails overhead from a trapeze in ''Ragtime: The Musical'', her song of lust and passion floating through the air.
• You creep ever so gently through the Skin, the tactile environment in Sky Creature’s ''Sin Piel'', that “holy place with a once divine presence, a place to confess, atone and heal, but that has now become a corrupted sanctuary…”  In order to pass through its gates, you must participate in a ritual that involves tasting the space you exist in.
These are just a few of the sensory experiences you may have encountered over the last few weeks, as a guest of these dreamweavers of the “stage.”
Immersive theater shows take place in abandoned warehouses or hidden basements or former mental institutions or public parks at midnight. They’re not just about stepping into an imagined world. They’re about exploring overlooked and mysterious corners of the city. Real estate-obsessed urbanites love nothing more than entrée to buildings that were formerly off-limits, and intrepid explorers love visiting neighborhoods that are off the beaten path. 
In the past year or so, several theatrical productions and creative events took place in unusual performance spaces around Atlanta. Fly On A Wall presented ''Byte'' indoors, but ''Dave and Public Arcana'' took place outside Colony Square and in a West End park. Small audiences gathering in private living rooms last fall to see the one-woman play ''Shaking the Wind'' (Out of Hand Theatre) and in the bathrooms of private residences this past spring to participate in another one-woman play, ''Broken Bone Bathtub''.
Deer Bear Wolf produced their re-telling of the Peter Pan story, ''Second Star to the Right'', in three parts in three outdoor locations, including a trio of large tree houses. Audiences were encouraged to dress in style to witness their version of “CLUE” inside the Swan House at The Atlanta History Center. The Sleepy Hollow Experience by Serenbe Playhouse took audiences in and around an actual horse stable, and Brian Clowdus’ ''The Edgar Allan Poe Experience'' invited everyone to enjoy a cocktail while following the tormented author in and out of four 19th-century rooms at the Wren’s Nest in West End. And back in February, gloATL held a screening of their documentary ''A Night of Alchemy'' and served food and drinks in the empty shell of the abandoned Rhodes Theater on Peachtree Street in Midtown.
''Curious Holiday Encounters'' (7 Stages Theatre, The Object Group, Weird Sisters Theatre, etc.), ''The Golden Record'', ''Dead Poets Lounge'', and ''The Black Box'' (all by Hereafter Arts Collective in collaboration with other artists), and especially ''TRANSMIGRATION'' and ''Sin Piel'' by Sky Creature (formerly Saiah), also banished traditional theater’s Fourth Wall and pulled audiences out of comfort zones and deep into other lives, eras, psyches, dreams, and dimensions.
Beginning this month and into the fall, curious culture seekers and anyone seeking authentic human connection can dive head first into several immersive experiences. Mediums Collective’s first project ''Are We There Yet?'' will guide audiences through a labyrinth they’ve constructed at Windmill Arts Center in East Point where you encounter ritual and individual expressions of grief before being invited into spaces of healing. Other opportunities include gloATL’s month-long “activation” of the contemporary art in the Cousins Galleries, The Object Group’s multi-media exploration of anti-Arab racism in Camus’ “The Stranger” at 7 Stages, Liquid Sky’s steam punk celebration of the 20th anniversary of The B Complex artists studios in Oakland City, and the return of The Poe Experience with its ''Sleep No More''-style of multi-room, interactive (and potentially confrontational) performances.
 

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These days, the average age of audiences attending the often excellent productions at the more established subscription theaters tends to be 45 or older. Why are millennials and their 20-something siblings avoiding these more traditional theater and seeking out something — anything — immersive or interactive?
“Younger audiences are restless. They’re definitely less interested then their parents or grandparents in seeing a show on a stage,” says Object Group founder (and former 7 Stages associate artistic director) Michael Haverty. “They don’t want to sit in seats for two hours or more watching actors recite lines. Nowadays, everyone wants to talk to the ringmaster. This is all part of the evolution of the art of theatre.” Haverty adds, “Millennials want accessibility and flexibility. They want to be able to touch someone, be part of the performance; anything to feel part of the ‘family’ of performers around them.”  
Over the past decade, Haverty, an accomplished puppeteer and director, has created some of the most exciting and innovative work in the city. ''The Navigator'' (2013) at 7 Stages and ''The Breakers'' (2016), both presented at The Goat Farm, were popular with younger audiences who were fascinated by the surprising use of puppetry, video projections, sound effects, specially-designed props and, in the case of ''The Breakers'', an entire house built inside a cavernous 19th century-era brick-walled factory.
Haverty left his position at 7 Stages last year to spend more time with his young son. “I’m still full of ideas for new theater works, but I’m really not that interested in directing actors on a stage anymore.”
Another multitalented Atlanta artist who’s worked in a wide range of settings is Nicolette Emanuelle, a classically trained cellist and experimental storyteller. In 2016, Emanuelle helped start Hereafter Artist Collective and began hosting the ''Dead Poets Lounge'', a one-night event in various locations that combines literature, circus arts, acting, and live music to bring to life the poems of dead poets. Their promo blurb read as follows: “Imagine The Raven is a woman, watch Porphyria’s Lover dance in the air, and let your imagination go wild.”
Emanuelle thinks younger audiences are not so much bored with traditional theater, but desperate for something bolder. “So many people are unemployed or underemployed. They crave something that will snap them out of their funk!” She’s quick to add, “Don’t get me wrong. I really love millennials. Believe it or not, they actually have hope for the future.”
This looser, experience-based vs. plot-based approach to theater and storytelling happens in a real, physical space alongside fellow humans as opposed to virtual or smart-phone space so many people live in. Being in such close proximity to performers also heightens an awareness of the artist’s physical body. Voyeurism is part of any theatrical experience, but participatory performance often involves physical touch. In many instances, you can share an intimate one-on-one encounter with a performer. 
“As a female and a professional aerialist, I’m not comfortable with random people touching me,” declares Marilyn Chen, owner of the cirque-style entertainment company Liquid Sky. “But I understand how much everyone seems to crave authentic connection. As performers, we’re able to look into people’s eyes in a way that most nonperformers can’t. The people watching us are able to experience a kind of intimacy that they seldom have in their daily phone-focused lives.”
Few Atlanta storytellers have been as bold and adventurous with sensory performance as director/playwright Marium Khalid. Just a few years ago, Khalid was the toast of Atlanta theater with her company Saiah and their daringly immersive productions. ''City of Lions and Gods'' was ArtsATL’s choice for best production of 2011. The following year, the even more ambitious ''Rua | Wülf'', an adult retelling of the Little Red Riding Hood story that took audiences in and out of every corner of the Goat Farm, was voted Best Play by the readers of this publication. But after Saiah’s critically acclaimed outdoor production ''Terminus'' in 2014, Khalid dropped out of sight. 
Khalid has returned with a new production company, Sky Creature, and a new show, ''Sin Piel'', which was presented last May in The Circus School building in Grant Park. Khalid describes Sky Creature as “the next evolution of Saiah.” In her words, “We dive into truths from all perspectives and explore them through a new form, using scent, taste, touch, sight and sound — and a new form of virtual reality like you’ve never experienced before.”
''Sin Piel'' is an enveloping sensory experience inspired by “the ‘Anatomical Venus,’ mental illness, and an exploration of spiritual darkness.” After suffering a serious, life-threatening illness over a period of two years, Khalid decided to create Sin Piel as “a journey that draws us into the innermost sacred parts of our spiritual and physical anatomy …(where) we explore the shadow and light of our internal being, as well as how we choose to engage with our individual pain …”
The scrupulously tactile and gloriously surreal Sin Piel, like all the best immersive theater works, seems to have the same goal as theater or art in any form. Namely, to move, to engage, to amuse, to enlighten, and to connect. To make us feel less alone and to build empathy and, ultimately, to make that authentic human connection all living beings long for."
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  string(10974) " SM 60269687 2487885001438939 328309653748318208 O  2019-07-05T14:47:56+00:00 SM_60269687_2487885001438939_328309653748318208_o.jpg    scenes&motions How immersive performances in the ATL are redefining the theatre experience 20098  2019-07-05T14:41:22+00:00 SCENES & MOTIONS: Breaking Through jim.harris@creativeloafing.com Jim Harris Edward McNally Edward McNally 2019-07-05T14:41:22+00:00  Immersive. Interactive. Experiential. Site specific. Whatever the term, the allure of art that invites your direct participation is very much alive all over Atlanta.
Sky Creature, LifeVisionVR, Fly on a Wall, gloATL, Flight of Swallows, Deer Bear Wolf, Out of Hand, PushPush Film &Theater, Seedworks, The Object Group, Hereafter Artist Collective, Liquid Sky, MakeShift Circus Collective, Serenbe Playhouse, and Brian Clowdus Immersive Experiences are among a growing array of ATL-based visual, media, and performing arts groups and companies creating sensory-heavy (and often phone-free) environments for exploring emotions, sharing stories, and building community.
Some of ATL’s most captivating storytellers and cultural connectors create all-enveloping environments:
• Sitting in the dark during The Black Box, you feel the cellist’s bow caress the strings. The lonely sounds massage your eardrum and open your heart.
• The night’s first sultry zephyr floats across your face, a slight kiss on your moist cheek. A sassy ingenue sails overhead from a trapeze in Ragtime: The Musical, her song of lust and passion floating through the air.
• You creep ever so gently through the Skin, the tactile environment in Sky Creature’s Sin Piel, that “holy place with a once divine presence, a place to confess, atone and heal, but that has now become a corrupted sanctuary…”  In order to pass through its gates, you must participate in a ritual that involves tasting the space you exist in.
These are just a few of the sensory experiences you may have encountered over the last few weeks, as a guest of these dreamweavers of the “stage.”
Immersive theater shows take place in abandoned warehouses or hidden basements or former mental institutions or public parks at midnight. They’re not just about stepping into an imagined world. They’re about exploring overlooked and mysterious corners of the city. Real estate-obsessed urbanites love nothing more than entrée to buildings that were formerly off-limits, and intrepid explorers love visiting neighborhoods that are off the beaten path. 
In the past year or so, several theatrical productions and creative events took place in unusual performance spaces around Atlanta. Fly On A Wall presented Byte indoors, but Dave and Public Arcana took place outside Colony Square and in a West End park. Small audiences gathering in private living rooms last fall to see the one-woman play Shaking the Wind (Out of Hand Theatre) and in the bathrooms of private residences this past spring to participate in another one-woman play, Broken Bone Bathtub.
Deer Bear Wolf produced their re-telling of the Peter Pan story, Second Star to the Right, in three parts in three outdoor locations, including a trio of large tree houses. Audiences were encouraged to dress in style to witness their version of “CLUE” inside the Swan House at The Atlanta History Center. The Sleepy Hollow Experience by Serenbe Playhouse took audiences in and around an actual horse stable, and Brian Clowdus’ The Edgar Allan Poe Experience invited everyone to enjoy a cocktail while following the tormented author in and out of four 19th-century rooms at the Wren’s Nest in West End. And back in February, gloATL held a screening of their documentary A Night of Alchemy and served food and drinks in the empty shell of the abandoned Rhodes Theater on Peachtree Street in Midtown.
Curious Holiday Encounters (7 Stages Theatre, The Object Group, Weird Sisters Theatre, etc.), The Golden Record, Dead Poets Lounge, and The Black Box (all by Hereafter Arts Collective in collaboration with other artists), and especially TRANSMIGRATION and Sin Piel by Sky Creature (formerly Saiah), also banished traditional theater’s Fourth Wall and pulled audiences out of comfort zones and deep into other lives, eras, psyches, dreams, and dimensions.
Beginning this month and into the fall, curious culture seekers and anyone seeking authentic human connection can dive head first into several immersive experiences. Mediums Collective’s first project Are We There Yet? will guide audiences through a labyrinth they’ve constructed at Windmill Arts Center in East Point where you encounter ritual and individual expressions of grief before being invited into spaces of healing. Other opportunities include gloATL’s month-long “activation” of the contemporary art in the Cousins Galleries, The Object Group’s multi-media exploration of anti-Arab racism in Camus’ “The Stranger” at 7 Stages, Liquid Sky’s steam punk celebration of the 20th anniversary of The B Complex artists studios in Oakland City, and the return of The Poe Experience with its Sleep No More-style of multi-room, interactive (and potentially confrontational) performances.
 




These days, the average age of audiences attending the often excellent productions at the more established subscription theaters tends to be 45 or older. Why are millennials and their 20-something siblings avoiding these more traditional theater and seeking out something — anything — immersive or interactive?
“Younger audiences are restless. They’re definitely less interested then their parents or grandparents in seeing a show on a stage,” says Object Group founder (and former 7 Stages associate artistic director) Michael Haverty. “They don’t want to sit in seats for two hours or more watching actors recite lines. Nowadays, everyone wants to talk to the ringmaster. This is all part of the evolution of the art of theatre.” Haverty adds, “Millennials want accessibility and flexibility. They want to be able to touch someone, be part of the performance; anything to feel part of the ‘family’ of performers around them.”  
Over the past decade, Haverty, an accomplished puppeteer and director, has created some of the most exciting and innovative work in the city. The Navigator (2013) at 7 Stages and The Breakers (2016), both presented at The Goat Farm, were popular with younger audiences who were fascinated by the surprising use of puppetry, video projections, sound effects, specially-designed props and, in the case of The Breakers, an entire house built inside a cavernous 19th century-era brick-walled factory.
Haverty left his position at 7 Stages last year to spend more time with his young son. “I’m still full of ideas for new theater works, but I’m really not that interested in directing actors on a stage anymore.”
Another multitalented Atlanta artist who’s worked in a wide range of settings is Nicolette Emanuelle, a classically trained cellist and experimental storyteller. In 2016, Emanuelle helped start Hereafter Artist Collective and began hosting the Dead Poets Lounge, a one-night event in various locations that combines literature, circus arts, acting, and live music to bring to life the poems of dead poets. Their promo blurb read as follows: “Imagine The Raven is a woman, watch Porphyria’s Lover dance in the air, and let your imagination go wild.”
Emanuelle thinks younger audiences are not so much bored with traditional theater, but desperate for something bolder. “So many people are unemployed or underemployed. They crave something that will snap them out of their funk!” She’s quick to add, “Don’t get me wrong. I really love millennials. Believe it or not, they actually have hope for the future.”
This looser, experience-based vs. plot-based approach to theater and storytelling happens in a real, physical space alongside fellow humans as opposed to virtual or smart-phone space so many people live in. Being in such close proximity to performers also heightens an awareness of the artist’s physical body. Voyeurism is part of any theatrical experience, but participatory performance often involves physical touch. In many instances, you can share an intimate one-on-one encounter with a performer. 
“As a female and a professional aerialist, I’m not comfortable with random people touching me,” declares Marilyn Chen, owner of the cirque-style entertainment company Liquid Sky. “But I understand how much everyone seems to crave authentic connection. As performers, we’re able to look into people’s eyes in a way that most nonperformers can’t. The people watching us are able to experience a kind of intimacy that they seldom have in their daily phone-focused lives.”
Few Atlanta storytellers have been as bold and adventurous with sensory performance as director/playwright Marium Khalid. Just a few years ago, Khalid was the toast of Atlanta theater with her company Saiah and their daringly immersive productions. City of Lions and Gods was ArtsATL’s choice for best production of 2011. The following year, the even more ambitious Rua | Wülf, an adult retelling of the Little Red Riding Hood story that took audiences in and out of every corner of the Goat Farm, was voted Best Play by the readers of this publication. But after Saiah’s critically acclaimed outdoor production Terminus in 2014, Khalid dropped out of sight. 
Khalid has returned with a new production company, Sky Creature, and a new show, Sin Piel, which was presented last May in The Circus School building in Grant Park. Khalid describes Sky Creature as “the next evolution of Saiah.” In her words, “We dive into truths from all perspectives and explore them through a new form, using scent, taste, touch, sight and sound — and a new form of virtual reality like you’ve never experienced before.”
Sin Piel is an enveloping sensory experience inspired by “the ‘Anatomical Venus,’ mental illness, and an exploration of spiritual darkness.” After suffering a serious, life-threatening illness over a period of two years, Khalid decided to create Sin Piel as “a journey that draws us into the innermost sacred parts of our spiritual and physical anatomy …(where) we explore the shadow and light of our internal being, as well as how we choose to engage with our individual pain …”
The scrupulously tactile and gloriously surreal Sin Piel, like all the best immersive theater works, seems to have the same goal as theater or art in any form. Namely, to move, to engage, to amuse, to enlighten, and to connect. To make us feel less alone and to build empathy and, ultimately, to make that authentic human connection all living beings long for.    Courtesy of hereafter arTist collective The Black Box presented by Hereafter Artist Collective.  0,0,11    scenes&motions                             SCENES & MOTIONS: Breaking Through "
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Article

Friday July 5, 2019 10:41 am EDT
How immersive performances in the ATL are redefining the theatre experience | more...
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  string(9267) "Self-validation through occupation or creative pursuit. The workplace as social microcosm. Work teams serving as substitute families. The collective versus the individual. Upper class/corporate management versus the working class. The potential of art and beauty to connect social and economic classes.

These are some of the universal and quite timely themes of two blue-collar dramas on local stages this month. Detroit playwright Dominique Morisseau’s Skeleton Crew centers on four autoworkers wrestling with conscience, identity, and the instinct for economic survival. The Pitmen Painters, by British playwright Lee Hall, tells the true story of a group of English coal miners during the Great Depression who began creating their own artworks and become unexpected stars of London’s high society art circles. In each story, the workers we spend time with are multifaceted, complex, and conflicted, reflecting and illuminating the difficult choices facing them during critical turning points in their individual lives and in their communities.

Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company is presenting Skeleton Crew, the final play in Morisseau’s three-play cycle The Detroit Project, each of which is set in her hometown. Webster’s defines skeleton crew as “the minimum number of personnel needed to operate and maintain an item, such as a ship or business, during an emergency or shutdown.” It is a fitting title for this four-character drama set in the run-down break room of Detroit’s last remaining car stamping factory during the auto industry crisis of 2008, the worst year of the Great Recession.

Faye, the factory’s union rep and a 29-year veteran on the job, is homeless, living out of her car, and a year away from collecting a big share of her hard-earned retirement benefits. Reggie, the working-class-turned-white-collar factory foreman, is working to provide the best life for his family while looking out for the workers who’ve come to trust him. Shanita is a pregnant young woman who’s proud of her job and loves her work. Dez is a brash, romantic young employee trying to save enough money to open his own business.

Each member of this African-American workplace family must confront choices on how to move forward if their plant closes. Reggie (Enoch Armando King) wants to prepare his team for the plant’s closing, but upper management requires his silence about how soon the factory will shut down until a fair employee severance package can be approved. Faye (Tonia Jackson) must decide how and where she'll live. Shanita (Asia Howard) must determine how to support herself and her unborn child. Dez (Anthony Campbell) must figure out how to make his dream a reality. Each character must balance their own needs and desires, their loyalty to one another, and their yearning to continue in a job they take genuine pride in.

True Colors associate artistic director Jamil Jude, who directed this production of Skeleton Crew, spent time in Detroit talking to auto factory workers. “For generations of Americans, landing a union job in a factory was like hitting the lottery. It paid a wage you could rely on to own a home and raise a family. The benefits were good. You could retire comfortably. Until very recently, factory jobs were one of the most reliable foundations of the American Dream.”

These sort of jobs, and this sort of work — building something as tangible and essential as a family car — are central to how the men and women in Skeleton Crew define themselves and their self-worth. The characters’ intimate and complex relationship to their occupation, their workplace, and to their fellow workers helps explain the depth of their anxiety about being laid off and leaving what they’ve known all their lives.

Director Jude and his cast were in rehearsals during the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. “We all knew friends or family who were directly affected by the shutdown,” says Jude. “Atlanta hasn’t been considered a key industrial center for a long time, but the recession impacted every town and city in this country, including ours. Tens of thousands of our neighbors across the metro area work in government jobs, so when they stopped getting paid this past January, we all sensed the anger and fear and even the personal self-doubt they were feeling. Ultimately, this is a play that speaks to any worker in any job in today’s America, blue-collar or not.”

Jude believes Morisseau’s plays “juxtapose beauty with destruction, hope with despair, and bring to light the complicated realities of urban African-American communities. Her artistic voice combines the beautiful poetry of the great writers of the diaspora with a laser-focused social critique of the modern age.” Jude adds, “It’s not surprising at all that the dramatic tensions in this play are resonating with our audience and with audiences across the country wherever Skeleton Crew has been produced.”

Tony Award-winning director Kenny Leon, True Colors’ founding artistic director, cast then-actress/poet Dominique Morisseau in his 2010 production of The Mountaintop. Four years ago, True Colors presented Morisseau’s Detroit ’67 , the second installment of her play cycle; next year, the theatre company will present Paradise Blue, the first work in her Detroit Project trilogy.

Audiences can explore another critique of class division from a blue-collar perspective in The Pitmen Painters. The Theatrical Outfit is presenting the Atlanta premiere of British writer Lee Hall’s often comical portrait of artistic flowering amid the oppressive conditions faced by a group of British coal miners. After hiring a college professor to teach them art appreciation, the miners, also known as “pitmen,” start painting scenes drawn from their everyday lives. Within months, avant-garde artists become their friends, their work hangs in prestigious collections, and they are celebrated in high society. But every day, they continue to risk their lives deep down in the mine.

Hall, who also wrote the screenplay for Billy Elliot was inspired by William Feaver’s book about the art collective known as the Ashington Group. In the 1930s, hundreds of mines were operating in this northeastern region of England, sending more than a million men underground to work 10-hour shifts in the pits. In this gritty environment, it seems a miracle that an insular mining community like Ashington could produce a talent like miner-turned-artist Oliver Kilbourn, let alone a whole labor collective of miner-artists.

According to Hall, ”These pitmen had a tradition of organized labor which provided places of solidarity which made possible this kind of intellectualism. They were profoundly concerned with creativity and how that linked to personal growth and collective understanding — how you learn, and the relationships, with teachers, with peers, in that process.”

The art discussions between the technically naive painters and their tutor, Mr. Lyons, manage to be both intellectually engaging and often quite humorous. “Art isn’t about answers,” the art instructor says during his first class with the pitmen. “It’s about asking questions.” The characters in The Pitmen Painters grapple and argue with a wide spectrum of questions. What is art and who should make it? When does a man who paints become a painter? What does art make of its maker? What are the merits of abstract versus representational art? Who owns art? How much should art cost?

Examples of their boldly executed paintings, which are projected on large screens during the play, depict scenes from their lives and the lives of their families and friends. These powerful artworks validate the tutor’s belief that culture is not the exclusive preserve of the upper classes, and that “fundamentally, underneath, anybody can have a creative gift.”

But perhaps the largest question at the heart of this story revolves around issues of self-identity and self-improvement, especially when they come in conflict with loyalty to one’s cultural group or community. As one of the paintbrush-wielding miners says, after hearing a speech celebrating his achievements and those of his fellow working-class artists, “It’s easy for people outside to see us as a bunch of miners. But we don’t see ourselves as that. We see ourselves as individuals, don’t we?”

In their plays, Morrisseau and Hall use humor, insightful detail, and vivid, lived-in dialogue to enable us, their audience, to connect intimately with the working men and women on stage. At such a divisive time in this country, there can be profound value in any experience that inspires us to look past cultural or class differences to see people as individuals and not as monolithic groups or stereotypes. And that certainly includes absorbing a compassionate, thoughtful play or gasping in awe at a deeply felt work of art, especially when we share that kind of experience with neighbors we haven’t yet met.

Skeleton Crew. Through March 10. Southwest Arts Center, 915 New Hope Road S.W. 404-613-3220.

The Pitmen Painters. Through March 24. Theatrical Outfit, 84 Luckie St. N.W. 678-528-1500."
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These are some of the universal and quite timely themes of two blue-collar dramas on local stages this month. Detroit playwright Dominique Morisseau’s__ __''Skeleton Crew''__ __centers on four autoworkers wrestling with conscience, identity, and the instinct for economic survival. ''The Pitmen Painters'', by British playwright Lee Hall, tells the true story of a group of English coal miners during the Great Depression who began creating their own artworks and become unexpected stars of London’s high society art circles. In each story, the workers we spend time with are multifaceted, complex, and conflicted, reflecting and illuminating the difficult choices facing them during critical turning points in their individual lives and in their communities.

Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company is presenting ''Skeleton Crew, ''the final play in Morisseau’s three-play cycle ''The Detroit Project'', each of which is set in her hometown. Webster’s defines skeleton crew as “the minimum number of personnel needed to operate and maintain an item, such as a ship or business, during an emergency or shutdown.” It is a fitting title for this four-character drama set in the run-down break room of Detroit’s last remaining car stamping factory during the auto industry crisis of 2008, the worst year of the Great Recession.

Faye, the factory’s union rep and a 29-year veteran on the job, is homeless, living out of her car, and a year away from collecting a big share of her hard-earned retirement benefits. Reggie, the working-class-turned-white-collar factory foreman, is working to provide the best life for his family while looking out for the workers who’ve come to trust him. Shanita is a pregnant young woman who’s proud of her job and loves her work. Dez is a brash, romantic young employee trying to save enough money to open his own business.

Each member of this African-American workplace family must confront choices on how to move forward if their plant closes. Reggie (Enoch Armando King) wants to prepare his team for the plant’s closing, but upper management requires his silence about how soon the factory will shut down until a fair employee severance package can be approved. Faye (Tonia Jackson) must decide how and where she'll live. Shanita (Asia Howard) must determine how to support herself and her unborn child. Dez (Anthony Campbell) must figure out how to make his dream a reality. Each character must balance their own needs and desires, their loyalty to one another, and their yearning to continue in a job they take genuine pride in.

True Colors associate artistic director Jamil Jude, who directed this production of ''Skeleton Crew'', spent time in Detroit talking to auto factory workers. “For generations of Americans, landing a union job in a factory was like hitting the lottery. It paid a wage you could rely on to own a home and raise a family. The benefits were good. You could retire comfortably. Until very recently, factory jobs were one of the most reliable foundations of the American Dream.”

These sort of jobs, and this sort of work — building something as tangible and essential as a family car — are central to how the men and women in ''Skeleton Crew'' define themselves and their self-worth. The characters’ intimate and complex relationship to their occupation, their workplace, and to their fellow workers helps explain the depth of their anxiety about being laid off and leaving what they’ve known all their lives.

Director Jude and his cast were in rehearsals during the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. “We all knew friends or family who were directly affected by the shutdown,” says Jude. “Atlanta hasn’t been considered a key industrial center for a long time, but the recession impacted every town and city in this country, including ours. Tens of thousands of our neighbors across the metro area work in government jobs, so when they stopped getting paid this past January, we all sensed the anger and fear and even the personal self-doubt they were feeling. Ultimately, this is a play that speaks to any worker in any job in today’s America, blue-collar or not.”

Jude believes Morisseau’s plays “juxtapose beauty with destruction, hope with despair, and bring to light the complicated realities of urban African-American communities. Her artistic voice combines the beautiful poetry of the great writers of the diaspora with a laser-focused social critique of the modern age.” Jude adds, “It’s not surprising at all that the dramatic tensions in this play are resonating with our audience and with audiences across the country wherever ''Skeleton Crew'' has been produced.”

Tony Award-winning director Kenny Leon, True Colors’ founding artistic director, cast then-actress/poet Dominique Morisseau in his 2010 production of The Mountaintop. Four years ago, True Colors presented Morisseau’s ''Detroit ’67'' , the second installment of her play cycle; next year, the theatre company will present ''Paradise Blue'', the first work in her ''Detroit Project'' trilogy.

Audiences can explore another critique of class division from a blue-collar perspective in ''The Pitmen Painters.'' The Theatrical Outfit is presenting the Atlanta premiere of British writer Lee Hall’s often comical portrait of artistic flowering amid the oppressive conditions faced by a group of British coal miners. After hiring a college professor to teach them art appreciation, the miners, also known as “pitmen,” start painting scenes drawn from their everyday lives. Within months, avant-garde artists become their friends, their work hangs in prestigious collections, and they are celebrated in high society. But every day, they continue to risk their lives deep down in the mine.

Hall, who also wrote the screenplay for Billy Elliot was inspired by William Feaver’s book about the art collective known as the Ashington Group. In the 1930s, hundreds of mines were operating in this northeastern region of England, sending more than a million men underground to work 10-hour shifts in the pits. In this gritty environment, it seems a miracle that an insular mining community like Ashington could produce a talent like miner-turned-artist Oliver Kilbourn, let alone a whole labor collective of miner-artists.

According to Hall, ”These pitmen had a tradition of organized labor which provided places of solidarity which made possible this kind of intellectualism. They were profoundly concerned with creativity and how that linked to personal growth and collective understanding — how you learn, and the relationships, with teachers, with peers, in that process.”

The art discussions between the technically naive painters and their tutor, Mr. Lyons, manage to be both intellectually engaging and often quite humorous. “Art isn’t about answers,” the art instructor says during his first class with the pitmen. “It’s about asking questions.” The characters in ''The Pitmen Painters'' grapple and argue with a wide spectrum of questions. What is art and who should make it? When does a man who paints become a painter? What does art make of its maker? What are the merits of abstract versus representational art? Who owns art? How much should art cost?

Examples of their boldly executed paintings, which are projected on large screens during the play, depict scenes from their lives and the lives of their families and friends. These powerful artworks validate the tutor’s belief that culture is not the exclusive preserve of the upper classes, and that “fundamentally, underneath, anybody can have a creative gift.”

But perhaps the largest question at the heart of this story revolves around issues of self-identity and self-improvement, especially when they come in conflict with loyalty to one’s cultural group or community. As one of the paintbrush-wielding miners says, after hearing a speech celebrating his achievements and those of his fellow working-class artists, “It’s easy for people outside to see us as a bunch of miners. But we don’t see ourselves as that. We see ourselves as individuals, don’t we?”

In their plays, Morrisseau and Hall use humor, insightful detail, and vivid, lived-in dialogue to enable us, their audience, to connect intimately with the working men and women on stage. At such a divisive time in this country, there can be profound value in any experience that inspires us to look past cultural or class differences to see people as individuals and not as monolithic groups or stereotypes. And that certainly includes absorbing a compassionate, thoughtful play or gasping in awe at a deeply felt work of art, especially when we share that kind of experience with neighbors we haven’t yet met.

''[https://truecolorstheatre.org/event/skeleton-crew/|Skeleton Crew. Through March 10]. [http://www.fultonarts.org/index.php/art-centers/southwest-arts-center|Southwest Arts Center], 915 New Hope Road S.W. 404-613-3220.''

''[https://www.theatricaloutfit.org/shows/the-pitmen-painters/|The Pitmen Painters. Through March 24]. [https://www.theatricaloutfit.org|Theatrical Outfit], 84 Luckie St. N.W. 678-528-1500.''"
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  string(10357) " Pittman Painters  2019-03-04T18:40:06+00:00 Pittman Painters.jpg    performance art edward mcnally skeleton crew the pitmen painters scenes&motions ‘Skeleton Crew’ and ‘The Pitmen Painters’ 14424  2019-03-04T18:38:19+00:00 SCENES & MOTIONS: A working class hero is something to be mcnally259@gmail.com Ed McNally Edward McNally Edward McNally 2019-03-04T18:38:19+00:00 Creative Loafing is proud to welcome Edward McNally into the editorial fold. A formidable figure on Atlanta's arts scene, his column "Scenes & Motions" will appear online and in print. Self-validation through occupation or creative pursuit. The workplace as social microcosm. Work teams serving as substitute families. The collective versus the individual. Upper class/corporate management versus the working class. The potential of art and beauty to connect social and economic classes.

These are some of the universal and quite timely themes of two blue-collar dramas on local stages this month. Detroit playwright Dominique Morisseau’s Skeleton Crew centers on four autoworkers wrestling with conscience, identity, and the instinct for economic survival. The Pitmen Painters, by British playwright Lee Hall, tells the true story of a group of English coal miners during the Great Depression who began creating their own artworks and become unexpected stars of London’s high society art circles. In each story, the workers we spend time with are multifaceted, complex, and conflicted, reflecting and illuminating the difficult choices facing them during critical turning points in their individual lives and in their communities.

Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company is presenting Skeleton Crew, the final play in Morisseau’s three-play cycle The Detroit Project, each of which is set in her hometown. Webster’s defines skeleton crew as “the minimum number of personnel needed to operate and maintain an item, such as a ship or business, during an emergency or shutdown.” It is a fitting title for this four-character drama set in the run-down break room of Detroit’s last remaining car stamping factory during the auto industry crisis of 2008, the worst year of the Great Recession.

Faye, the factory’s union rep and a 29-year veteran on the job, is homeless, living out of her car, and a year away from collecting a big share of her hard-earned retirement benefits. Reggie, the working-class-turned-white-collar factory foreman, is working to provide the best life for his family while looking out for the workers who’ve come to trust him. Shanita is a pregnant young woman who’s proud of her job and loves her work. Dez is a brash, romantic young employee trying to save enough money to open his own business.

Each member of this African-American workplace family must confront choices on how to move forward if their plant closes. Reggie (Enoch Armando King) wants to prepare his team for the plant’s closing, but upper management requires his silence about how soon the factory will shut down until a fair employee severance package can be approved. Faye (Tonia Jackson) must decide how and where she'll live. Shanita (Asia Howard) must determine how to support herself and her unborn child. Dez (Anthony Campbell) must figure out how to make his dream a reality. Each character must balance their own needs and desires, their loyalty to one another, and their yearning to continue in a job they take genuine pride in.

True Colors associate artistic director Jamil Jude, who directed this production of Skeleton Crew, spent time in Detroit talking to auto factory workers. “For generations of Americans, landing a union job in a factory was like hitting the lottery. It paid a wage you could rely on to own a home and raise a family. The benefits were good. You could retire comfortably. Until very recently, factory jobs were one of the most reliable foundations of the American Dream.”

These sort of jobs, and this sort of work — building something as tangible and essential as a family car — are central to how the men and women in Skeleton Crew define themselves and their self-worth. The characters’ intimate and complex relationship to their occupation, their workplace, and to their fellow workers helps explain the depth of their anxiety about being laid off and leaving what they’ve known all their lives.

Director Jude and his cast were in rehearsals during the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. “We all knew friends or family who were directly affected by the shutdown,” says Jude. “Atlanta hasn’t been considered a key industrial center for a long time, but the recession impacted every town and city in this country, including ours. Tens of thousands of our neighbors across the metro area work in government jobs, so when they stopped getting paid this past January, we all sensed the anger and fear and even the personal self-doubt they were feeling. Ultimately, this is a play that speaks to any worker in any job in today’s America, blue-collar or not.”

Jude believes Morisseau’s plays “juxtapose beauty with destruction, hope with despair, and bring to light the complicated realities of urban African-American communities. Her artistic voice combines the beautiful poetry of the great writers of the diaspora with a laser-focused social critique of the modern age.” Jude adds, “It’s not surprising at all that the dramatic tensions in this play are resonating with our audience and with audiences across the country wherever Skeleton Crew has been produced.”

Tony Award-winning director Kenny Leon, True Colors’ founding artistic director, cast then-actress/poet Dominique Morisseau in his 2010 production of The Mountaintop. Four years ago, True Colors presented Morisseau’s Detroit ’67 , the second installment of her play cycle; next year, the theatre company will present Paradise Blue, the first work in her Detroit Project trilogy.

Audiences can explore another critique of class division from a blue-collar perspective in The Pitmen Painters. The Theatrical Outfit is presenting the Atlanta premiere of British writer Lee Hall’s often comical portrait of artistic flowering amid the oppressive conditions faced by a group of British coal miners. After hiring a college professor to teach them art appreciation, the miners, also known as “pitmen,” start painting scenes drawn from their everyday lives. Within months, avant-garde artists become their friends, their work hangs in prestigious collections, and they are celebrated in high society. But every day, they continue to risk their lives deep down in the mine.

Hall, who also wrote the screenplay for Billy Elliot was inspired by William Feaver’s book about the art collective known as the Ashington Group. In the 1930s, hundreds of mines were operating in this northeastern region of England, sending more than a million men underground to work 10-hour shifts in the pits. In this gritty environment, it seems a miracle that an insular mining community like Ashington could produce a talent like miner-turned-artist Oliver Kilbourn, let alone a whole labor collective of miner-artists.

According to Hall, ”These pitmen had a tradition of organized labor which provided places of solidarity which made possible this kind of intellectualism. They were profoundly concerned with creativity and how that linked to personal growth and collective understanding — how you learn, and the relationships, with teachers, with peers, in that process.”

The art discussions between the technically naive painters and their tutor, Mr. Lyons, manage to be both intellectually engaging and often quite humorous. “Art isn’t about answers,” the art instructor says during his first class with the pitmen. “It’s about asking questions.” The characters in The Pitmen Painters grapple and argue with a wide spectrum of questions. What is art and who should make it? When does a man who paints become a painter? What does art make of its maker? What are the merits of abstract versus representational art? Who owns art? How much should art cost?

Examples of their boldly executed paintings, which are projected on large screens during the play, depict scenes from their lives and the lives of their families and friends. These powerful artworks validate the tutor’s belief that culture is not the exclusive preserve of the upper classes, and that “fundamentally, underneath, anybody can have a creative gift.”

But perhaps the largest question at the heart of this story revolves around issues of self-identity and self-improvement, especially when they come in conflict with loyalty to one’s cultural group or community. As one of the paintbrush-wielding miners says, after hearing a speech celebrating his achievements and those of his fellow working-class artists, “It’s easy for people outside to see us as a bunch of miners. But we don’t see ourselves as that. We see ourselves as individuals, don’t we?”

In their plays, Morrisseau and Hall use humor, insightful detail, and vivid, lived-in dialogue to enable us, their audience, to connect intimately with the working men and women on stage. At such a divisive time in this country, there can be profound value in any experience that inspires us to look past cultural or class differences to see people as individuals and not as monolithic groups or stereotypes. And that certainly includes absorbing a compassionate, thoughtful play or gasping in awe at a deeply felt work of art, especially when we share that kind of experience with neighbors we haven’t yet met.

Skeleton Crew. Through March 10. Southwest Arts Center, 915 New Hope Road S.W. 404-613-3220.

The Pitmen Painters. Through March 24. Theatrical Outfit, 84 Luckie St. N.W. 678-528-1500.    Casey Gardner THE PITMEN PAINTERS: Cast of "The Pitmen Painters" at Theatrical Outfit, left to right: Clifton Guterman, Allan Edwards, Caitlin Josephine Hargraves, Brian Kurlander, Richard Garner, and Andrew Benator. Artwork: Rocio Rodriguez' Time, 1995, Oil on canvas, Collection of The Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia (MOCA GA).  0,0,10    "edward mcnally" "performance art" "Skeleton Crew" "The Pitmen Painters" scenes&motions                             SCENES & MOTIONS: A working class hero is something to be "
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Monday March 4, 2019 01:38 pm EST
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