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2022 Essential Theatre Play Festival Continues With Readings Of New Plays

The festival runs through August 28.

2022 Essential Theatre Play Festival Continues With Readings Of New Plays

From July 29 to August 28, Essential Theatre presents its 23rd Festival with the world premieres of two plays and four staged readings, all by Georgia playwrights. The two full productions, The Outrage Machine and A Complicated Hope, opened the first two weeks of the festival, and next in the lineup is the Bare Essentials Play Reading series, produced with support from Georgia Humanities.

This series is comprised of staged readings of new plays by Georgia playwrights, each followed by a moderated discussion with the playwright. Both the readings and the conversations that follow are free and open to the public.

Curated by Essential's Founding Artistic Director, Peter Hardy, himself a national award-winning playwright who's had over 30 productions of his work done around the country and has had plays chosen for the National Playwrights' Conference and the Lanford Wilson New American Play Festival and received playwriting awards from the National Playwrights' Conference, the Festival of Southern Theatre and the New Southern Theatre Festival, the Bare Essentials Play Reading Series features:

The Exhibit by Ozzy Rose Wagner, directed by Carolyn Cook (August 9) - A young woman leading the way towards an exhibit at the museum where she works, centering on female-oriented artists and subjects, is threatened with the public release of compromising images of herself. Featuring the reading talents of: Eliana Marianes (Aphrodite), Jamie Moore (Noah/Man/Apelles), Dionna D. Davis (Julie), Si Chen (Alex), Hayley Noelle Hudson (Callie)

Barbie Liberation Organization by Robert Fuson, directed by Kati Grace Brown (August 10) - G.I. Joe rescues Barbie from a war and brings her home to his cabin. From that point on they charge ahead through the stages of a "traditional" relationship, becoming parents, and fumbling their way along the path of evolving from dolls into human beings. Featuring the reading talents of: Sarah Newby Halicks (Barbie), Chris Hecke (G.I. Joe), Kait Rivas (Milzy)

Shark Week by Anneka Rose, directed by Cameryn Richardson (August 22) - The claustrophobic intensity of adolescents at a boarding school becomes a fever-dream of sexual confusion and manipulation. "Dedicated to all the girls and women who were made to feel as though their tragedies were less real than the ones we read on the page."

"Public readings are an important part of the script development process for a playwright," says Hardy, "a crucial first step in connecting a new play with an audience. And they give the audience an opportunity to both learn about and participate in the development of new works of dramatic art."

Thanks to support from Georgia Humanities, all readings in the Bare Essentials series are free and open to the public. The West End Performing Arts Center is located at 945 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd, Atlanta, GA, 30310. Tickets are available now! Visit or call 404-212-0815.

The 2022 Essential Play Festival is taking place from July 29 to August 28 at the West End Performing Arts Center (945 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd, Atlanta, GA 30310) in Atlanta's Historic West End, Essential Theatre's home since 2014. COVID restrictions including masks and enhanced air purification and cleaning practices will be in place to ensure artists and patrons alike have a safe and enjoyable time at the theatre.

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