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2022 Essential Theatre Play Festival to Continue with Hush Harbor Lab's THE WASH by Kelundra Smith

The World Premiere productions of Daniel Carter Brown's The Outrage Machine and John Mabey's A Complicated Hope are well underway.

2022 Essential Theatre Play Festival to Continue with Hush Harbor Lab's THE WASH by Kelundra Smith

From July 29 to August 28, Essential Theatre is presenting its 23rd Festival with the world premieres of two plays and four staged readings, all by Georgia playwrights. The World Premiere productions of Daniel Carter Brown's The Outrage Machine and John Mabey's A Complicated Hope are well underway, and two of the three Bare Essentials Play Readings took place earlier this week, but next week brings yet another new offering: the first-ever in-person event by Hush Harbor Lab.

For one night only on August 18, Essential will be hosting a reading by Hush Harbor Lab, Atlanta's Black Play Development Company. Founders Amina McIntyre and Addae Moon describe the organization as "a brave space for the development and production of new and innovative digital, live and multi-media performance work by Black Atlanta-based artists." The organization is only two years old, but McIntyre and Moon are well-established in the local and national theater scene, and Essential is excited to provide a new stage for their vision and talent. They will be presenting a reading of Kelundra Smith's The Wash. Inspired by the Atlanta Washerwomen's Strike of 1881, Smith's play is a comedy about a labor strike that will get audiences incensed, engaged, and laughing.

"I started writing this play during a thunderstorm in 2017," says Smith. "I can't wait to dig in with my dramaturg Antonia LaChe and director Jade Lambert-Smith on birthing this baby. I had no idea 5 years ago how much the themes of the play would resonate today. Y'all are going to laugh out loud!"

Kelundra Smith is an accomplished writer in multiple mediums, and in fact audiences may recognize her name from some of their favorite journalistic publications, including Atlanta Magazine, ArtsATL, American Theatre Magazine and the New York Times. Earlier this month she received her first Atlanta Press Club Award for Excellence in Arts & Culture Reporting for her role in the September 2021 issue of Atlanta magazine.

The cast of the August 18 reading includes Cheryl Booker, Allie Ficken, Tanya Freeman, Charity Jordan, Anterior Leverett, Brenda Porter, and Aminah H. Williams. The reading will be directed by Jade Maia Lambert, with dramaturgy by Antonia LaChe and stage management by Mahala Johnson. In-person and streaming tickets available.

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. To read the whole COVID Policy go to: EssentialTheatre.com/Experience/2022-festival/covid-safety-policy

To purchase tickets: EssentialTheatre.Tix.com

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