Essential Theatre Presents 21st Annual Play Festival

Essential Theatre is presenting its 21st Festival with the world premieres of three plays and four staged reading all by Georgia playwrights. "Slaying Holofernes", by Emily McClain, directed by Peter Hardy, opens Friday, July 26, 2019 at 8pm at the West End Performing Arts Center. "Baby Shower for the Antichrist", by Ben Thorpe, directed by Shannon Eubanks, opens Friday, August 2, 2019 at 8pm at the same venue.

From a play based on real events from history to a horror comedy, both plays tackle gender equality and the #metoo movement in drastically different ways.

McClain's "Slaying Holofernes" blends and blurs the worlds of past/present, fact/fiction, and personal/political as it explores two women's parallel quests for justice in an imperfect world. From Atlanta Theatre Buzz:  "A powerful piece of theatre … a feast for your eyes, for your mind, and for your conscience.  The performances here are all of peak quality.    "Baby Shower for the Antichrist" by Thorpe take us to a feast hosted by an isolated cult is preparation for the birth of the Antichrist. When an outsider is invited for the evening, secrets about the past come to light and threaten to ruin everything the group has built. "Zany fun dark comedy!" (Audience reaction)

For two nights only (Aug. 15 & 16 at 8 PM) Essential Theatre presents Aaron Gotliebs' "The Attic" which explores the things we hold on to and those we leave behind. Finishing out the festival's offerings is the Bare Essentials Play Reading series which features:

  • Aug. 3 (2pm) - DAY OF SATURN by Leviticus Jelks III, directed by Najah Ali
  • Aug. 6 (7:30pm) - HENRY DARGER TAKES A WALK by Rosalind Sullivan-Lovett, directed by Natalie Fox
  • Aug. 12 (7:30pm) - WAITING FOR BIG STUFF by Allan Dodson, directed by Kati Grace Brown
  • Aug. 21 (7:30pm) - THE ODDS AGAINST DEATH by Ted Westby, directed by Bill Murphey

The Festival features all local talent, working to serve and contribute to the Atlanta arts scene. The West End Performing Arts Center is located at 945 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd, Atlanta, GA, 30310. Festival Passes are on sale now! Visit or call 404-212-0815.


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