Theatrical Outfit Names New Associate Artistic Director
WHY CLIFTON? "We have committed to the vision of 'Creating compassion one story at a time.' To make such a critical and aspiring vision like that work, we need people like Clifton Guterman, a world class artist and a man of great passion and integrity. Clifton is a dynamite actor, one of the best casting directors in the country, a dramatist with the keenest of perceptions who has served Theatrical Outfit tirelessly, with wit and grace, through recent years as we have undertaken extraordinary tasks toward growth. Now, as he expands his service to us full time, reaching out to engage citizens with all the riches of this art form, it feels like a gracious gift to us and to the community. It's also perfect timing. What a dramatic entrance that this brilliant young man, who so inspires us about the future of the American Theater, would begin his new role with Theatrical Outfit at the beginning of our Season of Hope!" - Tom Key, Artistic Director
FROM CLIFTON: "Having "grown up," so to speak, in the Atlanta theatre community and having left a time or two to work in other cities, being firmly planted here today and having a theatre like Theatrical Outfit to call home is a gift and stroke of good luck almost too wonderful for words. My time at The Outfit thus far, under my mentor and friend Tom Key's amazing leadership, truly has been life-changing. In this new position, I look forward to even more of the daily growth, joy and collaboration I have come to expect as simply a way of life in this wonderful company. Our building - previously the first restaurant in Atlanta to voluntarily desegregate - itself emits a special energy, one that inspires all who work here and cross our threshold to aspire to great things, to not settle for the status quo. Add in an Artistic Director like Tom Key and, well, life and work becomes beyond meaningful. I am very grateful and humbled by The Outfit and Tom's faith in me." - Clifton Guterman, Associate Artistic Director
ABOUT CLIFTON: Clifton Guterman is an Atlanta performer, casting director, instructor and producer. He has acted off-Broadway, at numerous regional theatres (including The Alliance, Berkeley Rep, Arena Stage, San Jose Rep, California Shakespeare Theater, The O'Neill Festival, among others) and in films, television shows and commercials shot in the Southeast. Clifton was formerly the Alliance Theatre's Artistic Assistant (four seasons) and Casting Director at Actor's Express, where he also served as National New Play Network Producer in Residence for the 2015-2016 season. Clifton has been on staff at Theatrical Outfit wearing many hats since 2012. His industry and audition workshops have been featured at colleges and universities in Georgia and at American College Theatre Festival, Southeastern Theatre Conference and Georgia Thespian Conference. Clifton is a Shuler Hensley/Georgia High School Musical Theatre Awards adjudicator and contributes a regular industry advice column as a Backstage expert. He is a proud member of Actors' Equity Association and holds a BA in Drama from the University of Georgia and an MFA in Performing Arts from the Savannah College of Art and Design. Clifton is originally from Iron City, GA and has lived in New York, the Bay Area and Chicago.
ABOUT THEATRICAL OUTFIT: Atlanta's second-oldest continually-operating professional theatre company was founded in 1976 and has been led by Artistic Director Tom Key since fall 1995. Key led the company through the creation of its award-winning downtown home, the Balzer Theater at Herren's, the first U.S. theater to achieve LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The Balzer Theater is also the historical site of Herren's, the first restaurant in Atlanta to voluntarily desegregate in 1962; its first African American patrons, Dr. Lee and Delores Shelton, remain Theatrical Outfit patrons and season ticket subscribers. Key's programming of classics, regional and world premieres tell soul-stirring stories, with themes that explore diversity, equality, ethnicity, race, and religion; and often feature the best writers of the American South, including Ernest Gaines, Lauren Gunderson, Horton Foote, Harper Lee, Flannery O'Connor, Janece Shaffer, Sherry Shephard-Massat, Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder and Tennessee Williams. After ten years of capital investment, T.O. is in new territory. Having retired its mortgage, staff, trustees and artists are in the midst of a 2014-17 Strategic Plan designed to expand mission-driven, artistic offerings of genres ranging from dramas and comedies to large scale musicals, engaging many more of Atlanta's world class theatre artists. The plan now has the benefit of two leaders, Artistic Director, Tom Key and Managing Director, Lee Foster, hired in June 2014, who together have achieved the theatre's most successful season of ticket sales since the 2005 opening of The Balzer Theater at Herren's and the most Suzi Bass Award Nominations for one season ever garnered by Theatrical Outfit.
ABOUT OUR VENUE: Theatrical Outfit performs at The Balzer Theater at Herren's at 84 Luckie Street NW, Atlanta, GA 30303. Theatrical Outfit utilizes a Loop Listening System, making The Balzer Theater at Herren's the first theater in the state of Georgia to incorporate this technology. Attendees with T-coil hearing aids may participate automatically, and others needing enhancement may obtain system-compatible headsets from our lobby Box Office.