World Premiere Of Avery Sharpe's WOKE Plays Essential Theatre's 20th Festival

Essential Theatre's 20th Festival opened its second 2018 Playwriting award winning play, Woke, written by Avery Sharpe. Woke is a comical but socially aware play that opened August 3.

"The idea for this play originated out of confusion about the best way to reconcile people to one another when they feel misunderstood or even disrespected. I was mentally perturbed with the destructive paradox of people being too stubborn or prideful to admit when they were wrong about an issue but also people being way too quick to sever relationships based on differences in viewpoint," said playwright Avery Sharpe. "As I confronted the myriad of problems with the few solutions, Woke began to emerge and input from smart and caring friends and colleagues helped to get it where it is today."

Woke follows two friends from different backgrounds who are trying to navigate the already rocky transition from high school to college. When a calamitous event captures national attention, they are forced to wrestle with their different understandings of social awareness. Through family, romance, and their own friendship, they painstakingly and comically explore what it truly means to be woke.

Derrick Robertson - Adrian
Paul Danner - Jesse
DeShon Green - Tanisha
Karina Simmons - Natasha
Kathleen Wattis - Martha
Fred Galyean - Frank

Thursday August 9, 8pm
Saturday August 11, 8pm
Sunday August 12, 2pm
Saturday August 18, 8pm
Sunday August 19, 2pm
Tuesday August 21, 8pm (Industry Night)
Thursday August 23, 8pm
Friday August 24, 8pm
Sunday August 26, 2pm

Avery Sharpe is an actor and recently a playwright from Atlanta, GA. After studying Acting and Spanish at Kennesaw State University, he has performed at a variety of stages across Atlanta. Some of his recent credits include: Pearl Cleage's Tell Me My Dream (ALLIANCE THEATRE), A Bucket of Blessings (ALLIANCE THEATRE), and Marcus; Or the Secret of Sweet (Actor's Express). He has also done voiceover work and various commercials in the TV/Film world, but can be found most frequently at Dad's Garage Improv Theatre where he performs weekly as a company member. As a playwright, he has discovered a passion for telling stories that echo the beautiful complexity of humanity, which is why he is excited to be making his debut as a playwright with Woke. He looks forward to writing more compelling stories in the future, and he wants to thank all of the brilliant minds and generous hearts that have supported him throughout this journey.

Now in its twentieth year, the Essential Theatre Playwriting Competition is the only contest exclusively dedicated to the work of Georgia playwrights. The winning play receives both a full production and a $600 cash prize. Playwrights must be current Georgia residents, and the plays must be previously unproduced. There are no restrictions as to style, length or subject matter. The deadline for the 2020 Essential Theatre Playwriting Award competition is April 23, 2019. For more information or to submit your play, visit
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