Showcasing the best new plays by Georgia playwrights

About the Project

Essential Theatre has been supporting Georgia playwrights and presenting new plays to Atlanta audiences since 1999. In the summer of 2020, we are proud to be presenting our 22nd Annual Essential Theatre Play Festival at the West End Performing Arts Center (945 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd, Atlanta, GA 30310) which will include the world premiere productions of the 2020 Essential Theatre Playwriting Award winning plays.

THE  ESSENTIAL THEATRE TRADITION:
Since the first Essential Play Festival in 1999, we've produced or presented 36 new works by 32 different Georgia playwrights, with readings of over 40 more. The Essential Theatre Playwriting Award began in 2001, and since its inception it has been awarded for 24 plays penned by a total of 22 different Georgia playwrights. Each of these plays has premiered as part of an Essential Theatre Play Festival, and many have gone on to publication and/or future productions around the country. According to American Theatre Magazine, our very first Essential Theatre Playwriting Award winner, Lauren Gunderson, is the most produced playwright in America today!

HOW YOUR SUPPORT WILL HELP:

  • Support artist's fees: Essential artists have been masterfully bringing to life the best new work by Georgia playwrights since 1999, and although we could never pay them what they're worth, we are committed to raising our artists' fees from the token stipend they have historically received. Since we began this process in 2014, we have increased actor pay by over 60%, and with your help we will continue our forward momentum this year. 
  • Professionally document this summer's World Premieres: There's only one First Time. Help us make sure that these are artfully preserved in photo, video and text. Documentation is not just a sentimental gesture for our playwrights: competent documentation of past productions can significantly increase the chances of obtaining a future production of your work. 
  • Present independently produced new work as part of the Festival: For three years now, we have shared works created and developed by Georgia artists, in addition to our readings and in-house productions. Audiences have loved it, and the artists behind the productions have said the opportunity was exactly what their productions needed. These shows have gotten such positive feedback from audience and artists alike, that we have decided to make this a permanent Festival offering. Help us provide continued and improved support by making a donation today!
  • Keep Developmental and Engagement programs free to our audiences: The work we do couldn't happen without talented playwrights and dedicated artists, there's no question. But it couldn't happen without our audiences either. The value of dialogue between artist and audience cannot be underestimated, as our own playwrights have testified time and again. We rely on outside support to keep these events free for our audiences. Help us continue to do so by contributing to our power2give campaign today!

To find out about all the great things we have in store for you now through the summer, check out www.EssentialTheatre.com, and be sure to follow us on Facebook (@NewPlays), Twitter (@ATL_Essential) and now Instagram (@essentialtheatrega), or simply sign up for our Newsletter to get the latest news, deals and developments. 


Matching Sponsors

Our generous sponsors will contribute $1 for every $1 donated to this project up to $10,000 ! (pending matching fund availability)

  • Resurgens mayor s oca color
$430.94 of $20,000 goal ⋅ 41 days to go
  • Donate $1 or more

    Receive a thank-you email and thanks on our social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram), and be listed in the 2020 Essential Theatre Play Festival playbill as a supporter of the Festival.
    Amount is fully tax-deductible
  • Donate $50 or more

    Receive email and social media thanks, have your name listed in the playbill as a Festival supporter, and receive a commemorative 2020 Essential Theatre Play Festival poster!
    Poster can be collected at the Box Office when you come to the Festival this summer or mailed to you Opening Weekend.
    Amount is fully tax-deductible
  • Donate $100 or more

    Receive email and social media thanks, have your name listed in the playbill as a Festival supporter, and receive a souvenir autographed playbill!
    Playbill can be collected at the Box Office when you come to the Festival this summer or mailed to you Opening Weekend.
    Amount is fully tax-deductible
$19,569.06 to go. Every dollar helps.
$430.94 of $20,000 goal ⋅ 41 days to go
  • $50
    Betty Mitchell
    1 day ago
  • $50
    Match from City of Atlanta Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs- FY20
    1 day ago
  • $21.35
    Jared van Aalten
    2 days ago
  • $21.35
    Match from City of Atlanta Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs- FY20
    2 days ago
  • $10.68
    Anonymous
    3 days ago
  • $10.68
    Match from City of Atlanta Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs- FY20
    3 days ago
  • $133.44
    Anonymous
    4 days ago
  • $133.44
    Match from City of Atlanta Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs- FY20
    4 days ago
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