Celebrating 20 Years of Georgia Playwrights

About the Project

Essential Theatre has been supporting Georgia playwrights and presenting new plays to Atlanta audiences since 1999. This summer, we are proud to be presenting the 20th Annual Essential Theatre Play Festival from July 27 to August 26 at the West End Performing Arts Center (945 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd, Atlanta, GA 30310) which will include the world premiere production of the 2018 Essential Theatre Playwriting Award winning play (to be announced February 2018).

THE  ESSENTIAL THEATRE TRADITION:

Since the first Essential Play Festival in 1999, we've premiered 31 new works by 26 different Georgia playwrights, with readings of over 30 more. The Essential Theatre Playwriting Award began in 2001, and since its inception it has been awarded for 19 plays penned by a total of 17 different Georgia playwrights. Each of these plays has premiered as part of an Essential Theatre Festival, and many have gone on to publication and/or future productions around the country. In September of this year, in fact, our very first Essential Theatre Playwriting Award winner, Lauren Gunderson, was proclaimed by American Theatre Magazine to be the most produced playwright in America!

HOW YOUR SUPPORT WILL HELP:

  • Increase artist 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 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. 
  • Increase support for our Presented work: Last summer, we presented a limited-engagement production of Independent, by Atlanta playwright John D. Babcock III. Audiences loved it, and the creative team behind the show said the opportunity was exactly what their production needed. The show got such positive feedback from audience and artists alike, in fact, that we'd like to offer this opportunity again in the future. Help us provide continued and improved support by making a donation 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 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 $5,000 ! (pending matching fund availability)

  • Mayor s office of cultral affairs logo
$2,106.76 of $10,000 goal ⋅ 26 days to go
  • Donate $1 or more

    Besides the satisfaction of seeing Georgia playwrights’ work be fully realized and come to life before your eyes, and besides the knowledge that you helped to make it happen, we will thank you by name on social media at the time of your donation, on our website and in our email newsletter when this campaign concludes, and in the 2018 Festival playbill next summer. You will also receive our monthly newsletter, where you can find out about the latest and greatest Essential news and deals and get behind the scenes stories about our plays and their playwrights
    Amount is fully tax-deductible
  • Donate $25 or more

    Receive advanced email notification for Bare Essentials readings throughout the year. Bare Essentials readings and post-show conversations are an exciting way for Atlanta audiences to be meaningfully involved in Georgia playwrights' script development process.

    "I can’t imagine writing a play without staged readings, especially a comedy. Audiences tell you the truth. Which means I’ll hear the jokes that don’t land, (painful!) or parts where the story starts to sag or gets confusing. When the words are still on the page, playwriting can be deceptive – everything makes sense to me. When an audience is reacting in real-time, hearing the words, it’s a healthy dose of reality." -Lee Raines, Bare Essentials playwright, August 2017
    Amount is fully tax-deductible
  • Donate $50 or more

    Priority seating when you purchase tickets to any of our shows in the 2018 Essential Theatre Play Festival.
    (Please notify the box office at the time of purchase if you would like to redeem your priority seating benefits)
    Amount is fully tax-deductible
  • Donate $100 or more

    This summer marks 20 years of Essential Theatre Play Festivals. Take home a piece of the tradition, a poster or playbill from one of our past festivals, autographed by Essential's Founding Artistic Director, Peter Hardy.

    *Shipping address required, or available for pick-up at the Festival Announcement Event (February 2018)
    *Every effort will be made to accommodate requests for specific years' posters or playbills, but be aware that supplies from past years are extremely limited!
    (100 of 100 remaining)
    Amount is fully tax-deductible
  • Donate $250 or more

    An exclusive invitation to attend an open rehearsal for one of this summer's productions!
    (19 of 20 remaining)
    Amount is fully tax-deductible
$7,893.24 to go. Every dollar helps.
$2,106.76 of $10,000 goal ⋅ 26 days to go
  • $26.69
    Ellen McQueen
    11 days ago
  • $26.69
    Match from City of Atlanta Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs-FY18
    11 days ago
  • $26.69
    Doug Shipman
    17 days ago
  • $26.69
    Match from City of Atlanta Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs-FY18
    17 days ago
  • $1,000
    in honor of Chris Mann in Concert Dec 21 @ Strand Theatre Marietta, GA
    17 days ago
  • $1,000
    Match from City of Atlanta Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs-FY18
    17 days ago
  • This campaign does not yet have any updates.