2009 Essential Theatre Festival


July 5- August 2, 2009 at Actors Express
OPENING July 5th Food for Fish; July 10th Ice Glen and July 15th Jim Crow and the Rhythm Darlings
Essential Theatre Web Photo Gallery
Visit our new web photo gallery online. If you have been an actor in one of our productions, please tag your picture. See photos from this years productions FOOD FOR FISH,  JIM CROW AND THE RHYTHM DARLINGS and ICE GLEN.

Late Night at the Essential 
Essential Theatre and Actor’s Express have teamed up to give you the best full night of entertainment. Come see the Essential Theatre performance and stay for Actor’s Express late night entertainment, featuring Francine Reed, Charlie Brown, Gwen Hughes, Bad Boy Hypnotist and Heston Francis. Your Essential Theatre program will provide you a drink coupon and $5 off the price of the Actor’s Express After Hours ticket. Check out the After Hours website for more information.

Volunteer Ushers Needed
Visit our online calendar and send us an email. We still have a few open dates.

Watch Essential Videos

Essential Festival Lineup


FOOD FOR FISH by Adam Szymkowicz, Regional Premiere, Opening July 5.
Directed by Peter Hardy
Featuring: Kelly Criss, Kate Graham, Eve Krueger, Brent Nicholas Rose, Charles Swint and Sarah Falkenburg Wallace.
Bobbie is a lonely young man living in New York, trying to write about three sisters who long to escape the city and return to their childhood home of New Jersey or is he really just an imaginary character in the mind of Sylvia, the youngest sister? Middle sister Alice is hopelessly in love with the husband of her older sister, and so she goes out on dates with a different man every night, working in her lab by day to isolate the human gene that makes us fall in love so she can control it! Oldest sister Barbara (played by a man) and her husband (played by a woman) cant figure out how men and women are supposed to relate to each other. This is the kind of play we love to do at the Essential funny and beautiful and just about impossible to describe. The New York Times did it best, calling it fabulously weird and weirdly fabulous.

Next to open, on July 10, will be ICE GLEN by Joan Ackermann. Regional Premiere.
Directed by Ellen McQueen
Featuring: Jo Howarth, Dina Shadwell, Jayson Smith, Spencer G. Stephens, Jim Starbh and Ann Wilson.
Sarah Harding lives in an isolated country cottage, surrounded by a warm circle of quietly eccentric friends. She may be Americas greatest poet, but no ones ever seen her work which is just the way she wants it. But now an editor has arrived from Boston, wanting to publish her poems and bring her the fame and fortune she has never sought. With unforgettable characters, this wonderfully funny romantic drama — about the frozen places in our hearts coming back to life again — is like the best Emma Thompson movie you never saw.
“Beautifully written”. Talkin Broadway. “A lovely play”. CurtainUp

Opening July 15 will be JIM CROW AND THE RHYTHM DARLINGS by Vynnie Meli. World Premiere.
Directed by Betty Hart
Featuring: Rachel Bodenstein, Enisha Brewster, Daniel Burnley, DeAndrea Crawford, Nadir Mateen, Delesa Sims
Its World War Two, and with so many men going off to serve, the previously all-male world of jazz is opening up to women for the first time. The International Rhythm Darlings are an all-female African-American band touring the Deep South, which would be a tough situation in the best of times but now theyve got a last-minute replacement in the group, a white Jewish woman, and integrated bands arent allowed to play together on stage. Not in the South, not anywhere.

Inspired by the real-life experiences of musicians from that era, Vynnie Melis play takes a fascinating look at some extraordinary women who make their way past fear and hatred to find the common threads that bind them together. Winner of the 2009 Essential Theatre Playwriting Award competition, the only prize exclusively dedicated to the work of Georgia playwrights. The Essential Theatre is proud to have developed this play (along with Working Title Playwrights and Jewish Theatre of the South) and to be bringing it to the stage for the first time.

Congratulations to Vynnie for the upcoming production of her musical PLAGUED, A LOVE STORY which is being produced as part of this years NY Musical Theatre Festival .




For Those Who Like History
Essential Theatre has been around. If you’d like to know how we’ve got started and a bit about our history click here.





Essential Theatre Welcomes Your Support
Essential Theatre is very proud of its reputation for presenting


high quality productions of new works including a world premiere by a Georgia Playwright. We employ a diverse group of participants and cater to a diverse audience.


To help us further promote our mission and grow our company, Essential Theatre is actively seeking four to six new board members. Although not required, Essential Theatre hopes to find persons who fall into one or more of the following categories: An entrepreneur who has successfully started and run a small business. A person with management experience in a large corporation that may be interested in charitable giving and/or corporate sponsorship. A person who has contacts with community philanthropists with a history of or an interest in supporting the arts. A person with a strong experience in marketing, preferably in marketing for a non profit organization. A person with skills in Event Planning or Fundraising.

Board Members should have a passion for new plays, and are asked to attend a majority of quarterly board meetings, attend company productions, support the company with a financial contribution and help the company with fund raising activities. Essential is an equal opportunity organization. Everyone is welcome.
If you are interested in becoming one of the newest Board Members of Essential Theatre you should forward your resume to Artistic Director, Peter Hardy at pmhardy AT aol.com. If you know of any qualified person who may be interested in serving in this capacity, please forward this notice to them.


Peter Hardy