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Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta: Theater

Atlanta may be steeped in Southern history, but its bustling arts scene refuses to be mired in the past. That’s especially true of its theater community, which enjoys a reputation as an incubator of national productions and a nurturer of top-flight talents like acclaimed Broadway director Kenny Leon.

The self-proclaimed capital of the Southeast boasts a wealth of theater companies staging thought-provoking works, ranging from thought-provoking dramas to crackling musicals and visually stunning reinterpretations of familiar classics. The Alliance Theatre is perhaps the most well-known outside of town, having taken home a Regional Tony Award in 2007, but at home it shares the spotlight with a deep bench of creative troupes. Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company, rooted in African-American classics, displays a commitment to diversity from its casting to its cultivation of new voices. Horizon Theatre, located in the funky and eclectic Little Five Points neighborhood, aims to stimulate audiences with award-winning contemporary playwrights and fresh new writers. Theatrical Outfit places a strong emphasis on voices, stories and themes particular the American South, while Actor’s Express strives to challenge audiences with bold, passionate performances.

Atlanta theater constantly nods to the past while looking to the future. Need proof? Just contrast the depth of its burgeoning improv comedy scene, featuring the likes of Whole World Theatre, Dad’s Garage, the Basement Theatre and the Village Theatre, and not one but two companies dedicated to the Bard of Avon. Georgia Shakespeare stages dazzling interpretations of works by Shakespeare and other enduring authors, while the Atlanta Shakespeare Company specializes in stagings that reflect the origins of the play, including live period music and era-appropriate costumes, in a pub-like atmosphere at the New American Shakespeare Tavern. (Kevin Moreau)

Atlanta Theater: Theater Around Atlanta

Below are our Atlanta Theater recommendations, with information on location, admission, transportation/parking, theater history and other points of interest in Atlanta Art.

7 Stages

In 1986, 7 Stages produced Bang Bang Uber Alles and received national attention when the Ku Klux Klan, in protest of the play’s anti-white supremacist themes, marched on the theatre in its first march within Atlanta city limits since the start of the Civil Rights Movement. This incident dramatically pointed up the fact that the mission of Del Hamilton and Faye Allen, who had co-founded the theatre as a haven …more…

Academy Theatre

Founded in 1956 and billed as the oldest professional theatre in Georgia, the Academy holds a special place in history as the first professional theatre in the Southeast to become racially integrated, and it premiered one of America’s first Shakespeare festivals in 1960. The Academy is known for its productions of classic and contemporary plays as well as for its strong educational programs, including a Theatre for Youth Artists-In-Schools Tour, …more…

Actor’s Express Theatre

Hailed by Southern Voice magazine as “…by far the gutsiest theatre in the city,” Actor’s Express earns that compliment by presenting plays and musicals that are thought-provoking or “edgy” in one way or another. Recent seasons have included Kate Fodor’s 100 Saints You Should Know, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s Good Boys and True, Tracy Letts’s Bug, Will Eno’s Thom Pain (Based on Nothing), and the cult-favorite musicals Grey Gardens and Hedwig and …more…

Alliance Theatre

One of the largest and most prominent theaters in the Southeast, the Alliance Theatre was the recipient of the 2007 Regional Theatre Tony Award for its commitment to excellence. A host of events, from free acting workshops to post-show expert panels and special family nights, make visiting the Alliance Theatre an experience that goes beyond just seeing a show. It’s a top-notch professional theater that creates a genuine community experience.

The …more…

ART Station

This non-profit contemporary arts center was created in 1987 on the site of the former Trolley Car Barn and Power Station in Stone Mountain Village. (The “ART” in the venue’s name comes from a 1913 photograph of a trolley car in front of the building with the words “Atlanta Rapid Transit” written on the side of the car.) At a cost of $2.5 million, the space was completely reconstructed to …more…

Atlanta Lyric Theatre (The Lyric)

Billed as Atlanta’s only local professional musical theatre company, Atlanta Lyric Theatre was founded in 1980 by Tedi and Robert Langdon and Sally Knap as the Southeastern Savoyards, a repertory theatre dedicated to presenting the works of Gilbert and Sullivan. The company’s first production was presented that year at Emory University; subsequent venues included the Marist School, the 14th Street Playhouse, Center Stage Theater, and the Robert Ferst Center for …more…

Center For Puppetry Arts

The Center is the largest non-profit organization in the U.S. dedicated to puppetry. Since its formation in 1978, it has educated and entertained children and adults through its performances, workshops, museum, and outreach programs.

Three different performance series offer a variety of shows: the Family Series and Summer Fest shows are entirely kid-friendly, while more mature audiences will appreciate the New Direction Series, including the popular Xperimental Puppetry Theater. Children of …more…

Dad’s Garage Theatre

Improv is king at Dad’s Garage Theatre, which was founded in 1995. In addition to scripted pieces with such titles as Song of the Living Dead, Large Animal Games, Griefers, Clash Titan Clash, and The Change: Another Teenage Werewolf Musical, the theatre presents improv shows 52 weeks per year – every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Among the audience favorites are the improvised soap opera Scandal!, …more…

Georgia Shakespeare

Founded in 1985, Georgia Shakespeare seeks to present thoughtful, bold, and passionate interpretations of a diverse body of work rooted in Shakespeare, but also branching out to embrace the best writers and ideas of all eras. The main GA Shakes season is three plays in repertory performed throughout the summer, but the company has expanded its season to include a special Family Classics series and a fall production.

Each season begins …more…

Horizon Theatre Company

Now in its 25th season, Horizon Theatre Company specializes in productions of contemporary plays. According to The Atlanta Journal Constitution, “In seeking out literature that enlightens us about the world beyond our borders, Horizon has done a vast community service.” The company, which has been led by co-artistic directors and founders Lisa and Jeff Adler since its inception in 1983, can take credit for having introduced Atlanta audiences to the …more…

Out of Hand Theater

Out of Hand Theater is a collection of writer/director/performers who create new work for new audiences. The core company consists of artists with varied skills — puppetry, music, dance, graphic arts, etc, — who seek to generate new ideas, styles, and methods of making theater.

The company enlists audiences in the creative process through free workshops, on-line communication, and collaborations with schools, theater companies, scientists, researchers, activists, and others across the …more…

Synchronicity Performance Group

Committed to supporting women artists, forging community partnerships, and developing new work, Synchronicity was founded in 1997. Each year, the group presents the Bold Voices series of three contemporary plays for adults and a Family Series of two or three musicals for all ages.

Synchronicity seeks to create, maintain and nurture strong relationships with actors, designers, and other artists from the Metro Atlanta area. The group’s performance history includes such plays …more…

The New American Shakespeare Tavern/Atlanta Shakespeare Company

Giving new (or is it old?) meaning to the phrase “dinner theatre,” the New American Shakespeare Tavern is America’s only “original practice” playhouse offering a British pub menu available before each performance. (Definition of “original practice”: “Whether the company presents an original piece, an American classic, or a timeless masterpiece by William Shakespeare, each production is a process that begins with the way the play was originally staged in its …more…

Theater of the Stars

Theater of the Stars Information

Public Transportation: Good (steps from MARTA buses 2 and 110 at Ponce De Leon Avenue NE/Peachtree Street NE; and a 4-minute walk from subway Gold and Red lines, and bus 26 at the North Avenue Station)
Handicapped Accessibility: Good
Performances/Programs: 6 shows per season with multiple performances of each
Ticket Prices: $40–$80 depending on seat selection. Group discounts are available
Subscriptions: 6-show subscriptions $130–$410. Price A – SPECIAL SECTION ($375–$410) …more…

Theatrical Outfit

Founded in 1976 by a group of actors, Theatrical Outfit is one of Atlanta’s oldest professional theatre companies. It first opened its doors in a converted laundromat in the Virginia Highland district. During its history, other venues have included a former Kress Store at the site of the current Federal Reserve Bank on Peachtree Street, the 14th Street Playhouse, and The Rialto Center for the Arts at Georgia State University.

In …more…

True Colors Theatre Company

True Colors launched its inaugural three-play season in October 2003 with a critically acclaimed production of August Wilson’s Fences. The company’s artistic director is Kenny Leon, who previously served in the same capacity for the Alliance Theatre and whose Broadway credits include the 2010 revival of Fences with Denzel Washington and Viola Davis.

In addition to presenting new interpretations of classics ranging from Medea to A Raisin in the Sun, True …more…