Theater notes: Onstage Atlanta asks for help, “Parade” creator at Alliance, more






Onstage Atlanta asks donors to step in 

As ArtsATL editor-at-large Jim Farmer writes in this week’s feature, many Atlanta theaters are financially struggling to keep afloat in the pandemic era. In addition to the recent open letter signed by multiple arts organizations, Onstage Atlanta’s board of directors sent a note to current and potential financial donors asking for additional support.

The theater received grants during Covid to keep their doors open. However, their note reports that the theater has not had audiences return in pre-pandemic numbers, and their Young Performers program has not been active for three seasons due to the pandemic.

For those who would like to support Onstage Atlanta, email [email protected] for details.

Onstage Atlanta has two spring shows scheduled: Rasheeda Speaking, April 7-22, and It’s Only a Play, April 28-May 14. 


Alliance and Neranenah to host Jason Robert Brown 

Jason Robert Brown, creator of the Tony Award-winning music and lyrics for the Broadway musical Parade, will join Neranenah and the Alliance Theatre on April 11 for an evening of conversation and performance. The discussion will center on the cultural relevance of Parade, which was protested on opening night by a group of Neo-Nazis. Brown will be interviewed by Neranenah executive director Joe Alterman, as well as Alliance Theatre’s associate producer, Amanda Watkins. 

“Unfortunately, lately, we have seen far too many instances of anti-Semitism, both locally and nationally,” said Alterman. “I am so proud Neranenah is in partnership with the Alliance Theatre to present . . . an intimate event that will merge conversation and live musical performance as we unpack the stories of Parade, which is a dramatization of the 1913 trial and imprisonment — and 1915 lynching — of Jewish American Leo Frank here in Atlanta.”

“The Alliance is thrilled to support Neranenah to bring Jason to Atlanta for this meaningful conversation and to discuss in depth his Jewish heritage, songwriting process and remarkable journey,” said Alliance Theatre Producer and Casting Director Jody Feldman.

Tickets start at $20 and depend on seating. The event begins at 7:30 p.m.


James Donadio steps down from Georgia Ensemble

As of April 2023, James Donadio is stepping down from his position as the artistic director of Georgia Ensemble Theatre after nearly five years “to return to ongoing projects and invest in new ones,” he said in a press release. 

After co-founder and artistic director Bob Farley passed away at the end of 2017, Donadio saw Georgia Ensemble through that transition and, later, the pandemic. Accolades include his direction in the world premiere of The Pretty Pants Bandit, a musical by local artists Chase Peacock and Jessica De Maria. The musical has since made steps toward a Broadway presentation. 

According to the theater, a replacement for Donadio has not yet been named. The board will conduct a search for the next artistic director, but a timeline has not been finalized. 


Britney Spears-based musical debuts at Emory

Megan Tabaque

Britney Approximately: A Pop Greek Tragedy, will be onstage at Theater Emory April 6-16.

The new play features “original pop music about motherhood, isolation and power [and] mixes Euripides’ Medea with a loose retelling of the Britney Spears conservatorship court battle,” according to a press release. It is written and directed by Megan Tabaque. “Our lives are in flux. Our culture is in flux. So, in that way, Britney’s story very much continues to mirror our own,” Tabaque said in the release. 

The final performance of Britney Approximately on April 16 will be followed by a post-show panel discussion with Cassie Young of The Bert Show; Dr. Katrina Dickson, senior lecturer of classics; and Sanjena Sathian, current creative writing fellow. Tickets start at $15 each. 

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