Essential Theatre is back live this fall, bringing their 2021 Playwriting Award winning plays, Calming the Man by Anthony Lamarr White and Raising the Dead by Erin Considine, to the stage along with a two night only encore performance of Shelby Hofer’s High Risk, Baby!

The 2020 Essential Play Festival was cancelled due to COVID – making 2020 the first year since the Festival began in 1999 that there hasn’t been a festival – and the company moved to online play readings and launched community playwriting classes to fill the programming gap.

“Moving readings online allowed us to continue to support Georgia’s community of playwrights and stay connected with our audience while we were unable to gather in person,” said Founding Artistic Director Peter Hardy, “and the playwriting classes we developed over the past year have been as much of an inspiration to us at Essential as they seem to have been to the class participants.”

Fast forward to fall of 2021: the 2021 playwriting award winners have been named, and dates have been set for a shortened festival in November to premiere their plays.

The 2021 Essential Play Festival will take place Nov. 5-21 at the West End Performing Arts Center (945 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd.) in West End.

COVID restrictions including mask and vaccine requirements, reduced seating capacity, and enhanced air purification and cleaning practices will be in place to ensure artists and patrons alike have a safe and enjoyable time at the theatre.

Tickets are available at

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Collin KelleyEditor

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.