Wednesday, April 13, 2016


Music & Courage At Theatrical Outfit

By Doc Lawrence

ATLANTA-The Light in the Piazza concludes with well-deserved pomp and circumstance Theatrical Outfit’s amazing and appropriately titled Season of Courage.

Two decades ago, Tom Key became Theatrical Outfit’s  Executive Artistic Director, and brought to the downtown Atlanta stage works of many of the best writers of the American South: Truman Capote, Horton Foote, Harper Lee, Flannery O’Connor, Walker Percy, Hank Williams, Tennessee Williams, as well as the new dramatists Carlyle Brown, S.M. Shephard-Massat, Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder.All this as part of Theatrical Outfit’s dedication to the live stage as a catalyst to creating community.

The just announced 2016-2017 is themed A Season of Hope. “Hope,” says Key,  “is tough to achieve and even tougher to sustain. We all want it. We all need it. It’s impossible to have it or to keep it on our own.” An esteemed actor, playwright and director, Key sees hope as part of a better future, a vehicle to create a global community. “Hope for our world begins with the human longing for connection. When we gather in a theater to hear the story of our neighbor, of the stranger, of our lover, of our friend or of our enemy, and, in the end, understand better who we really are, then hope begins within us.” 

Directed by the renowned Richard Garner, the mainstay of Georgia Shakespeare, The Light in the Piazza incorporates themes of sacrifice, destiny and the effervescence of first love that, according to critics, ripple through this lush period musical, winner of six Tony Awards. The New York Times lauded the production as “worth the trip for hopeful theatergoers still looking for love in a Broadway musical."

I’ll be there Sunday to absorb all the magic and majesty. The word is out that the upcoming Season of Hope includes the piano styling and songs of jazz great and North Carolina native Nina Simone.

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