Archived Audience Reviews 

Georgia Shakespeare Company’s ‘Macbeth’ gorgeous, chilling and thrilling

By Wendell Brock

Georgia Shakespeare’s new “Macbeth” pays tribute to Orson Welles’ so-called “Voodoo Macbeth” yet evinces a horror all its own.

As directed by Raelle Myrick-Hodges in a partnership with the National Black Arts Festival, this tale of black magic and murder transports us to an island of lost souls where the music, dance and visual language suggest a dangerous brew of Christian and African mythologies. Washed in color and spectacle and set to a soundscape of jolting electronica by composer/sound designer Amatus-sami Karim, this “Macbeth” derives its power from a wild, trail-blazing theatricality that has little to do with skin color or politics.

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Nominees Announced for Atlanta's 2012 Suzi Awards

Nominations in 25 categories honor 17 professional companies, 38 productions and 181 artists.
Atlanta, GA, Sept. 10, 2012: The Suzi Bass Awards, Inc. announced nominations for the 2011-2012 Atlanta professional theatrical season on Sept. 10 to an enthusiastic crowd of patrons and theatre industry artists. The Suzi Nomination Party, which rotates venues, was hosted this year by the Aurora Theatre in Lawrenceville, GA. The spacious lobby allowed guests to enjoy drinks, hors d’ouevres and the chance to congratulate their colleagues. Guest announcers, Atlanta’s own funny men Bryan Brendle, Bart Hansard, Tony Larkin, Aurora Theatre artistic director Tony Rodriguez and Scott Warren shared the list of nominees while playfully riffing on the 2011/2012 Atlanta theatre season.

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Georgia Shakespeare received 10 nominations this year:

The Glass Menagerie
  • Mary Lynn Owen - Lead Actress, Play
  • Bethany Anne Lind - Featured Actress, Play
  • Mike Post - Lighting Design, Play
  • Kat Conley - Scenic Design, Play

Illyria: a Twelfth Night Musical

  • Courtney Patterson - Lead Actress, Musical
  • Anna Kimmell - Featured Actress, Musical
  • Patricia M. Wesp - Costume Design, Musical
  • J. David Blatt - Scenic Design, Musical

Much Ado About Nothing

  • Richard Garner - Director, Play

The Importance of Being Earnest

  • Christine Turbitt - Costume Design, Play

Local Arts Organizations Launch Return of "Atlanta Art Lives Here" Awareness Campaign

Georgia Shakespeare among this year's participants


More than 25 metro Atlanta arts organizations, including Georgia Shakespeare, have launched the return of "Atlanta Art Lives Here," a collaborative campaign raising awareness of the region's robust arts and culture offerings and their important role within the community.

The campaign unites arts organizations from a variety of disciplines in educating metro Atlantans about the breadth of opportunities to enjoy arts within the region. These organizations contributed more than $20,000 for the return of this campaign, increasing the number of media buys, amplifying its presence within the community, and more than doubling its reach for this second year.

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Ga. Shakespeare revamps format

Georgia Shakespeare is announcing a tightened 2013 season lineup Thursday, with two fewer shows and a move away from presenting them in repertory.


But don't take the four-play schedule as another SOS signal from the 27-year-old troupe that launched a "Save Georgia Shakespeare" campaign that surpassed its $500,000 goal earlier this year.
The moves, considered a one-year experiment, are further steps toward what company leaders consider a sustainable operating model.

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Review: Georgia Shakespeare finds bird of paradise in Andersen’s “Emperor and the Nightingale”

By Andrew Alexander

Georgia Shakespeare’s new children’s show, “The Emperor and the Nightingale,” on stage through August 3, is an adaptation of the classic Hans Christian Andersen tale. There’s nothing ironic, condescending or overly noisy in the production, which is a wonderful rarity in contemporary children’s entertainment. The show retains the earnestness and quiet poetry of the Andersen story, even as it adds a lot of humor and music.

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Theatre Review: 'Importance of Being Earnest' at GA Shakespeare

By Manning Harris

The day before the opening of “The Importance of Being Earnest” in 1895, a reporter asked playwright Oscar Wilde if he expected his play to succeed.  Wilde replied, “My dear fellow.  The play is a success.  The only question is whether the audience will be a success.”  The audience was.
Georgia Shakespeare is presenting a sparkling version of the play, running in repertory through August 3, at the Conant Performing Arts Center on the campus of Oglethorpe University, directed by Sabin Epstein.
If you’ve never seen this play (but have perhaps read it in high school or college), you owe it to yourself to zip out to Oglethorpe, for you’ll probably never see a better live production of Oscar Wilde’s most famous comedy.

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Review: Georgia Shakespeare's trivial pursuits perfectly capture Oscar Wilde's 'Earnest'

By Andrew Alexander

“We should treat all the trivial things seriously, and all  the serious things of life with sincere and studied triviality,” Oscar Wilde famously said about his “exquisitely trivial” play “The Importance of Being Earnest,” now on stage at Georgia Shakespeare through August 3. The new production captures the play’s paradoxes — the sense of naughtily playing in very serious rooms — with a light touch and shimmering charm, even as it delivers the show’s very serious and powerful blows.

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Georgia Shakespeare stages a romantic threesome

By Curt Holman


Joe Knezevich and Courtney Patterson had a little trouble kissing each other at first. The two Atlanta actors first played opposite each other in Georgia Shakespeare's 2003 production of Cymbeline. At one point, Knezevich's villainous Cloten forces a kiss on Patterson's hapless Imogen in a bit of action they worked out in the rehearsal room. In their third performance before an audience, something went wrong. "Joe came in too quickly and his teeth hit my upper lip," says Patterson. "I felt the bump but didn't know I was bloodied until I started to taste iron."

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Georgia Shakespeare's 'Much Ado About Nothing' is simply a delight

By Wendell Brock


Sometimes the one you love is the one you despise. Sometimes it's the person who's been there all along. Think of the fate of Jane Austen's Emma Woodhouse ("handsome, clever, and rich") or Shakespeare's Beatrice (headstrong, dismissive and entitled).

In "Much Ado About Nothing," Beatrice and Benedick spar like Kate and Petruchio. But it is a paradoxical certainty that their repulsion will propel them together in the end. Describing a clan of small-time nobles on the island of Sicily, this archetypal romantic comedy — the formula for Austen novels and Hollywood capers alike — is happily fizzing up Georgia Shakespeare's summer season like prosecco shaken with sparkling water.

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Theatre Review: 'Much Ado About Nothing' at GA Shakespeare

By Manning Harris


Set in the Elizabethan era in Sicily, Georgia Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing,” running in repertory through Aug. 4 at the Conant Center at Oglethorpe University, is one of Shakespeare’s oddest comedies.  The playwright realized, better than you or I, that life can turn on a dime, and that tragedy is the other side of comedy’s coin.  Although there is great fun and brilliant wit to enjoy in “Much Ado,” it is always just a hairsbreadth away from folly and tragedy.  All the main characters are walking a tightrope, and we are always aware that one false move can send the whole shebang careening into an abyss.  Call it nihilistic.

This conflict of energies, so to speak, creates a dramatic tension unusual for a comedy.  We need fine actors to pull off this trick, and the theatre gods have smiled, because we’ve got them. Director Richard Garner, blessed with a rich talent pool, has chosen wisely.  Benedick and Beatrice, the play’s most famous couple and most reluctant lovers, are played superbly by Joe Knezevich and Courtney Patterson.  When either of these actors is onstage (especially if they’re together), it’s a good time for the audience.

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Review: Even the cliches work in Georgia Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing"

By Andrew Alexander

There’s a great sense of vitality to Benedick and Beatrice’s sparring in Georgia Shakespeare‘s new production of “Much Ado About Nothing,” now on stage through August 4. Actors Joe Knezevich and Courtney Patterson seem to pop out of the play they’re in as they tear each other apart. “Thou and I are too wise to woo peaceably,” Benedick says, and in this production the remark rings true. Their exuberance with smart, cutting wit readily and believably changes to exuberance in love: all it takes is one tiny push, and the whole framework of passions shift.

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Much Ado About Nothing - An Atlanta Theater Fans Review

By Matt Tamanini

While neither Jennifer Aniston, nor Matthew McConaughey, is anywhere to be found, with Much Ado About Nothing, Georgia Shakespeare has a bona fide romantic comedy summer blockbuster on its hands. One of the rare Shakespearean plays written predominantly in prose, Much Ado About Nothing tells a story of loyalty to one’s heart and the person who has captured it.

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Theatre Review: 'Illyria' at Georgia Shakespeare

By Manning Harris


“If music be the food of love, play on, give me excess of it, that, surfeiting, the appetite may sicken and so die.”
So sayeth the lovesick Orsino (Joe Knezevich) in a play in which almost everyone is lovesick to some degree:  Georgia Shakespeare’s “Illyria: A Twelfth Night Musical,” based of course on the Bard’s “Twelfth Night,” which many consider his finest pure comedy.  It will run in repertory with two other shows through August 5, so please check the website for days and times.

“Illyria” is a joyful frolic, full of music and color, a delightful summer entertainment, adapted and directed by John R. Briggs, who also wrote the music (with Eric Frampton) and lyrics.

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 Shakespeare in a new spot

Company leaves lake for more lavish venue.

This year's 'Tempest' is tribute to effort that kept the show going.

by Howard Pousner


In making its performance return to Piedmont Park this week, Georgia Shakespeare sought to make a super-sized splash.
Not only has it been a year since its popular and free Shake at the Lake series was canceled due to lack of funding, it’s also been just a little more than four months since its Save Georgia Shakespeare campaign eclipsed its half-million-dollar goal.
So while staging five performances of “The Tempest” starting Wednesday, the longtime Atlanta troupe wanted to present a show of strength.

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   Georgia Shakespeare at Oglethorpe University
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