Today is Friday, March 5, 2021
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WATCH (OR ATTEND) TODAY (LOCAL)
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12 Angry Guests (Thespie)
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Dad's Garage TV and Kevin Gillese Partner to Produce New Feature-length Film Highlighting Actors with Special Needs
The comedic film will give perspective on the pursuit of independence by adults with special needs.
After a one-year pause due to the pandemic, Kevin Gillese is embarking on a heartwarming new comedy project. The former artistic director of Dad's Garage Theatre, Kevin worked tirelessly to bring diversity to the company's stage. On April 20, he will launch a new crowdfunding campaign for the biggest creative project in the company's history, which is also a push for diversity and inclusion in entertainment. Kevin is seeking funding for the feature-length film "How to Ruin the Holidays." This project is notable because it revolves around a character with a developmental disability (played by local actor Luke Davis who is also disabled), and the complicated realities that his family has to grapple with.
Gillese is seeking $100,000 in contributions for the project, which will feature Colin Mochrie, Amber Nash and Henry Zebrowski as actors. The goal is for the project to get funded, produced, and eventually picked up by a distributor for theatrical release. This specific film has been a long-term dream of Kevin's, and he is excited to bring it to fruition. He will be contracting with Dad's Garage TV to film this movie.
"This is a million-dollar movie we are doing for $150,000 and that's only possible due to all of our top-level creatives and producers working for free because they believe this work is important. We are seeking $100,000 in crowdfunding, and the other $50,000 has been raised privately. Most of our production budget is going to hard costs like equipment rentals, catering, and paying crew members" says Kevin.
Since stepping down from the artistic director role, Kevin has focused his attention on producing a comedic film featuring adult actors with special needs. Kevin's younger brother has a developmental disability, and for years Kevin has been concerned about representation of this group in media and entertainment. Through this project, Kevin hopes to show that there are many talented actors with special needs who can take on these types of roles.
"In movies and television, special needs characters are treated like children, even if they are full-grown adults. Through 'How to Ruin the Holidays' I want to give adults with special needs their own agency, and deal with the real-world issues that are part of their lives. And I want to do it in a comedic format," says Kevin.
Some of the topics that "How to Ruin the Holidays" will cover include questions of employment, sexuality, and how adults with special needs take care of themselves when their parents pass away. Despite the heavy subject matter, Kevin has created a script that uses comedy to address these issues. Rather than being portrayed as children, in "How to Ruin the Holidays," the character with special needs drinks, smokes, and curses right along with the rest of his family.
This film is a successor to the DGTV short "That Was Awesome," which was done in collaboration with the JCC Spotlight program, which trains adults with special needs in the skills of acting and performance. "That Was Awesome" featured a large cast of special needs actors and Dad's Garage improvisers, and the film has been featured at many film festivals. Luke Davis also starred in "That Was Awesome."
The Kickstarter campaign for this project will run from April 20-May 20. Donations of any size will be accepted through their online portal. Dad's Garage is acting as a fiscal sponsor for this project so all donations are charitable and fully tax deductible.
"That Was Awesome" trailer - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VO4LicUH2wk
"That Was Awesome" full short film - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwEqVgxFDro&t=1s
About Dad’s Garage Theatre Company:
Founded in 1995, Dad's Garage Theatre Company has grown from a small volunteer led organization to a thriving mid-size theatre led by professional artistic and administrative staff that includes over 300 volunteers and performers. We now entertain more than 33,000 people each year in Atlanta, at public events across the state, and at improv festivals across the continent. In addition to outrageous original productions, Dad’s Garage produces improv shows year-round, educates young improvisers in a high school outreach program, and facilitates classes and workshops for the general public.
Dad's Garage transforms people, communities, and perspectives through laughter.
Dad's Garage relies on financial support from several generous companies to keep producing scripted and improv comedy. Special thanks to Delta Air Lines, Warner Media, Mailchimp, Fulton County Arts Council, The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, Metropolitan Atlanta Arts Fund, and the City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs for their support.
Dad's Garage Theatre Company
569 Ezzard Street SE
Atlanta, GA 30312
404.523.3141 ext. 201
ONLINE EVENTS PORTAL ART BEATS ATLANTA HAS CHANGED NAME TO
ART CURRENTS ATLANTA (ART CURRENTS)
ATLANTA, GA – Online events portal, Art Beats Atlanta, has changed its name to Art Currents Atlanta (Art Currents). The website will still offer the same options for arts organizations and artists throughout the Atlanta-area to showcase virtual events, information, and classes, and member organizations wishing to submit events will follow the same policies and procedures as on the original website, but the branding, website URL, and email have changed. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter handles are @artcurrentsatl. The new website is now live. Please visit ArtCurrentsATL.com.
Art Currents provides a space to share online arts programming during the COVID-19 pandemic, with a long-term goal to build Art Currents into a permanent resource for the greater Atlanta-area. The goal is also to inspire people to learn more about the arts community, and how they can become more engaged.
“The idea for Art Currents is rooted in a couple of beliefs,” says Rachel May, Producing Artistic Director of Synchronicity Theatre, and one of the founding members. “First, people need entertainment, amusement and engagement for their emotional well-being. Since this is our business, the arts community has the innate ability to serve this need. Second, having one place where people can find high-quality digital content will keep people engaged in the arts, and bring them back to us when restrictions are lifted.”
ABOUT ART CURRENTS ATLANTA (ART CURRENTS)
Art Currents is a co-op of Metro Atlanta-area arts and culture organizations with a mission to increase engagement between the public and the vibrant professional arts community of the greater Atlanta area. Originally created at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic as a space to share innovative online arts programming, the long-term goal is to continue to build Art Currents into a platform promoting Metro Atlanta’s vibrant arts ecology for many years to come.
Status of Local Theatre Venues During the Pandemic
Need a "Leg Up" on turning depressing quarantine into joyous elation?
Check Out Danny Crowe's LIFT UP ARTISTS series on You Tube
Sing the Praises of our Peers!
This project aims to assemble artists from around the country to celebrate their collaborators! Which we often forget to do! With how high pressured and rejection filled the arts industry is, sometimes we all need a little bit of a boost!
EPISODE 2 (Women's History Month)
EPISODE 4 (Pride Month)
Atlanta Theatre Artists for Justice is a Facebook group for members of the Atlanta Theatre Community to organize support for the response to the murder of George Floyd and the BLM Movement. Use this group: - To share information about peaceful protests going on throughout the Metro-Atlanta area. - To meet up with others to attend protests as a unit and keep each other safe. - To provide assistance (providing waters, babysitting, petsitting, giving rides) if not able to attend the protests in person. - To do safety check-ins following the protests, especially if there is police intervention. I understand that there are countless issues in our community in regards to the lack of action from the institutions we work for. But please keep this group about how WE act and how WE respond. The moderators reserve the right to keep this a safe, peaceful group.
A Letter to the Community: Local theatres respond to the coronavirus pandemic
Below is an open letter from a group of Atlanta theatres, which was published by Atlanta InTown Paper. We'd like to share it with you.
To Our Local Theatre Fans, Friends, and Family:
Right now is an unprecedented time for our community, and the local theatre community will likely be hit especially hard. COVID-19 has caused a great deal of change, and we are all facing a tremendous amount of uncertainty. Currently, our leaders are making the hard but necessary choice to ban mass gatherings of people, and nobody is sure how long this may go on for. This directly affects theatres, as we will most likely be unable to host shows and sell tickets for an extended period of time. Theatres are facing a major loss in revenue because of this. In addition to the impact on our organizations, the performers, artisans, and administrative staff of local theatres are also likely to have personal financial struggles through the coming weeks.
We are coming to you now to ask for your continued support of local theatre, even as we
temporarily shutter our doors. There are three easy ways you can help support us through these uncertain times: make a donation, buy a gift certificate, and talk to your legislators.
Make a donation. All of the theatres listed in this letter are nonprofit organizations. That means that we re-invest any profits we make back into our mission, rather than paying shareholders. As nonprofit organizations, it also means we can accept tax-deductible donations! This is by far the best thing you can do right now to support your local theatres. A pledge for monthly support is also a wonderful way to provide sustained support as we work to recover in the coming months. Finally, if you bought a ticket to a show that gets cancelled, consider turning the cost of that ticket into a donation, rather than asking for a refund.
Buy a gift certificate. Many local theatres have the ability to issue gift certificates that patrons can use for future shows. Please check with the theatres you frequent, and inquire if they can sell a gift certificate. Treat your future self to a night of entertainment, and once life returns to normal we look forward to welcoming you into our theatres!
Talk to your legislators. In the coming weeks there will likely be bills put forth on the state and national levels for economic relief for those affected by COVID-19. Please reach out to your legislators and let them know that nonprofit arts organizations and artists should be included in these relief packages.
We can make it through this together, but local theatres need your support to help weather this storm. Even once COVID-19 passes, theatres will still be facing financial gaps and tight budgets, and will likely be asking for your donation to offset our losses. Please have patience with us. We are all dedicated to bringing you amazing theatrical experiences
We look forward to seeing you once again at our theatres. Until then, stay safe and healthy.
This too shall pass.
Atlanta Lyric Theatre
Center for Puppetry Arts
City Springs Theatre
Dad’s Garage Theatre
Georgia Ensemble Theatre
Horizon Theatre Company
Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre
Out Front Theatre Company
Stage Door Players
Theatre du Reve
AN OPEN LETTER FROM ROB BROOKSHER
Theatres and theatre artists across the country are facing a potential existential threat due to COVID-19. Most theatre artists live on a paycheck to paycheck, gig to gig basis and have to supplement their art with a second and oftentimes third part-time job.
Many of these artists might soon find themselves out of work, and as the infection rates continue, we will, guaranteed, have members of our community under quarantine, unable to leave their house and unable to earn an income. To many ATL artists, this will be a devastating financial blow.
I've started this campaign to do as much as I can for my friends and peers who will be affected. A lot of things are still falling into place, but the first steps of where your money goes are:
- Purchasing of food supplies for a frozen meal prep volunteering group that will create a meal train for those who are quarantined or financially in need due to being out of work, delivering nutritious food and supplies to the doorsteps of those artists who are in financial need.
- Purchasing of necessary essentials for artists in financial need (pain medications, fever reducers, electrolytes, etc)
**NONE OF THIS MONEY WILL GO TO ME, JUST DOING MY PART :) **
Please consider donating if you have the means, and please share! CLICK HERE TO DONATE
If you are interested in volunteering/organizing, please visit our Facebook group:
Atlanta Artist Emergency Relief Volunteers
Stay safe out there!