theatre

Deen Van Meer

Georgia has had its own share of musical superstars like Ray Charles, Ludacris and Childish Gambino. The Peach State is also a hot-bed for actors — aided and abetted by a booming TV and film industry. 

Those two artforms come toghether in musical theater. Georgia isn't traditionally known for seeding musicals, but fall is a fresh season for theatrical productions. Theatre critic and writer Kelundra Smith says we can expect some musical numbers this fall.


For more than three decades, Erma Bombeck drew laughs from her life as a suburban mom. Bombeck's syndicated newspaper column reached some 30 million readers. She was also a best-selling author and regular on Good Morning America.

Although it was less well known, Bombeck also campaigned across the country for the Equal Rights Amendment — just one of the things uncovered in a play about the famous columnist, called Erma Bombeck: At Wit's End.


Courtesy of Alexis Woodard

Spelman College students are giving an old classic new features with their presentation of "R+J" ahead of Valentine's Day weekend. "R+J"  is an adaptation of William Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet." Students at Spelman and Morehouse College will incorporate hip-hop and Atlanta culture into their remake.  

Alexis Kulani Woodard is a junior at Spelman College. She directed "R+J" and spoke with "On Second Thought" about the production. Booker Vance also joined the conversation. Vance is an actor and plays Mercutio in the play.


Courtesy Georgia Thespian Conference

Columbus takes center stage for the annual Georgia Thespian Conference this weekend. Thousands of high school theater students with gather there for performances workshops and fundraising.

State Thespian Officer and Gainesville High School senior John Bush joined "On Second Thought" on the line from Columbus with reflections on the conference, which will be his last before heading off to college in the fall.

  

KENNYLEON.COM

On Second Thought introduces a new series of conversations with influential Georgians with Tony Award-winning director Kenny Leon. Long before he made it to Broadway and the silver screen, Leon made a deep impression on Atlanta's arts and culture scene.


JOAN MARCUS / HAMILTON BROADWAY

Today we're talking about one of the biggest sensations in the history of American theatre: "Hamilton: An American Musical." Composer, lyrisict, and preformer Lin-Manuel Miranda was inspired to create "Hamilton" after reading Ron Chernow's 800-page biography of Alexander Hamilton. 

Matthew Murphy

On this edition of “Two Way Street,” we’re talking to Tony-award winning director, Kenny Leon, about his Broadway revival of the play, “Children of a Lesser God.”

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

It’s unclear how many protesters we’ll see at Donald Trump's inauguration. Some estimates say as many as 200,000 will attend the Women’s March on Saturday, and it’s just one of several planned protest events. Others are choosing not to attend the inauguration as a form of silent protest. More than 40 theatre companies, including three in Atlanta, are hosting readings of a play by Atlanta-native Lauren Gunderson.

At Emory University, the Law School conducts classes you expect — contracts, torts — but it also offers one you might not: Drama. The professor behind it — and before it — is Janet Metzger.  We talked with her and law student Prasad Hurra about the class as part of our series, “Lessons from Left Field."

George Konstantinidis

Savannah is known as one of America's most haunted cities. So it fits that the Savannah Voice Festival would commission an opera about ghosts. "Alice Ryley" is about the first woman hanged in Georgia. The ghost opera will return to the Savannah Voice Festival stage Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. at the Westin Savannah Harbor Ballroom.

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

For years, a theatre company in rural Fulton County has gone to extreme measures to change the look and feel of professional theatre. Serenbe Playhouse offers outdoor productions in settings that are as authentic as you can get to the storyline, and it recently expanded  to Atlanta. On Second Thought producer/reporter Sean Powers paid a visit to Serenbe to catch a recent production of “Charlotte's Web.”

Sean Powers / On Second Thought

This month marks the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death. Over the weekend, students at Emory  University in Atlanta paid tribute to the playwright with a 12-hour celebration of his work. GPB’s Sean Powers got a front row seat at some of the performances.