BY HOWARD POUSNER / AJC
Topher Payne is well known in Atlanta as one of the metro area’s most prolific and produced playwrights, but apparently less so elsewhere.
The American Theatre Critics Association (ATCA) announced Friday that Payne has won its 2014 M. Elizabeth Osborn New Play Award for an emerging playwright.
Designed to recognize the work of an author who has not yet achieved national stature, the award (which carries a $1,000 prize) will be presented April 5 at the Humana Theater Festival at Actor’s Theatre of Louisville.
It recognizes Payne’s play, “Perfect Arrangement,” which premiered last June at the Source Festival in Washington.
Read AJC contributor Andrew Alexander’s interview with Payne on his honor on myajc.com (subscriber site).
And here is an AJC story on Payne that appeared in January, as his world premiere “The Only Light in Reno” was being mounted by Roswell’s Georgia Ensemble Theatre.
Music for the ears, food for friends
Three choral groups will give their regards to Broadway while supporting a good cause at 3 p.m. Sunday.
Featuring the Decatur Civic Chorus, the Avondale Children’s Choir and Highleit from DeKalb School of the Arts, the “Salute to Broadway” concert will benefit the Decatur-area Emergency Assistance Ministry, which provides emergency help for neighbors to prevent homelessness and hunger.
$10 (children’s admission: donation of non-perishable foods). Avondale Estates First Baptist Church, 47 Covington Highway, Avondale Estates. 770-388-9536, www.decaturcivicchorus.org. HOWARD POUSNER
A chorus of cheer for Bach’s birthday
The Georgia Boy Choir and Atlanta Baroque Orchestra will team up in a most authentic fashion to celebrate the 329th birthday of Johann Sebastian Bach with two “Bach Birthday Bash” concerts.
While Bach’s birthday is March 21, the concerts of Bach choral and orchestral works will be at 7:30 p.m.
Emory University’s Schwartz Center for Performing Arts has announced its 2014-15 Candler Concert Series lineup, which will include two world premieres.
In October, the Brentano String Quartet and Vijay Iyer will debut a quintet written by Iyer, “Time, Place, Action.” In March 2015, composer Daniel Roumain will premiere a composition commissioned by Emory as part of its Creation Stories Project.
The series (performances at 8 p.m. unless noted) includes:
Sept. 26, Garrick Ohlsson: Regarded as a leading exponent of the music of Frederic Chopin, Ohlsson commands an enormous repertoire, his interpretations marked by a distinctive Americanism aspect.
Oct. 10, Brentano String Quartet and Vijay Iyer: Pairing brings the Brentano encemble’s warm sound together with genre-busting composer-pianist Vijay Iyer, a 2013 MacArthur Foundation “genuis” grant winner, for a performance to include the premiere of an Iyer-composed quintet.
Nov. 15, Anne Sophie Mutter and the Mutter Virtuosi:
BY HOWARD POUSNER – THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION
Nadia Mara took ballet classes starting at age 3 in Montevideo, Uruguay, devoured videos of great U.S. dance companies and dreamed big ballerina dreams of performing professionally for one of them someday.
Mara’s fanciful dream took some unexpected turns along the way. But now, at 28 and eight seasons into a thriving career at Atlanta Ballet, she’s getting to dance the part originated by one of her early heroes, American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Julie Kent, in “Seven Sonatas.”
Choreographed by ABT’s Russian-born artist in residence Alexei Ratmansky, the dance is one of three in Atlanta Ballet’s diverse and challenging Modern Choreographic Voices program next weekend at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.
For the complete story, go to www.myajc.com (subscriber site)
Atlanta Ballet: Modern Choreographic Voices
8 p.m. March 21, 2 and 8 p.m. March 22, 2 p.m. March 23. Cobb Energy Performing
The Atlanta Film Festival has announced titles for its 38th edition, taking place March 28-April 6 at the Plaza Theatre and 7 Stages.
Over 10 days, the festival will present 54 Narrative and Documentary Features, 11 Short Program Presentations and 12 Special Presentations.
The festival includes 43 features/shorts shot in Georgia and/or featuring Atlanta natives; these films are part of the Georgia on Our Mind film track.
The fest’s main competition consists of eight Narrative Features, seven Pink Peach (LGBT) Features, and nine Documentary Features going for their category’s Grand Jury Prize.
Look for schedule information at atlantafilmfestival.com.
The 2014 Atlanta Film Festival will feature:
CENTERPIECE & SPOTLIGHT FILMS
directed by David Gordon Green
USA, 2014, English, 114 minutes
A gripping mix of friendship, violence and redemption erupts in the contemporary South in “Joe,” directed by David Gordon Green. “Joe” brings Academy Award® winner Nicolas Cage back
Protests in the form of blog posts on arts sites and a petition followed Kennesaw State University’s decision to remove artist Ruth Stanford’s installation “A Walk in the Valley” from the school’s Zuckerman Museum of Art before its grand opening last weekend.
Signed by more than 1,300, the petition demanded the reinstatement of the work — a meditation on the KSU-owned farm of Corra Harris, the late author (1869–1935) who wrote in support of a black man’s lynching. It also called for an apology from the school to the artist
On Wednesday, KSU issued the following statement, updating that it has asked Sanford to reinstall the commissioned work. The full text of the KSU statement:
On Tuesday, March 4, Kennesaw State University officials received a petition from people who are disappointed by and object to the withdrawal of the exhibit “A Walk in the Valley” from the opening of the Bernard A. Zuckerman Museum of Art. We deeply respect the views of the petitioners, and at
High launching Friday evening hours
The High Museum of Art is switching nights it will stay open late, from Thursday to Friday, starting this week.
To launch the extended hours, in which the museum will remain open until 9 Friday nights, the High will offer “Pay as You Wish” admission from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. this Friday and present live music and exhibit tours.
Starting March 14, the High will offer half-price admission from 4 to 9 p.m. Fridays.
In another move, the Woodruff Arts Center will will offer free parking in its garage to High patrons from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through May 28. www.high.org. HOWARD POUSNER
Cowboy Gathering at Booth Museum
If you’ve been meaning to round up your posse and head to Cartersville’s Booth Museum to see the exhibit “Today’s West: Contemporary Art from the Buffalo Bill Center of the West” (which complements the High Museum of Art’s “Go West: Art of the American Frontier,” also from the Buffalo Bill
Dinos to inhabit Atlantic Station
A 19-foot-long dinosaur will be set loose in Atlantic Station’s Central Park on Tuesday, but no need to call security. The Pachycephalosaurus is one of 17 life-size animatronic stars of the exhibit “Extreme Dinosaurs” that will open March 29 in in the Premier Exhibition Center, presented by the same company behind “Bodies … The Exhibition.” “Extreme Dinosaurs” also will include 14 real and replica fossils and nine interactive activities. 404-842-2600, tickets.prxi.com/atlanta. HOWARD POUSNER
‘Wall Street’ rallies to encore
Pinch ‘n’ Ouch Theatre is extending the run of its comedy “Wall Street Wedding” through March 22. The premiere by producing artistic director Grant McGowen, which finds laughs in marriage and friendships after the stock market crash of 2008, was to have closed March 1. It will feature a new cast and director (Hillary Heath). At Druid Hills Baptist Church, 1085 Ponce de Leon N.E., Atlanta. 1-800-838-3006,
By Howard Pousner / firstname.lastname@example.org
The Alliance Theatre’s just-announced 2014-15 season will feature seven world premieres, two of them musicals.
The world premiere of a musical adaptation of “Bull Durham,” based on the hit 1988 film, was announced earlier as the Alliance’s season kickoff, opening Sept. 3. The movie’s director-screenwriter, Ron Shelton, contributed the book, with music and lyrics by folk musician Susan Werner.
The other musical being readied for an Alliance Stage (main stage) world premiere is “Tuck Everlasting,” based on Natalie Babbitt’s best-selling novel.
Also coming to the main stage of Atlanta’s largest theater: a fresh mounting of Robert Harling’s play-turned-hit-movie “Steel Magnolias”; and “Tell Me My Dream,” a world premiere from Atlantan Pearl Cleage that spins a time-traveling family story.
The Alliance will open the season of its more intimate Hertz Stage on Sept. 26 with a bang: a world premiere adaptation of
The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra is mourning the passing of Douglas Sommer, 54. Sommer, who played bass, died Feb. 27 of cancer.
Here is a release from the ASO about the loss. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution should have more details shortly:
We are deeply saddened to say goodbye to a talented artist, inspiring teacher, and true friend. Following a courageous battle with cancer, bassist Douglas Sommer passed away this week.
Doug was a part of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO) family for 25 years —since 1989— and will be greatly missed. We will honor Doug’s memory during the concerts on March 13, 15, and 16 when Music Director Robert Spano and Principal Guest Conductor Donald Runnicles are both with the Orchestra.
With an inspiring commitment to education, Doug served as a longtime faculty member in the Atlanta Symphony’s Talent Development Program, and also was the program’s faculty lead for a year. In addition, he coached students in the Atlanta Symphony Youth