The summer theater series in Piedmont Park, a favorite Atlanta rite since 2004, will continue despite the demise of its founder, Georgia Shakespeare.
The Atlanta-based Loridans Foundation, the series’ lead funder in recent years, is announcing today
exclusively in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Horizon Theatre will remount its hit production of “Avenue Q” for five performances from June 3 to 7 at the Midtown park.
At least 900 seats will be available for free for each 7:30 p.m. performance. After the free tickets are distributed, a still-to-be-determined number of tickets will be available for purchase — $10 in advance online, $15 at the park. Limited VIP table seating also is being planned.
Working with the Piedmont Park Conservancy, the Loridans Foundation, which is providing the lead grant of $100,000, invited Horizon and five other theaters (Actors Express, Aurora, 7 Stages, Atlanta Shakespeare Company and Theatrical Outfit) to submit proposals.
Horizon was selected for “Avenue Q,” for which it scored seven Suzi Bass Awards (Atlanta’s Tonys) for its 2011 production of the musical-with-puppets co-created by “Frozen” songwriter Robert Lopez. The premiere staging and a 2012 encore both set box office records at long-time Little Five Points theater.
The Tony-winning musical’s lyrics and book convey a positive message about building a purpose-driven and community-connected life. Its bawdy script will be presented at Piedmont in its family-friendly school edition.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity to expand our reach as a theater company and grow new audiences for Horizon,” said Horizon co-founder Lisa Adler in an exclusive interview with the AJC.
With support from the Metropolitan Atlanta Arts Fund, Horizon created a detailed capitalization plan last year focused on expanding the troupe’s reach through performances in new venues and by creating projects with new partners.
“Our mission is to connect people, inspire hope and promote positive change through the stories of our times,” Adler said, “and we are looking for ways to do that on a larger scale.”
Toward that end, Horizon plans to transfer “Avenue Q” from the park to Oglethorpe University’s Conant Performing Arts Center, Georgia Shakespeare’s home until it went defunct late last year after a 29-year run. Horizon will stage the original adult version and school edition in rotating repertory there from June 12 to July 12.
Ticketing details for the Piedmont and Oglethorpe runs will be announced later.