Arts

Atlanta Playwright Topher Payne Comes Home For The Holidays

Stage Door Players' world premier of Topher Payne's "Let Nothing You Dismay" features eight actors playing over 20 characters.
Stage Door Players' world premier of Topher Payne's "Let Nothing You Dismay" features eight actors playing over 20 characters.
Credit Bradley Bergeron

For folks in the theater community, getting a play to New York used to mean a ticket out of Atlanta. But one of the city’s success stories has proudly declared that he’s not going anywhere.

Playwright Topher Payne had his off-Broadway debut this year in October with “Perfect Arrangement,” and is back home for the world premier of his latest show.

“Let Nothing You Dismay” is Payne’s first Christmas play and opens at Dunwoody’s Stage Door Players this week. Myke Johns sat down with Payne and with the show’s director Shannon Eubanks to talk about coming home for the holidays.

The story centers around a young couple who are expecting their first child through an open adoption. Family and friends from all over the country – 23 characters in all – flood the hospital, turning the waiting room into a comedy of errors.

The theme of non-traditional family comes directly from Shannon and Topher’s own lives.

“Shannon’s grandson has seven grandparents,” Payne explains. “And my nephews both came into my family through open adoption. And there was something really delightful about the experience of all of the people you welcome into the fold and then this collected bunch that then becomes family. And we wanted to tell a holiday story that celebrates that.”

“Let Nothing You Dismay” is onstage at Stage Door Players Dec. 4-20.