Arts

Essential Theatre Festival Awards Two Georgia Playwrights A Place On Stage

"Slaying Holofernes" by Emily McClain will open on July 26 at the West End Performing Arts Center.
"Slaying Holofernes" by Emily McClain will open on July 26 at the West End Performing Arts Center.
Credit Essential Theatre

For the last 21 years, the Essential Theatre Play Festival has helped Georgia playwrights premiere their new works. This year, the festival awarded two winners with the Essential Theatre 2019 Playwright award — Emily McClain and Ben Thorpe.

“City Lights” host Lois Reitzes spoke with them earlier this week about their works, “Slaying Holofernes” and “Baby Shower for the Antichrist.”

McClain’s play juxtaposes a young female painter from the Renaissance Era and a 21st century young career woman who both encounter sexism in their careers. “Slaying Holofernes” goes back and forth between past and present worlds of two women’s quests to find equality in their work place.

“The play is both culturally relevant and just an interesting experiment to see how much has changed and how things haven’t changed quite as much as we would like,” said McClain about the purpose of her play.

Thorpe’s play, “Baby Shower for the Antichrist” is a horror comedy about an isolated cult prepping for the birth of what they believe to be is the “Antichrist.” In the midst of their celebration, an unexpected guest visits and ruins the structures of the cults dynamic … plus there’s also a talking goat.

“This goat’s voice is not gendered, which I thought was important because it’s a force.It guides one of the characters throughout the events of the play and becomes very vital to the end,” Thorpe said.

“Slaying Holofernes” will open on tomorrow evening at  8 p.m. and “Baby Shower for the Antichrist” will open on Aug. 2 at the West End Performing Arts Center.