The cover of The Atlanta Issue of The Dramatist
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Essential Theatre
Erin K. Considine
Erin K. Considine

Ten years ago, I lost the ability to walk. Along with it I lost my acting career and my ability to express myself. It was a terrifying, exhausting, and isolating experience. At my lowest point, Peter Hardy held out a hand. He invited me to be a part of the Bare Essentials reading series. Peter and the Essential Theatre not only gave me a space to learn how to craft a script; they patiently taught me how to transition from actor to playwright.

My history with the Essential sprouted in 2016 with a staged reading of my very first full-length script: a two-act monstrosity complete with slam poetry, urban parkour, and rats (yes, rats). Five years and many, many pages later I returned to the Essential Festival for a full production of Raising the Dead. By 2021 I was a two-time Eugene O’Neill Finalist who could fully complete a producible work: two actors, ninety minutes, no rodents. All of my current success traces back to that first moment with Peter, that first reading, where I was allowed to explore, fail, learn, and grow.

I am not the only artist given this enormous gift of grace. Peter Hardy and his staff of miracle workers are dedicated to nurturing Atlanta talent: they have proven this commitment over more than twenty years, 30 playwrights, and 40 plays. The Essential Theatre Festival is an unparalleled opportunity for Georgia theatremakers to take a play from first draft to full production. Every person associated with their process has a heart for the Atlanta arts community; they want to nurture new voices and watch them blossom. For myself and many others, the Essential Theatre Festival has been exactly what it claimed to be: essential.

Erin K. Considine
Erin K. Considine

is an emerging playwright from the Atlanta area where she resides with her husband and an overweight pug. Erin was named a finalist for the 2019 and 2021 Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, a semi-finalist for the 2020 BAPF, 2020 PlayPenn Conferences, and 2022 Blue Ink Playwriting Award, and she was the winner of the 2020 Tennessee Williams Festival One-Act Play Competition. Fall of 2020, Erin was the first Carey Perloff Fellow, and she is a proud member of Working Title Playwrights, the Playwrights Center, and the Dramatists Guild.