Curtains Open for Local ACT3 CELEBRATES THE PERFORMING ARTS ARTICLE PATTI FOLIO | PHOTOGRAPHY PAIGE CRAWFORD
ive talented women who shared a passion for performing arts joined together 13 years ago to produce top quality musical theater in the middle school their children attended (Dickerson Middle in Cobb County). This quickly grew to producing shows at the local high school (Walton in Cobb County). Five years ago, these “Drama Mamas,” as they were affectionately called, along with a Board of Directors, formed Act3 Productions, a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization. With the help of a legion of volunteers, they transformed a vacant warehouse into a state-ofthe-art black box theater. Today, Act3 produces two Broadway musicals and two plays per season. A “Second Stage Series,” sponsored by The Sandy Springs Society, presents two additional shows that share ticket revenue with a local charity of the director’s choice. The talent on and behind the stage represents Dunwoody and Sandy Springs with vigor. Liane LeMaster of Dunwoody is the director of improvisation and she runs the youth impro troup, teaches classes and directs shows. And, it’s a family affair as her two daughters and husband have performed on the Act3 stage. The group’s Board of Directors is also strong with Sandy Springs residents including Cheri Morris, Jan Collins, Anna Cay Robertson, Debbie Bauman, Michael Moebes, Susan Langlais and Patrick Hill. Hill has acted in many productions, and many of the board members have children on the stage and in classes. Through the Act3 Arts Academy, the company offers a range of acting classes, dramas, musicals, and workshops for students in grades K-12. A youth improv troupe provides instruction and perfor-
PerimeterNorthLifestyle.com | March 2015
mance opportunities for middle and high school students. The most recent addition to the Academy is the Encor3 Internship Company, which gives high school students the opportunity to learn and gain experience in all aspects of theater production, from the business and technical side to performing. Act3 also supports the development of new works. By Wheel And By Wing, an original musical first written during a youth workshop, was recently given a staged reading in New York City with a cast of well-known Broadway, television and film actors. Act3’s focus has always been on the overall quality of its productions. The company has been recognized with a total of 33 Metropolitan Atlanta Theater Awards in the past three years, including 14 in 2012, the most ever bestowed upon a single theater company. Act3 has also received four awards from the International Music and Entertainment Association Awards. Its youth productions have been recognized for “Best Ensemble” and “Acting” at the Junior Theater Festival. Act3 will close out its current season with the musical, Curtains, April 17 through May 9. The Second Stage show will be Jon And Jen (charity link to be determined), May 15-17. The summer will be filled with student workshops. Act3 plans to continue to produce high quality musicals and plays. The company hopes to increase its educational offerings by working with local schools and organizations to expand class offerings. Act3 will continue to give back to its community by seeking partnerships with other non-profit organizations. Pictured: Lauren Cleland and Alli Sheahan as the Hilton Sisters in Side Show. Photography Paige Crawford
GET INVOLVED: There are many ways to get involved with Act3. Over the past five years, actors aging from three to 78 from all over the Atlanta area have performed at Act3. The company is always seeking new talent! Volunteers with expertise in all areas of production, from costuming to set building, are always welcome. Like most community theaters, Act3’s greatest needs are financial. Ticket sales alone are not enough to sustain a theater operation today. Many fine local theaters have closed their doors over the past few years. Act3 is dependent upon donations from organizations and individuals in order to continue to operate and produce quality shows. Sponsorship opportunities for the season or individual shows are available. Any donation, no matter how small, will help us to continue to thrive.
March 2015 Issue of Perimeter North Lifestyle