Meet the artists of the inaugural Atlanta Artists Lab.

This new program at the Alliance Theatre intends to do for metro artists what its renowned Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition does for playwrights on the cusp of professional careers across the country. It will provide financial support, a home base and space in which to develop new work. It is expected to be an annual event.


The Lab is designed to encompass artists of multiple theater disciplines, allow the Alliance to invest in local artists, and fuel season planning for the Alliance and other area theaters with homegrown work. The goal: find as many producing homes for Atlanta artists as possible.

In announcing the program last fall, the Alliance said it would fund three projects. It received 68 applications representing 203 artists. Each project receives $10,000 plus developmental support from the theater. Each will culminate with a showcase performance. The 2014 winners:


GABRIELLE FULTON. Fulton will examine notions of freedom in her play Uprising, which looks at liberty, self-determination and sacrifice in a free black community during secession-era America. The project is tied to the sesquicentennial of the Emancipation Proclamation.

BRIAN KURLANDER, LANE CARLOCK. They’ll collaborate with directing-dramaturgical consultant Elisa Carlson to develop Moxie, which chronicles a Marine’s handmade book for his son and the lives it impacts.


ELLEN McQUEEN. Teaming with consultants James Knowles and Oliver Turner, McQueen will further develop The Projects Project, a theater piece built from true stories of people who grew up in the war zone of Atlanta housing projects. The story will be told through spoken word, visual images, music and dance.

In addition, playwright-actor Suehyla El-Attar and actor John Stewart  were named Atlanta Artist Lab Fellows. They’ll collaborate with the Alliance’s artistic and education staffs to develop their own artistry and discover new ways of engaging the community.


The winners were chosen by a panel of judges, which, this year comprised Alliance artistic director Susan V. Booth; playwright Pearl Cleage; producing artistic director Richard Garner of Georgia Shakespeare; Camille Love, director of the city of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs; and costume designer Marianne Verheyen, who has designed at the Alliance and is on the faculty at Boston University.

The inaugural year of the Atlanta Artists Lab is funded by the David, Helen and Marian Woodward Fund; the Charles Loridans Foundation; and the Mark and Evelyn Trammell Foundation.

About Kathy Janich

Kathy Janich is a longtime arts journalist who has been seeing, working in or writing about the performing arts for most of her life. She's a member of the Theatre Communications Group, the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas, Americans for the Arts and the National Arts Marketing Project. Full disclosure: She’s also an artistic associate at Synchronicity Theatre.

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