knife at 680p

The contemporary “How to Use a Knife” opens at Horizon, while our top picks — “Father Comes Home From the Wars” (Actor’s Express) and “Split in Three” (Aurora) — continue their runs. Pictured, from left: Brian Kurlander, Cynthia D. Barker and Brad Brinkley in “How to Use a Knife.” Photo by Britt Else.

** Indicates an Encore Atlanta spring/summer season recommendation.


fathercomeshome-e-flyer (2)** Father Comes Home From the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3). THROUGH JUNE 11. At Actor’s Express. Suzan-Lori Parks’ 2015 Pulitzer Prize finalist sets Homer’s Greek poem The Odyssey during the American Civil War. In exchange for a promise of freedom, a slave named Homer follows his master into battle for the Confederacy. Father, which won off-Broadway’s 2015 Obie Award for playwriting, is one of the most celebrated plays of the decade. Martin Damien Wilkins directs. Evan Cleaver plays Hero. $22 and up. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. King Plow Arts Center in West Midtown, 887 West Marietta St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.607.7469. Discount tickets at

Falashay Pearson in "Split in Three." Photo: Chris Bartelski
Falashay Pearson in “Split in Three.” Photo: Chris Bartelski

** Split in Three. THROUGH MAY 28. This new comic-drama from Atlanta playwright Daryl Lisa Fazio takes place in 1969 Mississippi as the Supreme Court forces the last segregated school system to integrate. Three siblings are caught in the national crossfire. Split in Three had its world premiere in spring 2015 at Florida Repertory Theatre. “The results,” the Fort Myers News-Press said, “are haunting, funny, heartbreaking and deeply satisfying.” The cast is led by Courtney Patterson, Falashay Pearson and Rhyn McLemore Saver. $20-$55. 8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. 128 E. Pike St. in Lawrenceville. Free, covered, attached parking in city deck at 153 E. Crogan St. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.226.6222. Discount tickets at

Opening this weekend

horizon-theatre-logoHow to Use a Knife. OPENS FRIDAY. At Horizon Theatre. Playwright Will Snider’s 2016 comedy takes place in the melting pot of a New York City restaurant, where varied personalities/nationalities clash and coexist. Co-artistic director Lisa Adler chose the play after seeing a 2015 reading. “An entire audience of  theater professionals jumped to their feet at the end of the reading, which never happens,” she says. “The writing is visceral, hilarious and up-to-the-minute in its urgency.” The cast: Cynthia D. Barker, Brad Brinkley, Tony Guerrero, Jeremiah Parker Hobbs, Brian Kurlander, Orlando Carbajal Rebollar and LaParee Young. About 1 hour, 45 minutes with no intermission. Uses language not intended for children. $25-$45 (subject to change). Through June 25. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 3 + 8:30 p.m. Saturday (no matinee May 20 or June 3); and 5 p.m. Sunday. 1083 Austin Ave. at Euclid Avenue in Little Five Points/Inman Park. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.584.7450.

Tuesday only

welsh-boy-01The Welsh Boy. MAY 23. A staged reading presented by Celtic-centered Arís Theatre. British playwright Julian Mitchell’s story of passion, love and revenge takes place in rural 18th-century England and is based on true events. The Arís cast: Hannah Church, Jimmica Collins, Chaz Duffy, Kevin Stillwell, Matthew Trautwein and Barbara Cole Uterhardt. $10. 7:30 p.m. At Relapse Theatre, 380 14th St. NW in Midtown. Details HERE. Tickets HERE. Tickets not available by phone.

Last chance

The Comedy of Errors. CLOSES SUNDAY. Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse tells the comic tale of the merchant twins Antipholus (Enoch King, Andrew Houchins) and the servant twins Dromio (Matt Felten, J.L. Reed), a slap-happy story of mayhem, merriment and, yes, errors. Also in the cast: Chris Hecke, Dani Herd, Steve Hudson, Amanda Lindsey, Gina Rickicki, Jennifer Lamourt, Matt Nitchie and India S. Tyree. $28-$39. 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 6:30 p.m. Sunday. 499 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.874.5299.

Billy Harrigan Tighe (left) as J.M. Barrie, and Ben Krieger as Peter. Photo: Jeremy Daniel
Billy Harrigan Tighe (left) as J.M. Barrie, and Ben Krieger as Peter. Photo: Jeremy Daniel

Finding Neverland. CLOSES SUNDAY. The 2015 stage musical provides the backstory for Peter Pan, focusing on Scottish novelist/playwright J.M. Barrie’s friendship with the family that inspired his tales of the Boy Who Won’t Grow Up. In this Broadway in Atlanta staging, Barrie is played by Billy Harrigan Tighe, who spent his formative years at Pebblebrook High, Cobb County’s performing arts magnet. The show had a 16-month Broadway run. $30-$125. 7:30 tonight; 8 p.m. Friday; 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 1 + 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 855.285.8499.



pete the cat drawingPete the Cat. EXTENDED THROUGH MAY 28. The Center for Puppetry Arts stages an all-new production based on the book series by Georgia artist James Dean, who adopted a scrawny black kitten in 1999. These are Pete’s imagined adventures. Told with marionette, rod and shadow puppets. Artistic director Jon Ludwig wrote the adaptation and directs. Puppeteer/composer Dolph Amick wrote original music. $20.50 non-members; $10.25 members. 10 + 11:30 a.m. today-Friday; noon + 2 p.m. Saturday; and 1 + 3 p.m. Sunday. 1404 Spring St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.873.3391.

Next week

foundstages-logo-tagline-webThe Atlanta PodPlays. MAY 27-28. Found Stages Theatre Company and Little Five Arts Alive present three short plays in a new way — as downloadable immersive audio plays designed for on-demand listening. The plays — Building Little Five by Annie Harrison Elliott, Sit Anywhere by Amina S. McIntyre and Ravenwood by Pamela Turner — require each audience member to have a smartphone and earbuds and to be mobile. The three stories reveal Little Five Points facts and little-known Atlanta history in the 1970s and ’80s during the neighborhood’s revitalization. 5-8 p.m. (multiple performances each night). Tickets are free but must be reserved HERE. Details on time and place will be emailed in an RSVP.

Christina Smith
Christina Smith

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. MAY 25 + 27. Principal guest conductor Donald Runnicles leads an all-French program featuring work by Debussy, Fauré and Jolivet. It begins with Debussy’s Nocturnes; features principal flute Christina Smith performing the ASO debut of Jolivet’s Flute Concerto; and ends with soloists Kim-Lillian Strebel (soprano) and Matthew Worth (baritone) joining the ASO and ASO Chorus on Fauré’s Requiem. $20-$89. 8 nightly. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

Mandi Lee (from left), Adam King, Stephen Ruffin,
Mandi Lee (from left), Adam King, Stephen Ruffin, Sarah Newby Halicks.

The Two Gentlemen of Verona. OPENS MAY 26. Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse presents the comedy about close friends Valentine (Stephen Ruffin) and Proteus (Adam King) who are after the same woman — the Duke of Milan’s beautiful daughter, Silvia (Sarah Newby Halicks). And there’s a dog! See how Crab — “the sourest-natured dog that lives” — provides an early example of a four-legged beast stealing the show. Food and drink available. $15-$36. Through June 11. 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 6:30 p.m. Sunday. 499 Peachtree St. NE (park in Emory University Midtown deck). Details, tickets HERE or at 404.874.5299.

Coming up

eclipsed-seasonlistsm** Eclipsed. JUNE 2-25. Regional premiere at Synchronicity Theatre. Five women trapped in the Second Liberian Civil War (2000-2003) struggle to negotiate power, protection and peace in a story with hope, resilience and humor by playwright Danai Gurira (Michonne on “The Walking Dead”). The drama was nominated for six Tony awards and made history as the first Broadway show with an all-black, all-female creative team and cast. The cast here: Asha Duniani, Charity Jordan, Shayla Love, Parris Sarter and Isake Akanke. Eclipsed has been called “miraculous and savagely funny” (Deadline), “rare and powerful” (The New York Times) and “a moving, must-see” (New York Magazine). Synchronicity is among the first regional companies in the country to get post-Broadway rights to do the play. $23-$45. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. At One Peachtree Pointe in Midtown, 1545 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.484.8636.

TO_-_Dancing_Handkerchief** The Dancing Handerkerchief. JUNE 1-18. At Theatrical Outfit. Described as part magic act, part musical and part puppet show, and featuring early songs by multi-award-winner Robert Lopez (Avenue Q, The Book of MormonFrozen). It’s the story of Mysterioso the Magician (Tom Key) and his curious child, Bastienne (Devon Hales), who learn to see each other in a truer, hope-filled light. Their world includes a beckoning handkerchief, an otherworldly suitcase, magical creatures and one rather large rabbit. A co-production with New York’s Flying Carpet Theatre Company. $20-$48 ($50 opening night). Performance times vary by date, schedule HERE. Balzer Theater at Herren’s, 84 Luckie St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.528.1500. Discount tickets at

Serenbe_-_Robin_Hood-300x300Robin Hood. JUNE 2-AUG. 13. Serenbe Playhouse takes to the skies (via zip lines) to tell the story of the renegade knight (Jordan Patrick) who trades a comfortable life to become an outlaw doing good deeds with his Merry Men, and chasing romance with Maid Marian (Casey Shuler). This family-friendly adaptation, by frequent Serenbe collaborator Rachel Teagle, includes original music by Grammy nominee John Burke. $10-$20. 11 a.m. Friday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. Performed at the Farmers Market Hideaway in Serenbe in Chattahoochee Hills. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.463.1110.

About Kathy Janich

Kathy Janich, Encore Atlanta’s editor, 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.

View all posts by Kathy Janich