Rebounded Actor’s Express names new executive director

Facing financial crisis only last year, the King Plow Arts Center located theatre lives on now in its 25th season

Actor's Express announced Monday that Nan Barnett has accepted the position of executive director, effective immediately. Barnett is on duty and Interim Managing Producer Kate Warner will overlap with her for several weeks to insure a smooth transition.

“I have known Nan Barnett for about five years through our mutual involvement in the National New Play Network,” said Artistic Director Freddie Ashley in a release. “She is fiercely smart -- and one of the great advocates for new plays in the American theatre. I am very excited to roll up my sleeves with her and move Actor's Express into its next twenty-five years!”

In early 2011, the situation was described as 'dire' as financial struggles threatened to force close the theater located in King Plow Arts Center at 887 W. Marietta Street. 

But a  for financial donations was well received and the support came rolling in to help save Actor's Express. Kiss of the Spider Woman recently opened to begin the theatre's 25th Anniversary Season.

Barnett's prolific experience as a founding member and long-time managing director of Florida Stage, a company well-known for its support of new works, as well as her work with the National New Play Network make her a perfect fit for Actor’s Express according to the theatre.

Said Barnett in the release: "I'm thrilled to be joining the Actor's Express team for the 25th Anniversary Season. Freddie has designed a great lineup for the audience and I am very excited this wonderful year of smart, stunning theatre." 

The Board of Trustees and the search committee said that Barnett brings the executive level expertise required to move the organization forward and into its next quarter-century.

“Nan is not only a person of national prominence in the theatre world,” Board Chair Bruce Cohen said in a statement. “She is also fiscally astute and understands the importance of financial stability in this ever-shifting environment of the arts. Nan is brilliant, energetic and team-oriented. She will be a powerful advocate for our company and a wonderful addition not only to Actor’s Express but to Atlanta’s supportive artistic community as a whole.”

Said Ashley about the 25th Anniversary 2012-13 Season: “It is fitting that it is our biggest and most ambitious season ever! We've taken a look at the kinds of theatrical experiences you have come to expect from Actor's Express over the years and have translated that into an exciting season for the here and now.”

Here’s the 2012-13 season; to purchase subscriptions, click here.


Music by John Kander, Lyrics by Fred Ebb
Book by Terrence McNally
Based on the novel by Manuel Puig
Directed by Freddie Ashley

Valentin, a Marxist revolutionary, and Molina, a gay window dresser, develop an uneasy friendship rooted in surviving life in a Latin American prison. As the bond between the two men deepens, Molina escapes to a fantasy world of the movies he loved as a child and he conjures a beautiful and beguiling screen enchantress. The line between reality and fantasy begins to blur -- and the danger mounts -- in this mesmerizing classic from the songwriting team of Chicago and Cabaret and the four-time Tony Award winning author of Love! Valor! Compassion!

Winner of SEVEN Tony Awards, including BEST MUSICAL!

“Thrilling!” – New York Times

Through October 7, 2012

By Steve Yockey
Directed by Melissa Foulger

Ben is a timid young city-dweller who freaks out when his roommate Jack brings home a big bad wolf for a one-night stand. When he tries to rescue Jack, Ben sets into motion a dangerous chain of events that will alter the world as they know it. Throw in a peculiar narrator who knows more than she’s letting on and this savagely funny fairy tale for grown-ups twists and turns toward a breathtaking climax. From the deliciously wild imagination of Steve Yockey, Atlanta native and author of the Actor’s Express hit Octopus.

“(Yockey is) a fiercely imaginative and finely tuned new voice.” – San Francisco Chronicle

November 7 - December 2, 2012

Music and lyrics by Michael Friedman
Book by Alex Timbers

Andrew F**king Jackson screeches into town to turn it up and turn you on… This hilarious, sexy explosion of rock and roll re-imagines our nation’s seventh president as a rock god badass maverick who fights for the common man, wrestles the country away from Native Americans – and looks HOT in a pair of skinny jeans. Uproarious and provocative, it’s a theatrical thrill ride that will rock your world!

“A goofy delight and a perversely affecting comment on the American temperament at the same time.” – New York Times

January 9 - February 17, 2013

By Peter Shaffer

Troubled young Alan Strang has blinded six horses and no one knows why. When ambitious psychiatrist Richard Dysart begins treating the boy, he launches into a dangerous odyssey through Alan’s complex psyche -- igniting his own journey of self discovery. This searing Tony-winning classic ran on Broadway for over 1200 performances and stands as one of the greatest plays of our time.

“A consummately effective piece of theater…a rattling good show.” – Wall Street Journal

March 20 - April 21, 2013

SEMINAR by Theresa Rebeck

Runaway Broadway hit from the author of Actor’s Express hit Mauritius and creator of TV’s “Smash!”

Four aspiring writers get the education of a lifetime when they sign up for a writing class under a brilliant, egomaniacal, world-famous author. The elite opportunity deteriorates into sardonic criticism as innocence and experience collide. No one is quite who they seem to be in this sharply funny piece, one of the biggest hits of the 2012 Broadway season.

May 15 - June 16, 2013


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