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Midtown Arts For Free

There are several opportunities to enjoy free cultural arts events in Midtown and West Midtown this week

Love a teacher? Hate a teacher? Know a teacher? Then you’re going to want to see the Essential Theatre’s world premier of “Evelyn in Purgatory” this week.

And if you’re an educator, you can see it for free on Thursday, July 5 at West Midtown’s Actors Express, located at 887 W. Marietta St. Oh, and you can receive a complimentary glass of vino, too.

The play from Atlanta playwrite Topher Payne is premiering this week and teachers with a valid ID will be admitted free (plus the glass of wine) to Thursday’s preview show at 8 p.m. Essential isn't taking reservations, so interested teachers should come early.

Self-described as "The Breakfast Club for teachers," the play follows a small group of teachers stuck in the "Reassignment Center" in New York City. Each of them faces claims of unbecoming conduct and none of them is allowed to leave until that claim has been processed and resolved. The process takes months. Sometimes years.

The show itself - or at least its script - has a comic rational irrationality, all absurd gray-walled bureaucracy. The phrase "very intricate hierarchy of chair ownership" occurs early on. The show is also something of a dissection of educational regulation. Late into it, the spineless Toby launches into an aria of indignation against the regulators.

"Who's gonna fight to save these kids from idiots like you?" he says. "If you really cared about these kids' futures, you'd send me back to my classroom and let me do my job."

As the teacher-full audience might say at Thursday’s preview, "Bravo!" See here for more information and here for Payne's thoughts on the play

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Still looking to keep it on the cheap? will host a free, first-in-Atlanta screening of the critically acclaimed/award winning film “Beasts of the Southern Wild” on Saturday, July 7. This is a great opportunity to catch this free screening before other theatres charge money for tickets.

This film recently won the Camera d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, as well as the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. The film was named “among the best films to play at the festival in two decades” by Manohla Dargis of The New York Times.

It will take place in the museum’s Art Rich Theatre on Saturday at 8 p.m. Tickets are free but reservations are needed here or by calling (404) 733-5000. Film details are available here and don’t forget the other summer movies at the High set for this summer.

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In keeping with the no cost theme, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra will perform two free “Summer Concerts at Symphony Hall” made possible through the support of the Charles Loridans Foundation, Inc.

The performances will take place on Saturday, July 7 and Saturday, August 11 in Atlanta Symphony Hall at the Woodruff Arts Center. Both performances will be at 8 p.m.

On Saturday, guest conductor Ward Stare of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra will lead the Orchestra in a program featuring Stravinsky’s The Firebird Suite, Dvořák’s Slavonic Dances, Barber’s Adagio for Strings, the Overture to Wagner’s Die Meistersinger, and Ravel’s Le tombeau de Couperin.

The second concert, led by guest conductor Jacomo Bairos of the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, will include the Overture to Mozart’s The Magic Flute, selections from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet, and Rainbow Body by Atlanta School of Composers member Christopher Theofanidis. Also on the program are Copland’s Appalachian Spring and Bernstein’s “Three Dance Episodes” from On The Town.

Admission is free to the general public, but tickets for general admission seating are required. Complimentary tickets are available online at atlantasymphony.org, by calling (404) 733-5000, or at the Woodruff Arts Center Box Office.

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And maybe after saving all that cash, you’ll be inspired to donate some to “THE LOCAL.” It is a collaborative theatre project made of short pieces by different Atlanta artists and please see the accompanying video for more info.

All the pieces are set in different Atlanta locations, including Midtown and West Midtown, and there are also pieces based on real stories collected from local people. The stage is set for the many locations through the use of projected photographs.

THE LOCAL is being produced by Essential Theatre this month as part of a three-play festival performing in the King Plow Arts Center. Essential has got the bare bones covered, but this project wants to fly. There are playwrights, poets, choreographers, photographers, designers, songwriters, rappers, dancers, and more artists involved, all with wonderful creative ideas that need some financial fertilizing to fully flower.

A few thousand dollars will enable this project to be as beautiful as the creator’s are inspired to make it. Studio time for musicians, an urban street choreographer, and a specially constructed silk flame/feather dance veil are just three of the elements needed to fulfill the vision.

The show is lot about belonging, and the other face of that - not belonging. Finding where you belong and how you belong. Finding your place, how you shape the place you live, and how it shapes you. It's about where we live, physically and metaphorically.

See here for more information.

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