Jonathan Horne and Shelli Delgado in The Crucible (2017). image by Casey Gardner Ford Photography.
Actor’s Express inspires people to question themselves, their communities and the world by creating live theatre in an inclusive space designed to challenge conventional thinking and reflect contemporary human experiences.
Through eclectic programming, a bold approach to production and a robust commitment to social accountability, AE encourages audiences and artists to share a journey of adventure, becoming brave change-makers in a world that is spinning into a new era.
Actor’s Express leans into its commitment to the future of our field by nurturing the next generation of artists through rigorous training, and by developing and producing new work.
We create brave and gutsy theatre that challenges and entertains at the same time.
GROWTH THROUGH ARTISTIC ADVENTURE
We produce theatre that encourages audiences, artists and everyone involved to explore new ideas, experiences and views of the world.
We believe every person matters and we create inclusive space to hold the perspectives, ideas, differences and commonalities of diverse people.
CREATION WITH EXCELLENCE
We hold ourselves to a high standard to create excellence with a consistency that audiences can trust.
Every day, we collaborate, make meaningful connections and build trust with the guiding principle that our work plays a vital role in the civic life of our community.
We foster a culture of innovation, risk-taking, and boundary-pushing to create something new and unique that adds value to our community.
We believe that with shared passion and collaboration, we can do almost anything.
Actor’s Express was founded in 1988 by Chris Coleman and Harold M. Leaver. Originally located in a church basement on Clairmont Road, the Express soon moved to a location in Inman Park where it remained until 1994. Since that time, AE has been in West Midtown’s King Plow Arts Center, a sprawling complex converted from a former plow factory.
Founder Chris Coleman led the theatre until 2000. He was succeeded by Wier Harmon, who served as Artistic Director until 2003. Upon Herman’s departure, Jasson Minadakis took the reins and served until 2006. Since July 2007, Freddie Ashley has been serving as the theater’s Artistic Director.
For 35 years, AE has been considered one of the most daring, provocative and high-caliber theatres in Atlanta. Our work continues to appear on local best-of lists and has garnered dozens of awards.
The original 1992 production of The Harvey Milk Show starring Founder and Artistic Director Chris Coleman.
Season 33 (2020-2021)
- Hometown Boy
- Virtual Downstage Monologue Series
- A Christmas Carol
Season 32 (2019-2020)
- Fun Home
- The Brothers Size
- Desire Under the Elms
Season 31 (2018-2019)
- A Doll’s House, Part 2
- An Octoroon
- Head Over Heels
Season 30 (2017-2018)
- The Christians
- Cardboard Piano
- Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches
- Angels in America, Part Two: Perestroika
- The Flower Room
- The Color Purple
Season 29 (2016-2017)
- The Crucible
- The Legend of Georgia McBride
- Father Comes Home from the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3)
- Little Shop of Horrors
Season 28 (2015-2016)
- Stupid Fucking Bird
- The Thrush & the Woodpecker
- Blackberry Winter
- Sweeney Todd
- Serial Black Face
- Significant Other
Season 27 (2014-2015)
- Les Liaisons Dangereuses
- Murder Ballad
- Bad Jews
- Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet
- The Whale
Season 26 (2013-2014)
- Venus in Fur
- Six Degrees of Separation
- Maple and Vine
- End of the Rainbow
- The Rocky Horror Show
Season 25 (2012-2013)
- Kiss of the Spider Woman
- Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson
Season 24 (2011-2012)
- Spring Awakening
- Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them
- Next Fall
- The Motherf**ker with the Hat
Season 23 (2010-2011)
- Becky Shaw
- Every Christmas Story Ever Told
- See What I Wanna See
- The Judas Kiss
Season 22 (2009-2010)
- Grey Gardens
- Fair Use
- Good Boys & True
- 100 Saints You Should Know
Season 21 (2008-2009)
- Finn in the Underworld
- The New Century
- Suddenly Last Summer
- Zanna, Don’t!
- Libby’s at the Express
Season 20 (2007-2008)
- Dark Play or Stories for Boys
- The Last Five Years
- Some Men
- When Something Wonderful Ends
- Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Season 19 (2006-2007)
- The Great American Trailer Park Musical
- Thom Pain ( Based on Nothing )
- I Am My Own Wife
- Based on a TotallyTrue Story
- The Pillowman
Season 18 (2005-2006)
- The Last Sunday in June
- Kimberly Akimbo
- Love Jerry
- The Long Christmas Ride Home
Season 17 (2004-2005)
- Hazard County
- The Love Song of J. Robert Oppenheimer
- Echoes of Another Man
- Killer Joe
Season 15 (2002-2003)
- Trouble in Mind
- Jane Eyre
- Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Season 16 (2003-2004)
- Burn This
- The Goat or Who is Sylvia
- Bel Canto
Season 14 (2001-2002)
- Beautiful Thing
- The Wooden Breeks
- The Doll Plays
- The Laramie Project
Season 13 (2000-2001)
- The Mystery of Irma Vep
- Fefu and Her Friends
- The America Play
- The Illusion
Season 12 (1999-2000)
- The Dying Gaul
- The Gimmick
- Rescue & Recovery
Season 11 (1998-1999)
- A Doll’s House
- As Bees in Honey Drown
- The Devils
- Once Upon a Mattress
Season 10 (1997-1998)
- Six From the Rainbow: A Gay and Lesbian Play Festival
- Auntie Mame
- Turn of the Screw
- The Birthday Party
- Wonderful Town
Season 9 (1996-1997)
- Love! Valour! Compassion!
- Sailing to Byzantium
- Raised in Captivity
- The Misanthrope
Season 8 (1995-1996)
- The Harvey Milk Show
- Italian American Reconciliation
- Three Sisters
- Twelfth Night
- A Bright Room Called Day
Season 7 (1994-1995)
- Women Playwrights Festival
- Philadelphia Story
- Cloud 9 (Remount)
- Woman Playwrights Festival
Season 6 (1993-1994)
- Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love
- Man and Superman
- Looking for a City
- Approaching Zanzibar
Season 5 (1992-1993)
- You, the Night and the Music (an Original Caberet)
- Fool for Love
- The Women
- The Harvey Milk Show (1992 Remount)
Season 4 (1991-1992)
- Danny and the Deep Blue Sea
- StandUp Tragedy
- Traps (Remount)
- The Caucasian Chalk Circle
- Glengarry Glen Ross
- The Harvey Milk Show
Season 3 (1990-1991)
- The Bacchae
- Summer & Smoke
- Hungry to Bed
- Drinking in America
- The Gift of the Magi
- Five Great Songs From First Grade
- Ponce de Leon: The Play
Season 2 (1989-1990)
- Cloud 9
- The Cherry Orchard
- The Dreamer Examines His Pillow
- Zero Positive
- Laughing Wild
- Life is a Dream
- Light Up the Sky
Season 1 (1988-1989)
- The Vision: A New Age Satire
- The Good Woman of Setzuan
It takes a stage.
And a village.
From our dedicated staff to our audaciously talented artists, everyone plays a key role in the making of our productions. Learn more about us below.
- Board of Directors
- Apprentice Co
- Advisory Board
Freddie Ashley was appointed Artistic Director of Actor’s Express in July 2007. He has directed AE productions of Stupid Fucking Bird, Rent (Suzi nomination), Bad Jews, Murder Ballad, The Rocky Horror Show…read more
NNPN Producer in Residence
Amanda Washington is an Atlanta-based freelance director, a National New Play Network Producer in Residency in conjunction with Actor’s Express, and Assistant Faculty at Theatrical…read more
Seamus M. Bourne
Seamus M. Bourne was a Production Manager and Technical Director at Berry College in Rome, Georgia. He has designed scenery at AE for Company, Wolves, Next Fall and Spring Awakening….read more
Actor’s Express: Sheila has been involved with Actor’s Express off and on since 1992 serving as Casting Assistant, Assistant Director, Props, Stage Manager, House Manager, Dramaturg and Fund Raising…read more
Actor’s Express: 2016-2017 Intern Company. Stage Manager: Blackpool and Parrish (Out of Box Theatre). Director: Shadow Cast of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Next Fall (Georgia College)…read more
Alex Scollon received his BFA from the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama with a concentration in Production and Technical Management, and in 2005 received his Master of Arts Management degree…read more
Natalie Holly-Purviance studied Sociology and Anthropology and received a Masters in Fine Arts from Pace University. A proud New York City native, she now calls Atlanta home where she lives ...read more
Ali White received her BA in Theatre from the University of Central Florida and is currently finishing her Arts Leadership and Cultural Management graduate program at the University of Connecticut…read more
Audience Services Manager
Ebony L. Jerry is a former 2017-2018 Actor’s Express Intern. She received her BFA in Performing Arts from Savannah College of Art and Design. Her credits include Suzi Award Winning for Best Ensemble The Wolves…read more
Marysa Sutton joined Actor’s Express in July of 2021. She has previously worked in the world of campaign finance and public service. Her theatre credits begin and end with Switzer Elementary…read more
The Actor’s Express Board of Directors is comprised of leaders from across Atlanta. The Board advises the staff, creates long range plans and represents the organization in the community. If you are interested in joining this elite group of supporters please contact Managing Director Alex Scollon.
* This director is serving in a personal capacity and is not fulfilling official CDC duties
- Patrice Brown, Warner Media
- Stephen Brown, Cookerly PR
- Jennifer Gelder, Budget Rent a Car
- Arlene Glaser, Chair, The Coca-Cola Company
- Deirdra Glover, Conserte Consulting
- Kevin Harry, Randstad
- Terry Hildebrand, Hildebrand & Associates
- Amy Hollibaugh, Nora Wealth
- Brent Huff, Community Volunteer
- Stacey Kalberman, DeKalb County Government
- Melissa Moore, Momentum Consulting LLC
- Ada Pittman-Delancey, RedefinED atlanta
- Jesse Peel, MD, Community Volunteer
- Jennie Saliers, Community Volunteer
- David Schoenberg, Law Office of David P. Schoenberg
- Chris Schneider, Vice Chair, Thompson Hine
- Carlos Toledo, Centers for Disease Control *
- Mary Anne Walser, Keller Williams
- Aaron Watson, Thompson Hine
- Angie Weiss, InterContinental Hotels Group
- Ashley Williams, Secretary, ImagineX Consulting
- Mark Williamson, Alston & Bird LLP
PROSPECTIVE APPRENTICE APPLICANTS:
The application period for the next Apprentice Company cohort will re-open in late Spring 2022.
The Apprentice Company at Actor’s Express is one of the most rigorous and successful programs of its kind in the Atlanta area. It is designed to bridge the gap between the educational and professional phases of early career artists. In residence for a full calendar year, apprentices work intensively in their respective areas of specialty and are also immersed in all layers of a professional theatre context.
The program has three primary goals:
- To expand the skills of the artist through rehearsal, understudy rehearsal, performance, understudy performance, class work and by participating in the workings of a professional theatre company
- To successfully bridge the transition from student training to professional theatre career
- To inspire the human being with the theatre’s potential for impact.
The workload is broad and demanding. Apprentices can expect an average time commitment of 20-35 hours per week in the theatre. In addition to practicum work, apprentices take ten classes taught by working professionals.
Actor’s Express is committed to fighting systemic racism and white supremacy. Further, AE is committed to reflecting, promoting and defending diversity in all its forms at every layer of the organization. These include the following: Programming, Artists, Apprentice Company, Staff/AE Workplace, Board of Directors, and Audiences.
To read the full Actor’s Express Anti-Racism & Anti-Bias Action Plan, click here.
In addition to the general program, apprentices specializing in Acting understudy professional actors in mainstage shows, perform in the Apprentice Company showcase, and continue studying the craft through workshops.
Corey J. Finley – Austin Peay State University
Abbey Kincheloe – Virginia Commonwealth University
Aliya Kraar – Florida State University
Greg Lloyd – The University of Georgia
Whitney Nelson – University of West Georgia
Jesse Smith – Brenau University
In addition to the general program, apprentices specializing in Directing shadow directors on mainstage shows, direct the Apprentice Company showcase, and continue studying the craft through workshops.
Tyshawn Gooden – University of West Georgia
Stage Management Apprentices
In addition to the general program, apprentices specializing in Stage Management shadow stage managers on mainstage shows, stage manage the Apprentice Company showcase, and continue studying the craft through workshops.
Maya Hodges – American University, with a dual focus in Performance
In addition to the general program, apprentices specializing in Scenic Design assist the Production Manager in building all mainstage show sets, build the Apprentice Company showcase set, and continue studying the craft through workshops.
How to Apply
We will begin accepting applications in early 2022 for the 2022-23 Apprentice Company. Please check this page for details.
For an overview of the Apprentice program and application guidelines, email Artistic Director Freddie Ashley at [email protected]
Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I pursue an apprenticeship?
An apprenticeship can be a good option for those students looking to bridge the sometimes difficult transition from student to professional. Apprentices learn about all layers of making theatre in a professional environment and develop skills over the course of the year. Additionally, apprentices make important professional connections with the artists who work with AE.
What makes the Actor’s Express apprenticeship different?
AE considers itself a teaching theatre, much in the same way some hospitals are teaching hospitals. As a result, apprentices are embedded in every layer of the theatre’s operations. The curriculum of the apprenticeship is clear and focused. It is extremely rigorous and sets a high standard for professionalism and work ethic. AE values its apprentices and they are treated in an extremely professional way. There are many apprenticeships available to early career artists, but few that approach the experience like AE.
Is this apprenticeship paid?
Every apprentice receives a stipend for each production with which they are involved. The apprenticeship is structured so that apprentices may hold down a full-time job during their apprenticeship residency.
Is housing provided?
No, at this time housing is not provided.
What have previous apprentices gone on to do with their careers?
Many Actor’s Express apprentices choose to stay in Atlanta to begin their professional careers. AE apprentices have gone on to perform on almost every professional stage in Atlanta and many key positions in organizations around the city are held by former AE apprentices. Many have also returned to AE as professionals to perform or work in other capacities. Some apprentices have chosen to begin careers in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. AE apprentices have also gone on to graduate programs at such schools as Yale School of Drama, DePaul University, NYU, Savannah College of Art and Design and the University of Southern Mississippi.
- Joe Alley, Arnall Golden Gregory, LLP
- Susan V. Booth, Alliance Theatre
- Rod Brown, The AbiBar Agency
- Dr. P. Carl, HowlRound
- Chris Coleman, Portland Center Stage
- Diane Durgin, Esq., Attorney, Ret.
- Jackie Goodman, Atlanta Communities Real Estate
- Theo Harness, Architect
- Fontaine Huey, Georgia Center for the Visually Impaired
- Randy New, Kitchens New Cleghorn LLC
- Sharon Ott, Savannah College of Art and Design
- Chuck Rice, Kilpatrick Townsend
- Kirk Rich, Rich Real Estate Services
- Sharon Robinson, Acision
- Jackie Sherman, Jacqueline Sherman Associates
Actor’s Express Theatre, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit entity and is a constituent of Theatre Communications Group (TCG) and a member of the Atlanta Coalition of the Performing Arts (ACPA), The Atlanta Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (AGLCC), the National New Play Network (NNPN) and the Atlanta Intown Theatre Partnership (AITP). Actor’s Express operates under the Small Professional Theatre guidelines set by Actors’ Equity Association.