Trader Austin's Zion! at Marietta Performing Arts Center, May, 2016. Photo by Bobby Harleston .



"The Essential Theatre is proud to announce the two co-winners of the 2020 Essential Theatre Playwriting Award:  


by Beverly Trader Austin


by Daniel Carter Brown

Get your tickets for July 24-August 23.

This competition is now in its twentieth year.  The first winner was Lauren Gunderson, who has gone on to become the most produced playwright in America." 

Peter Hardy

Bev is also currently working on commission in Nashville on a script about music city's "girl singers."  It's called Nashville Shadows, and the talent that producer Rick Gould has assembled is killer. 

Cakewalk, recipient of a major grant from the Yip Harburg Foundation, was Bev's new musical chosen for The Atlanta Musical Theatre Festival at Atlanta's Out Front Theatre.  Click below for a brief montage. Also, look for her annual sell-out production of The Bridesmaid of Barrington Hall in Roswell, Georgia in  2019. Check AJC feature on Left.

Click buttons for video, music,  and print links throughout this site.

Holly Stevenson plays multiple roles in The Bridesmaid of Barrington Hall.

India Tyree as Phoebe in Cakewalk.  Photo by Casey Gardner.

Ben Thorpe and Amber Hamilton in Cakewalk.

Set in 1920 Claxton, Georgia, Cakewalk is a satire, with a score rich in melodic joy. Meet the Clugston family, led by patriarch Commissioner John Clugston, successful fruitcake  manufacturer, whose heated race for mayor is complicated by the unfortunate behavior of his family and servants.
Clugston’s smart and insightful servant, Phoebe, pulls back the curtain on this mess of a family! There are scandalous surprises, philandering politicians, corrupt businessmen, calculating metrosexuals, and entitled young people. The women are addicted to liquor, boys, and the fashion of the moment. And everyone has a secret, each of which threatens to explode with devastating political consequences.
It’s uncanny how the Clugstons of 1920 Georgia bear a disturbing resemblance to 2020 America.

Trevor Goble, David Huenergardt, India Tyree, and Ben Thorpe in Cakewalk. Photo by Casey M. Gardner.