Actor's Express is a theatre that challenges and reflects contemporary human
experiences in an inclusive environment. We seek to jumpstart individual
transformations through the shared adventure of our live performances, which
range from daringly provocative to audaciously hilarious.
Actor's Express constantly develops new talent, pushes boundaries and encourages
people to question their place in the world. Our work creates emotional connections
between audience and artist, catalyzing discussion on the complex issues of the
contemporary human experience. We stay one step ahead of the conversation - our
audiences expect to be challenged when they attend our programming.
We firmly believe the relevance and vitality of the American theatre depends upon a
continual infusion of new work and the nurturing of new playwrights. Playwrights are the
chroniclers, critics and prophets of our times. They offer stories about the way we live,
love, and sacrifice, and provide new insights into our shared humanity. Actor's Express is
committed to championing the emerging voices of the American stage.
"...by far the gutsiest theatre in the city." Southern Voice
"...the city's most vital theatrical venue." Creative Loafing
Our primary goals are four-fold: to nurture the next generation of playwrights through
workshops, readings, and full productions of new plays; to develop and nurture Atlanta's
artistic community through rigorous theatre training; to catalyze the dialogue essential
to the vitality of our neighborhood and our city; and to enhance Atlanta's reputation
nationally as a thriving center for live performance.
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 (the present location of Dad's Garage), where it remained until
1994. Since that time, AE has been located 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 Harmon's departure, Jasson Minadakis
became Artistic Director and served until 2006. Since July 2007, Freddie Ashley has
been Artistic Director.
AE has long been considered one of the most daring, provocative and consistently
excellent theatres in Atlanta. AE's work perennially appears on local best-of lists and has
garnered dozens of awards. Most recently, Creative Loafing named Actor's Express the
Best Local Theatre Company of 2011.
For a complete production history, click here.