November 8, 2021
DramaTech is the longest continuously running theatre in the Southeastern USA, opening its doors in February, 1947 with the production of "The Drunkard," directed by Jack Pompan, that was so successful, the company was accredited by Georgia Tech and funded by the university system, allowing them to hire their first full-time director, Zenas Sears, who in April, 1947, first directed three one act plays, "The Valiant," "The Beggar and the King" and "The Medicine Show."
In 1992, DramaTech moved from its first permanent home on the Georgia Tech Campus, affectionately known as the "Old Church" (nee the Hemphill Church of God) into the Dean James E. Dull Black Box theatre located in the world class Ferst Center for the Arts. The Ferst Center is a state-of-the-art facility featuring in addition to DramaTech's fully decked-out black box theatre, an auditorium of 1,159 seats and features a proscenium stage, orchestra pit, and theatrical lighting and sound systems. Since 1947, according to records maintained by the the Friends of DramaTech (DramaTech's alumni association), the theatre has produced over 425 different productions, from Greek tragedies to Shakespeare to Beckett to Williams, Miller, and Albee to Sondheim, Laurent, Webber and Rice and many, many more.
It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the DramaTech Theatre since 2014, making performance archive and publicity photographs in various phases of production, from headshots to rehearsal to tech to performance. As of November, 2021, I have made photographs of over 50 different DramaTech productions.
From Dark House to Return to the Theatre
After surviving the pandemic lockdowns of 2020 and 2021 by producing produce two powerhouse shows, "Boom" by Peter Sinn Nachtreib and "45 Plays for 45 Presidents" by Andy Bayiete,s both of which were performed live for streaming audiences, as well as a variety show, the their shows live over streaming media, the company launched their 75th consecutive season of live theater with "Love and Information" by Caryl Churchill in November, 2021.
Sometimes you get one of those really special projects, and it was a joy and an honor to work with DramaTech's Artistic Director, Melissa Foulger, in preparing a photography exhibit, "DramaTech – 70 Years in Photographs" for Georgia Tech's School of Literature, Media, and Communication (LMC).
In addition to using images of my portfolio of work from DramaTech performances, Melissa and I worked with the Georgia Tech Archives to select, digitally image and reproduce prints of historical images from past productions of DramaTech's three most long standing artistic directors, Mary Nell Santacroce and Gregory Abbot as well as from Melissa Foulger, the current Artistic Director.
Now, as DramaTech enters its 75th year (watch this space...), it continues to be a thriving theatrical laboratory that enrichs the greater Atlanta community through its innovative and diverse live performances. It is exciting to work with such an enthusiastic group of thespians and stagecraft artists, who, like Atlanta's home town hero, Bobby Jones--history's most successful amateur golfer--always rise to the professional level under Melissa Foulgers teaching and direction.