♦ List of Shows from Past Seasons
Founded in 1971, OnStage Atlanta is one of the longest continuously producing theaters in Atlanta next to The Alliance and and the Academy Theater.
In its early days OSA operated as Dekalb Little Theater, beginning at Callanwolde and in the Decatur courthouse. The Committee that launched the theater included Candy Cresswell, Jim Knoll, Geoff and Pat Webber, Ardelle Blackburn, Bob & Kay Matteson, and Louis & Gail Pucci. This was followed by a period in the Undercroft of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in downtown Atlanta.
In 1981, the theater was renamed OnStage Atlanta, and it moved into its first “permanent” home at 420 Courtland Street which had been converted from a foreign car repair garage, with St. Luke's as its landlord. The Courtland Street facility was lost in 1997 to make room for St. Luke’s soup kitchen (made homeless by the homeless!). Under the guidance of then Artistic Director, Marc Gowan, (now Ticket Service Manager for ACPA’s Atlantix), OSA continued operations by renting other theater spaces including Dad's Garage and 14th Street Playhouse.
In 2000, the theater hired Scott F. Rousseau as its new Artistic/Managing Director. In 2001, with the help of the Board of Directors, he secured & converted the present premises in Suburban Plaza, Decatur to the fine theater facility that is in use today. The facility has a main stage theater accommodating 135 patrons in one of the best seating arrangements of any Atlanta theater facility, with tiers of comfortably padded tip-up theater seats and unbelievable leg room. In addition, there is a 70 seat second space for more intimate productions and a large lobby area with a Cafe stage, designed for Cabaret type performances.
Initially, the theater operation was considered purely community theater, run by unpaid but enthusiastic staff & unpaid actors. As time went by and the theater matured, it gradually morphed into today's semi-professional non-Equity theater where the actors, musicians, directors and technical designers receive stipends, backed up by a group of theater volunteers.
In 2007, under the leadership of its current Chairman of the Board, Barry N. West, the theater convened a Feasibility Committee to discover if and how the theatre company should come out of its large debt. The committee decided to develop a new Artistic Company of actors, directors, designers, and staff, led by Artistic Company Manager, Barbara Cole Uterhardt. This artistic company seeks to continue the legacy that OnStage Atlanta has created and help it reach new heights of artistic quality and creativity.
The newspapers and online blogs were the bringers of surprising news when, in 2011, the company found out that a WalMart would be coming into Suburban Plaza. Not knowing whether this would translate into a termination of their contract, OSA continued producing. In 2012, the powers that be decided OSA had to go. It took many long hours to find the perfect location. Once the new lease was signed for an office and warehouse space near the Dekalb Farmer's Market, it was only due to all of the glorious volunteers that the theater was able to move it's 25,000 square feet into an 18,000 square foot space just 2 miles away! The new facility will boast a main stage theater accommodating 180 patrons, including our comfortably padded tip-up theater seats and unbelievable leg room. In addition, there will be a black box space seating 80-120, depending on the configuration.
Throughout its history, OnStage Atlanta has presented an eclectic mix of high quality productions. For your perusal, we have listed all of the shows from our Past Seasons. We look to continue this great tradition as we move into a new era. We appreciate your support and look forward to seeing you at the theater.