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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Free Evelyn in Purgatory tickets (and wine!) for teachers

Actors on the waiting room-set of Evelyn in Purgatory
  • Courtesy Mark Perloe
  • Jo Howarth Noonan and Amanda Cucher on the waiting room-set of Evelyn in Purgatory

The Essential Theatre really wants teachers to see its latest play, Evelyn in Purgatory - and the company is offering a one-off deal to make it happen. Like a free-wine-and-ticket-for-all-educators sort of deal. Really.

The play, by Atlanta resident and previous Best of CL winner for local playwright Topher Payne, premieres next week and teachers - with a valid ID - will be admitted free to the preview show on July 5 at 8 p.m. They'll also be allowed a glass of wine, which is both complimentary and carry-able into the theater. Essential isn't taking reservations, so interested teachers should come early.

Self-described as "The Breakfast Club for teachers," Evelyn in Purgatory follows a small group of teachers stuck in the "Reassignment Center" in New York City. Each of them faces claims of unbecoming conduct and none of them is allowed to leave until that claim has been processed and resolved. The process takes months. Sometimes years.

The show itself - or at least its script (which you can read in full here) - has a comic rational irrationality, all absurd gray-walled bureaucracy. The phrase "very intricate hierarchy of chair ownership" occurs early on. The show is also something of a dissection of educational regulation. Late into it, the spineless Toby launches into an aria of indignation against the regulators.

"Who's gonna fight to save these kids from idiots like you?" he says. "If you really cared about these kids' futures, you'd send me back to my classroom and let me do my job."

As the teacher-full audience might say at next week's preview, "Bravo!"

Take an extended look at the show after the jump

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