128 East Pike St, Lawrenceville, GA 30046
|Proscenium stage - 357; black box
These photographs may include works and designs that are copyrighted by others; used with permission. #darkhousesatlanta
Aurora Theatre (Photographed July 15, 2020)
Back in March the Aurora Theatre in Lawerenceville was two weeks into their run of “ON YOUR FEET! The Story of Emilio & Gloria Estefan” when the lockdowns started. At the time, the actors and musicians and tech staff still hoped to resume the run of the hit musical that was acclaimed by both audiences and press—in two languages! But COVID-19 seemed to have other plans and running large musical theater productions was simply not safe for their community.
The Aurora Theatre is a hidden gem, located in the heart of downtown Lawrenceville. I first became aware of the company with their coproductions of “Memphis” and “In the Heights”—but I saw both productions at the Rialto, not in Lawrenceville.
Even though the theatre is dark, it is a wonderful space. It has beautiful architecture in the house and proscenium, and a dream backstage as well. And they have a great black box theatre to boot. Producing Artistic Director, Anthony Rodriguez told me that the city is building even more theatre space next door. It is encouraging to see a theatre getting support from their local community. That’s happening a lot in Europe, but not as much over here.
And today, a vital unemployment insurance benefit for actors, stagehands and craftspeople—almost all 1099 employees—runs out. Sadly, Washington doesn’t see the urgency in restoring it. Hope lies in the creative and difficult work that the Aurora and other theaters are doing to come up with plans to safely present shows soon.
July 31, 2020