Actor’s Express Confronts Racism With Timely Reading of Woke

Speakeysie News Desk June 5, 2020

Actor’s Express presents the virtual reading of Woke by Avery
Sharpe, a new addition to the running Threshold New Play Festival, on Monday, June 8.
Artistic Director Freddie Ashley said of the virtual reading, “AE is proud to present Avery
Sharpe’s compelling play again after we mounted a reading in 2018. Avery is a remarkable
young theatre artist making his mark on the local community, and we believe this play speaks
compellingly to our current moment. We hope this will be the first of many openings into
conversations at AE moving forward that force us to confront the difficult truths many would
rather stay on the back burner.”

On Wednesday, June 3, Actor’s Express also pledged to work toward ending the rotten and
corrosive forces of racism and injustice in the community. In a video statement, Freddie Ashley
recommits to creating a safe space for all marginalized voices.

The Threshold New Play Festival focuses on mostly Atlanta and Georgia-based writers who are
also making a mark on the national scene. The Virtual Readings will take place over Zoom. The
readings are free, and registration is required. Previously scheduled This is About You by Edith
Freni has been moved to June 28.

Monday, June 8 • 7:00 PM
Woke by Avery Sharpe
Directed by Damian Lockhart
Two lifelong best friends – one white and one black – unexpectedly confront America’s racial
disparities during the pivotal summer before starting college. The two boys face a turning point
in their friendship in this compelling play about America’s racial divide. Actor’s Express
previously presented a reading of this play in its Threshold New Play Series, and it received its
World Premiere at Essential Theatre in 2018. A moderated discussion will follow the reading.


Avery Sharpe is an actor and recently a playwright from Atlanta, GA. After studying Acting and
Spanish at Kennesaw State University, he has performed at a variety of stages across Atlanta. Some of his recent credits include: Pearl Cleage’s Tell Me My Dream (Alliance Theatre), A
Bucket of Blessings (Alliance Theatre), and Marcus; Or the Secret of Sweet (Actor’s Express). He
has also done voiceover work and various commercials in the TV/Film world, but can be found
most frequently at Dad’s Garage Improv Theatre where he performs weekly as a company
member. As a playwright, he has discovered a passion for telling stories that echo the beautiful
complexity of humanity, which is why he is excited to be making his debut as a playwright with
Woke. He looks forward to writing more compelling stories in the future, and he wants to thank
all of the brilliant minds and generous hearts that have supported him throughout this journey

Tickets are free. Registration is available online at Patrons will receive a
streaming link on the day of each reading. For info, email

Bloomberg Philanthropies
Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta
Metropolitan Arts Fund
City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural
Fulton County Board Commissioners
Georgia Council for the Arts
Holland IT Consulting
Kilpatrick Townsend
National Endowment for the Arts
Charles Loridans Foundation
Shubert Foundation
Thompson Hine

Since our founding in 1988, we have sought 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 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 is located on the westside of Atlanta in the King Plow Arts Center at 887 W.
Marietta Street, Suite J-107, Atlanta, Georgia 30318.

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