Aurora launches new onstage digital series with BARBARA’S BLUE KITCHEN

Speakeysie News Desk 9/19/2020

A two-person, down-home musical – is set to stream from Aurora Theatre, Sept. 25 – Oct. 4! With book, music and lyrics by Lori Fisher, teens and adults will get a genuine look into the hearts of everyday people as a single actor – the undeniable Chloe Kay – embodies Barbara and all diner characters, ranging in both age and gender. The musical comedy marks the first production of the Lawrenceville theater’s new Our Stage Onscreen digital series, bringing performing arts to homebound season supporters and new audiences.

This production presents an opportunity for Aurora Theatre, as the regional destination spearheads streaming content for the metro-Atlanta performing arts without geographical boundaries and limitations in place, for the first time ever. The non-profit arts organization is one of the smallest theaters in the nation to invest in and develop a sophisticated digital program with increased production value. The Our Stage Onscreen series will stream small-cast performances – providing artists a safe space to create without risking their health and giving audiences an alternative to encounter fully-realized theatrical productions safely.  

Aurora Theatre continues to engage audiences through free digital programming, including Cyber Stage, a play reading event that has recently pivoted to provide relevant stories and themes with a more diverse representation to amplify marginalized voices. 

“Our Stage Onscreen is exciting for a few reasons: it fulfills our mission of producing professional theatrical for our community, it allows us to employ artists and it gives us a creative platform we’re all so desperate for at this time,” said Ann-Carol Pence, Co-Founder and Associate Producer of Aurora Theatre. “We’ve used this opportunity to implement safety protocols for our artists and staff so when we’re able to gather, we’ll be ready. ‘Barbara’s Blue Kitchen’ affected me so deeply because the show speaks to the ache we all have to be part of a community. This diner is the center of town, much like Aurora Theatre has become the central place for Gwinnett County. The show provides an opportunity to innovate by bringing a fully-realized production to the homes of our community, who we know are starved for great musical theater. This show is relevant, yet full of hope, heart and marvelous music.”

The musical spotlights a warm-hearted Barbara Jean who owns and runs a diner that is the epicenter of life, love and gossip in the small town of Watertown, Tennessee. The musical serves up a slice-of-southern-life with a helping of homespun humor and charm. Audiences will experience the trials and tribulations of seven different customers whose lives unfold in the country eatery as they share their honest, quirky and heartbreaking humanity. 

The production is led by the award-winning creative team: Director Justin Anderson (Aurora Theatre Associate Artistic Director) and Musical Director Ann-Carol Pence (Aurora Theatre Co-Founder and Associate Producer). The show will star WatersEdge Records recording artist and Aurora Theatre AppCo Alumni Chloe Kay. Atlanta-based actor, musician and also Aurora Theatre AppCo Alumni Skyler Brown doubles as guitarist and role of DJ Dickie Brian Hull from the local WATR radio station. 

Barbara’s Blue Kitchen is the first virtual streaming performance as part of Aurora Theatre’s Our Stage Onscreen, available for viewing Sept. 25 – Oct. 4. Tickets are currently on sale; tickets start at $30 per view and may be purchased online here. For more information on this production or other programming, please visit auroratheatre.com. 

Under the artistic leadership of Co-Founders and Artistic Directors Anthony Rodriguez and Ann-Carol Pence, now in its 24th Season, Aurora Theatre is home to over 850 events each year. Theatrical productions are comprised of the biggest Broadway plays and musicals alongside exciting contemporary theatre. Additionally, Aurora produces concerts, stand-up comedy, children’s programs, metro Atlanta’s top haunted attraction Lawrenceville Ghost Tours, as well as Atlanta’s only professional Spanish language theatre, Teatro Aurora. Aurora Theatre is a world-class theatrical facility with two performance venues. Nestled on the square in historic downtown Lawrenceville, Aurora has FREE attached covered parking and is surrounded by restaurants and shops. Aurora Theatre has garnered numerous accolades highlighted by recent achievements that include a 2016 Governor’s Award for the Arts & Humanities, winner of five 2019 Suzi Bass Awards, Creative Loafing’s “2010 Best Theatre Company,” Georgia Trend Magazine’s “2011 Best Places to Work in Georgia,” Atlanta Business Chronicle’s “2012 Best Places to Work,” Atlanta Magazine’s “Best of Atlanta 2018” for Best Inclusive Programming, Gwinnett Chamber’s 2018 Inaugural Moxie Award for Outstanding Organization, Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s 2014 President and CEO Award for Excellence in Arts, and Gwinnett Chamber’s 2015 IMPACT Regional Business Award for Hospitality.

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