The mission of Merely Players Presents is to connect audiences and artists throughout the metro Atlanta area, elicit conversations, promote thinking, and amplify a diversity of voices.
In 2014, Merely Players Presents began rehearsing its first full-length play, Proof by David Auburn. We produced full-length plays in cooperation with local theatres as well as conducted play workshops with local artists to develop new works. In 2018, the Merely Writers group was formed led by Daniel Guyton and began meeting at the Atlanta Cuban Club in Doraville. Soon after, the Atlanta Cuban Club became the home of Merely Players Presents, serving as its resident theatre company. In March 2020, Merely Players Presents had to prematurely end its run of Glengarry Glen Ross due to the Covid shutdown. As with many theatres, we sadly lost our space and even more unfortunate, the Atlanta Cuban Club closed its doors after more than 40 years in Doraville. However, Merely Players Presents has maintained its relationship with the City of Doraville, which is committed to the arts and a performance group in the area. Merely Players Presents continues to perform in Doraville with the vision of making a permanent home there! Stay tuned for more exciting information regarding a new space for our theatre and you - our audience!
Acquire a permanent home in Doraville
Produce professional, non-equity theatre by paying stipend to actor, crew, and staff
Offer budget-friendly productions that allow for financial sustainability
Provide a house that allows for versatility in staging (thrust, proscenium, round)
Increase community involvement by providing a variety of opportunities (volunteer as well as acting, directing, designing, managing)
Produce works that reflect the diversity of our community
Nurture relationship with the City of Doraville, Arts Council, and D’art in an effort to make Doraville an arts destination
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Founder/Producing Artistic Director
Joanie McElroy is a Birmingham native having graduated from the University of Montevallo with a B.F.A. in Theatre and a M.Ed. from Mercer University in Atlanta. By day, she is an educator and by night and weekends, plays at the theatre. Over the past 20 years, most of Joanie’s time has been spent in the director’s chair, but finds producing plays and bringing other artist’s dreams to life a greater part of her mission. In 2014, she founded Merely Players Presents and incorporated in 2018 as a non-profit corporation. In 2017, she was awarded “Best Director of a Play” by the Metropolitan Atlanta Theatre awards for her direction of A Raisin in the Sun. In 2008, she wrote a one-woman play, Thus Spoke the Mockingbird, exploring the life and work of Harper Lee. The play has been performed several times in the Atlanta area as well as in Nashville, TN. In 2019, her play was performed in Charleston, SC at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival.
“IN THE END… We only regret the chances we didn’t take, the relationships we were afraid to have,and the decisions we waited too long to make.” ― Lewis Carroll
Writing Development Coordinator
Daniel Guyton is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter from Atlanta, GA. His plays have been produced nearly 500 times around the world, and he has been published in over 40 anthologies and solo publications, including several of the Best American Short Plays collections. His play “Three Ladies of Orpington” recently won 7 awards from the Metropolitan Atlanta Theatre Awards. He is a theatre professor at Georgia State University and Georgia Military College, and is a member of the Dramatists Guild and the Writers Guild of America East. In addition, he is a member of the Fayette County Arts Council, and is a board member of the Georgia Theater Conference. For more info, please visit: www.danguyton.com.
Lighting and Technical Director
Set and Stage Management