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. Since then, we have produced full-length plays in cooperation with local theatres as well as conducted play workshops with local artists to develop new works. In 2018, Merely Write! writers group was formed 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 like 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.  In June 2021, Merely Players Presents in cooperation with the City of Doraville celebrated the re-opening of theatre and arts venues with a musical revue held in the downtown Doraville green space on Park Avenue.  Many more performances are planned in the Doraville area for 2021.  Stay tuned! 



Merely Players Presents seeks to create an environment where all artists feel welcome and share a common desire to bring engaging and entertaining theatrical works of art in an innovative and thought-provoking way to Atlanta audiences.


Rose Bianco

Liz Bigler

Celeste Campbell

Steven McElroy

Jillian Walzer



Joanie McElroy

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.   A lifelong Alabama football fan, Joanie shares a blessed life with husband Steve and is the proud mother of Nicholas, Ian, and Barbara and grandmother to Myles. Her cup overflows.

Email:  merelyplayerspresents@gmail.com

“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


Daniel Guyton

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.

Email:  dguyton21@gmail.com


Kurt Hansen

Lighting and Technical Director

James Walsh.jpg

James Walsh

Set and Stage Management