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Recently, Merely Writers was featured in an article by Daniel Guyton in the May 2022 Dramatist Guild magazine!  Read the article in its entirety by following this LINK

A Long-Awaited Art Scene Arrives in Doraville

Doraville Art and Merely Players Presents kick off a new art hub in downtown

with public open house events this month.

DORAVILLE, GA - In the culture-rich community of Doraville, the Arts have been glaringly absent. But that will all change this spring when two non-profit arts organizations host their Open Houses on April 30th in the city’s epicenter.

Merely Players Presents, a community center for the performing arts, will host its Open House Fundraiser on Saturday, April 30 from 7 to 10 p.m. The event will have music, food, beverages, and entertainment throughout the evening. With a goal of raising $10,000, donations and sponsorships are encouraged to help fund MPP’s 2022-23 season.

Merely Players Presents is an artistic haven for performance, writing, and other forms of theatrical expression. “We are excited to be a part of the Doraville community where we feel our mission statement aligns beautifully with Doraville's motto of diversity, vitality, and community,” says Joan McElroy, Founder and Producing Artistic Director. MPP has directed past hit performances like The Fantasticks and Glengarry Glen Ross. And while their upcoming lineup is being held close to the vest, McElroy says their new season promises to deliver on their mission. 

The entrance to the new performing arts center will feature a mural designed by Sarah Marks capturing the essence of this diverse community and the role the Arts play in it. Merely Players Presents was formed in 2018 but momentum was halted and their dreams of a permanent residence at the Atlanta Cuban Club were squashed due to the Covid-19 shutdown. The City of Doraville has been a strong supporter of the arts and recently approved a resolution allowing the group to occupy the lower level of the Civic Center at 3770 Central Avenue. “The city has afforded us this amazing opportunity to have a space where artists can create and practice their craft,” McElroy stated. 

Walking distance to MARTA, Merely Players Presents will be part of a fledgling arts district on the corner of Central and New Peachtree – a perfect intersection to unite the OTP and ITP crowds. This newly formed hub will be joined by Doraville Art, known to the neighborhood as DART. Mayor Joseph Geierman noted “When cities support the arts, they are generating broad economic, civic, and cultural benefits for their residents. I’m pleased that our city council recognizes these benefits and believe that this new art hub is the first step in establishing Doraville’s position as an “Art City” in Metro Atlanta.”

DART, formed by residents seeking to fill the artistic void, also got their start at the Atlanta Cuban Club a couple years ago, with an engaging art show that was notably embraced by the community. “We knew we created something magical with that event,” says Sarah Marks, President of DART. “Doraville has something entirely novel that has formed organically and the new Doraville Art Center is a culmination of that artistic spirit.”

In addition to the Merely Players Presents’ space at the Doraville Civic Center, the City Council’s resolution also gave Doraville Art the opportunity to utilize the main level of the adjacent municipal building at 3774 Central Avenue. The new art center not only plans to hold art classes, but will also feature a gallery spotlighting local artists, bookable studio space (including a wet studio), a full kitchen for hosting cooking classes, and The Green Room – a space designed for quiet crafting and artist meetups.

Doraville Art is currently seeking artists to create murals for the Buford Highway Art Walk. This multi-artist project will eventually span 2.6 miles across the city of Doraville, with the first phase starting at the Pinetree Plaza parking lot on Buford Highway. DART’s first foray into public art was unveiled last summer in English Oak Park. The aptly named Dora is a 9-foot steel dinosaur painted by artist Shawn Vincelette. “This was the first public art piece in Doraville’s 150-year history and is just the beginning of many more artist opportunities to come,” says Mary French, DART Treasurer. Stephe Koontz, City Council Member and active Board Member for DART said “Art is one of the best ways to build community. It transcends language and cultural barriers, to unite people around something that is uniquely human.”

DART’s Open House will be held concurrently with the Merely Players Presents event on April 30th from 7 to 10 p.m. The Atlanta community is invited to tour the space and nourish their artistic curiosity with a display of snacks, celebratory drinks, and interactive art demonstrations. Donations are welcome and attendees can RSVP at https://fb.me/e/4KL3L8bFU. Members of the community interested in teaching classes, artist opportunities, or volunteering can visit https://doravilleart.com/.

Tickets to the Merely Players Presents event can be reserved by visiting https://www.eventbrite.com/e/300986477657. The group is asking for a minimum donation of $20 to support their upcoming season, which will soon be published at https://www.merelyplayerspresents.com/

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MPP Founder Joanie McElroy and actress Amanda Ortega interviewed on NPR's City Lights

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In September 2020, Merely Writers and Merely Players Presents fulfilled a two year mission to tell the stories of the Atlanta Cuban Club members.  Read the article and hear the complete interview by visiting the link below! 

For He's a Jolly Good Fellow! 

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Merely Players Presents' own Daniel Guyton Wins International Screenwriting Award!

FAYETTEVILLE RESIDENT WINS FIRST PLACE IN INTERNATIONAL SCREENWRITING AWARD

 

Fayetteville resident Daniel Guyton has written a screenplay that won First Place in the Screenplay Competition at Feel the Reel International Film Festival in November 2019. The Feel the Reel International Film Festival takes place in Glasgow Scotland.

 

Guyton originally wrote this screenplay as a stage play entitled “Three Ladies of Orpington”, which was produced by Onion Man Productions in Chamblee, GA in October 2017. The stage play won 7 Metropolitan Atlanta Theatre Awards (aka MAT Awards) in 2018, and received widespread critical acclaim.

 

The script is a dark comedy about a British family dealing with death, loss, and gender discrimination in the Victorian Era.

 

To find out more about the Feel the Reel International Film Festival, please visit https://www.feelthereeliff.com/. To find out more about playwright Daniel Guyton, please visit http://www.danguyton.com.     For inquiries, please contact Daniel Guyton at dguyton21@gmail.com.

CONGRATULATIONS TO DAN FROM ALL OF US AT MERELY PLAYERS PRESENTS!

Merely Players Presents is on the Road!

Gwinnett Playwright Chosen for Prestigious Piccolo Spoleto Fest

 

Merely Players Presents announced today that Joanie McElroy's one-woman play, Thus Spoke the Mockingbird, has been chosen for production at this year's Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC. The play explores author Harper Lee's self-described “divine discontent” and its contribution to raising her eyes from the dusty streets of Monroeville, Alabama to bear witness to the birth of the New South in To Kill a Mockingbird. Atlanta actor Kate Guyton will reprise her role as Ms. Lee for this limited four-night engagement, June 6, 7, 8, and 9. Thus Spoke the Mockingbird is being produced by Merely Players Presents and performed at Threshold Repertory Theater, 84 1/2 Society Street Charleston, SC 29401 (843) 277-2172.

 

Tickets go on sale May 1st at http://www.piccolospoleto.com/howtobuytickets/.

 

Now in its 42nd year, Spoleto Festival USA and its younger companion, Piccolo Spoleto Festival USA, are expecting upwards of 70,000 ticket holders to attend more than 500 literary, musical and visual arts events throughout the city of Charleston during the seventeen-day cultural exhibition running May 24 through June 9.

 

THERE WILL BE TWO ATLANTA PREVIEW PERFORMANCES:  MAY 31 at the ATLANTA CUBAN CLUB, 5797 New Peachtree Road, Doraville GA 30340 AND June 2 at ONSTAGE ATLANTA, 3041 N Decatur Rd, Scottdale, GA 30079.  For ticket information, please visit www.merelyplayerspresent.com 

 

We hope that you will join us as we send-off Kate Guyton and Joanie McElroy to Charleston, SC! 

 

Merely Players Presents is a 501c3 charitable organization founded in 2018, and recently named resident theater company at the Atlanta Cuban Club in Doraville, Georgia. Its mission is to educate, encourage, entertain and enrich the life of community members through the theater arts.