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Georgia State University

GSU Library to Open “Playing for Keeps” Exhibit, Host Georgia Women’s Movement Spring Event

Red Dyke Theater performers, mid 1970’s

Georgia State University Library is opening the exhibit “Playing for Keeps,” an expansive collection of materials that celebrate the rich and diverse history of Atlanta’s feminist theater culture. This exhibit, which includes documents, photographs, flyers, and artifacts, documents the story of Atlanta’s feminist theater and the careers and contributions of the people responsible for its success.

“Atlanta’s feminist theater reflects our community’s creative response to issues and events that affect women and society at large, and in doing so sheds a unique light on subjects that are personal, political, and often challenging to discuss or face,” says Women’s/Gender and Sexuality Collections Archivis Morna Gerrard. “Because of this, the theater-centric materials at GSU are a very important component of the Women’s Collections.”

Materials in the exhibit have been pulled from a number of exciting collections and include the records of local theaters and theater troupes such as Woman Song, Pici’s Red Dyke Theater, The Sisters of No Mercy, EstroFest, Seven Stages, Other Voices, and Synchronicity Theater. Featured papers include those of playwrites and academics Lynn Kear, Charlee Lambert, and Gayle Austin, and the exhibit is made richer by the inclusion of oral histories recorded with women who wrote, organized and performed plays.

To celebrate the opening of Playing for Keeps, the Library is hosting a Georgia Women’s Movement Spring Event on April 13 on the 8th floor of Library South.

About the Georgia Women’s Movement Spring Event

The Georgia Women’s Movement Spring Event is held annually to highlight themes and materials in the Women’s Collections. This year’s event, held in collaboration with Synchronicity Theater, will highlight feminist theater in Atlanta. Attendees will enjoy a staged reading of Kelundra Smith’s “The Wash,” a play about our city’s 1881 washerwomen’s strike. Georgia State University theater professor Anastasia Wilson will lead a conversation with Kelundra Smith, Rachel May, and Brenda Potter. Light refreshments will be served.

  • When: Thursday, April 18, 2023, 5:00-6:30 pm
  • Where: Georgia State University Library, Special Collections & Archives (8th Floor), 100 Decatur St. Atlanta, GA 30303

Getting to the Georgia State University Library

  • Public Transit: We are right off MARTA rail lines at the Five Points and Georgia State stations.
  • Parking: Georgia State University G-Deck (paid parking) is connected to the library via a bridge on the 3rd floor of the deck. Limited parking is available on surrounding streets.
  • You must have a physical, government-issued photo ID to enter the library. Present your ID to the security guard to be let into the building.

Kelundra Smith
Kelundra Smith is a storyteller whose mission is to connect people to cultural experiences and each other. A Georgia native, she got into theatre because that’s where teachers put the kids who talk too much in class. As a playwright, she has a passion for southern historical narratives and writing stories about people who no one else sees. As the descendant of people who were denied access to the written word for centuries because of state sanctioned oppression, she sees her plays as restorative narratives. Her work delves into the lives of people who were unafraid to abandon the familiar, start over, and risk losing everything in the name of self-determination. Her motto is, if our ancestors could do it, so can we.

In her other life, she’s a theater critic and arts journalist whose work has been published in The New York Times, ESPN, Garden & Gun, American Theatre, Bitter Southerner, ArtsATL, Atlanta Magazine, and others. Her long-term goals are to land on The New York Times bestseller list, open a late-night dessert restaurant and have her plays adapted for television.

Rachel May
Rachel is one of Synchronicity’s original founders. She has directed more than 25 productions for Synchronicity, including Ripe Frenzy, Strait of Gibraltar, In the Next Room or the Vibrator Play, Exit Pursued by a Bear, Women + War, 1:23, Language of Angels, Three Sisters and Marisol, among many others. Her directing work has been seen in and around Atlanta at Actor’s Express, Aurora Theatre, Theatre Gael, Dad’s Garage and the University of Georgia. Creative Loafing named her best director of 2002 for her work on One Flea Spare and Kia Corthron’s Breath, Boom, the production that led to the creation of our Playmaking for Girls program. In June 2004 she was chosen for the highly competitive NEA/TCG Career Development Program for Directors and was named a Bank of America “Local Hero.” In addition to her executive role at Synchronicity, she actively teaches and leads workshops across Atlanta, and spent eight summers as director of the Ferst Center’s Drama Camp at Georgia Tech.

Brenda Potter
Brenda Porter is originally from Warner Robins, GA and is the founding artistic director of Impact Theatre Atlanta where she produces thought-provoking shows in hopes of encouraging a better understanding of oneself and each other. She started this company ten years ago and since its formation it has produced over 17 shows and provided over 15 free workshops and events for the community.

As an actress she has performed on stage in Atlanta, New York, Florida, Virginia and Oregon.  You may have seen her on TV in Tyler Perry’s “House of Payne,” “Being Mary Jane,” or “Greenleaf,” amongst others. In addition to directing at her own theater, her directorial talents have been utilized on several local theater productions.

Brenda also enjoys teaching whether it’s senior citizens, young adults or children. And she is proud to be a board member of the prestigious Suzi Bass Awards celebrating excellence in theater.

Anastasia Wilson
Anastasia Wilson, Assistant Professor of Performance for the School of Film, Media & Theatre at Georgia State University. Anastasia is also an actor, and devising artist with an advanced foundation in Physical Theatre. She received her M.F.A. in Physical Theatre from Accademia Dell’ Arte (Italy), and her B.A. in theatre from the University of Maryland. Currently, she is in the process of earning her designation as a Linklater Voice Teacher.  In addition to Georgia State University, she has taught extensively Drama Inc. Her recent film credits include Walden, Creed III, Stay Safe, and Rejuvenation. She is the lead devising artist for Atlanta City Theatre’s student devised production of Circadian; When Will We Wake (Previously See Me, Hear Me) as part of the GSU Giveback Series. She thrives in the creative space, supporting and developing  burgeoning artists on camera and on stage.