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Actor’s Express had added Atlanta playwright–actor Avery Sharpe’s 2018 drama, Woke, to its ongoing Threshold New Play Festival. A virtual reading of the piece will be available via Zoom at 7 p.m. Monday (June 8).

Damian Lockhart

Damian Lockhart directs.

Woke had a staged reading at Actor’s Express in 2018, the same year it had its award-winning world premiere at Essential Theatre’s annual new-play festival. It’s also been streaming from time to time on Dad’s Garage Theatre Company’s Twitch.tv channel. Woke follows two lifelong best friends — one black and one white — as they unexpectedly confront America’s racial disparities during the summer before they start college.

In his review of the Essential Theatre stagingArtsATL critic Jim Farmer described Woke as “a smart, richly written drama as well as one that feels — in Trumpian times — raw and topical.” He called Sharpe “a bold, confident voice” and a playwright with “a natural gift for storytelling.”

A moderated discussion will follow Monday’s reading, which is being directed by Atlanta actor–director Damian Lockhart. His cast includes Brandy Bell, Sully Brown, Michael Ewing, Ebony Jerry, Kathleen Wattis and David Wilkerson.

The Threshold festival’s virtual reading of playwright Edith Freni’s This Is About You, scheduled for June 7, has been moved to June 28.

The Atlanta-based Sharpe studied acting and Spanish at Kennesaw State University and has performed at the Alliance Theatre, Actor’s Express and Dad’s Garage. You may have seen him in Pearl Cleage’s Tell Me My Dream, A Bucket of Blessings or Marcus; Or the Secret of Sweet by award-winning playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney.

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