Your Source For The Arts In Atlanta

In Our Own Words: Matt Torney, incoming artistic director at Theatrical Outfit

Physically, we’re in one place [Washington, D.C.] and every day I’m Zooming into meetings in Atlanta. Like many people, it’s kind of a strange hybrid of physical and virtual existence, and it’s taking some getting used to. So much of my mind is set on thinking about the Atlanta community and Atlanta artists. Like people who work at every theater in the country, it’s difficult dealing with the unknown, and it’s going to be an extraordinary task as artists and as audiences to come back together.

We have a 1-year-old daughter, so the thing we don’t get is time that is nice and quiet. We’re leaning together as a family and spending every minute we can with our daughter, Isla. She doesn’t know we’re in the midst of a pandemic. She wakes up every morning with a smile at the wonder of the world.

Any transition like moving cities, moving jobs are struggles anyway. It’s a particular struggle when the rulebook’s been torn up. It’s been a real challenge to envision a new future. Knowing that I’m not alone in that is a great source of comfort. Another comfort has been the number of private messages I’ve gotten from Atlanta theater people reaching out to say “hello” and “welcome.”

My biggest hope is that the world loses some of its certainty. I’ve noticed over the past couple of years that people on social media have become certain about everything. If we can use this moment to embrace this uncertainty, we can find new ways to do things, think about things together and do better.


In times like these, when we are separated by necessity, ArtsATL is needed more than ever. Please consider a donation so we can continue to highlight Atlanta’s creative community.