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'Fallout' a new play by local playwright hits close to home

A new play by local playwright Laura King is hitting close to home for many Atlantans.

With the metro area still emerging from the impact of its first tropical storm in history, many locals found themselves hunkering down in their homes without basic utilities or decamping for safer locations.

"Fallout" tells the story of David and Anna, two acquaintances trapped together in a fallout shelter while everything outside seems to be falling apart.

"We were stringing together this fall of new plays by local playwrights. We saw this one and we didn’t realize how timely it would be," said James Beck, managing director of Onion Man Productions.

At the top of the play, David and Anna enter the shelter, and remain there for the one hour and 20 minute production, Beck said.

"It has some intensity and some humor too. It is about these two individuals and you learn their stories and you get drawn into their own personal tales and they have to learn to deal with each other in this intense situation," said Beck.

Show director Celeste Campbell said the play examines the many reasons that people withdraw from the world and the price of doing so -- a scenario that is increasingly relevant to the times in which we live.

"I think everybody has those days they want to shut themselves off from the world and not deal with anything or anybody. But no matter how hard we try to isolate ourselves, either emotionally or physically, the world - and the people in it - have a way of intruding," said Campbell in a director's note.

King, the playwright, was recently presented with the first annual Ready to Publish award from the Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC). She is a longtime associate of Onion Man Productions having developed through their playwriting classes, Beck said.

Last year, Beck moved the production company to its own space in Chamblee and continues to focus on new plays and giving opportunities to local and national playwrights. Atlanta's theater community is pulsating, he said, elevating many locals to national status including playwrights like King.

Beck hopes audiences who come to see "Fallout" will appreciate how timely it is, as well as recognize the show's social value.

"It is a great show that is really timely. It helps you see life and the situations we run into and allows you to view it in a safe space," Beck said.

"Fallout" features the talents of Fred Galyean and Markia Chappelle. It runs through September 24, Thursday to Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. at Onion Man Productions, 5522 New Peachtree Road (in Plaza del Sol), Chamblee.

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About the Author

Nedra Rhone has been a features reporter with the AJC for 10 years. She’s written about everything from fashion to food to news.