Theatrical Outfit (TO) is the second-oldest professional theater company in Atlanta, operating since 1976. It began producing shows in a converted laundromat in Virginia Highland before renovating and occupying the Kress Five and Dime Store at 1012 Peachtree Street in the early-1980s, transferring to the 14th Street Playhouse in the mid-1990s, and finally the Rialto Center for the Arts in downtown Atlanta in 1999. Since 2005, it has operated out of the 200-seat Balzer Theatre at the former site of Herren’s, the first white-owned restaurant in Atlanta to voluntarily desegregate on June 25, 1963. Seventy years earlier, in 1893, Luckie Street was named after Solomon (Sam) Luckie, one of forty free African-Americans living in Atlanta before the Civil War who became one of the first casualties during the Battle of Atlanta.
The TO company is committed to telling “stories that stir the soul,” building “a compassionate, joyful, and just” community, and producing “world-class theatre that starts the conversations that matter.” Across its forty-five year history, the company has produced many shows written by LGBTQIA+ playwrights or containing queer themes, from classics by Thornton Wilder, Tennessee Williams, Horton Foote (The Young Man from Atlanta, 2011), and Moisés Kaufman and the Tectonic Theater Project’s The Laramie Project (2019) to newer works like Anna Ziegler’s BOY (2017) and Paul Donnelly’s Memorial Day (2021).
Theatrical Outfit is one of the theatre partners of the Atlanta based community group Gays for Plays.
Theatrical Outfit. https://www.theatricaloutfit.org/about-us/history.
Poole, Sheila. “50 years ago, Herren’s opened door to family and integration.” Atlanta Journal-Constitution, June 21, 2013. http://www.myajc.com/events/years-ago-herren-opened-door-family-and-integration/I2qoLD6OAin6y9ZGy0SetI/.
Royster, Jacqueline Jones. Georgia Tech: Building Memories. “Herren’s Restaurant: An Urban Story.” 2017, https://leading-edge.iac.gatech.edu/building-memories/herrens-restaurant-an-urban-story/
Simmons, David Lee. “Review: Theatrical Outfit finally brings Horton Foote’s ‘Young Man From Atlanta’ to Atlanta.” Arts ATL, January 28, 2011. https://www.artsatl.org/theater-review-theatrical-outfit-finally-brings-horton-footes-young-man-from-atlanta-to-atlanta/
“Flourish courageously.”Tagline for Anna Ziegler’s BOY