7 Stages is a professional, non-profit theatre company devoted to engaging artists and audiences by focusing on the social, political, and spiritual values of contemporary culture. 7 Stages gives primary emphasis to international work and the support and development of new plays, new playwrights, and new methods of collaboration.
In 1979, Del Hamilton and Faye Allen founded 7 Stages with a simple mission: to create a haven for artists and audiences to address social, political, and spiritual issues present in their daily lives. Originally, the theatre was located in what had once been a shop front at 430 Moreland Avenue in Little 5 Points. Artistic staff worked for no salary to ensure actors could be paid. There was one stage, which sat 65 people.
Early reviews of the work were strong, with Marquee Magazine calling our inaugural production of Sam Shepard's The Tooth of Crime, which featured a young actor named Chris Kayser, "nothing short of stunning."
After only five years, 7 Stages had developed its reputation sufficiently to make its first major expansion. When the pool hall next door lost its lease, 7 Stages rented that property as well, nearly doubling the size of the facility - and ending the pesky sound of cue balls clanging through the wall during performances.
The new space opened to the public in 1984 with Earthlings, a world premiere by the young and relatively unknown Jim Grimsley. The young playwright and the young theatre's reputations would grow together and by 1988 the world premiere of his Mr. Universe was invited to run at the New Federal Theatre in New York City: 7 Stages' first national tour.
Other production highlights from the theatre's early history included the world premiere of Rebecca Ranson's Warren, which in 1984 became one of the first plays in America to address the issue of AIDS. 1986's Bang Bang Uber Alles received attention on the national evening news when, in protest of the play's anti-white supremacist themes, the Klan marched on 7 Stages, in its first march within Atlanta city limits since the Civil Rights Movement.
Suzi Bass Awards History
2007-2008 Suzi Awards Gene-Gabriel Moore Playwriting Award: Pearl Cleage, A Song for Coretta
2005-2006 Suzi Awards Gene-Gabriel Moore Playwriting Award: Robert Earl Price, Come On In My Kitchen