Bill Balzer, Peg Balzer, and Graham Martin Honored at Downtown Celebration

On April 21, Theatrical Outfit's "Our Luckie Stars" Annual Downtown Gala brought in $105,000, a record-breaking accomplishment for the company, in support of its mission to produce world-class theatre that starts the conversations that matter. 

The gala boasted an impressive list of host committee members, honorees and entertainers. The evening celebrated the impact of Theatrical Outfit on our downtown community, and honored three long-time Theatrical Outfit supporters, Bill and Peg Balzer (for whom the Balzer Theater at Herren's is named) and Graham Martin. 

While enjoying cocktails and a delicious buffett by Bridge Catering, attendees bid on exciting silent auction items, including Hamilton tickets, restaurant, dining and getaway packages, fine wines, original art and more. After entering the Balzer Theater, guests were wowed by performances from some of Atlanta's brightest stars and Outfit vets, including Artistic Director Tom Key, Terry Burrell, S. Renee Clark, Eric Moore, Wendy Melkonian, Joe Gransden, Susan Shalhoub Larkin, and Bill Murphey. An original song, "Patrons of the Heart," was composed for the honorees by Doc Schneider and sung by Jeremy Wood. The live auction portion of the evening saw lucky bidders win thrilling specialty packages that included a week's stay in Watercolor near Seaside, Fl, a week's stay at a London flat with theatre tickets, a dinner for six at a Buckhead home with television star Jayne Atkinson ("House of Cards," "The Walking Dead," and "Madame Secretary"), and a golf getaway at Pinehurst Resort. Video greetings by screen and stage stars Tony Shalhoub ("Monk," "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," Broadway's The Band's Visit), Brooke Adams, and Jayne Atkinson were played at the event. Theatrical Outfit premiered its own video, created by Adam Shumaker Productions, that speaks to the company's impact on downtown, and includes appearances by local business owners, Atlanta City Councilman Amir Farokhi, T.O. patrons, trustees, students, and artists. Following the video, and led by auctioneer and Outfit trustee Charlie Henn, thousands of dollars were raised to fund The Outfit's amazing artists and artisans, its facility, and scholarships for its educational programming. 

Gala Sponsors included Macy's, Bridge Catering, Classic Tents and Events, John and Elaine Carlos, and Chris Tryba-Cofrin and David Cofrin.

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Tess Malis Kincaid Director of Communications and Development, Theatrical Outfit
Tess Malis Kincaid Director of Communications and Development, Theatrical Outfit
About Theatrical Outfit

Stories that stir the soul.

OUR VISION: A compassionate, joyful, and just community.
OUR MISSION: Produce world-class theatre that starts the conversations that matter.

ABOUT THEATRICAL OUTFIT: Atlanta’s second-oldest professional theatre company was founded in 1976 and has been led by Artistic Director Tom Key since fall 1995. Key led the company through the creation of its award-winning downtown home, the Balzer Theater at Herren’s, the first U.S. theater to achieve LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The Balzer Theater is also the historical site of Herren’s, the first restaurant in Atlanta to voluntarily desegregate in 1962; its first African American patrons were Dr. Lee and Delores Shelton. Mrs. Shelton passed away in 2019, but Dr. Shelton remains a patron at Theatrical Outfit to this day. Key's programming of classics, regional and world premieres, and musicals tell soul-stirring stories, with themes that explore diversity, equality, ethnicity, race, and religion; and often feature the best writers of the American South, including Ernest Gaines, Lauren Gunderson, Horton Foote, Harper Lee, Flannery O’Connor, Janece Shaffer, Sherry Shephard-Massat, Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder, and Tennessee Williams. After ten years of capital investment, T.O. is in new territory. Having retired its mortgage, the staff, trustees, and artists have launched a new 2018-2020 Strategic Plan designed to produce great art, diversify and grow our audience, increase revenue and reserves, develop artists who contribute to the dramatic canon, and maintain an effective organization. In September of 2018, Theatrical Outfit welcomed Gretchen E. Butler as Managing Director.

ABOUT OUR VENUE: Unless otherwise noted, Theatrical Outfit's productions are performed in The Balzer Theater at Herren’s at 84 Luckie Street NW, Atlanta, GA 30303. Theatrical Outfit utilizes a Loop Listening System, making The Balzer Theater at Herren’s the first theater in the state of Georgia to incorporate this technology. Attendees with T-coil hearing aids may participate automatically, and others needing enhancement may obtain system-compatible headsets from our lobby Box Office.

Theatrical Outfit
84 Luckie St. NW, Atlanta, GA 30303