Georgia Ensemble Theatre announces artistic director's retirement, upcoming season schedule

As the Georgia Ensemble Theatre looks ahead to its upcoming 25th Silver Anniversary Season, the theater group is facing a major change.

The company's co-founder and artistic director Robert J. Farley has announced that he will retire after the 2017-18 season.

Before founding the Georgia Ensemble Theatre in 1992, Farley worked with other arts organizations, including Atlanta's Alliance Theatre. In total, his career has spanned 50 years.

“I am happy that GET is at a place where it is stable, vital, and operating with more performance and educational programs than at any time in our history," Farley said via press release. "Given that, plus the fact that I do have other goals in life outside of the theatre that I wish to explore before it is too late, I feel that this is a good chapter in time for me to retire from the theatre profession."

Alan Kilpatrick

The artistic director's last day will be at the conclusion of the theater group's 25th Silver Anniversary Season on April 30, 2018. Alan Kilpatrick will serve as his successor.

"Our team has worked most diligently in selecting Alan Kilpatrick as Associate Artistic Director for the upcoming season and as my successor effective May 1, 2018," Farley said. "Passing the torch of artistic leadership to Mr. Kilpatrick will provide GET with one of the kindest and most skilled theatre artists working in Atlanta today.”

A succession committee and the organization's board has been working to ensure a smooth transition for more than a year.

Georgia Ensemble Theatre co-founder Anita Allen-Farley will remain with the organization in her current role as managing director.

In addition to announcing Farley's departure, the theater group has released the scheduled for it's 25th season.

"Each play I have selected to celebrate this huge occasion has been chosen as a tribute to our subscribers, donors, sponsors, and supporters, " Farley said. "I thank each of you with all my heart, and I cannot wait to share my farewell season with you every step of the way.”

See the full schedule below:

The 2017-2018 Mainstage Season   - It’s Your Party!

Once On This Island

Sept. 14–Oct. 1, 2017

By Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty

Directed and Choreographed by Ricardo Aponte

Musical Direction by S. Renee Clark


Oct. 26-Nov. 12, 2017

By Topher Payne

Directed by Shannon Eubanks 

Tenderly  -- The Rosemary Clooney Musical

Jan. 11-28, 2018

Based on the life of Rosemary Clooney

By Janet Yates Vogt and Mark Friedman

Directed by Alan Kilpatrick 

A Comedy of Tenors

March 1-18, 2018

By Ken Ludwig

Directed by Shelly McCook

Buddy  -- The Buddy Holly Story

April 12-29, 2018

By Alan Janes

Featuring the Music of Buddy Holly

Directed by Robert J. Farley

The FamilyStage: Adventure Series

The Jungle Book       

Sept. 16, 23, 30 and Apr 14, 21, 28

By Greg Banks, adapted from the book by Rudyard Kipling

Miss Nelson is Missing!

Oct. 28, Nov. 4, 11, 2017 and March 3, 10, 17, 2018

by Joan Cushing, adapted from the book by Harry Allard

The Giver

Jan. 13, 20, 23, 27, 2018

By Eric Coble, adapted from the book by Lois Lowry

And Then They Came for Me: Remembering the World of Anne Frank

March 13, 2018

by James Still

The Joe Gransden Big Band Series

Oct. 30 and Dec. 18, 2017, March 12 and April 23, 2018

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About the Author

Jewel Wicker
Jewel Wicker is an Atlanta native, Georgia State University graduate and entertainment reporter. She typically covers local events.