Dad’s Garage Theatre wins $100,000 grant, stands behind bacon

Dad’s Garage Theatre, which has aligned its mission with subversive comedy and bacon, received validation Tuesday when it announced a $100,000 grant from the Community Foundation for a Greater Atlanta.

The grant will be delivered over a two year period and will help to cover the theater’s million-dollar yearly operating costs. “It’s an incredible level of support for our organization,” said the theater’s development director Stephen Barwick.

The theater won a $75,000 “managing for excellence” award earlier this year, also from the Community Foundation, a group, Barwick said, that has been “a tremendous supporter of Dad’s Garage Theatre.”

It has been a tumultuous period of change for the non-profit theater group. Homeless since it moved out of its Inman Park theater in 2013, the improvisational troupe has been putting on performances at 7 Stages in Little Five Points and at other locales, though not at its usual blistering pace of 300 shows a year.

» Read about the company's recent musical about the King of Pops here.

“We haven’t kept to a consistent schedule because we’re renting space,” said Barwick. In the meantime the theater group has been promoting a $1 million fund-raising campaign to buy and renovate a new home, in the Old Fourth Ward.

That new space will open at the end of the year, Barwick said. In the meantime the company is putting on a holiday show called "Thankskilling the Musical" at the 7 Stages facility, and at the end of the month will open "Merry %#!*-ing Christmas."

The Thanksgiving-themed show, they write, is “the most brazenly offensive show we’ve foolishly decided to take on. This show has singing, dancing, blood, and a very homicidal turkey.”

A big fund-raiser for the company is its special spring BaconFest, described as "an unbridled bash filled to the brim with the 3 B's: BEER. BANDS. BACON." In 2012 Kevin Bacon, who happened to be in town filming a Fox television pilot, dropped in and had a jolly time. Since then he has developed a rapport with Dad's.

Barwick is not concerned about the World Health Organization’s warnings about the carcinogenic properties of smoked meats. “We are supporters of bacon,” he said.

» Read our Sunday Conversation with Dad's Garage artistic director Kevin Gillese here.

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