Atlanta artists to watch: Actor-director-choreographer Candy McLellan

Credit: Candy McLellan

Credit: Candy McLellan

Candy McLellan plans to have a very busy fall. She performs in Theatrical Outfit’s “Passing Strange,” a musical about a journey toward self-discovery, while co-directing the blind-woman-in-danger thriller “Wait Until Dark,” Georgia Ensemble Theatre’s first show at the Jennie T. Anderson Theatre in Marietta.

But being busy suits McLellan; her whole year has been jam-packed.

She began 2023 performing in Theatrical Outfit’s “Tiny Beautiful Things” and directing Stage Door Theatre’s “The Niceties.” Then she spent the summer doing wild physical comedy in “The Play that Goes Wrong” and assistant directing “Beautiful,” both at Aurora Theatre.

In “Passing Strange,” she plays a variety of characters — against type.

“The script labels the roles as Female Ensemble and Male Ensemble,” she said. “I’ll be playing six different characters throughout the lead’s life. But I’m not playing a woman’s track, I’m actually playing a man’s track. The director is flipping it on its head a little bit ... so I have that extra challenge.”

Credit: Casey Ford Photography

Credit: Casey Ford Photography

And it’s not the first time she’s played multiple roles within the same show this year; she did the same in “Tiny Beautiful Things.”

“I have a sense of play in the audition room and the rehearsal room, and it opens me up to a lot of things to do and shows my versatility,” she said. “When people see how I play, they trust that I’ll make bold choices and have fun, bringing a different light to these characters.”

Joining her as co-director of “Wait Until Dark” is her fiancé Jeremiah Davison, with whom McLellan is planning a March 2024 wedding.

Passion about the art drives her to keep working.

“Now in my career, I can be more selective about things,” she said. “Even being selective, though, I still find myself saying, ‘Oh, I’ve got to do this. Oh, I’d love to do this!’ I love growing as an artist. With every project, I’m growing significantly.”

“Passing Strange. Sept. 27-Oct. 22. Theatrical Outfit, 84 Luckie St., Atlanta. 678-528-1500. “Wait Until Dark.” Oct. 27-Nov. 5. Georgia Ensemble Theatre, Jennie T. Anderson Theatre, 548 S. Marietta Parkway, Marietta. 770-641-1260.