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Production group finds home at Playhouse

Next Stage’s season will begin in June

POSTED: November 25, 2009 4:00 a.m.

The Cumming Playhouse soon will welcome a new production company for the 2010-11 season.


The Next Stage Theatre Company, lead by Rob Hardie and Jerry Harlow, will present its inaugural season beginning in June and concluding in February 2011.


Efforts will focus primarily on Broadway-style musicals and music reviews.


According to a news release, Hardie and Harlow are experienced theatrical directors in the Atlanta area.


Hardie, who serves as artistic director and is a former Actor’s Equity Member, will oversee the artistic elements of the company and direct a majority of its shows. 


Harlow will act as managing director, producing all of the productions and managing the company’s operations. 


Hardie recently won a Metropolitan Atlanta Theater award for best director for “Chicago,” which was presented at the Cumming Playhouse in 2007.


An advisory board is being established to provide the company with long-term guidance and strategic direction.


In addition to his MAT award for directing “Chicago” at the Cumming Playhouse, Hardie has also directed “Cats,” “Parade,” “A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum,” “Into The Woods,” “Bye Bye Birdie” and many other shows.


Professionally, he has performed in “Peachtree Battle” at the Ansley Park Playhouse and “Arsenic & Old Lace” at the Georgia Ensemble Theatre.


Harlow has also directed dozens of shows, most recently “Frost/Nixon,” “The Crucible,” “Little Shop of Horrors,” “Cinderella,” “I’ll Be Back Before Midnight” and “Breakfast with Les and Bes.”


He is known for recruiting and collaborating with some of Atlanta’s best theatrical talents, and has produced many entertainment events throughout the metropolitan Atlanta area.


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