Theater Bits Blog – Garden Lights Tickets and Tarell Alvin McCraney Named MacArthur Fellow


Garden Lights, Holiday Nights Tickets On Sale Oct. 8, 2013

Brilliant Bugs at the Garden Lights. Photo by Joey Ivansco

Brilliant Bugs at the Garden Lights, Holiday Nights. Photo by Joey Ivansco

Tickets for the third annual Garden Lights, Holiday Nights at the Atlanta Botanical Garden go on sale to Garden members October 1 and to the general public October 8.

The spectacular holiday light show, open nightly from November 16 through January 4, features 30 acres of both indoor and outdoor displays created with 1 million lights – most energy-efficient LEDs.

New features this year include several personalities from the summer exhibition Imaginary Worlds: Plants Larger Than Life. Earth Goddess, the reigning grand dame of the exhibit’s giant topiary-like sculptures, makes a quick costume change to become the light show’s Ice Goddess. Twinkling lights weave through her 25-foot-long tresses, and her face glows with wintry radiance and icy sparkle, nestled beside the Cascades Garden waterfalls.

And what does a pair of majestic 15-foot tall snakes from Imaginary Worlds wear for the holidays? Red and white stripes, of course! The Candy Cane Cobras welcome revelers and stand guard over the Alston Overlook. Green lights trace hypnotic patterns in both serpents’ hoods.

Also new this year, the Edible Garden sprouts a harvest of illuminated corn, not the result of genetic manipulation but of the Garden’s electrical engineering. Visitors will stroll through parallel rows of 6-foot-tall stalks featuring a bounty of sparkling ears. An arch of luminescent ladybugs guards the gateway from the Fuqua Orchid Center into the Outdoor Kitchen, only allowing beneficial insects to pass. Also look for three ethereal dragonflies with moving wings shimmering brilliantly by a pool.

Indoors, the Fuqua Conservatory and Orchid Center continue the floral power with an extravaganza of poinsettias, amaryllis, orchids, and anthuriums. The stunning 24-foot-long, 9-foot-tall Poinsettia Wall returns in the Conservatory Lobby with new colors and patterns. The towering live Poinsettia Tree holds court in the Orchid Center Atrium amidst a profusion of tropical flowers and foliage set at ground level. Expect your favorite plants as well as a few surprises. The Bear Family and loyal dog return as well – but designers are keeping mum on what they’ll be wearing. In addition, look for more of the spectacular outdoor light displays – towering cone trees, funky wrapped hardwoods, and the Great Lawn’s grand musical finale – that have made Garden Lights Atlanta’s much-anticipated in-town holiday tradition.

Discounted tickets are available beginning October 1 for Garden members and general admission tickets go on sale starting October 8 – available at, Garden admissions, or 855-454-6849.

Tarell Alvin McCraney Named MacArthur Fellow

The Alliance Theatre is thrilled to announce that Playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney, author of Choir Boy, has been named one of the 2013 MacArthur Fellows, chosen for his exploration into the use of drama in the portrayal of urban communities.  The MacArthur Fellowship recognizes 24 exceptionally creative individuals with a track record of achievement and the potential for even more significant contributions in the future.  Fellows will each receive a no-strings-attached stipend of $625,000 paid out over five years. Without stipulations or reporting requirements, the Fellowship provides maximum freedom for recipients to follow their own creative vision. Read the full press release from the MacArthur Foundation here.

McCraney was first recognized for his work by the Alliance Theatre when he won its 2008 Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition.  As part of the competition, his play In the Red and Brown Water received its world premiere on the Hertz Stage that year.  McCraney’s new play, Choir Boy, is being produced by the Alliance Theatre and the Manhattan Theatre Club, where it was praised by The New York Times, played to sold out houses, and was extended twice during its New York run this summer.  Choir Boy at the Alliance kicks off the 10th Anniversary of the Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition.  All the productions on the Hertz Stage this season are written by past and current winners of the competition.

Tickets are available at or by calling 404-733-5000.