Arís Theatre opens its inaugural season with Enda Walsh’s The New Electric Ballroom


Holly Stevenson, Patricia French, Barbara Cole-Uterhardt. Photo by Safaa Sammander

Holly Stevenson, Patricia French, Barbara Cole-Uterhardt. Photo by Safaa Sammander

The New Electric Ballroom” by Enda Walsh will run for two weeks beginning June 6th at Georgia Public Broadcasting, Studio B, 260 14th Street NW Atlanta GA 30318.  (Preview on June 5th)

Tickets can be purchased at, or at the door, and are $15-$25.

About Arís:   Officially launched in June 2013, Arís was founded by nine talented and enthusiastic members of the Atlanta theatre community, with a collective total of over 200 years experience in the performing arts.  Arís is the Irish word for “Again!”  Like the phoenix that is the symbol of the city of Atlanta, Aris (say “ah-REESH”) means to bring back with dramatic fire the Celtic theatrical traditions once so richly enjoyed here. Use it as you would “Encore!”

We at Arís wish to explore, teach, promote and present the best of what is Celtic to the broadest possible audience in Atlanta and beyond. This encompasses the Irish, Welsh, Scottish and English artistry; theater, music, dance, storytelling, poetry and prose reading, in a way that is innovative, exciting and inclusive. 

See more at

About “The New Electric Ballroom”:  
What do you get when you cross a rock and roller with a pair of cannery girls? We’re not sure, something smells fishy in this rural village, so drop the needle on that 45 and play that story again. And again. And again! Little sister Ada wants to hear it one more time, bad girl Breda begrudgingly obliges, Clara wants her cake and to eat it, too. While Patsy the fishmonger is determined to interrupt with a tale of his own, hopefully one that ends with a lady on his arm. But things aren’t what they seem in Enda Walsh’s fascinating tale of the night the Roller Royle came to The New Electric Ballroom and took away two sisters’ hearts.

A comic drama deft in its humor and breathtaking in its heartache. With equal parts naturalism and fantasy, Irish playwright Enda Walsh crafts a language that can wound as much as it soothes in this Edinburgh Fringe First award-winning play.

About Enda Walsh:  Enda Walsh is a playwright and screenwriter who shot to fame when he won both the George Devine Award and the Stewart Parker Award in 1997 with his play Disco Pigs. In 2007 and 2008 Enda won Fringe First Awards at two consecutive Edinburgh Festivals for his plays The Walworth Farce and The New Electric Ballroom. The former led the Guardian to name him “one of the most dazzling wordsmiths of contemporary theatre.”

In 2011 Once, Enda’s adaptation of the film by John Carney, opened off-broadway. Critically acclaimed it moved to Broadway in 2012, where it picked up eight Tony Awards, including Best Book for Enda. The West End run of Once opened in April 2013. Since his initial success as a playwright, Enda has gone on to write for the screen. His 2008 biopic, Hunger, told the story of the final days of IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands and won a host of awards, including the Camera d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and the Heartbeat Award at the Dinard International Film Festival. It was nominated for seven BIFAs (including Best Screenplay), six British Film and Television Awards (including Best Screenplay and Best Independent Film) and BAFTA’s Outstanding British Film Award 2009.


“The New Electric Ballroom” isdirected by Kathleen McManus and features Patricia French, Holly Stevenson, Barbara Cole-Uterhardt, and Steve Hudson.

Kathleen McManus (Director)

  • Suzi-award winner for Big Edie in Grey Gardens at Actor’s Express.
  • Katharine Cornell Artie award and Jennie award winner for Callas in Master Class at Theatre in the Square.
  • Originated the role of Irene Reilly in Tom Key’s A Confederacy of Dunces at Theatrical Outfit.
  • Directed productions of Lord of the Flies, Pride & Prejudice and Going to St. Ives at Woodward Academy where she is Associate Director of Theater Studies.

Patricia French

  • Blanche in Streetcar Named Desire at The New American Shakespeare Tavern
  • Next Fall at Actor’s Express
  • Betty, owner of the Hump Bar in 2 seasons of Army Wives on Lifetime TV
  • True Detective on HBO
  • Aunt Lil in Squidbillies on Turner Cartoon Network

Holly Stevenson

  • FreeFall at Theatre Emory
  • The Game’s Afoot, and Spreading it Around (Woody Award, Lead Actress) at Stage Door Players
  • The Sleeping Country (MAT Award, Major Supporting Actress) at Essential Theatre
  • The Belle of Amherst at Theatre in the Square.

Barbara Cole Uterhardt

  • Metropolitan Atlanta Theatre Award for The 39 Steps and Proof at OnStage Atlanta
  • 40 Weeks and NYC’s InViolet at Onstage Atlanta
  • Artistic Company Manager at OnStage Atlanta and Associate Artistic Director at The Process Theatre
  • Performing Arts Director at Atlanta Girls’ School.

Steve Hudson

  • Man in Chair in The Drowsy Chaperone at Aurora Theatre
  • Charles Guiteau in Assassins at Fabrefaction Theatre Company
  • Schultz in Circle Mirror Transformation at Theatre in the Square