Actor’s Express is a theatre that challenges and reflects contemporary human experiences in an inclusive environment. We seek to jumpstart individual transformations through the shared adventure of our live performances, which range from daringly provocative to audaciously hilarious.

Actor’s Express constantly develops new talent, pushes boundaries and encourages people to question their place in the world. Our work creates emotional connections between audience and artist, catalyzing discussion on the complex issues of the contemporary human experience. We stay one step ahead of the conversation – our audiences expect to be challenged when they attend our programming.

We firmly believe the relevance and vitality of the American theatre depends upon a continual infusion of new work and the nurturing of new playwrights. Playwrights are the chroniclers, critics and prophets of our times. They offer stories about the way we live, love, and sacrifice, and provide new insights into our shared humanity. Actor’s Express is committed to championing the emerging voices of the American stage.

Our primary goals are four-fold: to nurture the next generation of playwrights through workshops, readings, and full productions of new plays; to develop and nurture Atlanta’s artistic community through rigorous theatre training; to catalyze the dialogue essential to the vitality of our neighborhood and our city; and to enhance Atlanta’s reputation nationally as a thriving center for live performance.


Actor’s Express was founded in 1988 by Chris Coleman and Harold M. Leaver. Originally located in a church basement on Clairmont Road, the Express soon moved to a location in Inman Park (the present location of Dad’s Garage), where it remained until 1994. Since that time, AE has been located in West Midtown’s King Plow Arts Center, a sprawling complex converted from a former plow factory.

Founder Chris Coleman led the theatre until 2000. He was succeeded by Wier Harmon, who served as Artistic Director until 2003. Upon Harmon’s departure, Jasson Minadakis became Artistic Director and served until 2006. Since July 2007, Freddie Ashley has been Artistic Director.

AE has long been considered one of the most daring, provocative and consistently excellent theatres in Atlanta. AE’s work perennially appears on local best-of lists and has garnered dozens of awards. Most recently, Creative Loafing named Actor’s Express the Best Local Theatre Company of 2011.

Audits and 990s from the past several years can be viewed here.


Actor’s Express Theatre, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit entity and is a constituent of Theatre Communications Group (TCG) and a member of the Atlanta Coalition of the Performing Arts (ACPA), The Atlanta Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (AGLCC), the National New Play Network (NNPN) and the Atlanta Intown Theatre Partnership (AITP). Actor’s Express operates under the Small Professional Theatre guidelines set by Actors’ Equity Association.