About the Lyric Theatre

Atlanta Lyric The­atre, Atlanta’s only local pro­fes­sion­al musi­cal the­ater com­pa­ny, was formed in 1980 by Tedi and Robert Lang­don and Sal­ly Knap as the South­east­ern Savo yards, a reper­to­ry the­atre com­pa­ny ded­i­cat­ed to pre­sent­ing the works of Gilbert and Sul­li­van. The company’s first pro­duc­tion, Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Mika­do, was per­formed at Emory Uni­ver­si­ty in Decem­ber 1980. Lat­er, the company’s pro­duc­tions were moved to the Marist School, the 14th Street Play­house, Cen­ter Stage The­ater, and then to the Robert Ferst Cen­ter for the Arts on the cam­pus of Geor­gia Tech where the company’s main stage per­for­mances were pro­duced for sev­en­teen sea­sons.

Mission Statement

Atlanta Lyric The­atre is ded­i­cat­ed to pro­duc­ing the best in musi­cal the­atre and fos­ter­ing the growth of the Atlanta the­atri­cal com­mu­ni­ty by show­cas­ing local pro­fes­sion­al tal­ent. Through edu­ca­tion­al pro­grams and pur­suit of artis­tic excel­lence, The Lyric seeks to inform and expand the audi­ence for musi­cal the­atre in the greater met­ro­pol­i­tan area.

The History of the Atlanta Lyric Theatre

As the com­pa­ny grew into a high­ly regard­ed region­al musi­cal the­ater com­pa­ny, its reper­toire expand­ed beyond Gilbert & Sul­li­van into light opera and musi­cal the­ater and the com­pa­ny changed its name to The Savo­yards Light Opera, then The Savo­yards Musi­cal The­ater Com­pa­ny, and final­ly in 1998 to Atlanta Lyric The­atre. In May, 2005, Atlanta Lyric The­atre relo­cat­ed its head­quar­ters into a new office and per­for­mance space off North­side Dri­ve called The Byers Stu­dio The­atre at The Lyric.

J. Lynn Thomp­son served as the company’s orig­i­nal Music Direc­tor, Con­duc­tor and as Artis­tic Direc­tor until his retire­ment in 2007. In May 2007, New Orleans native and award-win­ing director/​producer Brandt Block­er became the new Artis­tic Direc­tor and Gen­er­al Man­ag­er of Atlanta Lyric The­atre. Block­er embarked on an ambi­tious pro­gram to reor­ga­nize the company’s man­age­ment, to trans­form the pro­fes­sion­al pro­duc­tion val­ues of the company’s shows, to reach out to new audi­ences and expand the sea­son sub­scriber base, and to secure a per­ma­nent and first-rate per­for­mance venue for the com­pa­ny.

From 2008 – 2012, the Lyric per­formed at the Strand the­atre on the Mari­et­ta Square. In 2013, the Lyric found its home at the Jen­nie T. Ander­son The­atre on the Cobb Civic Cen­ter Com­plex. This 600 seat the­atre is the per­fect venue for Lyric to pro­duce high-cal­iber, tech­ni­cal­ly demand­ing shows. In this new loca­tion, Block­er could tru­ly stretch the com­pa­ny to its full poten­tial. In Novem­ber of 2016, Block­er announced his fam­i­ly was mov­ing to Hong Kong and he would be step­ping down as Artis­tic Direc­tor. Staff mem­ber, Mary Nye Ben­nett stepped into the posi­tion of artis­tic Direc­tor in Decem­ber that same year.