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Stage survivors

Smaller theaters weather the decades

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Gerlach and Forman hope to eventually start a major capital campaign in the future with the goal of getting a new permanent space. Forman dislikes the image of theaters begging for money with "hat in hand." "We don't want 'sponsors,' we want partners -- people interested in getting a return on their investment. The biggest goal we have now is marketing and letting people know we're here. We need money -- we're not out of the red yet. It's going to be an interesting ride."

Familiarity is said to breed contempt, but with many community theaters nationwide, familiar productions can breed a content subscriber base. The new blood at both Onstage Atlanta and Stage Door Players is eager to bring fresh ideas to their long-lasting theaters, even if it may occasionally mean hanging on by the skin of their teeth.

Onstage Atlanta's ALICE: In Wonderland plays through Dec. 30 at the 14th Street Playhouse, 172 14th Street, with performances at 8 p.m. Wed.-Sat. and 2:30 p.m. Sat.-Sun. $18-$23. 404-733-5000. Nunsense plays through Dec. 23 at Stage Door Players, North DeKalb Center for the Arts, 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, with performances at 8 p.m. Thurs.-Sat. and 2:30 p.m. Sun. $14-$18. 770-396-1726.

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