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PURE Theatre Announces World Premiere of “Atwater” by Fred Thompson



Credit: David Mandel

Press Release

PURE Theatre this week announced the World Premiere of Atwater, a new play by Fred Thompson. The show will run from October 19th through November 18th at the Cannon Street Arts Center (134 Cannon Street). 

Atwater is a front-row seat at the pearly gates as Lee stands before Saint Peter to discuss his “win at all costs” political maneuvering and its far-reaching aftermath. Filled with hilarious performances by PURE’s lauded Core Ensemble, this World Premiere satire from the outrageous mind of Fred Thompson is a laugh-packed cringefest reviewing the complex life of the mastermind behind some particularly dirty tricks in American politics.

The show is directed by PURE Artistic Director Sharon Graci and features PURE Core Ensemble members Brannen Daugherty as Lee Atwater, Joy Vandervort-Cobb as Saint Peter, and Scott Pattison as Satan. Additional PURE Core Ensemble members include Shivam Patel, Addison Dent, and Sullivan Hamilton.

Atwater is a funny, funny play, which is exactly what we need right now,” said Graci. “I love directing new plays and developing world premieres. It’s doubly fun when the play is a satire about American politics and the mastermind behind negative campaigning, Lee Atwater. Who among us, regardless of political affiliation or bent, doesn’t enter the campaign season with a bit of angst and then relief when it’s finally over? Atwater is like the proverbial spoonful of sugar that helps the medicine go down.”

Fred Thompson has resided in and around Charleston his whole life. A lawyer by trade, he has made friends and enemies all over the country in the single-minded pursuit of success. He knows firsthand about the dangers to the soul from an ego-driven life, which inspired this exploration of Lee Atwater. Atwater is a collaboration developed in the PURE Lab, which has been fostering new theatrical works for over 20 years.

Tickets for Atwater range from $45 to $53. There will be an ASL-interpreted performance on Saturday, November 11 at 3pm. There will be two Pay What You Will Performances on October 19th and 25th. Pay What You Will tickets will be available for online purchase the first week in October. There are also $10 student tickets available for every show. Pay What You Will and student tickets are available now for online purchase at Atwater is also available through the Season 21 Flex Pass, which includes tickets for every show along with a host of other benefits. Virtual streaming tickets are available for specific shows through PURE Live.

Additional information about Atwater and the Season 21 Flex Pass can be found on PURE’s website at or by calling the box office at 843-723-4444 (Tuesday through Friday 10 am – 4 pm).

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