We appreciate your support over the past 44 seasons
and invite you to our Gala Celebration
Friday, April 11, 2014, 7:00 p.m.
About UUCA’s Underground Theatre
After 44 seasons, 85 productions, and 270 performances, The Underground is Atlanta’s oldest avocational theatre. Under the direction of Underground founder Dante Santacroce, the theatre presented significant comedies and dramas that enlightened as they entertained. These outstanding plays have been performed twice a year, in fall and spring, over two weekends. The theatre’s cozy underground venue, sporting just under 100 seats, created an intimate setting for highly accessible performances of quality plays—usually revivals of Broadway’s “golden oldies.” Recent exceptions have been David Auburn’s Proof, winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize and the Tony Award for Best Play, Edward Albee’s modern classic A Delicate Balance, and acclaimed contemporary writer A.R. Gurney’s Love Letters. Harvey was The Underground’s 85th and final production.
A grand celebration of the Theatre and its founders will be thrown on Friday evening, April 11, and they will also be honored during UUCA’s April 13 services.
Dante Santacroce was the founder and director of The Underground Theatre. In addition to occasional appearances in Underground plays, he has performed with the Academy Theatre, Theatre Atlanta and DramaTech, where his interest in theatre began. Mr. Santacroce last performed with The Underground in the 2006 hit production of Sidney Kingsley’s Detective Story. When not directing or acting, he is a consultant architect who enjoys sculpting in clay and limestone and sketching in pen and ink.
Underground Theatre History
Just four years after the opening of the UUCA building on Cliff Valley Way, then Senior Minister Eugene Pickett approached Mary Nell and Dante Santacroce about starting a theatre in the church. Dante agreed to direct the first play, the Clifford Odets classic, Waiting for Lefty. Because the only available space for the theatre was below ground level, Mary Nell suggested it be called “The Underground Theatre.” Fred Dixon constructed the light board, using four household dimmers at a total cost of under $45. With that magical box, a few par 150 lights, miles of extension cords and some nervous would-be-actors, the first show was born. As the last scene closed on opening night, the thunderous applause assured Dante that the show was a success. Applause to Dante and everyone who has helped make The Underground a lasting success: the actors, stage managers, technicians, set and prop donors, salespeople, refreshment servers, spaghetti supper chefs, ministers, and office staff, and especially those who have supported the theatre over so many years.