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Town Square Playhouse: Libertarians Fracena and Danny Dolan

Fracena and Danny met in a production of A Comedy of Errors back in 2004. Fracena was just getting started on an acting career out of college, and Danny was in theatre as a hobby. Now married for twenty years, and with three daughters, the Dolan's are still very much involved with theatre.


Ever since their dating days, they talked about what they would do if they had a stage of their own. Fracena has performed, taught, and toured in productions all around the state, and has built up an extensive resume. In 2021, she was working as Associate Artistic Director for Academy Theatre in Hapeville, and Danny was volunteering as their Front of House Manager. Fracena was also helping teach a children’s musical theatre program locally that would perform at Town Square Playhouse. One day the former owner asked Fracena if she would like to take over, and buy TSP outright. They took the leap of faith, bit the bullet, and bought a theatre! Fracena is the Owner and Artistic Director, and Danny backs her up as Theatre Manager.


What types of plays or events have you hosted?


Danny: We regularly put on nine shows a year: Three with our “Spotlight” musical theatre program for young kids, three with our “Ovations” program for teens, and three semi-professional musicals or plays. Our semi-professional shows have ranged from Little Shop of Horrors to Ain’t Misbehavin’ and Chicago: The Musical, and we’re putting up a two-person romantic comedy play Marriage is Murder! this February!


In addition, we regularly host local bands, we rent our space out for events, and we’ve even hosted our favorite libertarian magician, Doc Dixon (https://docdixon.com/)


What are your influences? Who or what inspires you?


Fracena: My mentors were my professors from college. I even went to a performing arts high school. I was trained by Broadway actor Kenny Leon when I starred in his production of The Wiz as Evillene. I aspire to have as diverse a career as Debbie Allen, as a performer, producer, and director. My comedic inspirations are Carol Burnett and Sherman Hemsley. As I reached into the field of theatre ownership, as an artistic director, I’m inspired by Aurora Theatre up in Gwinnett county. What they have created is simply magnificent.


Danny: I grew up watching “classic” musicals, Fiddler on the RoofThe Music ManThe Sound of Music, and more. I performed as a hobby in high school, but also found that I enjoyed working with sound, lights, and other “off stage” parts of the theatre. I’m also very inspired by working with Fracena!


How long have you considered yourself a libertarian?


Fracena: I can’t pinpoint it, but I think I’ve lived my whole life with a libertarian lifestyle, thinking that I couldn’t assume I was entitled to anyone’s time or resources that didn’t belong to me. In fact, I’m not even good at the old theatre model of begging for money, because I’m a 501c3. I don’t want anyone to give because I’m so pitiful and need your help. I look for sponsors and investors from people who agree with my vision. I’m not entitled to anyone else’s stuff, but if you like the kind of art I like to create, give me a call!


Danny: I’ve been a small-l libertarian since college, reading Bastiat’s The Law and listening to Neal Boortz on the radio. Fracena introduced me to other stories which have expanded my horizons while reinforcing my principles, like Black Like Me and Amistad. I have a conservative church community, but I have also hung out in a very liberal theatre world, and I’ve quietly surprised friends in both worlds with my views. I’ve written voter guides for local elections, helped to start my local county LP affiliate, and even run for Town Council a few times.


What do you think the role of art should be in the libertarian movement?


Fracena: If, in fact, art imitates life, then why do we as libertarians not feel the need, the pull, to support, create, and market art that reflects our lifestyle? There’d be more small-l libertarians out there if they knew what libertarianism was. But we don’t need more soapboxes. We need more stories.


Danny: It’s too easy to find playwrights who will preach at you with their scripts, from left, right, or any other political angle. Really good stories and songs resonate with shared human experiences. The desire for freedom is there to be found in people of all cultural backgrounds. We can stir that up.


Where can people go to learn more about Town Square Playhouse and your upcoming productions?


Our website is https://www.townsquareplayhouse.com, and our Facebook page is https://facebook.com/townsquareplayhouse. We also invite people to sign up on our mailing list at https://mailchi.mp/townsquareplayhouse/town-square-playhouse-mailing-list




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