Anthony Rodriguez & Juan Unzueta with Aurora Theatre

Anthony Rodriguez, Aurora Theatre co-founder and producing artistic director, and Juan Unzueta, director of cross-cultural programs, are in the studio for today’s Around Atlanta segment of Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio. Joined by co-hosts Carol Morgan and Todd Schnick, the group comes together to discuss the theatre’s creative solutions to COVID-19 precautions, as well as upcoming shows taking place this holiday season.

Based out of historic Downtown Lawrenceville, the Aurora Theatre has been entertaining the Gwinnett County community for 25 years. The theatre center offers a wide range of entertainment opportunities that include children’s programming, comedy nights, main stage productions and cabaret shows. While this past year certainly hasn’t been easy for the theatre, it has provided Rodriguez and his team insight into how and why they do what they do, along with the opportunity to further their connections with theatre donors, patrons and staff.

When the COVID-19 pandemic first started, Rodriguez knew they would have to get creative to keep things running. The theatre began this creative effort by pouring into their digital series by offering free play readings, weekly storytimes for kids, improv games and even paint and sip events. However, as the pandemic’s outlook began to look more long term, the theatre switched over to one-person streamed shows as its newest endeavor. By filming on multiple cameras and using editing skills, the theatre was able to produce full show content for audiences at home to stream. These streamed productions not only showcase the creativity of the theatre staff but also their talent as everything is produced in-house.

The ongoing pandemic may have changed a lot of things for the Aurora Theatre, but its annual Christmas Canteen is not one of them. This year, the incredible holiday event will take place at the Bowl at Sugar Hill, an outdoor seating venue that has the capacity to hold 2,000 people normally and 500 people socially distanced. In this variety show, audience members will enjoy everything from comedy to dancing to music and more. Patrons will bring their own seats and will be separated into pods in order to follow social distancing protocols. In addition, there will be no intermission in an attempt to prevent large gatherings. Even the actors on stage will be following guidelines with face shields, prior COVID-19 testing and limited on-state interaction.

In addition to its annual Christmas Canteen, the Aurora Theatre will also be offering community members the opportunity to choose their own Christmas adventure with two other exceptional performances. Performed by Rodriguez himself, the one-man Charles Dickons’ A Christmas Carol will take place in-person on the main stage which limited capacity and social distancing in place. This production will have nine different performances taking place between December 16 and December 23. For those who’d feel more comfortable watching from home, a one-man production of This Wonderful Life will also be available for streaming.

Listen to the full radio episode to learn more about the Aurora Theatre’s new COVID-19 safety measures and the exciting new theatre expansions in 2021! For more information about the Aurora Theatre, its upcoming holiday productions and how to support the organization, visit

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Georgia Residential Mortgage Licensee, License #22564. NMLS ID #6606. Subject to borrower and property qualifications. Not all applicants will qualify. New American Funding and Aurora Theatre are not associated. Click here to view the terms and conditions of the products mentioned during the show. Corporate office 14511 Myford Rd., Suite 100, Tustin, CA 92780. Phone: (800) 450-2010. (December/2020)

New American Funding is a family-owned mortgage lender with a servicing portfolio of over 123,000 loans for $30.4 billion, 198 branches, and about 3,100 employees. The company offers several niche loan products and has made Inc. 5000’s list of Fastest-Growing Companies in America six times. It has a state-of-the-art career training facility and develops innovative technology, including the GoGo LO mobile application. For more information, visit

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