Jessica Lee Goldyn, Terrence Mann, and Lisa Gadja in the 2015 world premiere of Tuck Everlasting. Photo by Greg Mooney.

Humans of the Alliance Theatre: Collins Goss

Collins Goss, Grants Manager

Without using the words in your job title, what do you do at the Alliance? 
"I write and administer all of our foundation and government grants, sorry it's hard to talk about this without using the word 'grant.' I'm also kind of a repository of information, so I have to be able to talk about the Alliance from a super high-up view of all the things we do and be able to present them in as few words as humanly possible. And sometimes it's in a few words, sometimes it's visual aids. And sometimes I zoom into way into a particular program and get granular. I kind of steal everyone else's stats and then use them to tell the story that needs to be told."

How did you get involved with theatre?
"Probably like most people, I started in high school. My friends were in the one-act plays or the spring musical, so I thought, 'Ok sure.' I did the literary competition because Lord knows I couldn't jump hurdles or play basketball. Then I went to college and because English was my first love, I majored in English and theatre. I didn't want to just do the acting track or just do the design track, so I did a little bit of everything and that's how I landed on arts management and went to grad school in Alabama for it. I'm University of Georgia born and bred, one of those crazy dynasty families, so to be able to say 'Roll Tide' took about six months before not wanting to throw up a little."

What's your first theatre-related memory?
"I grew up in South Georgia [Albany], and as part of your music class that you took once a week, they would do some type of play every year. Every child had to get up and say some type of speaking part, so I always remember doing those. Everyone had to wear a costume that your mother made for you and it was adorable. By 5th grade it wasn't quite as cute, but that's neither here nor there."

Have you ever seen a piece of theatre that has changed your life?
"In college I did study abroad through the English department and I took something like 'Special Topics in Shakespeare' or 'From Page to Stage,' whatever it was that we sat around studying and seeing Shakespeare. Basically a nerdfest for three weeks. We saw some stuff at the Globe, the Old Vic, Stratford, Royal Shakespeare Company, and this super amazing production at Regent's Park. But the Globe was like the holy grail. I kept thinking 'I'm watching MacBeth performed in the Globe and I'm standing here like a groundling and this is just the coolest thing ever.'  Also, the Alliance production of Ugly Lies the Bone. I have never ugly cried in the theatre before, but it destroyed me in the best way. I was just kind of a wreck at the end. Watching her struggle with the chronic pain and how it affected the family dynamic was just so moving. It was incredible."

How did you get to the Alliance?
"This is my fourth year in Atlanta and I was at the Horizon Theatre doing development and some marketing before I came to the Alliance. And then I connected with Jamie Clements [Director of Development] and that was it. I've been here about a year now."

What does the off-site season mean to you?
"I'm super stoked for the off-site season! Even though, oh boy, it's going to be a lot of work. And there are a lot of unknowns, but it's going to be great. At Horizon, we produced the school edition of Avenue Q at Piedmont Park and then we did the regular version at Oglethorpe. And it was unreal the amount of work we did, but it was so incredible. Just what it does for the organization itself and what it does for your community. So doing it 13 times over the next year is scary, but really cool. It's going to push the Alliance to really think about the way we do some things and allow us to get outside our comfort zone. No one has done this before."

A little known fact about yourself.
"I'm truly from the south of Georgia. No, not just south of the airport like everyone always thinks. I know how to crochet — I learned from YouTube. I do really prefer the yellow legal pads to the white ones. I don't know why, but white legal pads are for amateurs. The yellow ones feel very official." 

A little known fact about the Alliance.
"We are the largest producing theatre in Georgia and if you break out our education department and its shows, that would be the second. We have an in-school program in almost every Fulton Country district. A lot of our education programs are kind of the unsung heroes of the Alliance."  

What is your hope for the future?
"Be kind to each other and we're all in this together, in this crazy world. We all have our struggles and things to deal, but I firmly believe, at the end of the day, everything will be ok. So let's just have some empathy for others for even just five minutes every day."

What is the best theatre-related project you've ever worked on?
"Probably Avenue Q at Piedmont. Once we got funding, we had four months to pull it off in the middle of everything we were doing. And it was great!"
What makes you feel personally fulfilled?
"It sounds so silly, but I have very extensive to-do lists and when I get to check things off, whew, it's an endorphin high! And adding fuel to the fire, I have a super deadline-oriented job. If I don't meet a deadline, we don't get to be included in a funding cycle. Nothing motivates me quite like a deadline!"

What piece of advice would give to a group of people?
"I'm a giant worrywart and I can just worry about anything all the time. One piece I take is 'it's all going to be okay.' Story worrying and just enjoy it. You can step away from your to-do list and it will be back tomorrow." 

by A'riel Tinter, Brand Journalist



We've officially hit summer here in Atlanta, and while temperatures are rising outside, we're staging the hottest dance party inside: The Dancing Granny. But with all there is to do this season, why should you grab the kids and come see the show?

A little known fact about the Alliance?
"We are the largest producing theatre in Georgia and if you break out our education department and its shows, that would be the second."

What is your hope for the future?
"For myself, I want to be happy. Motivation to succeed. For humanity, I wish for there to be more understanding, without disregard or hate."


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