The groundwork for PushPush started in 1990 at Atlanta’s 7 Stages, where Tim Habeger helped cull together 60+ Atlanta theater professionals for studio workshops to improve their artistry and explore collaboration. These workshops lasted for seven years and resulted in six acclaimed productions. The success of these shows responded to Atlanta’s growing appetite for risk-taking Theater.

Founded by Tim Habeger, Shelby Hofer and Milton Sams in 1997 (with help from Rob Nixon beginning 1998), PushPush formally started in 1997 when the need for permanent performance space triggered the move to a 1200 sq. ft. home on Zonolite Road in Virginia Highlands. In 2003, PushPush relocated to an expanded 5000 sq. ft. facility within a six-acre revitalization in Decatur at East Decatur Station.

In 2007, PushPush celebrated its 10th year by inaugurating New Street Arts a project employing new Artistic Planning Program and open-source strategies to help organize a hub of over 300 artists and more than 20 groups benefitting from the PushPush mission.

In 2010, the organization entered its 14th year with a travel grant from The Theater Communications Group to perform, collaborate and develop its international outreach program, The Portal Project, with artists in Berlin, Germany. As a result, they were able to co-create and perform three shows in Berlin with partner theater Ballhaus Ost. The company also completed its revised strategic plan supported by a Toolbox grant from the Community Foundation For Greater Atlanta. Their 2009-2010 show 101 Humiliating Stories was named as one of Atlanta’s Top 50 plays of the decade by Creative Loafing and commissioned for a remount in 2011 in a partnership with Synchronicity.

In February of 2011 PushPush received a grant from Turner Voices for its Slow Down Atlanta Stage-to-Screen series project. This was also a banner year for the PushPush adult education program with six nationally recognized artists from outside of Atlanta gracing their stage and space with 18 guest performances and workshops outside of their normal season activity. They also launched two critically hailed literary events, Write Club Atlanta and Naked City.

In the fall of 2012, after being awarded a prestigious New Media Grant in 2012 from the NEA, PushPush made a bold move go from year-round producing and presenting of more than 200 events a year, to leave their space in East Decatur Station and focus on streamlining their practice, for more touring and creating original work. This resulted in a tour and expand a writer’s program (Cultivate ATL).

Between 2013 and 2016 PushPush produced several immersive theater productions in non-traditional spaces, The Black Glass, See Through, The GRFX Series, and Intersection of Dreams with artists across the globe. In 2018 they launched a new incubator/accelerator lab for creators, Seedworks, and produced the Atlanta chapter of Berlin’s popular, Social Muscle Club.

Since 1997 PushPush has served over 3000 artists with affordable space, training, mentorships and opportunities for performance and international collaboration. Through this work they have connected over 60,000 patrons to innovative and diverse performances and programs. PushPush has also served over 900 youths with their innovative youth program, SmallTall Theater. To date, the company has produced 168 theater productions, 250 films (shorts/features), 18 festivals, 180 artist workshops, 37 premiere plays by notable national/international playwrights, and numerous youth programs for ages 4-18 to learn and perform and create original work.

The company has also received numerous awards, grants and recognitions over the years. Most recently they were selected by the NEA for a Media Arts grant. One of only two Atlanta recipients, the grant supported the two-year development of an original digital series (GRFX) about the challenges of being a creative and telling new stories in the 21st century.

PushPush has rigorously supported Atlanta’s original film, theater, and hybrid performance scene with a wide range of diverse performances and resources, including planning systems, mentorships, workshops and training, international travel and connections, collaborative opportunities, equipment and materials, critical response and free or low-cost space. These opportunities have offered artists at all stages rare opportunities to explore new ideas and achieve greater impact. It is through this cultivation of artists and resources that PushPush has been able to connect its audiences to such a wide range of diverse shows and award-winning programs.

PushPush continues to expand and develop a body of original work with numerous partners while supporting creator locally, nationally and globally.