People want to tell their story, interpret their times, write and act with beauty and truth… before their peers, both on and off the stage. Itinerant Theatre (IT) wants to make that possible. IT’s mission is to produce and perform theatrical works for artistically underserved audiences in communities without regular access to affordable, professional theatre. IT will build on its Board members’ collective experience of presenting, producing, directing, acting & writing for the theatre & other performing arts, all on a shoestring budget. IT looks forward to collaborating with other performing arts where possible.
In 2012 IT began a series of Louisiana Bicentennial Year productions. The Firsts ~ They Made a Difference, was four one-woman plays by Carolyn Woosley. IT premiered a fifth Bicentennial staged reading, Cleoma ~ A First, and closed that production with an evening of SWLA music performed by Acadiana’s own all-female musical troupe, The Magnolia Sisters. Back by popular demand IT then produced three one-woman plays from Woosley’s Louisiana Women: The Writers (Maggie, Kate & Rosa). IT closed 2012 by inaugurating The Play’s the Thing — its staged reading series of the classics — with Candida by George Bernard Shaw and Joy Pace, Director. Candida is Shaw’s comedy on the clash of expectations in love.
IT returned in 2013-14 with a varied season. An all-local (cast of 18) production of Jesus Christ Superstar by Andrew Lloyd Webber & Tim Rice for an audience of 1,500 was a hit. In Spring 2014 IT produced two ambitious plays at Imperial Calcasieu Museum, both directed by Carolyn Woosley: Tuesdays with Morrie, by Jeffrey Hatcher & Mitch Albom, starring Michael Goldman and Mike Muffuletto; and, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf by Edward Albee and starring Frank Cooper, Joy Pace, Jordan Ashworth and Ronald Doyle.
IT’s 2014-15 season was America’s Unfinished Business: Freedom. Bracketing the season were two staged readings, The Hairy Ape by Eugene O’Neill and Man of a Thousand Songs by Carolyn Woosley. Three full productions mid-season were: Louisiana Women: Bound by Carolyn Woosley, This Wide Night by Chloe Moss and Race by David Mamet.
TheMe 2015-2016 was titled A Season of New Directions. First was an October evening entitled An Evening of Dinner Theatre, Louisiana Women: Art & Music featuring a four-course dinner and two short plays, “Clyde” and “Nellie” taken from C. Woosley’s 13-play cycle Louisiana Women. Host for the over-sold evening was St. Andrew Presbyterian Church. During January 2016 IT produced two new directors in its first-time “New Director’s Series”. Jonathon Richards directed “Endgame” by Samuel Beckett and Ronald Doyle directed “Beauty Queen of Leenane” by Martin McDonagh. In late March guest artist and Brown University professor Laura Rikard performed two devised theatre pieces and leads a workshop on this contemporary form of theatre. The season concluded with two April weekends of “An Evening of Nellie Lutcher: Her Music, History & Career” at The Foundation House, in the Nellie Lutcher District of Lake Charles. Each tri-part evening began with a history of Mrs. Lutcher by Carolyn Woosley, followed by the music of Mrs. Lutcher sung by Leah Howard Robinson (music accompaniment by Tony James) and finally, the play “Nellie” by Carolyn Woosley, performed by Leah Howard Robinson
Meanwhile, IT continues its popular Coffee House Theatre in with co-host Stellar Beans Coffee House & Edibles on Broad Street in downtown Lake Charles. This first Saturday of the month event runs September – December yearly and showcases, not only IT productions, but also other educational and community theatre productions and, also, new works.
Stay tuned for the 2017 season. First on Feb 24 -25 IT, operating in the capacity of V-Day Lake Charles 2017, presents a benefit production of Eve Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues”. The season will continue with readings of new 10-minute plays and short plays submitted from around the USA. The themes of these plays explore themes exposed in the recent presidential race and also may speak to freedoms promised by the American dream but not realized.
Itinerant Theatre continues to cultivate & showcase the talents of young & old in front of & behind the curtain.