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.
IT builds 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 troupe, The Magnolia Sisters. IT then produced three one-woman plays from Woosley’s Louisiana Women: The Writers (Maggie, Kate & Rosa). IT closed the Bicentennial Year by inaugurating The Play’s the Thing — a staged reading series of the classics — with Candida by George Bernard Shaw, his comedy on the clash of expectations in love.
IT returned in 2013-14 with a varied season. An all-local (cast of 18) hit production of Jesus Christ Superstar by Andrew Lloyd Webber & Tim Rice for an audience of 1,500. In Spring 2014 IT produced Tuesdays with Morrie, by Jeffrey Hatcher & Mitch Albom, ; and, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf by Edward Albee.
IT titled its 2014-15 season America’s Unfinished Business: Freedom. Bracketing the season were two staged readings, The Hairy Ape by Eugene O’Neill and a world premier reading of Man of a Thousand Songs by Carolyn Woosley. Mid-season were three full productions: Louisiana Women: Bound (three “Louisiana Women” one-woman plays — Eliza, Rachel (both world premiers) and Marie Therese) by Carolyn Woosley, This Wide Night by Chloe Moss, directed by Woosley and Race by David Mamet, directed by Pace.
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 was St. Andrew Presbyterian Church.
In 2016 IT produced two new directors for its “New Director’s Series”. Jonathon Richards directed “Endgame” by Samuel Beckett. Ronald Doyle directed Beauty Queen of Leenane by Martin McDonagh. In late March guest artist Laura Rikard performed two devised theatre pieces and led a workshop on devised theatre. The season concluded with 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 C. 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.
In its 5th season IT also co-hosted Coffee House Theatre with Stellar Beans Coffee House & Edibles at 313 Broad Street, downtown Lake Charles.
On Feb 24-25, 2017 IT, operating in the capacity of V-Day Lake Charles 2017, presented a benefit production of Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues.
The season continued with premier readings of 13 new 10-minute and short plays, chosen from 30 new works submitted from around the USA. The new works explored themes either exposed in the 2016 presidential race or the plays spoke to freedoms promised by the American dream but not yet realized. All readings occurred at Coffee House Theatre, Stellar Beans Cafe, co-host.
For the 2017-18 season IT is proud to produce the 25-charcter play, “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Radio Play”, weekends, December 1-10 at the Ben Mount Theatre of Central School. Coffee House Theatre continues monthly at Stellar Beans. Also, IT will cohost with the City of Lake Charles and the Arts & Humanities Council SWLA the 3rd “Roots Revival”, an exploration of SWLA music. The 2017 theme will be Cajun dance halls of SWLA, using Ron Ule’s book on the subject as source of the material.
Check Facebook, Twitter and the blog of this website for other upcoming readings and productions.
Itinerant Theatre continues to cultivate & showcase the talents of young & old in front of & behind the curtain.