VDay 2017


IT goes on Summer Hiatus

by carolyn with no comments

Greetings, Everyone. After our very successful May 6th Coffee House Theatre at Stellar Beans Cafe, and after our May 11th reading of feminist writings at the Art for Action! reading at Sloppy’s Downtown, IT now goes on summer hiatus. We are refueling.

Watch for the Fall 2017 season, “Making a Difference”. We will attempt to carry this theme throughout our CHT events, the Play’s the Thing series, and our December full production play at Central School’s Ben Mount Theatre. Drum roll… we’re keeping the play’s title under wraps for now, with a few exceptions…;).

Thank you for your interest. Thank you for your financial support. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

See you at the show!

Spring 2017 Final Coffee House Theatre May 6!

by carolyn with no comments

For its final Coffee House Theatre for the winter-spring 2017 season, Itinerant Theatre proudly announces its four new play readings, all premiers. The plays are:

What Else Lord by Marsha Kushner – A comic scene about mother/daughter role reversal.
Return by Jim Weinzettle – A modern exploration of a “prodigal son” theme.
About the Funeral by Grace Epstein -Comic exploration in the secrets and acceptance discovered in a séance.
A Mother’s Privilege by Donna Hoke -A Mother overcoming differences to accept love and relationship.

Date, time & location are: May 6, 7:00-8:00pm (or shorter), free, downtown Lake Charles at co-host Stellar Beans Cafe, 319 Broad Street.

Our local, professional actors — Mark Bailes, Mary Benoit, Tom Cole, Ronald Doyle & Jo Ann Hanks — are in rehearsal now, under the direction of Joy Pace.

Please arrive early to order your drinks and food, and stay after to discuss the plays and enjoy more of Stellar Beans’ offerings.

To learn more about Coffee House Theatre or Itinerant Theatre, call 337-436-6275, visit www.itineranttheatre.com or e-mail the organization at joypace@itinerattheatre.com .

Great Premier of 4 Short Plays. Next: “The Vagina Monologues” Feb 24-25

by carolyn with no comments

February Coffee House Theatre was a real success with a new, varied audience… as always… and an energized cast that brought real character to their…characters!

Director Joy Pace and IT were very, very pleased with the readings of Schrodinger’s Gun by Greg Smith, Jack Pork by Donna Hoke; Kaine’s Curse by Jonathon Ward; and, Summer Storms by Jaisey Bates. Cast included: Bianca Augustine, Tony James, Jonathon Richards and Anthony Williams.

And now, IT moves on to an equally exciting staged reading of The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler, a part of V-Day Lake Charles 2017. This is a benefit production. Proceeds will go: 90% to the Oasis House and 10% to the international V-Day effort.

Dates, time and location are: 7:00pm on Friday – Saturday, February 24-25 at the Ben Mount Theatre, Central School, 809 Kirby Street, Lake Charles.

Tickets are $10.00 and may be purchased at www.itineranttheatre.com or by phoning 337-436-6275.

The all-local cast are: Bianca Augustine, Cathy Chapman, Darby Domingue, Lisa Domingue, Jo Ann Hanks, Carmen Illan, Fataneh Kamrani, Joy Pace (Director), Regina Shirelle, & Shauna Temple.

What are The Vagina Monologues? Hailed by The New York Times as “funny” and “poignant” and by the Daily News as “intelligent” and “courageous,” The play dives into the mystery, humor, pain, power, wisdom, outrage and excitement buried in women’s experiences. The play was first performed off-Broadway by Ms. Ensler.

V-Day is an award-winning global activist movement dedicated to ending violence against women and girls. V-Day raises funds and awareness through benefit productions of playwright/founder Eve Ensler’s award-winning play The Vagina Monologues and other artistic works. V-Day has raised over $120 million; educated millions; reopened shelters; and, funded over 13,000 community-based anti-violence programs and safe houses in Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, Kenya, South Dakota, Egypt, and Iraq.

Exciting February ~ new short plays & “Vagina Monologues”

by carolyn with no comments

IT has a full February calendar and is proud to bring it to the Lake Area!

On February 4th at Coffee House Theatre four new, edgy short plays will be stage read. They are among 13 chosen from 30 new 10-minute and short plays written and submitted to IT from around the USA. The plays are a varied look at many of the difficult issues pertaining to race, guns, shootings and sexual objectification (and double standards).

The actors are local — Bianca Augustine, Tony James, Joy Pace, Anthony Mitchell and Jonathon Richards. Director is Joy Pace. The event is free. Location is at co-host Stellar Beans Coffeehouse & Beanery, 319 Broad St., LC.

On February 24 & 25 at Central School “The Vagina Monologues” will be stage-read. This is part of the V-DAY 2017 Project to bring awareness to abuse of women and girls in the workplace globally. Proceeds benefit Oasis (90%) and women in the workplace globally (10%). Director is Joy Pace. The event is $10 and will be held at Ben Mount Theatre, 809 Kirby St., Lake Charles.

New Short Plays at Coffee House Theatre — Feb, April, May

by carolyn with no comments

IT is excited about Coffee House Theatre for this Spring season. Last Saturday January 7th, three new works by Brook Akya Hanemann, Tony James & Carolyn Woosley were read, along with five feminist classic poems read by Joy Pace. The theme was: Reflections, Revelations & Resolutions. The crowd was large and engaged.

This spring 13 new short- and 10-minute plays will be read at three Coffee House Theatre Saturdays — Feb 4, April 1 and May 6. These new plays were written in response to a nationwide call-out by IT for new works. All-told 30 plays were submitted; IT chose 13 for this season.

Writers hail from across the USA; two are from Louisiana. The requested theme was either “America’s promise of freedom not yet realized”, or simply a personal compelling subject to be explored.

The four (4) short plays for February 4, 2017 are:
Storms by Jaisey Bates; Jack Pork by Donna Hoke; Schrödinger’s Gun by Greg Smith; and, Kaine’s Curse by Jonathon Ward.

Local actors will rehearse and perform these as staged readings under the direction of Joy Pace.

Location: co-host Stellar Beans Coffeehouse & Beanery at 313 Broad St, downtown Lake Charles.
Time: 7:00 – 8:00pm.
Cost: Free.

Find April and May play listings on this blog. Also on this blog IT will post news on the Feb 24-25 benefit reading of The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler, part of the V-Day Lake Charles Project.

Like IT on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram. See you at the reading!

Reflections, Revelations & Resolutions ~ Jan 2017 Coffee House Theater

by carolyn with no comments

Reflect, laugh, cry, rant or rhyme. At any rate, join us Saturday evening at Stellar Beans Coffeehouse & Beanery for original works, written by local actors/writers. The theme: “Reflections, Revelations & Resolutions”. Brook Akya Haynemann, Tony James, Joy Pace & Carolyn Woosley are lined up to read/act/ or somehow interpret their thoughts on 2017, or the just-ended ’16.

Contact us to submit something of your own! It can be a rant. Not too long. Write joypace@itineranttheatre.com .

Info: Saturday, January 7, 7:00pm. One hour. Free.
Address: 313 Broad St., downtown Lake Charles.

“Vagina Monologues” cast is set & New Plays are chosen

by carolyn with no comments

IT is excited to have cast characters for the February 24-25 concert reading of “The Vagina Monologues” by Eve Ensler, as part of the V-Day Lake Charles Joins Global Movement to Stop Violence Against Women & Girls. Watch this blog for cast names!

IT is also excited to have chosen its New Plays for the 2017 season. They address issues brought to light during the most recent Presidential campaign, or unresolved realizations of America’s promises of freedom. These plays, submitted from around the USA, will be read between February – May 2017 at downtown Lake Charles locations, primarily Stellar Beans Coffeehouse & Beanery and in IT’s studio 809 Kirby Street, Studio 339.

Watch this blog, and also IT’s Facebook & Twitter pages, for audition announcements for these excellent new 10-minute and short plays.

Auditions for “The Vagina Monologues”

by carolyn with no comments

IT proudly announces that, as V-Day Lake Charles 2017, it will present a benefit production of Eve Ensler’s famed “The Vagina Monologues” on February 24 and February 25. This production is a part of V-DAY LAKE CHARLES JOINS GLOBAL MOVEMENT TO STOP VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS.

Auditions begin at 6:00pm Sunday, December 11 in the Ben Mount Theatre of Central School, 809 Kirby St., Lake Charles and are opened to all women and female-identified persons interested in being a part of this important production. Call backs will be at 6:00pm, Monday December 12th.

Auditionees may prepare a monologue from “The Vagina Monologues”. There will also be a cold reading from the script.

Proceeds will benefit OASIS a Safe Haven for Survivors of Domestic and Sexual Violence.

As this is a benefit production all participation will be voluntary.

Itinerant Theatre takes a break

by carolyn with no comments

Greetings, friends of live theatre and of Itinerant Theatre (IT). After our heart-warming work with The Foundation House, Leah Howard Robinson and Tony James on “An Evening of Nellie Lutcher”, we are taking a break. We had a terrific time revisiting Nellie Lutcher. In that same month of April we also co-sponsored “Roots Revival ~ a musical history of Southwest Louisiana” with the Arts & Humanities Council SWLA and the City of Lake Charles.

Earlier, in January we pushed hard to sponsor the New Director’s Series — “Beauty Queen of Leenane” directed by Ronald Doyle and “Endgame” directed by Jonathon Richards, and then, New Directions, a lively March weekend of a workshop and performances of devised theatre by guest artist, Laura Rikard.

The season has been a good one. We are a bit tired and are taking a break.

Please check back in with us in August when we’ll start leaking plans for the future!

Opening of “An Evening of Nellie Lutcher” a success!

by carolyn with no comments

Last night’s opening night of “An Evening of Nellie Lutcher” drew a larger crowd than expected. Reception to the 3-part evening warmed the hearts of these producers! The crowd plans to spread word that Leah Howard Robinson’s singing of the 11 Nellie songs to kick off the evening was a treat. What a good voice she has. Tony James accompanies Leah at the piano, and he is actually the other half of “Nellie”, as the real Nellie Lutcher played piano while singing.

The history talk given by Carolyn Woosley appeared to interest the audience. The play is getting better and better known. Leah has such a fine, winning, authentic stage presence that the playwright feels that, at times, Nellie Lutcher is being channelled onto our stage.

Eddie Lewis, our host at The Foundation House is loving being a part of things, and prepares food for purchase with each performance. For today’s 2:00pm Sunday Matinee, Eddie has sandwiches and po-boys in mind.

Tickets are $15/$10 students, and can be bought at the door. Address: The Foundation House, 720 Enterprise Blvd., two doors towards the I-10 from Broad St. Park on the side.

One Week, Two Events — “Roots Revival” then “An Evening of Nellie Lutcher”

by carolyn with 2 comments

Itinerant Theatre (IT) is busy! This very week, IT is involved with two productions.

I. IT co-sponsors the first ever (and hopefully annual) “Roots Revival”, a History of SWLA Music. Roots Revival is an Arts & Humanities Council SWLA event also co-sponsored by the City of Lake Charles.

II. IT closes its annual season with two weekends of “An Evening of Nellie Lutcher”, April 23-24 and 29-30 at The Foundation House.

Please see details below.

I. In two hours, “Roots Revival” celebrates the impressively varied musical roots of this region. First music genre is Zydeco (Bois Sec Ardoin, Queen Ida and Boozoo Chavis). Then is Western Swing/Cajun (Hackberry Rambers). Then, Swing Jazz (Nellie Lutcher). Next is Country Pop (Dolly Parton’s 1st recorded tune), followed by Swamp Pop (Bobby Charles, Cookie and the Cupcakes & Phil Phillips), followed by Garage Rock (Bad Roads), Texas blues & Louisiana Swamp Rock (Marcia Ball), and finally Americana Folk, Rock Blues (Lucinda Williams).

Local singers and groups — the Dog Hill Stompers, Jo-El Sonnier, Buz Clark, Leah Howard-Robinson, Andie Jo Dyer of Young Band Nation, Foxy Moon and Charles “Skeeter” Lyons. The house band is SWLA’s own Sinners, a country, soul rock-and-roll hybrid of Americana and Louisiana music. Pre-show First United Methodist Church’s Bell Choir greets attendees in the 2nd floor foyer of Central School

“Roots Revival” runs Thursday, April 21 7-9pm event at Central School’s Ben Mount Theatre, 809 Kirby St. Enter in the back. Tickets are $10 and are available at the door.

II. IT proudly brings to the Lake Area its final production of the 2016 season, “An Evening of Nellie Lutcher”, directed and produced by Joy Pace. This three-part evening includes 1. 20-30 minutes of Leah Howard Robinson singing Nellie Lutcher songs, accompanied by Tony James; 2. a short history talk on the era surrounding Nellie and her importance by Carolyn Woosley, and 3. the one-woman play “Nellie” by Carolyn Woosley from her 13-play cycle “Louisiana Women”, also performed by Leah Howard Robinson. Leah Howard Robinson is a Lake Charles resident who debuted as Lena Younger in LCLT’s 2009 production of “A Raisin in the Sun”. She dedicates her work to the drama team at Living Word Christian Center where she writes and performs one-act skits. She is at work on a gospel album. Tony James, also a Lake Charles resident, is a widely known actor, singer and pianist. He was “Judas” in IT’s 2013 production of “Jesus Christ Superstar” and “Tony Jackson” in IT’s 2015 reading of Carolyn Woosley’s “Man of a Thousand Songs”.

“An Evening of Nellie Lutcher” runs 7:00pm sharp, April 23, 29 & 30 and one Sunday matinee at 2:00pm April 24. Location: The Foundation House, 720 Enterprise Blvd. (near Broad St. in the newly established Nellie Lutcher Cultural District). Tickets are $15/$10 students and can be bought online at www.itineranttheatre.com, by reservation at 337-436-6275 or at the door.

See you at the shows!

Two evening plays, a morning workshop — explorations

by carolyn with no comments

Greetings to our Itinerant Theatre friends and acquaintances. Next weekend, Friday and Saturday, March 25-26 we are thrilled to host guest artist Laura Rikard who will perform two short plays each night. Plays start each night at 7:00pm in Central School’s main stage, the Ben Mount Theatre, 809 Kirby St., Lake Charles. There is one intermission. Cost is $15/$10 students.

IT is very excited that on Saturday morning, 10:00am – 12:00noon on the same stage, Laura will lead a WORKSHOP that is participatory. Attendees will explore the roots of this new theatre form, “devised theatre”, and will devise a mini-theatre piece themselves by the conclusion of this $5 workshop. Scholarships are available to cover all costs. No experience necessary! All ages are welcomed.

In the 1st play, Laura Rikard will explore the very, very challenging life of the founder of the Shaker Movement, Mother Ann Lee. She was determined to speak out and establish a religious sect in 18th century England (finally moving to upstate New York). Explore this deeply inspired life. The play itself is simple and unadorned, as are the Shakers. View women’s issues through the lens of the 18th century, and the 18th century through the lens of Mother Ann Lee.

The 2nd play, “The Pink Ribbons are Choking Me” is about one professional woman’s challenges in leaving NYC to return home to rural South Carolina and become a care-giver to her independent Mother who has advanced breast cancer.

Devise your own theatre piece in workshop

by carolyn with no comments

IT proudly announces that Saturday morning, March 26 from 10:00 – 12:00 noon in Central School’s Ben Mount Theatre, our guest artist Laura Rikard, MFA will lead a workshop on “devised theatre”.

During this participatory workshop attendees will create their own devised theatre piece.

Cost is $5. What a deal!

Exploring “devised theatre” with guest artist, Laura Rikard

by carolyn with no comments

Laura Rikard, our March 25-26 guest artist and friend whom we met via Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival work where she served on the six-state Region 6 committee chaired by our own Joy Pace, is now Visiting Assistant Professor at Brown University. Laura is an academic with an MFA and an MA and years of devotion to academia. She is also a dynamic performer who won “Best Acting Award” at the 2011 Virginia Film Festival.

Not content with these laurels and accomplishments, Laura took on “devised theatre” by studying in Denmark with Odin Teatret.

So, how is “devised theatre” a theatre form that is both novel and different from your typical theatrical production that starts with a playwright’s script? In “devised theatre” cast and crew do NOT begin the process with a written script! Instead, cast and crew engage in an exploratory rehearsal process, a laboratory of theatre, perhaps with some loose outline of a theme, or topic. There is research, improvisation, experimentation. Slowly, form takes shape, and a “script”/a full lived play emerges from this exciting, shared process.

For our upcoming weekend , “New Explorations: Journeys & Legacies” March 25-26 at 7:00pm at Central School’s Ben Mount Theatre, Laura’s audience will experience “… a devised, abstract performance using theatre techniques based in Commedia dell’Arte, Viewpoints, Suziki and Meyerhold’s Biomechanics in order to explore…” two disparate themes in two short plays (each performed each evening).

FYR the two plays Laura Rikard will perform at 7:00pm on March 25-26 are:

1. A Shaker’s Path, the life and times of Mother Ann Lee, the founder of the Shakers and the inspired woman who led this persecuted group from England to finding a peaceful homestead in Upstate New York. We may know the Shakers for their exceptional furniture, but this is a driven group doomed NOT to recreate itself because it believed in abstinence.

2. The Pink Ribbons are Choking Me, an autobiographical exploration/tale of Laura’s returning home to a small South Carolina town from her NYC career to care for her cool, independent mother who is suddenly struggling with breast cancer. Laura plays different characters and gradually unveils family secrets and wonders, at some point, who truly are her parents.

Devised Theatre March 25 & 26– a new form of theatre!

by carolyn with no comments

IT is proud to host guest artist Laura Rikard for two nights of two original, intriguing performances (7:00pm, March 25 and 26) and also one afternoon workshop at Central School, 809 Kirby St., Lake Charles. Ms. Rikard has composed, or rather devised, these pieces. She travels all the way from Brown University, where she is a professor, to share them with our IT audience.

Devised Theatre is a new, contemporary, popular, unusual form of theatre. There is no playwright, as commonly understood. The piece is devised, perhaps by an entire company! The work evolves. The pieces are physical, energetic and personal! Watch for details on the exact titles (there has been a change, and it is a good change!)

See you at the show!

Week Two of New Directors Series begins tonight at 7pm

by carolyn with no comments

“Beauty Queen of Leenane” by Martin McDonagh and directed by Ronald Doyle continues tonight at the Ben Mount Theatre of Central School, 809 Kirby St., Lake Charles. It shows again on the 23rd at 5pm. Audiences have been delighted!

“Endgame” by Samuel Beckett and directed by Jonathon Richards continues tomorrow the 22nd at 7pm and again, to close the series, at the 2pm Sunday matinee on January 24th. Audiences are astounded by Beckett’s dialogue and are engaged in the performances.

Tickets are $15 or $10 students per show. See you there!

“Endgame” delights audience! “Beauty Queen of Leenane” opens today!

by carolyn with no comments

“Endgame” has opened, and strongly! Itinerant Theatre was proud and pleased both at the size of a Thursday night audience and also at the audience’s strong reception to this dystopic modern masterpiece by 20th century great Samuel Beckett, as directed by new local director Jonathon Richards. Cast includes Corey Lambert as Hamm, Sean Hager as Clov, Ronald Doyle as Nagg and Jordan Belle Ashworth as Nell.

And now, one day later, is the equally challenging “Beauty Queen of Leenane” by Irish writer Martin McDonagh, as directed by local new director Ronald Doyle. It opens tonight, Jan. 15, at 7:00pm sharp, also in the Ben Mount Theatre of Central School. “Beauty Queen…” weighs in on a troubling, darkly challenged, if humorous, mother-daughter relationship and asks the question, “How much can we give to family members in need.” “Beauty Queen…”’s cast includes Jo Ann Hanks as Maureen, Joy Pace as Mag, Claude DarDar as Ray Dooley and Dan Sadler as Pato Dooley. There is one intermission.

Each play is produced on alternating nights over two long weekends. “Beauty Queen…” runs at 7pm on Jan. 15, 21 & 23 and one Sunday 2pm matinee on Jan 17. “Endgame” runs Jan. 16 and 22 at 7pm and one 2pm Sunday matinee on Jan 24.

Tickets are per play and are $15 or $10 for students of any age.

New Director’s Series Jan. 14-24

by carolyn with no comments

Our two casts and sets are moving onto the stage of Ben Mount Theatre at Central School A&H Center this week! Curtain rises 7:00pm Jan. 14 for “Endgame” by Samuel Beckett directed by Jonathon Richards and 7:00pm Jan 15 for “Beauty Queen of Leenane” by Martin McDonagh directed by Ronald Doyle. Artistic Director/Producer/mentor is Joy Pace.

The two challenging modern classics run alternating nights and Sunday matinees for two weekends. Tickets are $15 or $10 for students. More info to come!

Happy New Year & become a member of IT!

by carolyn with no comments

Greetings to all! May you all have a happy and rewarding 2016! Eat some black-eyed peas for luck and cabbage for money!

IT has had an event-filled 2014-15 season, culminating with the very successful Dinner Theatre at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in October. Thanks to all members of that congregation led by Nan Cagney who worked so hard on that good evening which featured Carol Anne Gayle as “Clyde” and Leah Howard Robinson as “Nellie”.

First things first! Become a member of IT. Support live, professional art! And get a tax deduction in the process. IT is a 501(c)(3) in good standing, and runs on a shoestring budget, while paying every single cast and crew. If you don’t have a brochure write email joypace@itineranttheatre.com .

We need to receive your membership by January 8 in order to list you in our program for the first event of 2016, our “New Director’s Series”. Remember, Students can join for $35, and the lowest general membership is $50. Don’t let that stop you from giving more!

Season’s Best!