VDay 2017

Cleoma: A First

Louisiana Women

by

 Carolyn Woosley

 Playwright’s Notes

Louisiana Women, the Monologues, researched and written by Lake Charles playwright Carolyn Woosley, is a set of 13 monologues of actual Louisiana women who lived between the years 1742 and 2007. Each monologue is a one-woman show of approximately thirty minutes, and each attempts to explore the events, issues or values of the day through the woman’s lives. Some are well-known. Others are not known but portray their particular era. In the midst of a performance the actress often becomes other characters, sometimes male and sometimes of another race.

Seven of the Louisiana Women monologues premiered at the Lake Charles Little Theatre in 1999 and 2001 respectively, under the direction of Adley Cormier. Carol Anne Gayle was co-producer and actress. They were: Marie Therese, Celine, Kate, Clementine, Caroline, Rosa and Clyde. An eighth, Nellie, premiered in partnership with the Imperial Calcasieu Museum and the City of Lake Charles in 2008 under the direction of Brenda Bachrack, Leslie Berman producer. In 2010 six of the monologues toured the state in two companies, The Originals which featured Marie Therese, Clementine and Nellie;and The Visionaries Company featuring Kate, Caroline and Clyde. These two productions were co-produced by Leslie Berman and AlterEgo Productions, Inc. in partnership with Mahogany Ensemble Theatre of Shreveport. Please see www.louisianawomenonstage.com for detailed information on that Season’s work. The 2010 tour culminated in the production of Clyde and Clementine as part of  the Fringe Festival New Orleans 2010 at the Ogden Museum of the South.  Carol Anne Gayle acted/directed Clyde, and Angelique Feaster, Executive Director of Mahogany Ensemble Theatre, acted/directed Clementine. 

Itinerant Theatre, Inc’s inaugural production was The Firsts ~ They Made a Difference, June 14-29, 2012.  In this Bicentennial Commission-endorsed event the Company reprised the roles of Caroline, played by Molly Markwick, and Clyde, played by Carol Anne Gayle. Ms. Gayle also directed both monologues.  Writer/Director Carolyn Woosley worked with actor Joy Pace on a new production of Lake Charles’s own, Rosa (Rosa Hart).  Joy Pace also performed the monologue Maggie (Margaret Dixon), a world premier.

CleomaCleoma ~ A First is a Southwest Louisiana BiCentennial Year world premiere event. It is produced in partnership with the Imperial Calcasieu Museum 204 W. Sallier St., and occurs at The Annex of the Museum, 7pm October 4-6, 2012 . Producer is Itinerant Theatre, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation [E.I.N. #45-3578583].

Ann Savoy performs this world premiere of Cleoma as a staged reading.  Ms. Savoy will also sing & play resonator steel guitar & diatonic accordion throughout.  Cleoma is directed & co-produced by Carolyn Woosley.

Cleoma Breaux Falcon (1906 – 1941) with husband Joe Falcon were the 1st-ever recorded Cajun musicians (Columbia Records, 1928). Iconic,  lively female performer in an all-male world, Cleoma juggles her career with the demands of homelife.  Set in 1938, in a Crowley dancehall at a time when new music forms — hillbilly, swing, jazz, blues — challenged the purity of Southwest Louisiana’s Acadian French music & culture.  Some of Cleoma’s recorded music is performed by Ms. Savoy as it occurs within the play.

Set in Crowley Louisiana in the late 1930s, Cleoma, a feisty rule-breaking, Acadian woman made her living in the man’s world of Cajun music.  The play tells the story of this Acadian woman in the rowdy, rough-and-tumble dancehalls of SWLA during a time of change as Acadiana’s music met up with “hillbilly”, jazz, blues and other music forms migrating over from New Orleans and the oil-patch of Lake Charles & Port Arthur.  With her husband Joe Falcon, Cleoma made the first ever recording of Southwest Louisiana “French” music (Columbia Records, 1928).  

The songs will first be translated into English by the “Reader”.  As songs arise, “Cleoma” will sing and play a resonator steel guitar or a diatonic accordion.  

This production of “Cleoma” is its world premiere, and is the 13th monologue from playwright/director Carolyn Woosley’s 13-play cycle of “Louisiana Women”.  

 

Thursday, Oct. 4, 7pm

 “Cleoma”

 Followed by Q&A with Ann Savoy and Playwright, Carolyn Woosley

 Admission $10

 

Friday, Oct. 5, 7pm

Things From Our Past”  

Half- hour dramatization of rural life in Acadiana,

written & performed by Angela Richard Wubben

Cleoma”

Followed by a CD-release party and Q&A with Ann Savoy

Admission $10 

 

Saturday, Oct. 6, 7pm 

 “Cleoma”

 Admission $10