NEW ORLEANS (press release) – New Orleans, as well as all of Louisiana, has never had a fully professional Regional Theatre offering paid Theatrical Union jobs. But, that is about to change.
Michael A. Newcomer and his wife Elizabeth Elkins Newcomer, along with their friend and colleague Jana Mestecky – all professional actors and theatre business owners who have worked on stage and in film/television all over the country – used the pandemic to fine-tune a dream.
That dream is to bring to Louisiana what 29 other states already have: A member of the League of Resident Theatres (LORT).
Based in New Orleans, the two-year pandemic allowed them to create a 501c3 to sustain the concept and test various class offerings online, as well as eight professional virtual play readings featuring 42 experienced actors from all over the country.
Thus, Crescent City Stage was born, and now the venture is about to enter the post-pandemic world. It aims to operate year-round, produce up to five staged live productions annually, offer quarterly classes, and develop New Orleans and Louisiana focused plays.
Union-affiliated (Actors’ Equity Association), CCS is based on a sustainable business model that “elevates and celebrates the artist”, i.e. pays real wages and offers benefits at union-scale, said Michael. His focus is on creating a new non-profit business model, one that, “avoids the ‘nonprofit development gap” by creating a self-sustaining, social enterprise with predictable and growing revenue streams.Michael is already busy raising funds as well as continuing his professional acting career.
“This is the Season of Empowerment for the arts in New Orleans, and we’re ready to jump right in,” he said.