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Acadiana Repertory Theatre develops new works for the stage
This weekend, Lafayette residents will have a chance to support local theater and watch the unfolding of “True Story” by E.M. Lewis, a psychological thriller and detective story, which will be performed by The Acadiana Repertory Theatre (ART) at Cites des Arts.
ART is a new works theater, which means they work with playwrights from across the country to perform and develop new shows they have written.
“These are shows that typically have little to no performance history and are not published,” says Steven Landry, managing artistic director. “We work with the playwrights directly and are sometimes involved in changing the script based on our experience with them. Our job is to help these shows become the best they can be to help them have a longer life in the American Theatre.”
ART received 600 submissions for the current season, which were narrowed down to 12 by their reading committee, and “True Story” made the final cut to become part of ART’s 2017 season.
“We tend to start with eliminating shows that have outrageous technical requirements or casts larger than 10 or so,” says Landry. “We like shows that are intimate and acting forward.”
“True Story,” will be performed by a cast of five members, and follows a bit of an unconventional timeline that serves up plenty of twists and turns.
“The shifts in time are achieved through both the dialogue and shifts in the light,” says Landry. “There are three locations throughout the play, but nothing ever moves and the set doesn't shift. It’s very dialogue driven so people will need to pay attention.”
Although it’s still considered a new work, the play is one of the more finished plays that ART has produced.
“It has actually had some productions, but the playwright is preparing to get it published so she wanted one more developmental production before she moves forward with that, and we are happy to meet the need,” says Stevens.
The company’s focus on new works was not intentional, but turned out to be a happy accident.
“We didn't start out with that as our focus,” says Landry. “One season we had a mix of plays that had been produced many times alongside new work, and we realized we were very passionate about the idea of focusing on new works.”
Since no other companies in the area focus on this type of theater, it allows ART fills a sort of theater niche.
“It allowed us to practice the idea of servant theater,” says Landry. “We are in service to these playwrights, plays, to our audience and each other.”
After completing the performances, Landry and his crew report back to the playwrights to help them make the necessary updates to the show.
“Sometimes they come to see a performance or two or come for a couple of weeks to hang out with us during rehearsals,” says Landry. “Sometimes they even make changes to the script the day we open. We keep it friendly, I don't know their show better than them, I just have suggestions that may help from a production stand point.”
Landry hopes the play will engage the audience and get them thinking.
“I hope the audience comes in with an open mind and leaves talking,” says Landry. “We want this show to start conversations.”
For more information about the play, Acadiana Repertory Theatre or to order tickets, visit acadianarep.org or call 337-291-1122.
*L to R: ART logo, Steven Landry
- An Evening with The Meters Guitarist Leo Nocentelli at Hartley/Vey Theatre, Fri., Sept. 8, 7 p.m., Baton Rouge
Come to hear Leo Nocentelli, who is known as the Innovator of Syncopated Funk and the “funkiest, fast-fingered” guitar player of today.
He composed the Grammy inducted songs for The Meters, named, “Cissy Strut” and has been credited as one of the 50 top guitarists in the world.
- Hunter Deblanc Album Release Party, Fri., Sept. 8, 8 p.m. – 12 a.m., Lafayette
Come out and support the local talent, Hunter Deblanc. He will be releasing his album, Daydreaming, at Feed N Seed on September 8. It will also be a going away party for him as he hits the seas for a four-month gig on a cruise ship. There will be CD's for purchase and it’s $10 to get in.
- Word Crawl 2017, Sat., Sept. 9- 10, 12 p.m., Lafayette
Word Crawl is a 12 hour poetry reading marathon in downtown Lafayette.
The event is a 12 hour marathon of poetry, stories, music and words, words, words, and is a fundraiser for the Festival of Words in Grand Coteau in November.
- TEDxVermilionStreet 2017, Sat., Sept. 9, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Lafayette
TEDxVermilionStreet, AdapTED, will explore creative solutions to overcome obstacles and promote change.
Come out for the third annual TEDxVermilionStreet event happening right here in Lafayette, La.
To see the 2017 lineup and reserve your seat, visit: tedxvermilionstreet.org/speakers.html