Joy Pace in the role of Margaret Dixon. (Karen Wink / American Press)
Carol Anne Gayle in the role of Clyde Connell. (Karen Wink / American Press)
Last Modified: Friday, June 15, 2012 8:28 PM
The first production of Itinerant Theatre, Inc., a nonprofit group that produces live theatre events, collaborates with other arts organizations and brings theatre to underserved audiences, is now on stage at the Imperial Calcasieu Museum.
“The Firsts,” a set of four monologues written by Carolyn Woosley, opened Thursday and will continue Thursdays and Fridays through June 29. The monologues are taken from Woosley’s “Louisiana Women” series.
Woosley is a founder of Itinerant Theatre and says the organization wants to take theater to new settings and audiences and get more people involved in the arts.
“We are working with another champion of the arts, partnering with Imperial Calcasieu Museum, for this show,” Woosley said. “We will go to schools, we will go to coffee shops, you name it. We will be portable with a minimum of props and backdrops. We want to go to you.”
Woosley said the group is trying to reverse a recent trend of art groups shutting down.
“You see symphonies, ballets and theater companies folding,” she said. “Is that what society wants? Itinerant theater wants to keep our art form alive, collaborate with other performing arts such as music and dance.
Subjects of the monologues are Caroline Dormon, a conservationist who helped establish the Kistachie National Forest; newspaper editor/mental health advocate Magaret Dixon, who became the state’s first female editor; artist/civil rights activist Clyde Connell and Rosa Hart, founder of Lake Charles Little Theatre.
“These women are my role models,” Woosely said. “Dixon was key in Angola reform. She teaches me to be a changemaker. Caroline teaches me how to keep focus in the face of defeat. She did not win her biggest fight but helped teach me that defeat is part of victory. Some people only think of Clyde as an artist, but she did a lot for civil rights. Rosa was casting blacks and ending segregation in theaters in 1948. These women are all doers. They made a difference.”
Woosley is working as director and producer for the first time, directing “Maggie” and “Rosa.” Joy Pace will star in those shows, while Carol Ann Gayle will perform and direct “Clyde.” Molly Marwick will star in “Caroline.”
Woosley said she has enjoyed the new roles.
“One thing I have really enjoyed is the marketing,” she said.” We have a good, professional team. Adley Cormier is doing sets props and costumes for ‘Maggie’ and ‘Rosa,’ he has 30 years of experience. Joy has 20 years acting and directing. The students are award-winning theater students.”
“Caroline” and “Maggie” will be performed Thursdays, “Clyde” and “Rosa” Fridays. All performances will begin at 7 p.m. at the Imperial Calcasieu Museum, Gibson Barham Gallery.
Tickets are $10 for the general public, $5 for seniors and students.