It’s their first time with ‘My First Time’

New group introduces fresh faces onto local theater scene

Black Market Theatre Group

<p class="p1">They’re young. They’re bold. And they’re not afraid to challenge convention. 

<p class="p3">They’re the 19 starting members of the Black Market Theatre Group, the latest addition to the local theater scene, and they’re ready to hit the ground running with their first performance in May.

<p class="p3">Jessa Lormand, who founded the group earlier this year, said she always dreamed of starting her own company but never felt the time was right until now. 

<p class="p3">“I’ve been hearing so much over the last year, over and over again, ‘I wish we had a group that did that’ or ‘I wish there was a place that would do these things,’” Lormand said.

<p class="p3">So, after her recent show wrapped up at McNeese State University, she decided to go for it, and put the call out among friends.

<p class="p3">Although the Lake Charles area already has a “great theater scene,” she said,  oftentimes it veers toward more standard performances. 

<p class="p3">The group’s debut show will be “My First Time,” a compilation of stories by Ken Davenport about losing one’s virginity. It’s set for May 18-19 and 25-26 at Regal Beagle — what she called a small, intimate venue.

<p class="p3">“It’s challenge on top of a challenge, but that’s kind of what we’re trying to do is show that theater doesn’t have to be this big gigantic show all the time,” Lormand said.

<p class="p3">Next will be a fundraiser over the summer and then a Halloween performance of “Evil Dead: The Musical” at Center Stage that, she said, has the group excited already.

<p class="p3">Although its first shows are “adult” by nature, she said, Black Market Theatre hopes to put on performances that run the gamut when it comes to target audience and style. 

<p class="p3">“We want to show that we can do both things and both things can exist and they can exist in he same world and that’s okay,” she said. 

<p class="p3">Lormand said the group hopes to draw young people who’ve grown disillusioned with traditional theater by bringing them something they can relate to.

<p class="p3">“We hope to engage an audience that may never experience theater otherwise,” she said, adding that Black market isn’t competing against other groups, but “adding to the diversity of the community.”

<p class="p3">She said they’re not afraid to break the rules or “fail miserably.” They’re willing to give it an honest effort and see where it goes. 

<p class="p3">“We want people to leave anything that we do or any performance that we have and feel something,” she said. “We want them to think ‘Oh, I never thought about this before’ or ‘That made me really uncomfortable.’ Well then question why. What’s the reason behind that?” 

<p class="p3">She said the group runs entirely on donations and exchanges of services. 

<p class="p3">Learn more about Black Market Theatre Group and upcoming performances at blackmarkettheatre.com or visit its Facebook page. 

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