Summertime may be over, but don’t let the school day blues get you down, especially since Lagniappe Theatre is cooking up some magic that will pick you up off the ground and get you soaring through the air with Peter Pan! The high flying family musical comes to the Lagniappe Theatre stage and you don’t want to miss one moment of the excitement. Landing at the Coughlin-Saunders Performing Arts Center in downtown Alexandria September 8th through 11th, Lagniappe Theatre has got a whole truck load of fairy dust ready for you as you soar into Never Neverland with Peter Pan, sword fight with pirates, clap for Tinker Bell, run the woods with the lost boys, and hide from the dastardly Captain Hook. All the magic you’ve come to know with the boy who will Never Never grow up is just waiting for you at Coughlin-Saunders Performing Arts Cente.
Peter Pan holds a very special place in the heart of Lagniappe Theatre, as it was for our Co-owner and Producing Director, Karen Burns Schexnayder, the very first show she was ever in. It was 1990, the late Richard Gwartney was directing the show and the beloved Beverly Easterling was set to take on the role of Peter Pan. Richard, in a production meeting discussing sound needs for the then still existing Bringhurst Theatre with Karen’s father, Robert “Bob” Burns, remarked to Bob that he knew Karen was a singer and wondered if she would be interested in auditioning. Bob said he would ask and if she did want to audition, she would be there. A few days later when the advertisement for the audition showed up in the Town Talk, Bob noticed it said that audition participants needed to be at least 12 years old. Much to Bob’s regret, he told Karen she wasn’t old enough to audition, and would just have to wait until the next one.
A few days after the audition had passed, Bob received a phone call from Mr. Gwartney asking why Karen hadn’t been present. Bob told him that the advertisement had said you had to be at least 12 years of age, and Karen was only 8 years old, so they didn’t come. Richard said he didn’t care and wanted to see her audition anyway. So the next day, Karen auditioned for Richard on the Bringhurst Stage, singing “Castle on a Cloud” from the epic musical Les Miserables. That was the day that Karen was cast in her very first show. She was the youngest cast member and played the littlest Indian in the 1990 City Park Players’ production of Peter Pan, performed at the newly constructed Pineville High School Theatre. Because Richard offered this opportunity to Karen, who at the time was not old enough to normally be in the play, it sparked a passion in her for live theatre that continues today.
Let the magic light a spark in your child or the child at heart as well on September 8th through 11th at the Coughlin-Saunders Performing Arts Center. Get you tickets by visiting the newly designed Lagniappe Theatre website at www.lagniappetheatre.com where you can now print your tickets at home and even have them sent to your mobile device. You can also get tickets by calling (318) 48-STAGE or at the door 1 hour before show time each performance. VIP tickets are available where you not only get to go in early, but Peter Pan will be flying directly over the VIP section. Space is limited, so get your VIP tickets today.