Little Lake Theatre: Flourishing in 2016

Front-Cover-e1459908085733After a financially rewarding, well attended season that was included in the Post-Gazette’s annual “Best of” roundup, in January of 2016 Little Lake Theater made a significant artistic change. Little Lake Theatre let go Roxy MtJoy, who had served one season as the Theater’s Artistic Director in early 2016. Instead of replacing its Artistic Director, Little Lake Theater relied on a board of seven Associate Directors to plan Little Lake’s 2016 season. For a Canonsburg community theatre that began in 1949 in an old barn on the side of a lake in Washington County, Little Lake offers a significant amount of content through three programs: the Main Stage, Looking Glass Theatre, and family matinees. “We are headed in a very positive direction, but will maintain the tradition of the last sixty eight years,” said Associate Director and Production Manager, Jena Oberg.

Main Stage

Little Lake will host a combination of new and old theatre on its Main Stage in 2016. Their 2016 lineup of plays  will include the following:

  • Jeeves Intervenes. (May 5-7, 12-15 & 19-21) This P.G. Wodehouse play features the infamous butler engaged on a light-hearted quest to rescue two bumbling bachelors.

  • Enchanted April. (May 26-28, June 2-5 & 9-11) Tony-nominated Matthew Barber’s play is about two London housewives who escape to the Mediterranean Coast, but the vacation becomes difficult due to the arrival of two upper-class women who are selected to share the cost.

  • Light up the Sky (June 16-18, 23-26 & 30-July 2) Written by Theater Director, Playwright, and Author of “Act One”, this play takes place in the hotel room of a Broadway actress prior to the opening of a new play. The play’s opening night proves a handful for the play’s temperamental leading lady, the flamboyant director, the lowbrow producer, and others in the cast.

  • Anna in the Tropics (July 7-9, 14-17 & 21-23) This Pulitzer Prize winning play takes place in Tampa during the height of the cigar industry in the 19th century. A man is hired to read Anna Karenina to the cigar rollers. Things take a memorable turn when the world of the play starts to resemble Anna Karenina. “The thing we love most about the story are the character relationships, and there will be a Cuban feel,” said Oberg.

  • The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (July 28-30, Aug. 4-7 & 11-13) Jay Presson Allen’s adaptation of Muriel Spark’s novel tells the story of an eccentric teacher at an all girl’s school and the lasting impact that the teacher has on her student’s lives. Oberg mentions that “At least thirty different people have expressed excitement at our decision to perform Brodie.”

  • Loot (Aug. 18-20, 25-28 & Sept. 1-3) Joe Orton’s play tells the story of two young thieves who try to hide money stolen from a bank robbery in a coffin and the subsequent hijinks that occur.

  • A Fine Bright Day Today (Sept 8-10, 15-18 & 22-24) Philip Goulding’s play tells the story of a widow who lives with her daughter in a small coastal cottage. When the widow’s daughter moves out to live with her boyfriend, the widow meets an American man who is visiting the area.

  • Luv (Sept. 29-Oct. 1, 6-8 & 13-15) Murray Schisgal’s play tells the story of two college friends who are reunited when one stops the other from jumping off a bridge.

  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Oct. 20-22, 27-29 & Nov. 3-5) Shakespeare’s dream-like play contains four interconnected plots about a wedding that is set in Fairyland. “The play will be set during the Regency period and use a Jane Austen feel rather than the play’s traditional Athen’s setting,” says Oberg.

  • Last Train to Nibroc (Nov. 10-12, 17-19 & 25-26) Arlene Hutton’s play tells the story of a cross-country train carrying the bodies of the great American writers Nathaniel West and F. Scott Fitzgerald in addition to a woman who shares her seat with a young discharged flyer. Oberg says “The play is reminiscent of Thornton Wilder. A beautiful simple piece. For Thanksgiving, we generally look for something sweet and light.”

  • A Christmas Carol (Dec. 1-3, 7-10 & 15-17) This theatrical take on the Charles Dickens album differs from many other versions in that Ebenezer is ready this time for to be visited by the trio of ghosts. “It’s a new script developed last season by a company in California,” said Oberg.

After the first Friday performance of every production, Little Lake holds its Talk Backs series in which the production’s director and cast discuss behind-the-scenes secrets. Also the second Friday of every run is happy hour, where for five dollars patrons receive a beverage and snack.

Looking Glass Theatre

Aimed towards younger audiences, the Looking Glass Theater holds a series of three plays in the summer:

  • The Tiger Who Came to Tea (June 29 – July 16) Based on the book by Judith Kerr, this musical tells the story of a young girl and her mother who while sitting down to tea are interrupted by a very polite tiger.

  • Beauty and the Beast (July 20 – August 6) In this twist on the age old tale, one of the Beast’s servants is turned into a puppy.

  • A Surprise for Lydia (August 10 – 27) This play tells the story of Lydia who has been banished to her room and wants nothing more than to peek inside a gigantic box that has arrived for her.

Family Matinees

Family matinee performances will be held of Fancy Nancy in October and November, A Midsummer Night’s Dream in October, and A Christmas Carol in December.

In addition to theater, Little Lake also offers a selection of classes and seminars. Little Lake offers a Theater Arts Summer Camp for children with sessions in July and August. For adults, Little Lake provides its acting class called “I Can Do That!” in September and October. Little Lake also offers a series of classes from July to August called “Techie Training” detailing behind-the-scenes skills.

For more information about any of these events or to read additional information about Little Lake Theatre, click here.

Check out the rest of our 2016 Summer Preview here! Follow along with our summer adventures with the hashtag #SummerwithPITR on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!