Friday, May 15, 2015

SLT Board Elections: Meet the Candidates

Slidell Little Theatre is conducting elections to the SLT Board of Directors at the Annual Membership meeting on Monday, May 18, 2015, beginning at 7 p.m.

Vacancies to be filled are: Board President, Vice President of Marketing and Board Member At-Large. The bylaws require SLT’s standing Nominating Committee to recommend candidates for specific offices, but failure to secure the committee’s endorsement should not in any way suggest that the candidate would not serve the organization well if elected to the board.

“We are very fortunate as an organization to have so many well-qualified people step forward to offer their time and talents to our community theatre,” said Wayne Orton, Vice President of Operations and chair of the Nominating Committee. “Regardless the outcome of these elections, I know Slidell Little Theatre will be in excellent hands.”

The following are personal bios submitted by the candidates:


Paul Banas

Paul Banas is a senior executive with broad general management, operations, contracts/subcontracts, business development, personnel development, and customer-focused solutions experience in support of U.S. Government and commercial clients. He has demonstrated leadership ability in forging organizational vision and accomplishment of goals through the motivation and direction of others. He possesses effective administrative skills proven by understanding organizational needs, planning and executing strategic programs with attention to detail and accuracy. He also has excellent communications skills.

Paul is currently an independent contractor providing technical, management and business development expertise to Department of Defense and NASA Programs. He was previously the Vice President for Maritime and Transportation Services in the Technology Solutions Group (TSG) of QinetiQ North America (QNA), managing over 180 professional, technical and administrative personnel in eight facilities around the country and over $30M in annual revenues. During his career, he served as the employee representative to the Board of Directors for ten years.

Paul holds an M.S. in Marine Sciences from Louisiana State University, a B.S. in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences from the University of Michigan, He is married to Susan Teggart, has a son Ian and daughter Kathryn, and two grandchildren. He has lived in Slidell, Louisiana for over 35 years. He has been a member of SLT, off-and-on, for over 20 years, and has appeared on stage in several productions (based on work travel schedule).

Paul is running for President of SLT in order to help take the organization to “the next level”. There are many creative people in the SLT organization. However, to reach the next level, it will take a manger and leader to harness all this creativity in order to move forward and achieve our collective goals together.                   

William Saussaye*

William Saussaye, a member of Slidell Little Theatre since 2001, has volunteered his time and talents on stage and off.  In addition to appearing in several SLT productions, he has served on the board previously as Newsletter Committee chair, Vice President of Marketing, Vice President of Productions, and President.  When not at SLT, he works as a computer consultant, and has the honor of being married to the lovely and talented, Ginny-Award winning, Renee Balencie Saussaye.

Vice President of Marketing

Tracy Gallinghouse *

Tracy Gallinghouse is completing her third year as Publicity Chair for SLT.  She considers it her mission to get everyone in to see, and be a part of, the live theatre experience.


Roberta Hazelbaker

Roberta Hazelbaker is running for the SLT Board Member At-Large position. She has been a resident of Slidell since 1997.  When her son, Ryan, entered the YATS program in 2000, she became involved with SLT. As Ryan, her daughter, Kristina, and husband, Ken, participated in Main Stage shows, Roberta worked as part of the Production Staff taking the role of Producer, a position in a show she feels is the best job ever! Roberta was a member of the SLT Board for a one year term as Secretary, then became co-coordinator of the YATS program for three summers. Currently, Roberta works with the V.P. of Production with the creation and presentation of the Producers Training Program, assists with Box Office, and produces shows. 

Roberta was honored to be asked to run for a position on the SLT Board. She is thrilled at the prospect of assisting with the management and operations of SLT, which is an organization that is dear to her heart.

Jeremy Himel*

I was born in New Orleans and raised in Slidell since 1984. I attended Northshore High School, and the University of New Orleans.

I have worked in blood banking since 1996, first in the laboratory as a component preparation technician, and then as the Fixed Site Recruitment Manager for The Blood Center. As the recruitment manager I was responsible for the promotional events, direct mail, and the recruitment of 30,000 + blood donors at our 14 area locations throughout South Louisiana and the Mississippi Gulf Coast. After Hurricane Katrina, I moved to the Northeast and accepted a job with the American Red Cross Connecticut Region as a Quarantine and Labeling Technician. Then in 2012 I accepted a position back with The Blood Center in my previous capacity.

I have been a member of Slidell Little Theatre since 2012. I have produced two plays; Fiddler on the Roof, and A Good Old Fashioned Redneck Country Christmas.

·         Entire career has been spent in the non-profit sector
·         Over 10 years’ experience managing a diverse multi-generational team
·         Goal oriented

According to our bylaws, any qualified member can still be nominated for a position from the floor at the Annual Meeting, regardless whether he or she went through the nominating process.

The election will begin with the position of Board President, allowing the candidate with the fewest votes an opportunity to run for another position on the ballot. The terms of office are for three years.

Serving on this year’s Nominating Committee were: Wayne Orton, Allen Little, Don Redman, Scott and Christine Tramel, Sara Pagones and Brandee Krieger.

If you have any additional questions, please email Wayne Orton at

*Endorsed by Nominating Committee

Friday, May 1, 2015

SLT Comedy Night Puts the Fun in Fundraiser

Slidell Little Theatre is bringing the northshore’s top comedian to the stage on May 30, 2015, for a night of laughs and merriment all to support the ongoing Next Stage II building project.

Slidell native Mike Strecker’s comedy routine has been wowing audiences from Los Angeles to New York, and he’s a real favorite in New Orleans. His act has won numerous comedy contests and delighted audiences from college campuses to corporate clients such as NASA, Northrop Grumman and the American Cancer Society. Strecker has also performed with some of the country’s leading comedians including Jake Johannsen and Brett Butler.

As an added bonus, Strecker is bringing along his longtime friend, Ken LaFrance, a seasoned comedian and improv performer. 

“As a comedian you learn early on that there is a short list of those who you can count on to deliver an extraordinary performance every time they step on stage and who are also true professionals off stage,” said Strecker. “Ken LaFrance is at the top of my list.” 

Strecker’s ordinary and extraordinary events – like going to the grocery, buying a car, getting married and becoming a father – provide the basis for his sharp, smart humor. Think Jerry Seinfeld…with less money and more problems.

The SLT Comedy Night will be on Saturday, May 30, beginning at 8 Slidell Little Theatre. Tickets are $15 if purchased in advance and $18 at the door. Advance ticket sales are available during each performance of “The Full Monty,” onstage May 1 – 17.

The subject material of SLT Comedy Night is suitable for teenagers and older.

Progress on the Next Stage II project – a “black box” space for rehearsals and special productions – has been slowed by bureaucratic obstacles, but the SLT Board of Directors have secured initial funding for the basic structure itself and has named a firm to construct the facility as soon as they are given the green light. It is anticipated that a date for groundbreaking ceremonies will be announced soon.

The Northshore’s premier community theatre since 1963, Slidell Little Theatre is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit, all-volunteer organization dedicated to engaging, educating, and involving members of the community in high quality theatrical productions. SLT is supported by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council as administered by the St. Tammany Commission on Cultural Affairs.

Dine for a Purpose at Zea's and Support SLT

Who could have imagined an easier way to financially support your little community theatre than by simply dining at a great local restaurant?

Well, that's exactly what you will be doing when you dine May 20th at Zea restaurant in Slidell. Just show them the image above on your phone and Zea will donate 10% of all sales to Slidell Little Theatre. We will also have digital and printable versions available on our website for your convenience.

It's called Dine for a Purpose, and Zea has chosen Slidell Little Theatre as the recipient of 10% of all sales made on May 20th.

It's that simple.

So please, help support our community theatre and take a group of friends and family members to Zea's on May 20th, show them the flyer (print version or digital) and sit back and enjoy food and drinks, knowing that you are playing an important role in financially supporting the performing arts in Slidell.

New SLT Package Targets Young Families

Slidell Little Theatre proudly announces a new subscription package designed especially for young families, featuring tickets to two family-friendly main stage productions and one production of our Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) program.

The Family Theatre Package includes tickets to Mary Poppins, The Snow Queen and one TYA production, yet to be selected. Package prices are $45 per adult and $15 per child (age 10 and under).  Under this offer,  a typical family of four with two adults and two kids will realize a 36 percent savings off of regular admission prices.

“The Family Theatre Package is designed to provide an affordable alternative to productions geared specifically to families with children,” said Don Redman, V.P. of Marketing. “We understand that many young families face a lot of financial challenges  and we want to make live theatre more accessible to them, to foster love for and appreciation of the performing arts among younger audiences and to establish family traditions that include attending live theatre.”

The special discount  will expire after the last performance of Mary Poppins on Sept. 13.

The special subscription offer is on sale at the theatre during regular main stage performances and during the YATS productions during the summer.

GiveNOLA Day Supports Your Community and SLT

Slidell Little Theatre is again participating in GiveNOLA Day, which falls this year on Tuesday, May 5, 2015. Hosted by the Greater New Orleans Foundation, GiveNOLA Day is the region’s second  annual, 24-hour online charitable giving event to inspire people to give generously to nonprofit  organizations such as SLT that are making our region stronger, creating a vibrant community for all.

Because GiveNOLA Day happens to fall on Cinco de Mayo, our friends and neighbors at Felipe's Mexican Taqueria have named Slidell Little Theatre as their designated nonprofit organization and are directing their patrons to make donations that day to SLT. Please show your support for Slidell Little Theatre by celebrating Cinco de Mayo at Felipe's and check in at our table and register your donation. We’ll be there from noon to 2 p.m. and again from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Even if you cannot join us at GiveNOLA event at Felipe’s you can still make a contribution online any time from midnight to midnight on May 5th. You can go straight to the online donation site dedicated to SLT on May 5th at and follow the simple instructions.

 “We are excited to be part of GiveNOLA Day because it provides us with an ideal platform to raise awareness of our role in the community,” said Don Redman, Slidell Little Theatre V.P. of Marketing. “It is especially gratifying that a company like Felipe's Mexican Taqueria appreciates the work we do and is enthusiastically encouraging its local patrons to make donations to our little theatre.”

For more information about Slidell Little Theatre, please visit And for more information about GiveNOLA Day and the other nonprofit organizations involved, please visit  
Every dollar donated from midnight to midnight on May 5th will be increased with additional “lagniappe” dollars provided by the Greater New Orleans Foundation and other generous sponsors.

The Greater New Orleans Foundation is one of the oldest and largest philanthropic organizations in the region. Its mission is to create a thriving community for all. Every day, GNOF joins other foundations, nonprofit organizations, community leaders, and government officials to address the needs of the community and build consensus for solutions. Together with a family of donors, the Foundation has invested over $100 million in the region since it opened its doors over 30 years ago to respond to community needs.

GiveNOLA Day is a 24-hour, online giving event organized by the Greater New Orleans Foundation to ignite the giving community in Southeast Louisiana. Tied to a national event, Give Local America is sponsored by the Council on Foundations and technology partner Kimbia who are hosting a national giving day for hundreds of community foundations across the country on May 5, 2015.

Slidell Little Theatre has been enchanting audiences in St. Tammany Parish since 1963 when it was founded by volunteers who recognized the need for live theatre on the Northshore.
Slidell Little Theatre is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with more than 700 members, showcasing the on-stage and off-stage talents of nearly 400 area residents, entertaining approximately 10,000 adults and children each season. All talent is local and all auditions are open to the public.

The Slidell Little Theatre devotes the entire summer to educating school age children through its highly acclaimed Young Actors Theatre of Slidell program (YATS), which draws more than 200 children each year, ages 4 to 17, culminating with live theatrical performances onstage. The YATS program is designed to educate our youth about the many aspects of performing arts, and to build self esteem. It is the only area theatre camp that offers scholarships to its graduating high school participants pursing a college degree in the performing arts. To date, the YATS program has provided more than $53,000 in scholarships.

Not to overlook our more mature actors, Slidell Little Theatre recently initiated a new program, the Senior Actors Theatre of Slidell or SATS. SATS is a nonprofit community theatre company that provides an outlet to those over the age 50 who have participated in theatre, as well as those who would like to learn more, to promote and perform all types of live theatre in the community.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

‘The Full Monty’ Cast Vows to Go Full Monty

NOLA Southern Grill /SLT Partner for Ladies’ Night Special May 2
Taking a cue from the central characters in “The Full Monty,” Slidell Little Theatre director Scott Sauber promises his cast is going “all the way” to expose audiences to the naked truth behind financially tough times and the destructive power of fear and anxiety.

In this Americanized musical stage version of the1997 British film of the same name, six unemployed Buffalo steelworkers, low on both cash and job prospects, decide to perform a strip act at a local club after seeing their wives' enthusiasm for a touring company of Chippendales. The group’s ringleader, Jerry, boldly declares that their show will be better than the Chippendales dancers because they'll go "the full monty" – an euphemism for going all the way. As they prepare for the show, working through their fears, self-consciousness, and anxieties, they overcome their inner demons and find strength in their camaraderie.
LADIES’ NIGHT – Female cast members of “The Full Monty”get into
Character during recent rehearsals at Slidell Little Theatre.
(Photo by Justin Redman)

Scott Sauber is making the same bold proclamation for the local production of “The Full Monty,” onstage May 1 through May 17.

“While there is an allure about the men going the full monty – and yes, they will be going the full monty – the show is about fighting your demons, and being proud of who you are,” Sauber said. “They are courageous and the crowd is going to cheer them on.”

Slidell Little Theatre is hosting a Ladies’ Night performance on Saturday, May 2, with a special $3 off discounted admission price; drawings for valuable prizes including boudoir photo sessions; door prizes; and beverage discounts. NOLA Southern Grill is partnering with Slidell Little Theatre to make the night even more entertaining with a pre-show VIP Buffet package at the restaurant from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. for just $12 and special rates on adult beverages for those attending “The Full Monty” Ladies’ Night performance on May 2. Please make your reservations with NOLA by calling (985) 201-8200.

Regular performances are weekends May 1 – 17. Friday and Saturday performances begin at 8 p.m. and Sunday matinee performances are at 2 p.m.

The original film version was Rated-R by the Motion Picture Association of America. Slidell Little Theatre’s production of “The Full Monty” is intended strictly for adult audiences.

Admission is $22. Although not required, reservations are highly recommended, preferably online at Reservations can also be made by calling Box Office at (985) 641-0324.

Slidell Little Theatre is located at 2024 Nellie Drive, just one block over from the Fremaux Town Center.

A longtime ticket sponsor of Slidell Little Theatre, NOLA Southern Grill is located at 1375 Gause Blvd.

The Northshore’s premier community theatre since 1963, Slidell Little Theatre is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit, all-volunteer organization dedicated to engaging, educating, and involving members of the community in high quality theatrical productions. SLT is supported by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council as administered by the St. Tammany Commission on Cultural Affairs.

Monday, March 9, 2015

YATS Announces Summer Slate

Pirates, surfers, monsters and 1950s greasers will sing and dance their way through the summer in Slidell Little Theatre’s highly acclaimed youth program, Young Actors Theatre of Slidell, in four separate productions for youth in grades 4 through graduating seniors.

More commonly known by the acronym YATS, the program targets youth from as young as 4 years old to graduating seniors, with the younger kids placed in the Mini-YATS program and older youth divided into four separate age-appropriate productions. Applications for participation in the Young Actors Theatre of Slidell will be accepted on the theatre’s website, beginning on April 1, 2015.

This year’s productions for the older youth are: We Are Monsters, for Young Juniors (kids entering 4th and 5th grades); Hang Ten, for Juniors (entering 6th and 7th grades); Pirates of Penzance  Jr, Young Seniors (entering 8th and 9th); and Grease, for Seniors (entering 10th to graduating seniors).

About the Shows

WE ARE MONSTERS - We Are Monsters is a hilarious new musical that follows human kids into a monster cabaret filled with quirky monster characters. The adventurous humans uncover vegetarian vampires and rock n’ roll werewolves, gradually realizing there may be more to these monsters than meets the eye! Most importantly these monsters and kids discover the importance of friendship and celebrating in the attributes that make each of us different and unique.

HANG TEN – Surfing songs in the style of the famous Beach Boys, the Ventures and other beach music bands give this one act musical comedy endless energy and fun. An Italian immigrant’s Surfin’ Burger restaurant sits on one of California’s best beachfronts. But his dream of owning a restaurant in America is about to be shattered. Not only are his granddaughters becoming too American for Luigi’s tastes, but scheming land developers try to steal his property to build a huge hotel on it. Filled with both hijinks and heart, audiences will cheer as Luigi is able to thwart the developers thanks to the help of his daughter, granddaughters, their surfer friends and a bird-watching society.

PIRATES OF PENZANCE JR– Set on the rocky coast of Cornwall, England, The Pirates Of Penzance JR. begins with a group of pirates who are celebrating the birthday of one of their own, Frederic, who has reached his twenty-first year. Finally having served the full length of his required time with the pirates, he decides to strike off on his own and become an upstanding citizen – which may even mean bringing the pirates to justice. Thus turns out to be a tricky prospect indeed, especially when Frederic’s freedom is called into question!

GREASE - Here is Rydell High's senior class of 1959: duck-tailed, hot-rodding "Burger Palace Boys" and their gum-snapping, hip-shaking "Pink Ladies" in bobby sox and pedal pushers, evoking the look and sound of the 1950s in this rollicking musical. Head "greaser" Danny Zuko and new (good) girl Sandy Dumbrowski try to relive the high romance of their "Summer Nights" as the rest of the gang sings and dances its way through songs recalling the music of Buddy Holly, Little Richard and Elvis Presley that became the soundtrack of a generation. An 8-year run on Broadway and two subsequent revivals along with innumerable school and community productions place Grease among the world's most popular musicals.


The younger children are entered in the Mini-YATS program, which engages children from age four to eight for five days during which they learn their lines, music and blocking, make their props and costumes if necessary. The week culminates in a performance on Saturday morning. This year’s production is Billy No Buzz.

Here is the complete rundown of the YATS program schedule:

For entering grades Pre-K to 3rd grade
(Sessions run Monday-Friday from 9am- 2pm with a performance at 10 a.m. on Saturday morning)
Session 1:       June 1-June 5 with performance on June 6
Session 2:       June 8-June 12 with performance on June 13
Session 3:       June 15-June 19 with performance on June 20
Session 4:       June 22-June 26 with performance on June 27
Audition Prep Workshop: May 26 (times vary according to age group)
            Young Juniors (entering grades 4th & 5th) – May 27 at 5:00 p.m.
            Juniors (entering grades 6th & 7th) – May 27 at 7:00 p.m.
            Young Seniors (entering grades 8th & 9th) – May 28 at 6:00 p.m.
            Seniors (entering grades 10th through finishing 12th) – May 29 at 6:00 p.m.
            Young Juniors – “We Are Monsters” – June 26, 27 and 28
            Juniors- “Hang Ten” - July 9, 11 and 12
Young Seniors – “Pirates of Penzance” -July 10, 11 and 12
            Seniors- “Grease” - July 16, 17, 18 and 19
Unlike any other children’s theatre camp on the north shore, Slidell Little Theatre’s program is the only one to offer help with college tuition through the Lonnie Hass Scholarship, which is awarded to YATS graduating high school seniors who intend to study the performing arts in college.

Since the year 2000, Slidell Little Theatre, through its YATS program, has disbursed nearly $50,000 to local YATS high school graduates to help further their studies in the performing arts.

There is a fee for participation in the YATS program, with special adjusted rates for members of Slidell Little Theatre.  Registration opens April 1, 2015 and applications can be downloaded from the community theatre’s website at For additional information about the YATS program, please email