Wednesday, November 25, 2015

'The Snow Queen' Photo Essay

We are blessed with talent here at Slidell Little Theatre, and not all of it on the stage. Our Marketing/Publicity team is constantly seeking volunteers willing to share their talents and skills to help raise awareness about our little community theatre not only to promote our shows, but to document the effort that goes into staging a production.

Lee Dukes has been taking photos for years and even donated his wildlife photographic artwork to help restore the Louisiana wetlands. That story can be found here. Once a popular actor on the SLT stage, Lee Dukes continues to support our productions from behind the curtain and, for "The Snow Queen," from behind the lens. Some of Lee's artwork can be found here.

Justin Redman is the current SLT Publicity chairman and he has been doing most of the heavy lifting (photographically speaking) for the past couple of years. A veteran of the U.S. Marines, Justin has recently returned to college to finish his degree in Communications at Southeastern Louisiana University. He is also the owner of Redman Media Productions and his work can be found here.

Stephanie Sullivan is proof that you don't have to be a professional photographer to take pictures. An active behind-the-scenes volunteer, Stephanie has on several occasions assisted our efforts to tell our story with photos of other volunteers working to bring a showto the stage.

"The Snow Queen" opens Friday, November 27, 2015 and remains onstage thru Dec. 13.

Below is a photo essay of "The Snow Queen" taken during rehearsals.

Photos by Lee Dukes (top, bottom right) and Justin Redman

Friday, November 20, 2015

'Snow Queen' Director Promises Magical Production

Polly White is thrilled to be back at SLT after an extended hiatus. The past recipient of SLT Ginny Awards for directing and light design, she has directed on many of the area stages as well as working with YATS periodically from 2001-2008.

Polly took time from rehearsals to tell us a little about herself.

Q: What was your earliest involvement in theatre?
 WHITE: Aside from home, elementary, and high school, I definitely returned to theater in undergraduate school.

Q: What attracted you to theatre to begin with?
WHITE: I have always loved the performing arts, as far back as childhood when our school would go on field trips to see an orchestra or live play.  The excitement of watching the live performance instilled a life-long love, which still exists today.

Q: What is it about theatre that holds your interest today?
WHITE: The idea of taking a black stage and creating a world that excites the senses of the audience, and tells a story that is unique each time it's performed is challenging and rewarding.

Q: What are some of your favorite plays?
WHITE: Of course, Shakespeare comes to mind when thinking of favorite plays, but when I turned 13, my grandmother took me to NYC to see Stop the World, I Want To Get Off, with Anthony Newley. Another favorite play was The King and I with Yul Brenner. 
Q: What play do you think people should see, but probably haven’t?
WHITE: I won't presume to say what people should see, other than to see something that would touch their emotions.

Q: What was the first show you ever directed?
WHITE: The first play I ever directed, aside from one acts as class projects, was Edward Albee's Seascape.  I was asked by my major professor at SLU to direct a play in the theatre department's season in place of a professor who was ill and had to take a sabbatical. I was the first student to direct in a professor's slot at SLU.  We turned the Bonnie Vorden stage into a beach!

Q: What is your vision for The Snow Queen?
WHITE: My vision for the play is to have the story evolve on stage from Hans Christian Andersen’s book of stories. The premise of the story is told by the Hobgoblin in the beginning and the audience follows Gerda, as she travels great distances and over several seasons to rescue her brother Karl, from the Snow Queen. She has taken him to her castle in hopes to keep him with her forever. 
In her travels, Gerda experiences many magical and enchanting creatures: Flowers and animals that can talk, a prince and princess, as well as a robber King and his robber band.  She travels over many lands until she finally arrives at the Snow Queen's frozen castle.
We are going to be adding a new theatrical experience for our audience by incorporating puppets into the production.  Our puppeteers are excited to be learning how to bring to life these additions.
Along with the addition of puppetry, moving the play through seasons and different places is going to be a challenge.  
Also, our actors are learning lyrics to music adapted from music by Edvard Grieg, which is somewhat of a challenge. However, my cast is more than up to these challenges, and excited to create this magical story for our audience.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

'Pride and Prejudice' Audition Tips


Director Laura Mauffray Borchert has these Top Tips for Auditioning:

  • Read the audition notice to know what's expected of you. 
  • Be honest about your time constraints.  If necessary, we can tweak the rehearsal schedule a bit if we know about conflicts in advance.  
  • Research the play or read the script to get a feel for the characters and mood of the play.  
  • Be open-minded.  Your personality, look, style, and such might fit better in a different role than you had in mind. 
  • It's not necessary, but if you're available, show up for both audition nights. 
  • Be pleasant and get along with the other actors that you might be working with for the next couple months.
  • Leave your cell phone in the car; or, if you must have it in the theatre, please leave it turned off or on silent.  
  • If you mess up a line, continue on and don't let it affect the rest of your audition. 
  • Speak loud and clear; no need to rush through your moment to shine. 
  • Have fun.  When you enjoy what you're doing, it shows.  

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

'Snow Queen' Cast Announced

Congratulations to the cast of The Snow Queen!

Cast of “The Snow Queen”
Hobgoblin - Marcello Barbaro
Snow Queen - Sarah Surla
Grandmother - Tiffany Christy
Gerda - Hannah Diaz
Karl - Jake Blalock
Hans - Gabriel Stubbs
Lars - Zachary Osborn
Crow 1 - Hagan Harkins
Crow 2 - Emmy LaFaver
Soldier 1 - Riley Lamonte
Soldier 2 - Trenton Gilmore
Prince - Eli Moore
Princess - Georgia Peck
Court Chamberlain - Don Guillot
The Robber King - Chris Barron
Old Robber Woman - Lela Blalock
Robber Girl - Sarah Toepfer
The Reindeer - Trey Harkins
The Finnish Woman - Victoria Hickman
The Old Woman in the Garden – Celeste Andrews
Tiger Lilies - Teresa Fasone, Blakely Shouse
Hyacinths - Samantha Harkins, Caitlyn Christy
Narcissus – Olivia Barbaro, Piper Hall
Snowdrops – Sydney Leger, La’Kya Romain
Roses – Julia Cook, Lizzie Sieber
Buttercup – Katherine Crane
COURT DANCERS - Jessica Rabalais, Victoria Crane, Madeleine Appel, Lydia Pucheu, Emily Griswold, Anabel Peck, Hannah Wilkinson
ROBBERS – Rebekah Lemar, Alexis Singletary
SNOWFLAKES - Faith Booker, Taylor Booker, Jackson Helmke, Reese Helmke, Molly Minster, Anabella Newberry, Gianna Pagano, Shane Pagano, Bradley Pagano, Sam Stubbs

Thursday, October 8, 2015

NHS Art Students Bring Iconic Mother-In-Law Mural To Stage

Jade Grimes (left) and Gabby Armstrong

By Don Redman
Photos by: Don Redman and Stephanie Sullivan

Rob Florence’s Katrina: Mother-In-Law of ‘em All, is set in the late musician Ernie K-Doe’s iconic speakeasy, the Mother-In-Law lounge in New Orleans. Matching the vibrancy of its larger-than-life owner, the entire exterior of K-Does’ Mother-In-Law Lounge is painted with brightly-colored murals depicting Ernie and his wife Antoinette as the Emperor and Empress of the Universe, as well as a hodgepodge of New Orleans-style funk scenes including Mardi Gras Indians and a dancing alligator.

To mimic that vibrant feel on stage, Northshore High School Juniors Jade Grimes and Gabby Armstrong were recruited to paint a mural on the set of SLT’s upcoming production of Florence’s “Katrina” play. We think audiences will agree that their interpretation, featuring several elements of the murals on the Mother-in-Law Lounge, including those recently introduced by the lounge’s new owner, jazz trumpeter Kermit Ruffins, absolutely captures the energy and vibe of the original club.

Grimes and Armstrong are enrolled in the NHS Talented Arts program. The muralists had to work around school, Homecoming and even worked during play rehearsals to complete the mural before opening.

Slidell Little Theatre’s production of Katrina: Mother-In-Law of ‘em All, opens Oct. 9 and runs through Oct. 25, 2015.

Click on images to enlarge.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Playwright Retells 'Katrina' Stories With Heart and Humor

by Don Redman
This year marked the 10th anniversary of one of the most devastating storms to ever hit the United States – Hurricane Katrina – and Slidell Little Theatre commemorates the historic event with a touching and humorous play that relives the experience through the eyes of its survivors.
Rob Florence
Photo by Steven Forster
Katrina: The Mother-in-Law of ‘em All, by New Orleans playwright Rob Florence, explores what happens when six Katrina survivors gather at the Mother-in-Law Lounge to retrace their footsteps. Experience the heartbreak, humanity, and yes, comedy through the journeys of real New Orleanians who lived to tell their tales about the devastating storm.
The northshore's premiere production of "Katrina" at Slidell Little Theatre opens October 9 and remains onstage weekends through Oct. 25.
Prior to opening night, Florence took a moment to talk about his play.
Rob Florence is originally from New York and moved to New Orleans in 1987 only to discover that his father’s family had been in the region since the 1840s. “In doing family genealogical research I discovered the wonders of New Orleans above-ground cemeteries,” says Florence. “In some way, most of my plays are connected to New Orleans cemeteries.”
He received a Masters in Playwriting with distinction from the University of New Orleans in 2008 and is the Dramatists Guild Gulf Coast / Mississippi Delta Regional Representative.
His body of work includes: Bones; Burn K-Doe Burn!; Mirrors of Chartress Street; Fleeing Katrina; Katrina’s Path; The Key; Hurricane Katrina Comedy Fest and Holy Wars.

Q: What was your relationship with the K-Doe family?
I was fortunate to have a close relationship with the K-Doe's, as they were extraordinary people.  I knew Ernie K-Doe back in the 1980s when his drinking problem was so bad that he would sometimes sleep on the street.  I saw Antoinette come into his life, literally pick him up out of the gutter, sober him up, and add years to his life which turned out to be an amazing experience for the many people who shared it with them.  They opened the Mother in Law Lounge which was their home, so when you were at the bar you were in their living room.  The place was a shrine to New Orleans R&B, full of dazzling, eccentric memorabilia.
Like the K-Doe's themselves, the Lounge was surreal.  The K-Doe's shared my interest in New Orleans cemeteries.  We had a cemetery preservation group called Friends of New Orleans Cemeteries.  Ernie K-Doe was the grand marshal, making us the only preservation group in the world with a grand marshal.  I was responsible for burying both Antoinette and Ernie in the historic St. Louis Cemetery #2 and wrote the text for their historic markers.  Antoinette K-Doe asked me to write a play about them called BURN K-DOE BURN! and she asked me to write this piece about her Katrina experience.
Q: What was the genesis of “Katrina: Mother-in-Law of ‘em All?”
Although I'm a playwright and writer of nonfiction which focuses of this region, Katrina was the last thing in the world I wanted to write about.  I wanted to put it out of my mind, which was of course impossible, but I certainly didn't want to live with it 24 hours a day as you do when writing about something.  However, in listening to people over the subsequent months and years, I'd occasionally hear stories which were so different from the popular narratives that they compelled me to write them.  The differences that struck me in these stories were that although all these people went through hell, they landed on their feet in a very strong, defiant, New Orleans way.  They also in many cases got through their experience with humor, which is very New Orleans.  If this experience had happened to another city I don't think I'd have found narratives that are so funny.  Something else these stories emphasize is that despite how the region was portrayed – defeated, chaotic, criminal – anyone here at the time can tell you that thousands of people were behaving in exemplary ways.  Strangers were helping strangers –  countless acts of self-sacrifice, compassion, and kindness that seemed to be hidden from people outside the region.  So part of this project was an attempt in a small way to create a record from the inside-out which establishes that post-Katrina New Orleans wasn't all what people were seeing on television, as this dialogue from the play illustrates:
RODNEYSo I go back into the room where my folks are and they had run into some of the people who had been on the roof with us. So there was this group of octogenarians but with only one cot and they were taking turns lying down. The young folks were trying to help the nurses, handing out water, taking people to the bathroom, changing diapers, whatever we could. We had heard all these horror stories about the city so I walk over to this nurse I see from Alaska and say, “I just want to let you know how thankful we are that you’re here because we keep hearing these stories about horrific things going on all over New Orleans and I just want you to know that the whole city isn’t populated by crazed lunatics who are burning it down and that we appreciate your -NURSE Nobody thinks that.

Q: You write that these are based on true stories. How did you come to learn these stories?
I think I was fortunate to access these stories because I wasn't looking for them. Again, I was trying to mentally escape from Katrina.  But like everyone else here for the past 10 years, I've been listening to hundreds, maybe thousands, of these experiences.  So the stories kind of came to me.  At the time, there were writers parachuting into the region with tape recorders looking for material, which struck me as odd with all the work that needed to be done.  Could you imagine going to Haiti after the earthquake with a tape recorder looking for stories with all the death and destruction that needed attention?  For her PhD in Theatre History at L.S.U., Anne-Liese Juge Fox wrote a paper on Katrina plays written by regional writers as opposed to out-of-state writers.  She concluded that out-of-state writers, "Cut your heart out, put it on a plate and ate it in front of you," whereas the regional playwrights humanized the people of this region through their Katrina experiences.  
Q: How were you personally affected by the hurricane?
If I were to sum up in a few sentences what happened to my life during Katrina, most people outside of here would say, "That's horrible!"  But compared to so many people I ultimately did much better so I don't like to dwell on negative things that happened to me back then.  And moving-on is a characteristic I see in New Orleans people and which people have identified in this play.  About an earlier version of this play which went to the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, one of the KCACTF adjudicators commented that the characters aren't self-pitying, which is compelling for the audience.  I guess as bad as their experiences were to begin with, they were still alive?  David Hoover, director of that U.N.O. production, commented on this lack of self-pity by comparing it to Vietnam War plays which David summed up like this:  "O.K., I'm going to tell you about my pain.  Alright, get a little closer, because you need to know about my pain.  O.K., here comes the story about my pain:  YOU CAN'T UNDERSTAND MY PAIN!!!"   
Some of the positive effects of Katrina have been that although I've always loved the people of New Orleans, Katrina made me love them much more.  The devastating human failures of Katrina were governmental but on a local level many people conducted themselves heroically. And we all know how fantastic the rest of the country and people from other countries have been to us for the past 10 years.  So although Katrina made me deeply cynical and bitter toward all levels of government, the experience actually made me feel better about individual human nature.  

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

'Mary Poppins': Behind the Curtain Photo Essay

A Behind-the-scenes Look At 'Mary Poppins' in Rehearsal

'Mary Poppins' opens at Slidell Little Theatre on August 28, 2015 and runs through September 13. Volunteers have been spending untold hours since the summer rehearsing and preparing for this moment. The photo collages below are just a small sampling of the many, many people involved in bringing the magic to life at Slidell Little Theatre.

Photo credit Justin Redman, Stephanie Sullivan and Don Redman.

Monday, August 24, 2015

What Can Mary Poppins Teach Nannies Today?

Adele Bruce Smith channels Mary Poppins
- photo by Justin Redman

Former Nanny Says Poppins' Still the Master

by Don Redman

Adele Bruce Smith knew from the start what she wanted to do before she attended college – she wanted to be a professional nanny.

“I remember when all my friends were worried about what classes to take in college and I was wondering why they didn’t know what to take,” says Adele, her English accent softened by years in the U.S. “I went to college and told them to just sign me up for whatever classes I need to be a professional nanny. It was that simple.”

Yes, she went to college – the University of Cambridge – to be a nanny. There is a difference between a babysitter and an au pair and a nanny, she explains. “A nanny goes to school to specifically learn how to emotionally, mentally and physically raise children. So I went to school and took psychology and sociology, child development and nutrition and more.”

The educational background set her on the path of a fulfilling career as a nanny. “I was a professional English Nanny for over 25 years and I worked for the rich and famous, raising their children,” says Adele, who today is married to Slidell Chief of Police Randy Smith.

Her first job as a professional nanny began with a referral from a friend of the family who encouraged Adele to apply for a position with a couple expecting the arrival of their first child.

“I had 25 pounds in my bank account,” Adele says. “I remember it like it was yesterday – going to the bank taking it all out and heading to Cambridge to invest in a suit.” She eyed an outfit reminiscent of something Lady Diana would wear and plunked down everything she owned to purchase it. First impressions are everything.

“The suit worked,” she says. “I was hired immediately that day in November even though Tim (the baby) was not due until January. I was given a chauffeur to take me to London to purchase everything needed for (him).”

Adele Smith: "Being a Nanny was a passion and a love"
Baby Tim was born into a well-heeled family with connections to the Royal family and well-staffed with a nanny, chef, chauffeur, gardeners and maids. But, says Smith, financial success matters not to a child. “Children all need and deserve everything that will not cost a penny – your time and effort.”

“I spent every waking moment nurturing loving and teaching this little man,” Adele recalls. “I walked him for hours in his pushchair (stroller), singing to him, talking to him, pointing out trees and flowers and bunnies and horses. Every second mattered. Tim is nearly 30 and to this day still calls me Nan.”

She sees some similarities between herself and Mary Poppins when dealing with the children. “I was always happy and I sang and played music all the time. Every second of the day I was fully aware of what I said to my charges (babies).”

“Raising Tim and his sister Polly, and the other children wasn’t a job,” she says.  “It was a passion and a love I can’t explain. It was a privilege and an honor. It was exciting and exhausting and eye opening.”

Participating in a lighthearted, Poppins-themed photo shoot in advance of Slidell Little Theatre's Season opener, Adele says she's eager to see her beloved nanny onstage this month and for the opportunity to sing along with all of her favorite songs.

Slidell Little Theatre's regional premiere of "Mary Poppins" opens August 28 and runs through September 13, 2015. Reservations can be made online at

Eager to share lessons she has learned during her 25-year career as a professional nanny – nuggets of wisdom that no doubt could be uttered by Mary Poppins – Adele offers these insightful tips for the new family:

·         Children come into this world like a blank canvas, make sure you make yours beautiful.
·         Children learn more by what they live than by your words (lead by example).
·         Be consistent with you rules and routines, Children actually feel safer and secure if you follow through.
·         It is your job as a parent to prepare your child for the next stage in life.
·         Eat together as a family at least three times a week – no TV or phones. Being a parent is not a popularity contest.
·         Read every night with them (trust me they will remember it).
·         Do not buy them everything they want or what their friends immediately. Teach them the value of money and patience.
·         Do NOT burden them with adult issues (you don’t want them to have to recover from their child hood).
·         Let them have down time. Don’t sign them up for lot of after school activities – they are learning all the time. Allow their bodies and minds to rest.

When Don Redman isn't  volunteering with Slidell Little Theatre, he writes for a travel magazine and is currently writing a comedy as well as a novel. Find out more about him here.

Justin Redman is SLT's chairman of Publicity. When he's not volunteering for Slidell Little Theatre, he's running Redman Media Productions.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Sauber: Balancing Hollywood and Broadway Versions of 'Mary Poppins'

 by Don Redman

Scott Sauber with Zachary Osborn and Lisa Meredith
(photo by Don Redman)

SLT Director talks about his vision

Scott Sauber has directed scores of productions on both sides of the lake, including the smash hits Seussical, and The Full Monty, for which received Slidell Little Theatre Ginny Awards for Best Director and Best Show for the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 Seasons respectively.
He opens SLT’s 2015-2016 Season behind the helm of the regional premiere of Mary Poppins. Scott took a break from the grueling rehearsal schedule to tell us about his vision for the show and what audiences can expect.

Tell us about your vision and inspirations for Mary Poppins.

SAUBER: Such a classic tale, I want the audience to be transported to Victorian times and whisked away to a magical setting.  The original movie holds so much color and texture, but the full realized Broadway show is a darker story.  When I first heard the soundtrack years ago, I had very vivid images in my head of what the show should look like.  Then I saw the original Broadway cast and felt the pictures in my head were more fun!  Let's bring them to life.
Scott Sauber directs Zachary Osborn  (as Michael Banks)
and Emma St. Cyr (as Jane Banks). Photo by Don Redman

What are the challenges to staging this production?

SAUBER: Mary has to fly, Bert has to tap, the chimney sweeps dance their "brushes" off and we need two great children.

What the audience can expect to see?

SAUBER: A fun-filled, Disney adventure with heart and soul.  This story is about a father and his children.  It just takes the nanny to show you that.

Poster Artist

As if his plate wasn’t already full as director, scenic designer and co-costume designer for “Mary Poppins,” Scott Sauber is also the poster artist for the production.

Inspired by the Victorian setting and the chimney sweeps – his favorite characters from the 1964 Disney movie – Sauber’s poster features the dark silhouette of a dancing chimney sweep against a dark, rich blue background.

Poster by Scott Sauber

“I love the texture of the original Broadway logo and the color scheme,” Sauber said. “I used what I remembered and went with Victorian inspired trim and silver as my accent color.  The chimneysweeps are my favorite, so it was important to incorporate one of those.  The font is very reminiscent of the Victorian poster style.”

About Scott Sauber

Sauber has more than 20 years of theatrical experience and education and teaches Theatre in the Talented Arts Program at Slidell High School. He is a graduate of the University of New Orleans’ Theatre Department. He is a multiple-award-winning actor, light designer, director and educator.

Don Redman was named the 2006 St. Tammany Parish Literary Artist of the Year for his comedy Who's Afraid of Virginia's Wolf Note? slated for production soon in SLT's new Black Box theatre. He is a regular contributor to SLT's blog and is the creator and editor of SLT's audience guide, Prologue. Find out more about Redman here.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Making It Snow On Stage

REDNECK SNOW - Scenic designer Christine Barnhill-Tramel
and Sam Sutter designed a snow machine for the cabin window
in  "A Good Old Fashioned Redneck Country Christmas."
(Photo by Paul Wood Photography)

Every December, community theaters across the country are likely staging some sort of holiday or winter show, from A Christmas Story, to Christmas Carol, to The Nutcracker Suite, all requiring some degree of snowfall.

As scenic designer for A Good Old Fashioned Redneck Country Christmas, Christine Barnhill Tramel was tasked to stage a snow scene to emulate constant snowfall visualized from a cabin window. Recruiting assistance from Sam Sutter, Christine was able to bring her concept to the stage.

Using simple supplies including a squirrel cage fan, PVC pipes and connectors, Plexiglas sheets, wire mesh and scrap lumber, Christine and Sam created an effective simulation of constant snowfall described in the script.

SNOW WINDOW: A diagram of the "snow machine"
(Illustration by Don Redman)

The video of the window snow machine in operation:

Eric Hart, Properties Master at Triad Stage in North Carolina, maintains a blog – Prop Agenda – where he discusses making and finding props for the theatre. He granted us permission to reprint his post on how to make it snow:

“For snowballs, previous props people have used white bar soap shaved into bits with a cheese grater. The resulting bits can be packed into a snowball which explodes on impact. Others suggest instant mashed potato flakes. In either case, water can be mixed in or spritzed on to make the snowballs stick better. If the actors are throwing the snowballs at people, obviously you want the snowball to break apart on impact as easily as possible. A lot of variables come into play: how hard the actor throws it, what it is hitting against, the temperature and humidity in your theatre, how far in advance you need to make the snowballs, etc. As a result of all these variables, there is no “exact recipe”, and research and development is essential.
“Another option is the interior of disposable diapers (new ones, not used ones). They contain a powder called sodium polyacrylate, a polymer which absorbs 800–1000 times its own weight, effectively turning a liquid into a solid gel. It is also sold in magic shops and novelty stores as “slush powder”.
“If a show calls for falling snow, it is often the props departments’ duty to procure the snow, while scenery is in charge of making it fall from the air. I know, it’s bizarre. The preferred method for at least the past hundred and thirty years is using clipped paper. Unfortunately, regular paper will not pass today’s fire retardant standards. If the thought of fire-proofing every snowflake for every performance is too overwhelming, theatrical suppliers, like Rose Brand, sell flame-proofed paper snowflakes. Expect to pay a lot though, and be aware that everyone needs snow during the winter and they are often sold out by this time of the year.
“A more modern alternative is plastic flakes. Rose Brand sells these as well, but you can make your own if you wish. You can find paper shredders (for offices) which not only cut in strips, but also crosscut those pieces to make confetti. You can run white grocery bags or garbage bags through one to make your own plastic snowflakes. Bear in mind that you need a lot of snowflakes to make even a short-duration snowfall over a small stage. You’ll need more for multiple performances. You may be tempted to sweep as much as you can from one performance to use in the next one. Be aware that when you are picking up the old snow, you are also picking up all the dirt and dust from the stage. You don’t want to rain crud down onto your performers during a show; the dust can get in their eyes, and larger particles may even injure them when dropped from the top of the stage.”

Eric Hart's blog can be found online here.

Additional photos of the window snow machine:

Christine Barnhill-Tramel demonstrates
how the snow machine works.

Illustration by Christine Barnhill-Tramel
Rear view of window base.
Funnel feeding snowflakes into wind chamber

(Introduction by Don Redman. Photos and video by Don Redman.)

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Poster Artist Has Roots in YATS

By Don Redman

Kahra Martinez comes from a family that has played a prominent role at Slidell Little Theatre for more than a decade. Her father, Fred, has served on the board of directors in various capacities, including until just recently Board President. Her mother, the late Fabian Martinez, was instrumental in getting the family involved in SLT, enrolling Kahra and sisters Kirstin and Kelsey in the Young Actors Theatre of Slidell (YATS) program and later co-directing YATS for years.

Today, Kahra is a web and mobile application designer in Hammond. She is a graduate of Southeastern Louisiana University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Visual Art with emphases in graphic design, digital art and painting.

In addition to co-creating SLT’s very first website with her father, for the past several years Kahra has also donated her artistic talents to designing several posters for our main stage, YATS and mini-YATS shows. Her designs for the 2015 YATS season were simply fantastic and were a wonderful gift to a program that is so near and dear to the entire Martinez family.

Kahra can be found online at

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Invest in SLT - Join Today!

Did You Know That You Can Buy Your Membership Online?

Memberships are the financial lifeline of the Theatre. It is through this support that the Theatre can fulfill its mission to “engage, educate, and involve members of the community in high quality theatrical productions.”

If you are not already a member, we invite you to support the Performing Arts by investing in Northshore’s premier community theatre and becoming a valued patron of the Slidell Little Theatre.


Why Should You Become a Member of Slidell Little Theatre?

Nurture New Artists:

Many successful actors, directors, writers, and choreographers have launched their careers in humble, small town playhouses. Just by attending and applauding, audiences give up-and-coming stars the positive feedback they need to continue their artistic pursuits. 

Why become a member

Share Valuable Skills:

Community theaters need more than just cast members. Anyone that can sew a costume, paint a backdrop, build a staircase, or edit a sound effect is a desirable addition to the company. Novices of a particular skill, such as construction or lighting, can increase their ability by working alongside veteran craftsmen.  Likewise, experts can enjoy sharing their knowledge and passing their craftsmanship to the next generation.
advertise_large with us
Advertise Locally:
 Small business owners should financially support playhouses, and not just for altruistic reasons. A good thirty minutes before a show, most audience members spend their time thumbing through the program, inspecting the actor bios. It’s the perfect opportunity to advertise.  Theatregoers are essentially a captive audience while they scan through the program. Small business can use this time to reach hundreds of potential customers. Ad space is relatively inexpensive and will help the performing arts thrive.

 Come out to Socialize-3
Socialize with New People:

Whether you work as an assistant director, a chorus member, the star of the show or a stagehand, one thing is certain: you will meet new friends. There is something exhilarating about putting on a show. It brings people close together; it tests their skills, and it enlightens audiences.  Many lifelong friendships and relationships have been formed while practicing sword fighting, stage-kissing, or falling through a trap door. There is a strong bond with all who band together to put on a play. We become friends because we work as one to tell as story.

Be Part of the Storytelling Process:

Plays are an ancient form of storytelling. It’s a creative ritual still very much alive despite the age of Youtube.
Most community theaters produce time-tested classics such as Man of La Mancha, Death of a Salesman, A Streetcar Named Desire, and Romeo and Juliet.  Some are light hearted; some are deep and profound. All offer a message to the audience. Classic and contemporary plays speak to us because they explore what it means to be human. Those who participate in the storytelling process can feel proud knowing they are spreading a positive message to their community.

So go audition. Offer up your skills. Advertise in the program. Contribute your time and energy. And by all means, go see a show! You’ll become a part of the vibrant, long-cherished tradition of the theatrical storytelling.

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Friday, July 17, 2015

'Poppins' Cast Announced

Congratulations to the cast of Mary Poppins!

The shows begin August 28th through September 13th

     Emily Wright.... Mrs. Corry *
Emma St. Cyr.... Jane Banks *
Jacob Lacoste.... Neleus *
John Kirkpatrick.... George Banks *
Josh St. Cyr.... Bert *
Lisa Meredith.... Winifred Banks *
Lori Fasone.... Mrs. Brill *
Melanie St. Cyr.... Mary Poppins *
Michael Osborn.... Admiral Boom *
Nicholas Pucheu.... Robertson Ay *
Pam Lisotta.... Miss Andrew *
Savannah Owens.... Katie Nanna, Ensemble *
Scott Osborne.... Bank Chairman *
Zachary Osborne.... Michael Banks *
Aimee Murrah.... Ensemble
Alvin Jackson.... Ensemble
Audrie St. Cyr.... Ensemble
Diana LaSalla.... Bird Woman
Don Guillot.... Park Keeper, ensemble
Eli Moore.... Ensemble
Emily Hynes.... Ensemble
Emma Harrison.... Ensemble
Emmy Lafaver.... Ensemble
Hagan Harkins.... Ensemble
Jamie Skiles.... Ensemble
John Harkins.... Ensemble
Joseph Fasone.... Ensemble
Marcello Barbaro.... Von Hussler
Michael Chandler.... Ensemble
Olivia Barbaro.... Ensemble
Rachel Roy.... Ensemble
Samantha Harkins.... Ensemble
Sarah Toepfer.... Ensemble
Scott Osborne.... Bank Chairman
Tate Robertson.... Ensemble
Taylor Kidd.... Ensemble
Teresa Fasone.... Ensemble
Trenton Gilmore.... Ensemble
Trey Harkins.... Ensemble
*=featured role