Southlake Theatre Expands SWLA’s Performance Arts OpportunitiesSeptember 2023
SWLA Candidates for SheriffSeptember 2023
by Taylor Trahan Henry
Lake Area Ballet Theatre is Home for the Holidays
Under the artistic direction of Colleen Cannon Benoit, the faculty and board of Lake Area Ballet Theatre (LABT) are dedicated to staging full-scale ballet performances, producing new and innovative works, and providing a strong and diverse curriculum for the next generation of dancers. The LABT is in its ninth season as a non-profit performance company and the 2023-24 season promises to transport you into an enchanted world of dance theatre. The dancers train at Lake Charles Dance Academy in Lake Charles. Dr. Lonny Benoit and McNeese State University have supported this local mission over the past few years and allowed them to use the Tritico Theatre while the Civic Center repaired damages from Hurricanes Laura and Delta.
A bit of exciting news to share is that the Rosa Hart Theatre’s repairs will be completed in time for the LABT’s production of The Nutcracker. They will be home for the holidays with a local performing cast of approximately 150 dancers. In addition, they are thrilled to present an all new, full-length story ballet, Alice in Wonderland, March 22-24, 2024. Both productions will be held at the Lake Charles Civic Center’s Rosa Hart Theatre. Tickets can be purchased online through Ticketmaster and it is not too late to become a sponsor of LABT!
Lake Charles Little Theatre
The Lake Charles Little Theatre is back on stage after the storms, offering a full slate of entertainment — and acting and singing opportunities — for 2023-24.
LCLT’s performance space for mainstage productions this season is the new Southlake Theater off Nelson Road. It’s a state-of-the-art theater that has a full-service coffee shop (Coffee:30 Express) in the lobby.
LCLT performs at Southlake because its longtime downtown theatre was destroyed by Hurricane Laura. Its interim headquarters is at the historic Central School Arts and Humanities Center, with office and rehearsal space in a spacious second-floor studio.
Founded in 1926 by Rosa Hart, LCLT is the oldest arts organization in Southwest Louisiana. Its board president is Brett Downer, whose family members have appeared on the LCLT stage since its very first season.
Historic City Hall Arts & Cultural Center
Historic City Hall Arts & Cultural Center has reemerged as a gem, fully restored to its former glory. Though battered by the relentless hurricanes of 2020, the structure has undergone meticulous repair, revitalizing both its iconic Bell Tower and the rich tapestry of its interior and exterior.
Amanda Donaldson, the City of Lake Charles’ Director of Cultural Affairs, expressed her delight in working within a building that now brims with potential. With the restoration project at its triumphant conclusion, visitors are invited to immerse themselves in the full splendor, all free of charge.
Inside these hallowed walls, creativity knows no bounds. Rotating exhibits breathe life into every corner, while stationary galleries like the Black Heritage Gallery and Gallery by the Lake provide a glimpse into the enduring artistry of our community.
One upcoming exhibit promises to be a crowning jewel – “Bill Iles: A Retrospective.” Bill Iles, a luminary artist with roots in Lake Charles, now graces the Culpratt Gallery in New Orleans but remains steadfast in his connection to this city. His remarkable work holds the power to mesmerize.
Donaldson aptly sums up the center’s mission: “We are bridging communities and demographics with art,” she declares, reaffirming that visitors from all walks of life are not only welcomed but celebrated.
The Historic City Hall Arts & Cultural Center is not just a building reborn; it’s a vibrant testament to the enduring spirit of our city, offering a profound connection between the past and present through the universal language of art.
Mosaics: An Exploration of Possibility
Now through September 23
Bill Iles: A Retrospective
September 2 to November 4
Hit Me With Your Best Shot
September 29 to November 24
December 1 to February 3