Rendering of Proposed Baytown Little Theater

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Closer to home: BLT in Residence at Lee College moves theater shows to Performing Arts Center

Baytown Little Theater will move closer to its future as all performances following the conclusion of the current show, “Other Desert Cities,” move to Texas Avenue – performing at the Lee College Performing Arts Center until renovations can be made to the theater’s own building a few blocks away. The theater’s next play, special performances of “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” will be in the black box theater of the Lee PAC Dec. 5, 6, 7, 12, 13 and 14.

Theater President Patti Meiners said the BLT agreement with Lee College is for the theater to be in residence at Lee College for up to two years.
“Baytown Little Theater in Residence at Lee College,” is how the theater describes the new relationship, she said. The theater remains an independent organization with its own board and programming, though the shared space may allow new opportunities for collaboration with the college’s Performing Arts Center and its theatre program.

“We welcome participation with the students and with the community as always when we do shows,” Meiners said.

BLT and Lee College have a history of collaboration through summer musicals that have been staged at the Performing Arts Center.
Meiners said the move allows BLT to reduce its operating costs substantially so the organization can focus its efforts on producing excellent plays and on completing its permanent home at the intersection of Texas Avenue and North Main Street.

“At this point it’s a financially sound decision to make this move to Lee College while we’re continuing to move toward our goal of remodeling the new space,” Meiners said. “This is only a short-term plan,” she said. “As Lee College grows their program and our program continues to grow, it will come to a point where it’s not a feasible solution for a long-term relationship.” She said the theater is still working with its architect and contractor to finalize renovation plans, then will move forward with financing and construction.

“We’re excited about this new opportunity and look forward to moving closer to our new space on Texas Avenue,” Meiners said.

Scott Vernon, director of the Lee College Performing Arts Center, also greets the move with enthusiasm.
“We’re real excited about having them over here,” he said.

“It’s going to help us boost the number of students we have enroll in our theatre classes at Lee College,” Vernon said. “It also gets more people into this facility.”

Most of the Baytown Little Theater performances will be in the black box theater, though some will be on the main stage. The black box theater shares a lobby with the main stage.

Cast and Crew of Other Desert Cities Announced

Auditions for Other Desert Cities, a Pulitzer prize winning play by Jon Robin Baitz have been completed and we are proud to announce the cast and crew.

The cast includes two newcomers to the BLT stage with Susan Hatcliff playing the part of Brooke Wyeth and Mark Connelly as her brother Trip. Rounding out the cast are BLT veterans Dawn Daily as Polly Wyeth , John Meiners, Jr. as her husband Lyman and Julia Jay as her dependent sister Silda.

Other Desert Cities will be directed by BLT veteran actor Christine Jones in her directorial debut. She will be assisted by Kenny Wade as assistant director and Dawn Daily as production manager. Set design is by Randy Daily, lighting design by Geoff Starett, sound design by Sterling Wadzinski and costume design by Jan Herring-Seeley.

Other Desert Cities will open on September 19 at the Baytown Little Theater, 4328 Hugh Echols Blvd, Baytown, TX 77521 and run for three consecutive weekends. For more information about the play click here.

Cast of Oliver! Announced

Auditions for the 2014 summer musical of the Baytown Little Theater, produced at the Lee College Performing Arts Center for the fourth season, have been held, and we are proud to announce the fifty member cast and the twenty-plus backstage and production staff who will support the production.

Taking the classic role of one of Charles Dickens’ more memorable characters is BLT veteran actor Jim Wadzinski. He is reprising the role he introduced to the BLT stage in its 1988 production. Joining Wadzinski will be twelve-year-old Tanner Files in the role of Oliver and Hunter Hall playing the popular role of the Artful Dodger. Also heading the cast will be BLT veteran actress Maegan Carnew Megginson as Nancy. Opposite her in the role of the villainous Bill Sykes is Ryan Martin, who has been featured in many previous BLT productions. Mike Tuneberg and BLT newcomer Janet Harrelson will appear in the roles of Mr. Bumble and the Widow Corney, respectively.

Helming the production is Kim Martin, BLT veteran director and current Lee College theatre instructor. He is assisted by Mary Lou Martin as assistant director, Beth Darby as stage manager, and Derek Gutierrez as Technical Director, with music direction by Mike Tuneberg and choreography by Jenny Johnson. The orchestra will be under the direction of highly respected Baytown conductor Dennis Eichler.

Intensive rehearsals will continue through the summer, and performances are August 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, and 10. Tickets may be purchased on the Lee College PAC website at www.Lee.edu/PAC.

The entire cast posting may be viewed at this link. A 5-page PDF document will be downloaded.