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LSUA Hosts 59th Annual Southwest Theatre and Film Association Conference

Released: 10/17/2006

Louisiana State University at Alexandria will host the 59th annual Southwest Theatre and Film Association Conference on Wednesday, Nov. 1 through Saturday, Nov. 4 at the Holiday Inn Downtown. A wide array of workshops, auditions, and performances are scheduled for convention-goers from Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, and Louisiana.

Events open free of charge to the general public include:

--“Flavor of Louisiana,” an outdoor concert featuring the Back Porch Band of Natchitoches (Dixieland jazz, old-timey, folk) and the Pine Leaf Boys of Lafayette (Cajun, Creole, and Zydeco music) at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 2, in the Red River Amphitheatre.

--A reading of Floodgate, a new play by Larry Gelbart, will be staged on the Hearn Stage of the Kress Theatre in the Rapides Foundation Building at 4:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 3. Gelbart aims his comic guns at governmental response to Hurricane Katrina. He is the author of Forum, Sly Fox, City of Angels, and TV’s M.A.S.H.

--A Hurricane Benefit will feature a showing of a short documentary, Trois Parioses, by Monique Michelle Verdin and Mark Krasnoff of New Orleans on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in “three parishes; a performance of Katrina’s Tongue, an original theatre piece staged by Ray Vrazel and written and performed by students from the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts, based on their real-life experiences with the storm; and a Benefit Auction at which autographed books by Louisiana authors (such as Rebecca Wells and Anne Rice) and other pieces will be auctioned off. All proceeds are targeted to assist theatres in Louisiana and Texas which suffered losses due to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. These events will be in the Coughlin-Saunders Performing Arts Center beginning at 8 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 3.

--Brats: Our Journey Home, an acclaimed full-length documentary on “military brats,” will be shown in the Coughlin-Saunders Performing Arts Center at 1:30 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 4. The “Brats” are those children of military families who grew up outside of the U.S. and/or who found themselves uprooted every few year as parents transferred to new bases. All “brats” from throughout the state are welcome to attend and enjoy this remarkable journey into this “subculture.”

Anyone interested in theatre or film is invited to join SWTFA and to register for full participation in all conference events; to do so, simply stop by the registration table in the lobby of the Holiday Inn Downtown where most of the workshops are being held.

One high point of the conference will be the revival of City Park Players’ Having Our Say in the Coughlin-Saunders Performing Arts Center at 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 2, starring Sylvia Davis and Rosa Metoyer, directed by Tammy Killian. An admission of $5 will be charged; advance reservations are not necessary. The keynote address is at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 2. It will be given by Ted Swindley, author of the wildly successful Always, Patsy Cline, one of the most widely produced shows in the country.

Thursday morning workshops include “Concerning Playwriting and Playwright: By a Publisher,” by Orlin Corey; “Managing a Nonprofit Theatre,” by Scott Crew; “Stage Combat Basics,” by Mara Wolverton; “Grant Writing Basics” by Linda Donahue; “Henry Bass: Documentary Filmmaking” by Byron Marshall; “Building Theatre Models” by Phillip Kidd; and “Physicalizing Shakespeare” by Laurin Mann.

Thursday afternoon workshops include “Shakesperience,” by Jack Wann; “Mask Making,” by Jessica Parr; “Shakespeare on Film” by LSUA English professors, Owen Elmore, Eamon Halpin, Bernard Gallagher, and Arthur Rankin; and “Acting: Improv,” by Scott Burrell.

Friday morning workshops will include “Board Development,” by Richard Gwartney; “Reality Television: Behind the Lens,” by Tim Harland; “Designing Theatrical Promotional Materials,” by Tim Saucier; “Imagining the Action: Effective Use of the “4th Wall,” by Andrew Gallup; “Marketing Your Theatre: Getting and Keeping Your Audience,” by Eugene Irby; “Theatre History Panel,” by Belle Rollins; “Painting Scenery,” by David Wlodarski; and “Coming to Words” An Approach to Shakespearean Text,” by Christine Menzies.

Workshops on Friday afternoon include “New Play Development” with Tammy Killian and David Holcombe; “You Gotta Have Heart: Finding Truth in Musical Theatre,” Greg White; “The Film and Television Industry in Louisiana,” Alex Schott; “Managing Your Theatre,” Jean Block; “Voice for the Actor,” Jo Ella Cansler; and “From Diavilo to Studio: Physical Action in Play,” Nick Erickson.

Auditions will be held Friday night and Saturday morning for various undergraduate and graduate theatre programs.

Saturday workshops include “Theatre for Youth: Collaboration and Commission,” with Rhonda Shook; “Brokeback Mountain: Perspectives on the Film,” Charles Mehler and Jim Stacy; “Intermediate Stage Combat,” Mark Guinn; “Fundraising Facts for Fame and Fortune,” Jean Block;“War with the Salamanders,” Byron Marshall; “Physical Acting, Ray Vrazel; “Teacher: A One-Man Performance, Cody Daigle; “Special Events Essentials,” Jean Block; and “Name That Show Tune,” Jim Stacy.

Contact Jim Stacy at (318) 473-6467 for details. Additional information can also be found at