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Picayune On Stage

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Picayune On Stage was established in 1980.

In the early years, rehearsals were held in people's home, at the Work Activity Center, and at Friendship Park. Chairs were positioned to simulate doorways, entrances/exits, etc. Productions were held at Friendship Park. However, the stage could not be set up until the weekend before the first show, and the set had to be struck immediately following the last show. Since the set could not remain on stage during practice, the furniture was never positioned where it had been practiced. As an actor, you had to make some quick adjustments. After each performance, the furniture, props, everything had to be taken down and locked up so as not to be damaged or stolen. Striking the set after the last performance was always a minimum two-hour affair. You had to be a dedicated member of POS to survive those early days.

Children's plays began around 1986. The first production was The Emperor's New Clothes which was performed in July with total audiences of 300. We began a relationship with the Library, offering shows for children in the Library's Cultural Room. This relationship lasted for several years. Some shows were brought to the large stage, such as: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever; Charlotte's Web; The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; The Magician's Nephew; Once Upon a Brutebeast; Ain't No Such Thing as a Bogle; Annie; The Children's Hour; Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs of the Black Forest; etc. Gladys Hughes wrote, produced and directed The Clown in the Box.

Each year we made improvements in lighting, sound, etc. And we tried to tackle some productions which were very costly for us to put on, namely musicals: The Sound of Music; Annie; Footloose; Forever Plaid.

In 2006, we located some space at 322 West Canal Street that we could rent and make into a theater, albeit a small one. Our new 31-seat theater opened its doors in early 2007 with the production of The Cemetery Club. Subsequent productions have been: D.K. Molar the Devious Dentist; The Pied Piper of Hamelin and The Oldest Living Graduate. We still dream of a time when we can have a facility at least as large as we had at Friendship Park.

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