BOARD OF DIRECTORS
MISSION & HISTORY
To produce plays and musicals for professional and community actors, advanced student actors, and community based musicians and artists at the highest caliber of professionalism and talent. We aim to work on new material as well as retelling classic work to enrich the lives of Louisianians.
Our humble beginning came in the fall of 2011 when four young artists; Emily Kitchens, Seth Taylor, Jared Watson, and Missy Wise were discussing how they could impact Northwest Louisiana with their talent and love for live theater. A community that supports a professional opera, ballet, and symphony, surely would support a year-round professional theater company. In looking at the community broadly, it was clear that two demographics were being served well… young children, and couples over 50, largely overlooking an appeal to entertain and educate young adults with the kind of content that would speak to “Netflix” culture. Not wanting to narrow our vision for what a fully operating professional theater could be on both a local and national level, we set out to create Stage Center and Stage Center’s School of Performing Arts, with an eye on curating shows that would have an appeal to a wide-ranging demographic across an entire season of plays and musicals. Put another way, we pride ourselves on offering something for everyone.
Our first season of only four productions quickly showed us that we were on the right path. We doubled the number of shows for season two, and largely haven’t looked back, producing 81 live stage productions in just eleven seasons. We’ve just completed our eleventh season, and broken our box office record twice, so it is clear we have made an impact with audiences.
In 2013, we created a Performance Team, which consists of students under the age of 18 who want to train in the multi-disciplinary art form of musical theater year-round. Each year the Team travels to the National Invitational Junior Theater Festival to perform and take class with other artistic students and professionals from around the world. Our first group consisted of only nine students. In 2023, 30 students will join the ranks of our team that has brought home awards in Excellent Individual Performances (four times!), Ensemble work, Dance, & Music! Our 2019 production of Disney’s Aladdin received perfect scores across the board from our adjudication panel, and in 2021 we received the highest honor given, Outstanding Performance for Disney’s The Lion King!
In 2017, we began to work with Actor’s Equity Association, the union for professional actors and stage managers under a special agreement for burgeoning organizations like ours. This partnership has continued, with at least one professional actor being hired each season, in addition to the creative individuals we regularly employ to create quality shows right here in SBC.
While the past few years have been challenging by all accounts, we were still able to continue producing unique productions! One thing is certain: the future of live theater in Northwest Louisiana is as bright as the marquees of Broadway.
SUPPORTED IN PART BY A GRANT FROM THE SHREVEPORT REGIONAL ARTS COUNCIL WITH FUNDS FROM THE CITY OF SHREVEPORT