Thursday, November 29, 2012

LTA's A Christmas Carol 2012

LTA rings in the holiday season with a return of the classic by Charles Dickens. Ebenezer Scrooge, a miserly Victorian humbug, travels with ghostly guides through Christmas past, present, and future to find the true meaning of the holidays. Complete with special effects, Victorian carols, and Tiny Tim, A Christmas Carol is a must for the entire family.

Written by Charles Dickens
Adapted and Directed by Rachael Hubbard
Produced by Lloyd Bittinger and Eddy Roger Parker

Photo by Doug Olmsted
Meet the Cast!

Mark Lee Adams (Charles Dickens)

Nikki Amico (Martha)
Ashley Amidon (Mrs. Cratchit)

Clare Baker (Belinda Cratchit)

Elliot Bales (Ebenezer Scrooge)

Melanie Bales (Mrs. Fezziwig/Laundress)

Emma Canfield (Lillian)

Alexander Collins (Young Scrooge/Ghost of Christmas Future)

Brian Downie (Henry Cratchit/Robert)

Cillian Farrell (Tiny Tim)

Saoirse Farrell (Spirit of Christmas/Child Soloist/Belle's Oldest Daughter)

Penelope Gallagher (Belle's Child)

Lindsey Gattuso (Molly Cratchit/Caroler/Want)

Terry Gish (Old Joe)

Lawrence O. Grey Jr. (Fezziwig/Poulterer/Ghost of Christmas Present)

Robert Heinly (Marley)

Richard Isaacs (Topper/Fezziwig Guest/Gentleman 1)

Grace Keefe (Fan/Belle's Child)

Aaron Lewis (Fred)

Brittany Morgan (Belle)

Heather Norcross (Ghost of Christmas Past/Housekeeper)

Kristin O'Malley (Fred's Wife)

Joe Quinn (Dick Wilkins)

John Ray (Peter Cratchit)

Charlie Ruppe (Turkey Boy/Belle's Child)

Paul Tamney (Gentleman 2)

Viktoria Truitt (Belle's Child/Ignorance)

Cal Whitehurst (Bob Cratchit)

Julian Worth (Boy Scrooge)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

LTA's Cantorial (Video Blog)

Here is the fourth video in a series of video blogs for Cantorial.  In this video, you learn more about Cantorial's set and meet cast member James Myers.

Thanks again to Jim Hartz for his outstanding work on these videos!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

C. Evans Kirk's Director Notes (Cantorial)

     I was first introduced to the works of Ira Levin in fourth grade through a cousin who loved
horror novels. Rosemary’s Baby was a must read. You can only imagine the letter home
to my parents from the school concerning my choice of reading. My mom’s response was,
“You mean he’s actually reading a book!”
     Having directed area productions of Stephen King’s Misery, Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting
of Hill House and Bram Stoker’s Dracula, I was excited at the prospect of adding a work
by Levin to my résumé. And as I read Cantorial for the first time, I kept turning the page
waiting for that moment like Rosemary walking down the long hallway to see her baby
for the first time.
     I don’t think I’m giving anything away by stating that the moment never came! From the
mastermind behind Rosemary’s Baby (and its unfortunate sequel), The Stepford Wives,
Deathtrap and The Boys from Brazil is this realistic story. Yes, a “ghost story,” but only
because there’s a ghost in it. Instead of horror, suspense or espionage, Levin has given
us a personal journey…a story of an adopted boy searching for his missing link.
The world we live in is enchanted and mysterious. It is not a symbol or a metaphor.
However, we often make up symbols and metaphors to explain the unknown. In fiction,
it may be hard to believe in vampires and time travel, so it becomes a work of horror and
science fiction. But what if they were real? Do you believe in angels and miracles? If so,
do you actually see them, and are they a part of your everyday life? In magical realism,
writers write the ordinary as miraculous and the miraculous as ordinary. As Freud might
have said, “Sometime a ghost is just a ghost.” In short, there is no answer; you just believe.
I hope you enjoy this production of Cantorial as much as I have enjoyed working on it.
Don’t be afraid to believe. You may just discover something new or missing in your own life.

C. Evans Kirk (Director/Set Designer for Cantorial) joined LTA in 1978 as a student in Helen Todd’s junior acting class. Over the years, he has taken classes and been a teacher; has been onstage,
backstage and in the front of the house; and has worked in the business office and served
on the board. Chris is always excited to return to his favorite role, director. Chris directed
Widdershins for LTA two seasons ago and with his team won LTA’s Outstanding Production
of the Year, along with Best Director and several other awards. Special thanks to a creative
cast and crew, especially Jamie, Eileen and Becky, for departing on this “spiritual journey.”


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Meet the Cast of Cantorial!

Heather Benjamin (Lesley Rosen) is happy to return to LTA after playing Rose in Enchanted April in 2008. Recent work includes The Confines of Flattery at the 2012 Capital Fringe Festival and Stage Door at American Century Theater. Heather has also performed with Quotidian Theatre, Adventure Theatre, Embassy Players, New Old Theater and Silver Spring Stage, among others. Recent film roles include Sarah Haynsworth Gayle in a documentary about Francis Scott Key, Proof Through the Night, and a lead in the short film The Pardon. Her next project will be directing Copenhagen at Rockville Little Theatre in March 2013.

Heather Benjamin
John Franklin (Philip Quinn), an accomplished trainer, Toastmaster and award-winning public speaker is returning to the stage after a long absence with his LTA debut in Cantorial. Past performances have included Thornton Wilder’s The Skin of Our Teeth and numerous dramatic interpretations, including Neil Simon’s The Star-Spangled Girl and Woody Allen’s Death Knocks. He lives in Falls Church with his wife, Linda, and their two German shepherds, Sam and Iris.

John Franklin
James Myers (Warren Ives) a versatile artist who has performed with a wide variety of organizations, including the Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center, Signature Theatre, the Washington Savoyards and Theater of the First Amendment.  He has also performed in Germany with the Middle Saxony Opera Theatre. He holds a master of music degree in vocal performance and, when he is not performing, teaches a thriving studio of talented singing artists. James is honored to work with the wonderful cast and crew of Cantorial and is thankful for the love and support from dear friends and family.

James Myers
Fé Vivas Patriciu (Donna Quinn) is thrilled to be making her LTA and DC-area debut in Cantorial. Past notable roles include Tess in Six Degrees of Separation at the Boston Centre for the Arts, Giulia in The Vice and Lil Bit in selected scenes from How I Learned to Drive for the Bowdoin College theater department. Fé is an avid theater enthusiast and is passionate about arts funding. Follow her on Twitter (#FeVPatriciu) to learn more. Of special significance, Fé shares a birthday with two fantastic members of the Cantorial crew, Jamie and Eileen. Fé sends her love to her husband and Tootsie for keeping life running during her nights away at rehearsals.

Fé Vivas Patriciu
Steve Rosenthal (Morris Lipkind) is happy to be back at the Little Theatre of Alexandria. Previous roles at LTA include Argante in Scapino, Raffaele Priore in Saturday Sunday Monday and Claude Upson in Auntie Mame. His most recent roles include Gorgibus in The Confines of Flattery for the Capital Fringe Festival (directed by Heather Benjamin), Ira Stone in Laughter on the 23rd Floor at TAP and Father Bowdern in Hellspawn at Active Culture’s Theatre. Special thanks to Mr. Herman Taube for his help. Steve also gives thanks as always to his wife, Sue, for all her love and support.

Steve Rosenthal
John Shackelford (Williams Ives) has appeared a number of times at LTA. His most recent appearance here was in Funny Money as Bill, and before that he appeared in Heaven Can Wait as Max Levene (nominated for Best Supporting Actor, LTA). Between the latter two, he portrayed Michael Watters in Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me at PCP. Also at LTA, he played Bill Lesley in It Runs in the Family, for which he received Best Supporting Actor. Other favorites include Juror #11 in Twelve Angry Men at ACCT, Dr. Lyman Hall in 1776 at LTA, Clem Rogers in The Will Rogers Follies at LTA, and Charlie Martin in On Golden Pond at Heritage Theatre. In film, John co-starred in an independent film, Bride and Doom, as British Detective Nicholas Smythe.

John Shackelford
Rick Flint is somewhat surprised to be making his LTA debut in Cantorial. He has acted in several local church productions, including Fools, Omelet, Prince of Denmark, and acted and sang the roles of two of the three kings in Amahl and the Night Visitors, thus proving that a degree in music was not totally wasted on someone who has spent his career in banking.

Photos by Shane Canfield.

LTA's Cantorial (Video Blog)

Here is the third video in a series of video blogs about Cantorial!  Director C. Evans Kirk continues his talk about Cantorial's set design along with set dressing.

Thanks again to Jim Hartz for putting this together.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

LTA's Cantorial (Video Blog)

Here is the second video in a series of video blogs about Cantorial. Director C. Evans Kirk talks about the set design and costumes.

Thanks again to Jim Hartz for continuing to do great videos for us!

LTA's A Christmas Carol (Video Blog)

Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol has been cast and rehearsals started for this year annual production of the classic at The Little Theater of Alexandria.

This year will feature an all-new adaptation by Donna Ferragut and directed by Rachael Hubbard.

The show runs from November 30 to December 16.  And it features choreography by Grace Machanic who returns this year for her 22 season. 

In this segment, which is a part of a longer documentary for the theater, she shows how easy it is for the adult actors in A Christmas Carol to learn the steps.

Thanks to Jim Hartz for putting this video together.

Friday, October 12, 2012

LTA's Cantorial (Video Blog)

The Little Theater of Alexandria’s next production, Cantorial (October 27-November 17), is a play by Ira Levin (Rosemary’s Baby, Deathtrap, No Time for Sergeants). 

C. Evans Kirk returns to direct the play, which is billed as a “ghost story.”  A dead cantor returns to a former synagogue on New York’s lower east side, but that’s only a small part of the story. 

Here is the first in a series of video blogs about Cantorial.  Background from Director Kirk.

A special thanks to Jim Hartz for putting this video together.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

LTA Volunteer Video

The volunteers who worked backstage for Sweeney Todd, The Little Theater of Alexandria’s opening show of the 2012-2013 season, were singled out for special praise by several local critics. 

Jordan Wright of The Alexandria Times wrote:

Countless elements contribute to the realism of the show. Art Snow adds much in terms of special effects including designing blood-spurting razors synchronized to the slashing of Todd’s victims’ throats, a chair that sends victims sliding into an abyss, and a dungeon-worthy oven billowing smoke and flames.

The technical complexities of the show are impressive: the two double-decker turntable stages rotate an astonishing 64 times. Add to that the 80-plus sound cues and dozens of mood-shifting lighting cues designed by the WATCH Award-winning team of Ken and Patti Crowley, and you have a tremendously dynamic stage set.

Audiences seldom applaud sets and props but the mechanical barber chair that sent Sweeney’s victims rocketing through a trap door down to the pie store’s big oven drew gasps, laughter and applause.  Now you can see how the special effect was created.  And at the same time learn more about how to volunteer to work backstage. 

A special thanks to Jim Hartz for putting this video together.

Friday, September 7, 2012

LTA's Funny Money

Gayle Nichols-Grimes (Betty Johnson) and Charlene Sloan (Jean Perkins)

Erik Harrison (Henry Perkins) and John Shackelford (Bill)

Charlene Sloan (Jean Perkins) and Marisa Johnson (Slater)
Photos by Doug Olmsted

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Nominations for our annual LTA Awards (2011-2012 LTA Season)

The LTA Awards are presented Annually in October at a formal gala to honor the best productions, directors, actors, and designers from the prior season. In addition special awards are handed out to volunteers who have made a significant contribution to The Little Theatre of Alexandria.  Below are the nominations for the 2011-2012 LTA Season.

Sound Design

David Correia and David Hale for Hairspray
David Correia and David Hale for 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
David Correia for All the King's Women

Props Design

Nicole Zuchetto for Rabbit Hole
Benjamin and Heather Norcross for Noises Off
Eddy Roger Parker for 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Costume Design

Jean Schlichting and Kit Sibley for Hairspray
Susan Boyd for Witness for the Prosecution
Bobbie Herbst and Nicole Zuchetto for All the King's Women

Lighting Design

Ken and Patti Crowley for Rabbit Hole
Chris Hardy for Noises Off
Nancy Owens and Liz Owens for Heaven Can Wait

Set Design

C. Evans Kirk and Dan Remmers for Noises Off
John Downing for Heaven Can Wait
John Downing for Witness for the Prosecution

Set Painting

Leslie Reed for 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Mary Hutzler for Heaven Can Wait
Deidre (De) Nicholson-Lamb for Witness for the Prosecution

Set Construction

Dan Remmers for Noises Off
Chris Feldmann for 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
John Downing for Heaven Can Wait

Set Decoration

Nancyanne Burton, Jean and Allen Stuhl for Rabbit Hole
Nancyanne Burton, Jean and Allen Stuhl for 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Nancyanne Burton, Jean and Allen Stuhl for Heaven Can Wait

Makeup Design

Robin Parker for Hairspray
Robin Parker for Rabbit Hole
Robin Parker and Hannah Wolf for All the King's Women

Hair Design

Anna Michelle Jackson, Irene Kasotakis, Margaret Murphy and Sue Pinkman for Hairspray
Robin Parker for Rabbit Hole
Robin Parker and Hannah Wolf for All the King's Women

Best Bit Role

Scott J. Strasbaugh as Mr. Pinky in Hairspray
Jody Lynn Parker as Little Inez in Hairspray
John Crowley as Timothy Allgood in Noises Off

Best Minor Role

Gina C. Tomkus as Prudy Pingleton, Prison Matron & Gym Teacher in Hairspray
Brenda Parker as Motormouth Maybelle in Hairspray
Adrian Cubbage as Seaweed J. Stubbs in Hairspray

Best Junior Performance

Sam Jones as Link Larkin in Hairspray
Derrick "Blake" Hopkins, Jr. as Stooie (Ensemble) in Hairspray

Best Supporting Role in a Musical

Christopher Harris as Edna Turnblad in Hairspray
Eric Hughes as Chip Tolentino in 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Josh Goldman as Leaf Coneybear in 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Best Supporting Role in a Play

Rebecca Lenehan as Nat in Rabbit Hole
Rebecca Phillips as Izzy in Rabbit Hole
Cal Whitehurst as Mr. Jordan in Heaven Can Wait
John Shackelford as Max Levine in Heaven Can Wait

Best Lead Role in a Musical

Shannon Kingett as Tracy Turnblad in Hairspray
Jeff Davis as Vice Principal Douglas Panch in 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Maureen Rohn as Olive Ostrovsky in 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Best Lead Role in a Play

Karen Jadlos Shotts as Becca in Rabbit Hole
Mark Lee Adams as Sir Wilfred Roberts, Q.C. in Witness for the Prosecution
Sarah Holt as Saleswoman, Barbara, Eve, Beth & Mona in All the King's Women

Best Musical Director

Christopher A. Tomasino for Hairspray
Christopher A. Tomasino for 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Best Choreographer

Iván Dávila for Hairspray
Grace Manly Machanic for 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Best Stage Director

Sue Pinkman for Hairspray
Joanna Henry for Rabbit Hole
Frank D. Shutts II for 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Friday, August 24, 2012

Interview with Erik Harrison from LTA's Funny Money

What do you find appealing about your character and this show?

Henry is a man who has been moderately successful at a career he likes but doesn't love, with a pretty house and a pretty wife, and not a lot else. I've been in that sort of place myself. Funny Money is a little bit like wish fulfillment for me - what would happen if you were given the chance to completely change your life?

What have you learned about yourself in playing the role of “Henry”?

You mean, what have I learned other than how bloody bad I am at memorizing lines?

I think Henry has been a real challenge for me as an actor, but that's all boring inside baseball stuff. What I've learned as a person is that the theatre, the chance to perform for others - that's my briefcase full of money. Henry wants out of his hum-drum daily life.
My daily life can be pretty hum-drum as well, but in the evening I get to go play make believe with other adults who never grew up. Then after a few months of play, I get to show hundreds of people what we made up, and they applaud us. That's pretty remarkable.

What do you want the audience to experience/take away from this show?

I want them to laugh so hard it hurts. I want them to feel completely spirited away from whatever their daily life is, cocooned in the glorious dark of the theatre, transported to the Perkin's living room via the magic of the stage, then I want them to laugh until they think they're going to be sick. It's like the man said "There's a lot to be said for making people laugh. Did you know that's all some people have? It isn't much, but it's better than nothing in this cockeyed caravan. Boy!"

How long have you been acting and what made you get involved in theatre?

I acted a lot as a young man, in junior high and high school - my father was an actor, so I avoided the pull of the stage a bit when I was younger, out of a sort of rebellion, but when I was 14 a school production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" proved too much to resist.

Then, when I turned 18 I promptly gave it all up in a concerted effort to Go To College and Get A Career and Get Married and Be Respectable.

How did you get involved with LTA?

About 10 years later, the whole Be Respectable thing lead to a divorce, quitting my job, and abandoning psychology, which my degree was in. I moved to Virginia just for a change. On the very first day in Virginia, a friend convinced me to audition for my first play in a decade. That was "Play It Again, Sam" at LTA. I didn't get cast, but I had more fun at the four hours of the callback than I had had in ages.
I immediately started auditioning again, and about six months later I got a role at Port City Playhouse (Farragut North, which I was immensely proud of). When an actor dropped out of LTA's production of The Visit, some people who had seen me in Farragut North invited me to sign on as a last minute replacement. I've been here ever since.

What advice would you give others who are interested in working in theatre?

Start! If you want to act, audition. If that intimidates you, take a class. If you don't want to act, volunteer. If you are afraid that there isn't a role for you, volunteer anyway. There is more work than you can imagine, and room for any number of skills and personalities, as long as you show up and try hard.

And if you still can't figure it out - ask me! I'll be at the show, won't I? Come up to me after a performance, and I guarantee I can put you in touch with someone who will put you to work...

Erik Harrison (Henry Perkins) has played several roles, but they are like his children, so rather than play favorites in this limited space, he will mention none of them. He has no actual children, nor does he have a cat, dog, girlfriend, boyfriend, wife, husband, deity, fish or other life companion to thank. Instead, he would like to profusely apologize to his cast and crew for any number of wrongs committed in the course of the show, the least of which is this bio itself. Sorry, guys. Drinks on me.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Interview with Charlene Sloan from LTA's Funny Money

What do you find appealing about your character and this show?
I play Jean Perkins and she is a really great character to play. She goes through a huge emotional journey in the show and that makes her so complex and exciting to portray. She does take a lot of energy and even though it can be exhausting at times it has been so rewarding.  Funny Money is just such a fun show to work on. The script is hilarious and we laugh through rehearsals as we discover more and more about our characters and the ridiculous situation they find themselves in.
What have you learned about yourself in playing the role of “Jean Perkins”?
Hmmm. I think I have just learned how to emote more. In my real life I don’t always feel comfortable showing emotions like anger, fear, or sadness, so I was afraid that might limit me in terms of showing the range of emotions that the character Jean Perkins feels. Of course, I still feel those emotions, so I learned to just be free, trust my director and cast mates and let those emotions out…In a funny way, of course!
What do you want the audience to experience/take away from this show?
I just want the audience to laugh out loud. Funny Money is a comedy and so laughter is really the goal, but I would also like the audience to be able to identify with the characters. Even though it is a comedy, we have worked hard in rehearsals to make the characters realistic so that audience members could see a little of themselves in each of us. I want the audience to see the characters as real people who get caught in a ridiculous situation. That’s where the comedy is created.
How long have you been acting and what made you get involved in theatre? How did you get involved with LTA?
I started acting last December, so I am really a newbie, but I love it. My first show was “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Radio Play.” It was a great start into stage acting because it was a radio play, which allowed us to keep our scripts with us on stage. Even though I had the lines memorized by the time performances started, it was such a comfort to a new actor to have the script with me. Now, I can’t wait to get the lines memorized so I can get rid of the script and really get more into the character!
I got involved in theater because I always loved seeing shows and would get excited to go to the theater, but when I would arrive and take my seat I always felt a sadness that I couldn’t understand for the longest time. Then, I saw a recent production of “Follies” at The Kennedy Center and it hit me, “I wish I was up there doing that.” Now, I don’t have that tinge of sadness when I go to the theater because I am able to take part as both an actor and an audience member.
I got involved with LTA by auditioning for Funny Money. I knew LTA was a phenomenal group and I thought I would learn a lot just by auditioning. I went to the audition thinking, “I’m not gonna get a part, but the audition itself will be fun.” And it was; getting a part was a “double bonus.”
What advice would you give others who are interested in working in theatre?
Just do it! If you are interested, get involved. Audition, volunteer, take a class, whatever. Don’t listen to doubters or fears in your own mind. If you are interested in taking part in theater whether it is as an actor or behind the scenes then go for it. Life is too short to not try things you feel a passion for.
Charlene Sloan (Jean Perkins) is thrilled to be making her LTA debut in Funny Money. Previous roles include Anne in a staged reading of The Slippery Ladies Book Club (RCP), Kay Ridgeway-Mostyn in Murder on the Nile (PTC) and Matilda/Ruth Daiken Bailey/Mrs. Thompson/Sadie Vance in It’s a Wonderful Life: A Radio Play (PPF). Charlene also works with Broadway Barks and Braille Tails. These nonprofit organizations are dedicated to the plight of homeless animals and increasing Braille literacy among the visually impaired.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Interview with Sam Jones - Cast Member in Sweeney Todd

You may recall seeing Sam Jones on stage last summer as Link in LTA's Hairspray.  He is now joining the cast of LTA's Sweeney Todd: The Demon Baber of Fleet Street, this summer!

Sam Jones in Sweeney Todd

What do you want the audience to experience from Sweeney Todd?

I want the audience to both be scared and to laugh.  There are parts of the show that are very dark, in a truly frightening way, and the cast has worked really hard to be as terrifying as possible.  However, this horror story is also a black comedy.  It is a funny, funny show.  I have very fond memories of watching this show and the movie version and laughing until I couldn't breathe, while Sweeney is killing his customers.  I would love for the audience to have the same experience.

How does this show differ from other shows you have worked on?

This show probably has the hardest music of any show I've done.  How Sweeney differs from last summer's Hairspray is that Sondheim really does not care what your voice part is; I am a tenor singing baritone and believe you me, the notes are high enough.  We were blessed with a very musically gifted cast, all who can sing the 2 to 3 octave ranges that happen in nearly every song.

How long have you been acting and what made you get involved in theatre? How did you get involved with LTA?

I was actually talked into auditioning for my first show by Zack Frank (Pirelli) and got a pretty sizable role.  I got the bug.  I kept doing shows at school and started taking voice lessons and realized it was something I was good at.  I had always love seeing shows at LTA and I was cast as Link last year in Hairspray.  I knew I had to come back this summer, and I am so glad that I did.

What advice would you give others who are interested in working in theatre?

Pick a good audition song, smile, and really know your character.  I'm an entering freshman at Christopher Newport University, where I will be studying Musical Theatre and Dance.  I'm sure that I will learn many more tips in my four years there!

Sam Jones in LTA's Hairspray (2012)

Sam Jones (Ensemble in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Baber of Fleet Street) is thrilled to be back at LTA!  Last summer he was seen as teen heartthrob Link Larkin in LTA's Hairspray.  Since then he has been in several shows including The Laramie Project and starring as Bobby Child in Crazy for You.  Other notable roles include Amos Hart in Chicago and Roger Davis in Rent.  Starting this fall, Sam will be studying musical theater and dance at Christopher Newport University.

Friday, June 8, 2012

All the King's Women - Photos

Ric Andersen and Jennifer Finch

Jennifer Finch, Robin Parker, and Sarah Holt

Jennifer Finch, Ric Andersen, and Robin Parker

Jennifer Finch and Robin Parker

Sarah Holt, Ric Andersen, and Robin Parker
Photos by Doug Olmsted

The Woman in Black - Reviews

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

What Does Elvis Mean to You? (LTA Blog Contest)

"I am an attorney in Alexandria with a staff of 9.  For over 20 years I have kept my office closed on January 8 (Elvis' Birthday) and have treated it as a legal holiday.  People think we're nuts when they call and are told we'll be closed "for the Holiday", but that's their problem. I believe that some day Elvis' Birthday will be officially recognized as a federal holiday, as it should be.  It helps break up that long holiday gap (3 weeks) between New Year's and Martin Luther King Day." -Tom Gorman

"I just have to enter my daughter (Francesca) in this contest! Although she is only 12, out of a million topics she could have picked for her history fair project, she and her friend (Kirsten) picked "Elvis, The King!" They spent months researching, writing, planning, and learning about Elvis and how he changed the world. Their project was selected from their school to move on to the County! Even if we don't win tickets, I plan to take her and her friend to the play... I think they love seeing their research come to life!"  -Judy Ball

"Elvis was not the first bad boy in my life, but he taught me the most.  Growing up in a segregated small southern town divided socially and economically by railroad tracks, I knew bad boys could never be part of my world.  I was classical music, Presbyterian Sunday School, straight A’s.   In 1956 “Heartbreak Hotel” and “Love me Tender”  altered  my tidy 8th-grader’s view of the world.  It wasn’t the physical Elvis– button-downed shirts and a love of Beethoven still trumped the bad boy persona.  The lure was that emotion-filled voice with its endless promises.  I stood firm.  Fast forward fifty years - I am at Graceland for the final event of  an arts conference where I have spent four days watching showcases of hopeful entertainers and musicians.  The tour begins with,“When Elvis was 21 he bought Graceland for his parents - it was the biggest house in Memphis.”   Bought this southern mansion at 21?  They have my attention.  We enter Elvis’s world.  All-white living room, paisley-wrapped tented space - what?  My 1950's design fantasies were shared by Elvis?  Next are the media clips.  My heart stops.  He is young, beautiful, charismatic, with more talent in his little finger than all those showcasing conference artists.  Why hadn’t I allowed myself to recognize he was the real deal in 1956?   Wandering in a daze through the cemetery, the airplane,  garage full of motorcycles and bumper cars, I was suddenly struck again:   wasn’t it “Heartbreak Hotel” that permanently cracked my black and white 1950's world?  By this time I was standing before the row of decadent white jumpsuits in ever-increasing sizes (bad boy suits for sure).  A new convert,  I silently thanked Elvis for making the cracks that set me on the path to Memphis.  Without him, my world might never have expanded."
-Joan Singer

"I have always said I was born in the wrong decade.  From the time I could remember, I have always enjoyed music that was popular 40+ years ago, from the Monkees, the Beatles, and of course Elvis Presley!  I discovered my love for Elvis about 6 years ago when I saw a performance by a very well-know Elvis impersonator, Ryan Pelton.  Ryan was so freakishly like the real thing that I thought that I had been transported back in time!  After that, I started listening to Elvis’ music, watching his movies, and reading lots of books.  It wasn’t long after that, that I had become not only a fan, but COMPLETELY fascinated with the King.  My Elvis collection started with CDs, DVD, books and has grown to multiple cardboard stand-ups, bags, art, costumes, t-shirts, pretty much anything you can think of.  I traveled to Graceland with my dad soon after my fascination started and was blown away.  If you ever get a chance, Elvis fan or not, go to Graceland!  I believe it is something everyone should do at least once in their life.  I would give anything to have been able to see him perform live but all his recorded performances (and shows like LTA’s All the King’s Women) will have to do."  -Tina Barry (LTA's own Box Office Manager)

At Graceland!

With Elvis impersonator, Ryan Pelton!
Elvis means a lot to me. Elvis is proof that any child in America (or anywhere else) can grow up to be anything he wants. Imagine living in the projects of Memphis dreaming of being something someday, and then becoming "The King of Rock n' Roll”. Even though Elvis was as rich as any of us ever dreamed to be, he never stopped enjoying little things. He loved football, roller-skating, a night at the movies, just sitting at home talking to his friends. He never stopped caring about his fans. His fans always meant a lot to him. We loved him in return. That's why we're still here today. Elvis had bad habits, too. Drugs, a temper, he depended too much on the wrong people. But you never heard Elvis claim to be perfect! To him he was just another guy doing his thing. Trying not to hurt anybody. Trying to please people with his music. It's been said Elvis could walk on stage and read a phone book and the crowd would have still loved it. Yet Elvis still had stage fright every time he walked on stage because he was afraid he wouldn't please everyone. I can't listen to "It Hurts Me" without getting tears in my eyes. Every time I play the laughing Elvis track, I have to laugh right along with him. Elvis poured his soul into his music. He demanded perfection from himself while making a record. I agree with Priscilla when she said, "Elvis didn't get it. He never really understood everyone loved Him”. He was still out there trying to earn our love. It was important to him. In my life JFK was killed, the Vietnam war tore this country apart, drugs were everywhere, Hero’s were hard to find. Yet there was always Elvis to look up too. There was always Elvis to listen too. The mention of Elvis brought joy. Elvis gave me a reason to keep trying. Elvis means a lot to me. - J.A.


It's not too late to submit!!
What does Elvis mean to you?
Do you have an interesting Elvis story to tell?  Has “The King” affected your life in some way?  Or are you just a die-hard Elvis fan?  How would you like to win tickets for The Little Theatre of Alexandria’s production of All the King’s Women?  Tell us “What Elvis means to you” and you just might!
In 300 words or less, send us your entry via email to  Entries will be posted on LTA’s blog for Elvis and theatre fans to enjoy!  A winner will be selected at random and awarded a pair of tickets to LTA’s production of All the King’s Women LTA will not post inappropriate or lewd submissions and hold the right to review submissions before posting to the LTA blog.  Please include your name, phone number, email address and Twitter handle (if you have one) with your submission.  We encourage photos if you have them!