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Lakeland's Affordable, High-Quality Theater Performances Allow Folks to Display Their Talent

By Elisha Neubauer

Having an active arts program is extremely beneficial to any community, whether it be participating or viewing. At the Lakeland Community Theater, they're striving to ensure the local residents have full and affordable access to just such a program.

When it came to finding out a little more about the Lakeland Community Theater, who better to give us the run down than their very own artistic managing director, Alan S. Reynolds?

"It is very important to offer quality programming at affordable prices to our community, making it available and accessible to a large number of our population," Reynolds told us. In order to provide such affordable programming, they offer a range of discounts and programs such as student and group discounts and scholarships for educational programming to under-resourced youth. "We strive to maintain our educational components offering a safe and nurturing learning environment for ALL of our community members," says Reynolds. "For nearly 65 years our community and our City has had a long and proud tradition of supporting our civic theatre, from the early 1950's and the great Lakeland Little Theatre, to now the Lakeland Community Theatre, headed into its 31th season."

Les Miserables

The secret to the Theater's success is also what sets it apart from other theaters in the area. "I like to say our theatre is Volunteer Centric," explains Reynolds. "Our organization thrives and depends on a talented and a dedicated pool of volunteers." Over 700 individuals serve annually at the Theater. In fact, during the past 30 years over 1,500,000 hours have been logged at the Theatre. "Our volunteers work side by side with professional artistic production staff to produce our high quality slate of shows," he affirms. "We recognize it is this team effort that insures our excellent production values and standards."

Because not every show is for everyone, the Lakeland Community Theater offers a 3 show series geared to mature audiences: The Edge. The Edge is considered to be the Theater's alternative stage read series. "It's where we present cutting edge, award-winning and relevant dramatic literary works," Reynolds details.

Peter Pan

"These pieces are selected to expand, educate, engage and challenge our audiences. Also to give actors and directors opportunities to participate in works that would not necessarily be produced otherwise."

The Main Stage season features a wide variety of five popular theatrical pieces that cover the widest demographic of the community. "We are committed to bring to our audiences an award winning, high quality, affordable theatrical experience," he says. "Our entire season runs from August through July." The Season also includes the Eunice Fuller Theatre for Youth season, geared specifically to young audiences and "The Out of The Box Troupe " LCT's special needs troupe which produces 2 annually productions. Along with numerous workshops, camps and classes plus "The Page to Stage Troupe," which travels to area title one schools bring the art of the living theatre to many students for first time, Lakeland Community is committed to making the quality of life better for everyone in our community.

The Theater really puts an emphasis on the community and it shows in the attendance, support, and dedication they've received in return. "We are so proud of all the lives our programing has positively impacted over the past 30 years," exclaims Reynolds. "You see Lakeland Community is much more than just a place to see a great show, it's a place to belong, learn, grow and be changed for the better. It truly is 'Your Community Theatre!'"

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About The Author

Elisha Neubauer is a freelance editor, ghostwriter, book reviewer, and author. She is...

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