Monday, August 4, 2014
East Texas Performing Arts in Jefferson
“Twenty-seven million slaves; more than any other time in the history of the planet,” are the opening lines of The Throwaway Children. Featuring eight East Texas youth, audiences will walk away with hope, despite becoming aware of the harsh and traumatic effects slavery has on its victims.
East Texas Performing Arts (ETPA) is the result of Sara Whitaker’s lifetime devotion to theater arts. Sara is the founder, producer and executive director. ETPA was formed early in 2013 as a Texas non-profit corporation as an outgrowth of Sara’s original theatre company, Sanctuary Players. ETPA is the formal entity formed to expand and build awareness and participation in the performing arts in East Texas. Operating for two years and successfully completing seven stage productions, initial success made it obvious that the performing arts were growing and had a future in East Texas. In order to be a leader in this trend, Sanctuary Players had to expand their horizons. Step one in this expansion was the formation of East Texas Performing Arts. ETPA’s first production was a fundraising concert by Lacie Carpenter and the Southern String Line in February 2013. Today ETPA produces theatrical stage plays in all genres, comedy, drama, musical, and classical. Music concerts focus on young, up and coming talent. Sara teaches acting, movement, public speaking, and choreography.
Productions are already underway this summer with several performances from July through August. You still have time to catch some or all of them.
The Mystery of Edwin Drood
We start with the biggest Broadway musical you can imagine. This is a huge, complex production that offers endless variety. It has virtually everything an audience could ask for - mystery, murder, romance, comedy, audience participation, and potentially, a different ending for each performance.
This Charles Dickens story was left unfinished when Dickens died. The audience decides the ending! It is staged as a play-within-a-play. Actors play characters that play characters in the internal play. And to emphasize the size and complexity of this production, the audience sits within the play’s set. Just wait until you see what we do to transform the Jefferson Visitor Center into the 1890s Music Hall Royale!
The Throwaway Children
Written with a Christian world view, this original drama highlights the ongoing global crisis of human trafficking. “Twenty-seven million slaves; more than any other time in the history of the planet,” are the opening lines of The Throwaway Children. Featuring eight East Texas youth, audiences will walk away with hope, despite becoming aware of the harsh and traumatic effects slavery has on its victims. Mercy and grace are extended to the perpetrators and their victims in this play, written, directed, and choreographed by Sara Whitaker. Human trafficking affects the affluent and the poverty stricken in both rural and urban areas. Though this play presents difficult material, it offers a redemptive solution. In God’s eyes, there is hope for all people. The men and women who have fallen into prostitution still have value and purpose.
Texas Sounds International Country Music Awards
Top country musicians from around the world come to Jefferson. The top male country performer from Spain, InBlauk, excites audiences with his soul-drenched country vocals and guitar. The top female country performer from South Africa, Chrissie Rossouw debuts her new all-English album right here in Jefferson! Be sure that you hear the Rockabilly/Western Swing band from Australia, East Texas. That’s right; the band’s name is East Texas. It is perfectly natural that they travel from Adelaide, Australia, to Jefferson, Texas, to launch their U.S. campaign. Our Canadian is Karen Lee Batten, whose new album is the biggest selling Canadian country album on the charts right now! Exciting acts from Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, and the U.S.A. (Nashville, Memphis, and Texas) complete the bill.
Dedicated to developing community appreciation for and participation in, drama and musical arts by sponsoring amateur and professional presentations such as plays, musicals, concerts, festivals and to providing performing arts education opportunities to the general public.
East Texas Performing Arts, Inc. is a non-profit under the laws of the State of Texas and a federal 501c3 corporation.
For dates and ticket information, visit easttexasperformingarts.org or call 847-722-8798.