• 59°

BLT kicks off new season with awards, reveal

A tale as old as time, an autobiographical account of a historic tragedy and a cool musical are part of the Brookhaven Little Theatre’s new season.

The first of BLT’s season passes were made available for purchase Saturday at the community theater group’s annual season reveal party and awards show.

Six shows will be performed this season, starting with “Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical” in October, which will have a three-weekend run as well as daytime school shows perfect for field trips.

Shows are Oct. 4-6, Oct. 11-13 and Oct. 18-20. Schools shows are Oct. 4 and Oct. 11 at 10 a.m.

To get into the Christmas spirit, the Brookhaven Little Theatre will perform “Disney’s Frozen Jr.” Dec. 13-15 and Dec. 20-22, along with school shows on Dec. 14 and Dec. 20 at 9:30 and 11:30 a.m.

The drama of the season, “The Diary of Anne Frank,” will be performed Feb. 14-16 and Feb. 21-23, with school shows on Feb. 14 and Feb. 21 at 10 a.m.

“We’re looking for actors to come tell this piece of world history on our stage,” board member Hope Ratcliff said.

A fan favorite will return to the stage at BLT in the spring. “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast: The Broadway Musical” will be performed April 17-19, April 24-26 and May 1-3, with school shows April 17, April 24 and May 1 at 10 a.m.

To kick off the summer, the BLTeens will host a workshop June 1-28. Performances of “Disney’s High School Musical Jr.” will be June 25-28.

To end the 2019-2020 season, the Haven Kids Drama Camp will be July 13-21, with performances of “Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka Kids” scheduled July 23-24.

Several parts for adults and children are available for each show.

“There are tons of parts for young and old,” said Nick Rocz, who stepped in as guest director for “Newsies” this past season. 

Between reveals, past performers entertained the crowd with musical numbers from the shows.

Many members of BLT reflected on the previous season and spoke positive of the upcoming shows.

“You got to go to the slums of New York, and under the sea,” technician Eddie Cagle said. “They made magic on this very stage. Every show on the wall is every reason the BLT is growing.”

The Brookhaven Little Theatre is the longest continuously running community theater in Mississippi, Executive Director Emily Waterloo said.

She also said that nearly 17,000 people came and saw shows at The Haven, allowing BLT to bring in more than $725,000 to the community.

“Disney’s The Little Mermaid” was the highest grossing show of all time for the community theater, according to Waterloo.

“All of the shows were different, but they were all amazing,” said Waterloo’s husband, Trey, a volunteer and director with BLT.

The reveal party also included awards for the past season’s actors, technicians and shows. The following awards were presented Saturday:

• Best Actor: Connor Cagle as Jack Kelly in “Newsies”

• Best Actress: Anna Walker as Ariel in “The Little Mermaid”

• Best Supporting Actor: Josh Brown as Crutchie in “Newsies”

• Best Supporting Actress: Jessica Scott as Ursula in “The Little Mermaid”

• Best Costumes: “The Little Mermaid”

• Best Set Design: “Newsies”

• Best Lighting and Sound Design: “The Little Mermaid”

• Best Hair and Makeup: “The Little Mermaid”

• Best Show of the Season: “Newsies”

• Best Directing Team Collaboration: Nick Rocz, Tonya Mathews and Holly Moore for “Newsies”

• Most Valuable Actor: McLain Boyd

• Volunteer of the Year: Larry Baker

• Rising Star Actor: Austin Tanksley

• Rising Star Actress: Lela Beth Waterloo

Story by Gracie Byrne