Join us for standing ovation awards

Published 12:05 am Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Greetings, Natchez and the Miss-Lou!

Natchez Little Theatre’s 10th Annual Standing Ovation Awards, celebrating the volunteers and seven productions of the 65th Season will be at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Natchez Little Theatre at 319 Linton Ave., at Maple Street in historic Natchez. The Gala is a fund-raiser for Natchez Little Theatre, Mississippi’s oldest community theatre and a charitable non-profit organization, celebrating 81 years of entertainment. This will also be your last opportunity to support and join Natchez Little Theatre for the 66th Season. Natchez Little Theatre has been a showcase for local talent since 1932.

Each year, delicious hors d’oeuvres donated by local chefs, restaurants and caterers, cocktails, wine, champagne, a silent auction, live entertainment celebrating the hits of the 65th Season’s outstanding musicals, which include “Annie” and “A Natchez Christmas Carol,” and a sneak preview of the upcoming 66th Season’s musicals (“The Color Purple” and “Legally Blonde”) as well as the awards ceremonies, make a memorable evening of family, friends, fun, food and music. Wade Heatherly will serve as the Master of Ceremonies for the awards ceremony with Yvonne Murray, NLT Vice President of Planning and Development as his Vanna White.

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Entertainment will feature Gillian Thompson (“Annie”). Abbie Dill, Carolyne Heatherly, Ashleigh Johnson, Addison Laird, Anabella Laird, Patricia Ware and Alexis Ware (the orphans from “Annie”), Morgan Mizell (Miss Hannigan), Layne Taylor (Daddy Warbucks), Benta’ Thomas (“A Natchez Christmas Carol”), Alethea Shelton and Cheleen Sugar (“The Color Purple”), Arden McMillin, Gabrielle Richardson, Alethea Shelton, Cheleen Sugar and Kaytlyn Walker (“Legally Blonde”). Roderick Whitley, MFA grad student from the Tisch School for Performing Arts at NYU will be on NLT’s grand piano playing songs from Broadway’s most popular musicals throughout the pre and post-awards reception.

The winners of 25 awards are determined by eligible members and sponsors of Natchez Little Theatre who have attended all of the Season’s seven productions. The nominees are selected from all the participants of NLT’s 65th Season productions: “Alice in Wonderland,”  “Sordid Lives,” “Arsenic & Old Lace,” “A Natchez Christmas Carol,” “The Cherry Orchard,” “Southern Exposure” and “Annie.”

Natchez Little Theatre would like to thank the many businesses and organizations who have supported NLT financially over the past season. Their support makes possible the many youth programs and performances offered for more than 9,000 students from Mississippi and Louisiana throughout the year as well as the benefit fund-raising performances for other local non-profit organizations. Without your support there would not be a stage for local talent!

We hope you will come enjoy the food, fellowship and entertainment at Natchez Little Theatre’s 10th Annual Standing Ovation Awards Gala on Saturday and celebrate Natchez’ leading tourist attraction as well as the more than 200 volunteers who put in numerous hours of community service per show to entertain you and the guests who visit our beautiful city. All tickets are $15 and remember this is a fundraiser, so bring your checkbook, Visa or MasterCard and come prepared to bid on some exciting and creative silent auction items that will feature weekend packages to New Orleans, St. Francisville, Vicksburg, jewelry and bed and breakfast, drinking and dining packages in Natchez.

And take this final opportunity to renew or join Natchez Little Theatre as it celebrates its 81st year of entertainment. Season memberships will not be available after this event. Reservations for the Gala may be made by calling 601-442-2233, toll free at 877-440-2233 or purchase tickets, memberships and sponsorships on-line at

I hope to see you at NLT.


Layne Taylor is the artistic and executive director of the Natchez Little Theatre.