WORLD PREMIERE: Debut of play honoring Miss-Lou veterans is Saturday, Sunday at NLT

Published 8:54 pm Friday, January 27, 2023

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NATCHEZ — Saturday, Jan. 28,  is the “world premiere” of a new play at Natchez Little Theatre, written by local author and journalist, G. Mark LaFrancis,

“It’s the world premiere, as I like to call it,” LaFrancis said of his first play ever written, “Welcome Home, Soldier,” directed by long-time NLT volunteer, Devin Arnold.

It is and loosely based on the story of a real-life WWII and Battle of the Bulge Survivor who lived in Natchez to pay tribute to “the greatest generation,” LaFrancis said.

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Show times are 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 29, at Natchez Little Theatre, located at 312 Linton Ave. General admission tickets are $15 each and $10 each for active duty and military veterans. WWII veterans may attend for free.

The play’s main character, “Gramps” is reluctant to speak about his war experience in front of his grandson Joey’s class, LaFrancis said.

“He has serious doubts because he doesn’t think anyone cares about a war that happened so long ago, especially kids,” he said. “Is Gramps going to go, or is he not going to go? And is his grandson Joey going to convince him?”

The audience will follow Gramps’s emotional journey with flashbacks to WWII. Both veterans and young people are all encouraged to see it. All proceeds benefit Home With Heroes Foundation, a private nonprofit organization founded by LaFrancis that helps veterans and their loved ones in the Miss Lou.

In addition to the premiere of the play, the performance also marks the release of LaFrancis’s book, “In Their Boots: Voices of WWII,” which includes poetry, first-person accounts and photographs. Hard copies will be available to purchase for $15 each. Autographed copies will also be available.

There will also be a silent auction benefiting the Home With Heroes Foundation, which includes WWII museum tickets and a flag that was flown over the capitol.

To reserve tickets, call 601-442-2233 or visit