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Theatre Louisiana College (tlc)

For tlc ticketing information or reservations call 318-487-7495.
*Additional info below.

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tlc Curious Savage

by Al Quartemont

In a world where life imitates art, it is art that can give a different perspective on the not so pleasant aspects of life. theatre louisiana college’s production of John Patrick’s “The Curious Savage” is hoping to be that kind of art.

The show kicks off its two-week run Thursday in the Martin Performing Arts Center. Evening performances run Thursday through Saturday, Sept. 18-20 and 25-27 at 7 p.m. and matinees on Sunday, Sept. 21 and Sunday, Sept 28 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors or students, and $5 for LC students, who also get a cultural credit for attending. 

Set in the 1950s, “The Curious Savage” is the story of Ethel Savage, a recently widowed woman whose three stepchildren are scheming to get the $10 million Savage’s late husband has left to her. After Mrs. Savage decides to give the money away rather than give it to them, the children have her committed to a psychiatric center. That center becomes the setting of the play’s odd yet poignant comedy.

“It’s not an everyday play,” said senior theater major Emma Graves. “This is a show that comes around once every few years, and it has such a strong message that’s so unique.  You walk away from it seeing things from a different point of view that you might normally pass up. So, it’s actually very beautiful and innocent.”

Graves plays Fairy May, one of the residents of the center to which Mrs. Savage has been committed. Fairy May is a woman in her 20s, yet stuck in the mindset of a six-year-old. While being one of the charters who provides comedic moments, Fairy May is also the symbol of innocence that the play projects.

“Though we are playing patients in an asylum, we’re not making fun of these characters or poking fun at anybody in this situation,” Graves said. “It’s about how even though money has torn this family apart, (Mrs. Savage) is picked up by these patients who form the strongest bond, and they are more like family then her own family was. We see these patients aren’t the really crazy ones.”

Ethel Savage is played by Alana Pate, a 2012 LC graduate and administrative assistant for tlc. Pate said her biggest challenge in playing the role of Savage has been to not turn the maternal, yet defiant figure into a caricature.

“She’s wreaking havoc on her children’s lives because they put her in a mental institution,” Pate said. “But, she looks at the residents with care and understanding.  They say a lot of things that don’t make sense, but she never makes them feel like they are dumb or crazy. Now, her children… she makes them feel like idiots.”

And, that is where the comedy comes in. The contrast between the “mad” residents and the “sane” stepchildren is meant to make the audience see the issue of mental illness, perhaps in a different way than before.

The play’s director, Associate Professor of Theater Tabitha Huffman, said the message of “The Curious Savage” is not unlike the popular “Boys Next Door” that tlc performed several years ago.

“It is exactly that,” Huffman said. “It has that enduring charm. You laugh at parts, and you cry at other parts. I love dealing with characters that have emotional challenges or disabilities because I’m so close to it personally. When I read it, I fell in love with it. Everyone in the audience is going to be able to connect with at least one character.”

“The thing that speaks to me is seeing people not necessarily through what they seem to be, but by seeing them as they truly are,” Pate said. “It is cleverly written, even though it’s a little heavy. You’ll either be crying because you’re laughing until you cry or because you’re feeling a connection with somebody on stage.”

Rounding out the cast for “The Curious Savage” are:

The Residents
Fairy May – Emma Graves
Florence – Rose Smoak
Jeffery – Cullen Chaffin
Hannibal – Kyle Franklin
Mrs. Paddy – Emily Lansing

The Staff
Dr. Emmett – Luke Burgess
Mrs. Willie – Bekah Unsworth

The Savage Family
Ethel P. Savage – Alana Pate
Titus – Jesse Gallegos
Samuel – Daniel Majure
Lily Belle – Naomi Smith  

For reservations or tickets, you can call (318) 487-7495 or email
Tickets are also available for purchase at the door, though Huffman said reservations are recommended.

Photo Caption (above):
From Left to Right: tlc cast members Emily Lansing (back), Cullen Chaffin, Alana Pate, Rose Smoak (holding doll), Emma Graves (floor), Kyle Franklin, Luke Burgess, Bekah Unsworth, and Naomi Smith performing a scene from “The Curious Savage”


 Season Tickets Available

TLC's The Curious Savage

To purchase season tickets, mail the following information to TLC, PO Box 554, Pineville, LA 71359:





____Adult tickets @ $55=____

____Senior/Student/LC faculty and staff tickets @ $35=____




*The Curious Savage by John Patrick

Directed by Tabitha Huffman

September 18th-28th, 2014

"Ethel Savage is a recently widowed woman sent to a psychiatric center by her stepchildren because she chooses to give away her recent inheritance instead of giving it to them. Humor ensues as the 'mad' residents of the center are contrasted with the 'sane' stepchildren. You will begin to re-think the definition of 'crazy'!"


Twice a Slave

From the novel by Sammy Tippit and Randy Willis

Adapted for the Stage and Directed by Dr. Pete Richardson

November 6th-16th, 2014

"1758, North Carolina, Born the son of a white man and a Cherokee, Joseph Willis is a slave. On his death bed, Joseph's father declares him free, but a resentful uncle refuses to grant him his freedom. A slave on his own property, Joseph decides to fight for what is his. With a faith molded by tragedy, he finds the courage to forgive and becomes a pioneer of faith who changes the course of Louisiana history."


Little Women 

From the Novel by Louisa May Alcott

Adapted for the stage by Marian De Forest and Directed by Dr. Pete Richardson

February 19th-March 1st, 2015

"The beloved novel comes to life on our stage as we follow Meg, Jo, Amy, and Beth through the hardships of the Civil War, dealing with life, death, and love."


Once Upon a Mattress

Music by Mary Rodgers, Lyrics by Marshall Barer

Book by Jay Thompson, Marshall Barer and Dean Fuller

Directed by Tabitha Huffman

April 23rd-May 3rd, 2015

"The musical re-telling of the fairy tale, The Princess and the Pea, made Carol Burnett a star. With characters like King Sextimus the Silent, Queen Aggravain, Prince Dauntless and Winifred the Woebegone, the audience is sure to enjoy the song-filled plight of the hapless prince, his domineering mother, and his beloved."


Past Productions by tlc

Bye Bye Birdie
Directed by Dr. "Pete" Richardson

Dancing at Lughnasa 
Directed by Tabitha Huffman

Pride and Prejudice
Directed by Dr. "Pete" Richardson

Diary of Anne Frank 
Directed by Dr. "Pete" Richardson

directed by- Tabitha Huffman

Sunday in Manhattan
Directed by Tabitha Huffman

Titanic: The Musical
Performed: March 22nd-April 1st
Music and Lyrics by Maury Yeston, Book by Peter Stone
Directed by Tabitha Huffman, Musical Direction by Dr. Samantha Miller

This Tony award winning musical is set on the ocean liner RMS Titanic which sank on its maiden voyage April 15, 1912.  This year marks the CENTENIAL YEAR of the sinking of the most famous ocean liner in the world.  Come dine with us and experience what it might have been like to be a passenger on the most grandiose ship that ever sailed. This tremendous musical will showcase some of Central Louisiana’s most talented performers and will be an event the whole family can enjoy!

Performed: September 15-25th
by A. R. Gurney
Directed by Tabitha Huffman
A touching romantic comedy tells the story of Greg and Kate, a middle-aged couple who have returned to the city after years of living in the suburbs.  The couple's new dog, Sylvia, offers Greg an excape from the frustrations of life, but Kate begins to see the dog as a rival.

The Fantasticks
Performed: November 10-20th
Music by Harvey Schmidt, Lyrics by Tom Jones
Directed by Tabitha Huffman, Musical Direction by Dr. Samantha Miller
This very popular musical is about two fathers who decide they want their children to fall in love. The girl, Luisa, is a daydreamer with an active imagination. The boy, Matt, is a romantic. The two fathers decide to instigate a mock feud amongst themselves in order to manipulate the boy and girl to fall in love. They figure that this feud will give them the excuse to say no to the relationship, which of course will simply encourage the children's love even more...until the plan totally backfires!

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)
Performed February 2-12
Written by Adam Long, Daniel Swinger, and Jess Winfield
Directed by Tabitha Huffman

THE COMPLETE WORKS OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (abridged) features all 37 Plays in 97 Minutes! This side-splitting, fast-paced cavort was London’s longest-running comedy and features three wildly funny actors.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Performed: Spring 2011

Much Ado about Nothing
Performed: Fall 2010

Seussical, the Musical
April 7 - 17

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