Contact:  Marjorie Lyons Playhouse, 318-869-5242, or
Abbey Broussard, Centenary News Service, 318-869-5709

Centenary's Marjorie Lyons Playhouse Announces Cast of As Bees in Honey Drown

SHREVEPORT, LA—Director Patric McWilliams has assembled a cast of 20 for the Douglas Carter Beane comedy, As Bees in Honey Drown, at Centenary College's Marjorie Lyons Playhouse. 

A smash off-Broadway hit, As Bees in Honey Drown has at its center a self-invented socialite/con woman, Alexa Vere De Vere. Katie Hall will portray this campy diva who claims Auntie Mame as her chief inspiration. She is a self-described promoter of rock stars who's now in the market for an even greater dose of exploitation.  Alexa runs across the photograph of an up-an-coming novelist, Evan Wyler, in a magazine and is certain she has found her next prey.  The comedy is about Alexa wining and dining him while creating visions of fame and fortune in his mind. The "Bees" of the title are the almost famous who are drawn in to the drowning point by the lure of big-time fame.  

Hall, seen this summer as Claudia in MLP's Nine musical, won Times Drama Awards as best actress in a play for Centenary's Lips Together, Teeth Apart and best supporting actress in a musical for the college's Grand Hotel. Among her other MLP appearances are 42nd Street, Tony Tunes, Big River, Angels in America, The Devils, Dancing at Lughnasa, and Sweet Charity.  Hall, a theater graduate of Centenary, is an account executive for KSLA-TV.

Joshua Porter, a sophomore theater major, will be portraying Evan Wyler, a 20-something New York writer savoring the success of his debut novel. Porter's repertoire includes Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde; Peter Pan; How I Learned to Drive. and Picasso at the Lapin Agile. He received a TDA nomination as best supporting actor in a musical for Grand Hotel.

Heather Peak plays Bethany, an actress. Peak has appeared at MLP in productions of The Devils; Lips Together, Teeth Apart; Dancing at Lughnasa; Hamlet; I Hate Hamlet; Camino Real, and Smile.  She also received a TDA as best supporting actress for her performance as Caliban in The Tempest.

Vanessa Keller, a Centenary theater graduate, will play the dancer Illya.  Keller has been seen in MLP productions of Angels in America, 42nd Street, Dracula, Coastal Disturbances, Blood Brothers, Tony Tunes, Picasso at the Lapin Agile and God's Country.

Creating the role of Morris Kaden, a recording producer, is Centenary's visiting assistant professor of speech Nathan Thomas, who played Carson in Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde at MLP. He has numerous acting credits with roles in Educating Rita, I Ought To Be In Pictures and Plaza Suite, all for the Repertory Theatre of America.

Ryan Williams, a theatre graduate from Centenary who is now teaching drama at Loyla Prep, will play Michael, an ex-boyfriend of Alexa. Ryan received a TDA as best supporting actor in a musical for his creation of one of the twins in Blood Brothers. His other MLP appearances include Grand Hotel, 42nd Street, The Tempest, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Assassins, Little Women, God's Country and A Perfect Ganesh.

Tommy Welch will play Skunk, a modern-day rock star. Welch has appeared in other MLP productions, including Suburbia, Diary of Anne Frank, Dracula and God's Country.

Other cast members:

  •  Sherrika Fields makes her MLP debut as a photographer's assistant.  
  •  Matthew Nicholas plays a fashion photographer.  He has appeared in MLP productions of Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde; Picasso at the Lapin Agile; The Tempes;, Peter Pan; 42nd Street; A Perfect Ganesh, and How I Learned to Drive.
  • Garret Moon, who was Lord Alfred in Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde, plays a waiter. 
  • J.W. Steves plays a model.
  • Kathryn Shelton and Sarah Perkins play back-up singers. 
  • Eric Champney plays Ronald, a department store clerk. 
  • Emily Kirkland and Heidi Kristensen play actresses.
  • Barbara Bearden, Tamitha Zook and Charity Schubert play various secretaries and store clerks.
  • Crystal Burkhardt plays a violinist.
The set and light design are by Don Hooper, the technical director at Centenary.  Katie Coffman is the assistant director/stage manager. Randi Smith is in charge of properties.  Kermit Poling will compose original music and Michael Tooke is in charge of the sound design.

Performance dates are Nov. 9,10,11, 16,17,17, at 8 p.m. and Nov. 19 at 2 p.m., with a special preview at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 8.  Preview tickets are $5 each.  Regular performance tickets are $13 for adults, $11 for senior citizens, $8 for students, and $6 for children 12 and under.  Performances are free to Centenary faculty and students. 

The box office will be open from 12 to 4 p.m. starting Nov. 2.  Tickets may also be reserved for the play by calling 318-869-5242. 

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