When Theater Company of Lafayette (TCL) began in 1996, the organization was known as Lafayette Community Players. Our company produced plays that were standard community theater choices, such as Steel Magnolias and A Christmas Carol. These productions, simply produced and well acted, found an enthusiastic audience. In 2001, the organization began to branch out into more unusual and challenging choices, such as A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Sarcophagus, and Twilight Zone Parodies, and discovered that East County audiences were eager and supportive. An educational program, a series of drama workshops and productions for young people also began to take shape in 2001.
Overall, we’ve produced more than 70 plays, involved more than 900 theater artists, and entertained thousands of local residents. Recent productions include Alan Aykbourne’s Woman in Mind, Vaclav Havel’s The Memo, and Edward Albee’s Seascape.
A unique aspect of TCL is that an extremely high percentage of our productions are world premieres of new works, including over 30 short and full-length plays since 2006. A number of these were works that the theater solicited for its themed “festivals,” such as The Deep Beep Beep (commemorating the 50th anniversary of the launch of Sputnik), Separated at Birth: The Lincoln/Darwin Plays (commemorating the 200th anniversary of the births of Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin), and 10,000 Wayniacs (about Las Vegas and Wayne Newton).
Presenting new work is normally a significant risk, especially for a community theater. However, TCL has developed a cadre of people who specialize in producing new plays, and a following of theater-goers who trust it to present thought-provoking and entertaining productions of new work.
TCL performs in the historic Mary Miller Theater where two sometimes competing community values, preservation and innovation, find a happy marriage. Inside the former First Congregational Church, patrons find TCL productions that are entertaining, imaginative, and artistically rigorous.