Lake Charles Little Theatre play explores family, racial issues

(Source: MGN Online)
(Source: MGN Online)

LAKE CHARLES, LA - "And the Rain Came to Mayfield," the latest production at the Lake Charles Little Theatre, has a little bit of everything — teenage idealism,  denial, unlikely friendships, family strife and race relations, according to Joy Pace, director.

"It's a coming-of-age story in the south – with all of the other issues that implies," Pace said.

The drama will be on stage, Feb. 15-March 2 at the theater, 813 Enterprise Blvd., Lake Charles.

Written in 1992 by Jason Milligan, the drama, set in 1962, takes place in a small gas station/lunch counter on a Mississippi highway. Carl (played by Cameron Scallan) is the free-thinking, 19-year-old son of Jack (Tommy Curtis),  the station's alcoholic owner . Carl dreams of going to college but his conservative father won't hear of it. Carl's soft-spoken mother, Emma (Danette Delome), constantly tries to be the peacekeeper between the two.

One day, Nathan (Gabriel Brown), a young black college student, arrives at the luncheonette with the intention of taking shelter from the rain while waiting for his bus to arrive. He and Carl strike up a conversation and discover they have much more in common than they thought  — they both want independence  and  to follow their dreams.

When Jack  discovers Nathan there, he is furious. But Carl defends Nathan — and for the first time in his life, he stands up to his father.

"It's a beautiful and poignant play about a time in our history that was an important time of change and progress — and this play points out the individual moments of growth and self worth," Pace said.

Other cast members include Jordan Ashworth (Dixie) and Suzanne Scallan (Mavis). Carl Bergeron, Frank Cooper and Andy Cassanave round out the cast.Pace said the play is targeted towards adults because of some strong language and the portrayal of alcohol use.

Other members of the crew include Carl Bergeron, assistant director; Chris Sarver, stage manager; Paul Land, lighting; Randy Partin and Frank Cooper, set construction; James Johnson, set dressing and props and Heather Partin, costumer. In addition to directing, Pace also designed the set and served as sound designer.

Show times are 7:30 p.m., Feb. 15, Feb. 22-23, Feb. 28 and March 1 and 2 p.m. Feb. 16, 23 and March 2. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for seniors ages 65 and over and for students with a valid ID.

To purchase tickets, call the theater box office at 433-7988 or order online at