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Tallahassee’s Theatre A La Carte Wins Regional Competition

theaterOn March 7, Tallahassee’s Theatre A La Carte’s production of the musical Nine took top honors in the Southeastern Theatre Conference Community Theatre Festival, held in Birmingham, AL.  After winning at the state level last fall, the group advanced to the regional competition, a first for a community theatre from the Panhandle-Big Bend area.

Theatre A La Carte presented the full-length version of Nine in Tallahassee in October 2008 as the opening production of its 2008-2009 season.

The rules and format for the community theatre festival are established by the American Association of Community Theatre.  Each production has 10 minutes to set up, 60 minutes to perform, and 10 minutes to strike (clear everything away).  Everything used in the show—sets, props, costumes—must begin and end in a designated 10-foot-by-10-foot area offstage.  This is especially challenging with a musical, because unique components like sound equipment, instruments, music stands and lights, power cords and speaker cables all have to fit in the 10 x 10 as well.  Nine includes a cast of 18, a crew of 8 and a 12-person orchestra.

The group has participated in the state festival several times over the past 10 years, but this was its first trip to the regional festival.  The Southeastern region is the largest in the U.S., encompassing 10 states.  This year’s festival included 12 productions from 9 states.  In addition to Best Production, Theatre A La Carte also won awards for Outstanding Production Values and two acting awards, given to cast members Rachael Adams and Melinda Melendez.

A national festival sponsored by the American Association of Community Theatre is held in odd-numbered years, so Theatre A La Carte has won an invitation to the upcoming national festival in Tacoma, WA, June 23-27.  Whether or not the resources can be quickly assembled to make that trip possible is being discussed and debated at press time.  If you would like to help, tax-deductible donations toward the cost of travel, shipping and registration can be mailed to Theatre A La Carte, 1516 Copperfield Circle, Tallahassee, FL 32312, or made online using PayPal at   For additional information, call Eric Hurst at (850) 385-6700.

Theatre A La Carte has been producing contemporary musical theatre in Tallahassee since 1990.  Its next show will be the Tony Award-winning musical Titanic, a co-production with Tallahassee Little Theatre in July.

Photo by Ray Coletti.  Used with permission.  Anne Keckler is a local Personal Trainer and Stage Mom.  You can find more photos of Nine, the Musical on her flickr.

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