NATCHITOCHES – NSU Theatre and Dance will premiere the Del Shores play “In Memoriam of Lena” on Nov. 3-7 and Nov. 10-16 in Theatre West. The play begins at 7:30 p.m. except on Nov. 7 when there will be a 2 p.m. matinee.
Reservations for paying patrons are required. Tickets are $15 and $12 for senior citizens. NSU, Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts students are admitted free with a current I.D. Tickets can be purchased at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/in-memoriam-of-lena-tickets-191088138767 All NSU students and those receiving complimentary tickets should arrive to the box office early the day of the show. There will be a performance for all NSU Theatre and Dance patrons on Nov. 2 at 7:30 p.m.in Theatre West.
Masks will be required for all people inside the theatre throughout the show. There will be no intermission. The play contains strong adult content and language which may not be suitable for children under the age of 16.
In describing his play Shores ponders “Have you ever had that fantasy where you get to attend your own memorial service?” In the dark comedy a very dead Lena Lewis quickly finds out that the fantasy is much better than the reality. Themes of forgiveness, deceit, betrayal and judgment, as well as the politics within the LGBTQ+ community are ripe in the play, which Shores is directing.
The cast is Antoni Rodgers of Covington as Lena, Jordon Thomas of Baton Rouge as Terrance, Rochanee Myles of Monroe as Billie, Sid Fish of Minden as Suz, Logan Dupuy of Prairieville as Ella, Liam Gardner of Gonzales as Brix, Trevor Van Eaton of Shreveport as Ashton, Mikiah Odum of Marshall, Texas, as Aunt Sip, Grace Cummings of Calhoun as Julia, Robert McCandlish of Monroe as Mason and Mia Claire Huffman of Pineville as Jorie Dee.
Shores is the writer/director/producer of the films “Sordid Lives,” “Blues for Willadean,” “Southern Baptist Sissies” and “A Very Sordid Wedding.” He wrote and executive produced the MGM feature “Daddy’s Dyin’…Who’s Got The Will?” His plays “Cheatin’,” “Daddy’s Dyin’ (Who’s Got The Will?),” “Daughters of the Lone Star State,” “Sordid Lives,” “Southern Baptist Sissies,” “The Trials and Tribulations of a Trailer Trash Housewife,” “Yellow,” “This Side of Crazy” and “A Very Sordid Wedding” are all published by Concord/Samuel French.
In television, Shores wrote, directed, executive produced and created the LOGO series, “Sordid Lives: The Series.” He also wrote and executive produced Showtime’s groundbreaking “Queer As Folk” for the last three seasons, wrote and produced for “Dharma & Greg” and “Ned & Stacey.”
He has directed Academy Award winners Octavia Spencer and Whoopi Goldberg, Grammy Award winner Olivia Newton-John; Emmy winners/nominees Beau Bridges, Delta Burke, Leslie Jordan, Bonnie Bedelia, Bobbie Eakes, Patrika Darbo and Rue McClanahan; Spirit Award winner Dale Dickey; Screen Actor’s Guild Award-winner Beth Grant; as well as Caroline Rhea, Debby Holiday and David Steen.
As a performer, Shores has performed in hundreds of standup gigs and in 2018 completed a national tour of his critically acclaimed award-winning one-man play “Six Characters In Search Of A Play” directed by Emerson Collins. The play was filmed and is now streaming worldwide. His 10th play “A Very Sordid Wedding” (based on his 2017 film) just had its world premiere in September playing to sold out houses at Kalita Humphries Theatre in Dallas for Uptown Players.
“In Memoriam of Lena” is his first world premiere with a cast of students. Shores said working with Northwestern State students has been rewarding.
“There is so much talent in this department,” said Shores. “The students work hard, want to learn and I will keep coming as long as I’m asked. I’m treated well by the administration and have made great friends here.”
Shores has been associated with Northwestern State for four years. He worked with casting director Ryan Glorioso and NSU alumus on “Sordid Lives.” Glorioso introduced Shores to Scott Burrell, who was then head if the Department of Theatre and Dance.
“Scott brought me in to speak to acting and writing students and hold an Acting For The Camera Workshop,” said Shores. He then asked if I would be interested in being a guest artist for a three-week period, teaching Playwriting and Acting For The Camera. This is my fourth year. The exception this year is that Brett [Garfinkel, chair of Theatre and Dance] and Scott asked if I would be interested in writing an original play and direct the students. I jumped at the chance, so this year is even more special.”
Shores resides in Los Angeles and can be found at DelShores.com, facebook.com/delshoresofficial and @delshores on Twitter and Instagram.