NATCHITOCHES – Latreshia Stormer had a hard time making up her mind about where to attend college, but once she decided on Northwestern State University, there’s been no looking back.
Stormer, a senior theatre and music major from Folsom, is part of the cast of Smokey Joe’s Café, which opens Thursday at Northwestern State. The play runs Oct. 11-14 and 17-20 in Theatre West. Show times are 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 11-13 and 17-20 with a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, Oct. 14.
Reservations are required for the show. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for children and senior citizens. Northwestern State, BPCC@NSU and Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts students are admitted free with a current student I.D. Tickets can be purchased online at theatre.nsula.edu. For more information, call (318) 357-4483.
Smokey Joe’s Café pays homage to some of America’s most iconic musical tunes and is one of the busiest and most accessible musical revues ever written. This song and dance celebration of rock & roll will make you smile, laugh, sing and clap. Whether you were born in the 50s or the 90s, the unforgettable tunes will find a place in your heart thanks to this show. Pia Wyatt is the director and Andrew Lewis is musical director.
“The story line is that one of the characters owns a bar and he is looking through a scrapbook and as he looks at the pictures he remembers friends and songs from the past,” said Stormer. “The play has a lot of cover songs. I didn’t know a lot of the songs before I auditioned, but I have started listening to a lot of the kinds of music in the show.”
Stormer is featured on Fools Fall in Love, a reprise of Fools Fall in Love and Saved, a gospel choir number.
“I haven’t been in a play this intense,” said Stormer. “Last year, I was in As it is in Heaven, which had singing and dancing, but nothing like this.”
Stormer said she got into theatre by accident.
“I took choir in high school and one of the requirements of choir is that you had to be in the theatre production,” said Stormer. “I played Isabel Fezziwig in Scrooge: The Musical and once I did that, I wanted to be in all the shows.”
Stormer said she waited until the last possible moment before deciding to attend Northwestern State.
“The week before school started, I was trying to decide between Northwestern and another university,” said Stormer. “I went to church and the preacher was talking about how we should stop being on the middle ground and go where God wants us to go. He told us to stop talking and listen to God. I held my arms out with my right arm being Northwestern and my left arm was the other school and whichever one fell would be my choice. I then felt my right arm fall. The next day I called Northwestern and made out my schedule.”
Stormer said the environment at Northwestern State reminded her of home.
“I’m glad I came here. I love it here,” she said. “It’s a small place where you can feel comfortable. The theatre department is a huge family.”
Stormer’s long-term goal is to own a children’s theatre. Last summer she worked with All About Kids, a Maryland-based ministry that presented children’s theatre around the country. Stormer performed in the Baltimore area and in Louisiana.
“It was interesting to see all the children who had never been exposed to live theatre,” she said. “I learned a lot. Because of my experience at Northwestern, I was able to work with sound, lighting and do troubleshooting. Not all theatre programs give students the experience we get both on stage and behind the scenes.”
Stormer said a talk with a girl in high school made it all worthwhile for her.
“A girl came up to me and told me because of our show, she got the courage to try out for a show at her high school. That means everything to me,” said Stormer.