New Venture Theatre continues its 11th season with a new pop musical, "Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical" by Douglas Lyons and directed by Greg Williams Jr., running March 2 and March 3 at the LSU Shaver Theatre.

Civil Rights pioneers Ruby Bridges and The Little Rock Nine, schoolchildren who integrated an all-white Arkansas high school in 1957, inspired Lyons' new musical-a children's musical, to be precise. Tackling racial themes, "Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical" teaches kids about acceptance and inclusion, with songs featuring pop music influences.

Lyons, also the musical's co-composer, explained how he and his team used "polka dots" to retell the story of American segregation for a new, younger audience: "Removing the black versus white discussion and illuminating shapes seemed like a colorful way to educate youth on a tough subject matter." He had an a-ha moment watching a video of Phylicia Rashad talking about growing up as a little black girl in the segregated Jim Crow South. "Rashad had this curiosity for the white-only water fountain and one day, when no one was looking, she went and tasted the water. The visual of that simple action triggered a light bulb in my head. The innocence of a child is such a beautiful thing, and though the world has attempted to divide races, children in their very basic sense see no color."

"Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical" follows 8-year-old Lily Polkadot, who just moved to the "Squares Only" small town of Rockaway. As the first Polkadot in an all-Square school, Lily faces an almost impossible task of gaining acceptance from her peers. From daily bullying to segregated drinking fountains, Lily's quest seems hopeless until she meets Sky, a shy Square boy whose curiosity for her unique polkadot skin blooms into an unexpected pal-ship.

The musical digs deep into the topics of race and acceptance while using fresh pop tunes and rhythmically charged lyrics.

Featured cast members include: Hope Landor (Lily Polkadot), Christian Jones (Sky Square), Allison Blumenthal (Penelope Square), and Brandy Lynn Johnson (Mrs. Square). Book written by Melvin Tunstall III. Co-composer and lyricist Douglas Lyons. Co-composer Greg Borowsky. Based on an original concept by Douglas Lyons. Directed by Greg Williams, Jr.


Hope Landor (Lily Polkadot)

Christian Jones (Sky Square)

Allison Blumenthal (Penelope Square)

Brandy Lynn Johnson (Mrs. Square)


Director: Greg Williams Jr.
Stage Manager: Krystal Blatcher

Choreographer: Dwight Bell

Scenic Designer: Courtney Thompson

Lighting Designer: Chelsea Touchette
Costume Designer: Dorrian Wilson

Makeup, Hair and Wig Designers: D'Jay's School of Beauty
Props: Melanie Williams

Media and Photography: Frederick Price III, Dwight Bell and Christopher Daniel

Marketing and Communications: Alvin A. Temple

TICKET PRICES: Regular admission, $20
Kids, $15

Students with valid ID, $15

BOX OFFICE: 225-588-7576 or

Group rates available and special pricing available for student groups. Call 225-588-7576 or visit to purchase tickets or subscriptions.

For background information and photos, contact Greg Williams Jr.:


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