This May, Southern Rep will presents two shows at the Contemporary Arts Center: the final production of their 2011-2012 25th Anniversary Season, SHIRLEY VALENTINE by Willy Russell, a one-woman play starring Ricky Graham; and ACADEMY SRT Children's Theatre Series THE VELVETEEN RABBIT, story by Margery Williams, play by Thomas W. Olsen, directed by Ann Mahoney Kadar. Recently displaced from their home of 20 years at Canal Place, they have received support from the Contemporary Arts Center's Performance Support Program.

"What a treat to be at the Contemporary Arts Center for these productions! With Southern Rep "on the road" I cannot imagine a better place to land than at New Orleans' great cultural meeting ground. Our audiences, artists and staff will find that Southern Rep at the CAC will be an unforgettable and enjoyable experience," said Aimée Hayes, Artistic Director.


Shirley's a middle-aged Liverpool housewife, who finds herself talking to the wall while she prepares her husband's chip'n'egg, wondering what happened to her life. But when her best friend wins an all-expenses-paid vacation to Greece for two, Shirley begins to see the world, and herself, in a different light. "Marriage is like the Middle East, isn't it? There's no solution." – Shirley Valentine

"The first time I saw Ricky Graham perform, he was playing the fabulous Vera Charles, in a reading of "Auntie Mame" at Le Chat Noir, and since then, I have seen him take the stage in an astounding variety of roles. Each time, I have been so taken with his ability to fully inhabit a character – whatever the gender, age or background. In discussing projects for our Second Stage series, I proposed SHIRLEY VALENTINE with Ricky to Aimée. We were both excited about working on a much-loved play that Ricky would surely put a unique New Orleans stamp on. And we also knew that no one could do more to bring out the humor and joy in this funny, romantic play," said Marieke Gaboury, Managing Director.

By Willy Russell. Directed by Marieke Gaboury. Starring Ricky Graham.

Previews May 9 - 11, Opening May 12, Closing May 27. (Note, there is no performance on Saturday, May 26.) Wed-Sat 7:30pm, Sun 3pm, plus Sunday, May 27 at 7pm.

All tickets are general admission and $25. $10 Student Rush: Available at the door 10 minutes before curtain. Cash only. Must have valid student ID. Box Office (504) 522 – 6545 or book online at On Thursday, May 17, you can buy tickets in advance at the regular price of $25, or PAY WHAT YOU CAN at the door!

THE VELVETEEN RABBIT - Saturdays, May 12th & 19th at noon & 3pm

This timeless children's tale comes to life with a colorful array of characters and puppets. A young boy, James, receives a stuffed rabbit as a Christmas gift, and eventually comes to love him. When James becomes gravely ill, the Velveteen rabbit gives him pure love, and the boy is healed. In return for his bravery, the Magic Nursery Fairy grants the Velveteen Rabbit life!

"There are so many great messages in this play, for both children and adults! What it means to be a true friend, remembering to forgive one another, and that ultimately, real love conquers everything. As we were rehearsing the play, the cast and I talked quite frequently about the gift of doing children's theatre. Children by nature suspend their disbelief, and get caught up in the story! We are so excited to bring this sweet tale to New Orleans," said Ann Mahoney Kadar, Education Director.

Story by Margery Williams, Play by Thomas W. Olsen. Directed by Ann Mahoney Kadar. Featuring rotating cast: Kerry Cahill, Sam Dudley, Garret Prejean, Zachary Rogers, Jennifer Schemke, and Matt Standley.

Saturdays May 12 & 19 at 12pm & 3pm. 

All tickets are general admission and $10.

The Contemporary Arts Center is located at 900 Camp Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

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