TownTalk: Lakeland Cultural Arts Center Livens up Littleton

Littleton, situated on the Warren-Halifax county line, has long been known to those travel there to enjoy second homes or to vacation on nearby Lake Gaston. But Lakeland Cultural Arts Center, looking especially spiffy after a recent renovation, is looking to attract more people to visit, shop and enjoy this little corner of the world.

Lakeland’s Executive Director Peter Holloway and Artistic Director John DuVall agree that, while the COVID-19 pandemic made it difficult to have shows, it allowed for a renovation that is nothing short of spectacular. Holloway said the pandemic afforded them the opportunity to do more planning, which resulted in more of a multipurpose facility. There’s a smaller performance space in the rear of the arts center, which gets a lot of use from students at Littleton Academy, right next door.

Lakeland Cultural Arts Center first opened in 1978, but a recent gala to celebrate the completed renovation served to mark its reopening.

Littleton native Ed Fitts and wife Deb have played a significant role in revitalizing the town of 520. “They’ve injected so much life and enthusiasm into the town,” Holloway told WIZS’s Bill Harris on Thursday’s TownTalk.

The center is actually attached to the former high school, but a brand-new lobby and art gallery provides a cohesive look to the facility.

“It’s kind of mind-blowing that it’s sitting in a town like Littleton,” Holloway said of the center, which boasts a 300-seat auditorium where patrons can enjoy concerts, stage productions and even watching films.

DuVall said volunteers drive much of the work that is done, both on stage and behind the stage.

“We need volunteers every day,” Holloway agreed.

DuVall said in his role as artistic director, he seeks to offer a well-rounded season with a variety of programming. He seeks to balance the familiar with other performances that people may not be as familiar with.

“Tuesdays With Morrie” is scheduled for two performances tonight and Saturday afternoon. The play is based on Mitch Albom’s bestseller of the same name.

Then the new hit movie “Elvis” will be shown at 7 p.m. on Oct. 8. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Visit https://www.lakelandcac.org/ to see the full schedule of events or phone 252.586.3124.

“We’re working really hard to choose folks who’ve got an educational component,”

Holloway explained.

There often is a matinee performance that gives students the chance to experience the arts live, he added.

On Oct. 28, Mike Wiley will perform “Breach of Peace,” based on true accounts of the Freedom Rides in the early days of the civil rights movement.

The Neil Simon classic “Odd Couple” comes to the main stage in November and then pianist Robin Spielberg will perform in early December. Later that month, Holloway said the familiar “A Christmas Carol” will take the stage, but it will have a unique twist. With a nod to the radio plays of the 1940’s, a small group of actors will perform a radio play of the Dickens classic, complete with the Foley artist, whose job is to create the play’s sound effects.

“It’s a very endearing, fun, and exciting performance – a great way to see an old classic,” Holloway said.




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