Lutcher Theater receives National Endowment for the Arts grant

Published 7:53 pm Saturday, March 2, 2019

To The Leader


Lutcher Theater has been awarded a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to support the presentation of FRANKENSTEIN: The Modern Prometheus to enhance the teaching and learning process of high school students by expanding their knowledge of fine arts with a live theater experience.

“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support the excellence and diversity of arts programs across the country, including organizations like the Lutcher Theater, that makes the arts accessible to people in Orange and further enhance the vitality of their community,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu.

“As I looked around the auditorium today and observed a room full of high school students totally engaged in this performance, I thought to myself, “This is why we do what we do!” said Managing Director, Lynae Sanford. “It is such a privilege to offer students the opportunity to experience the power of the performing arts and our hope is that they would seek out and enjoy live theater events like this one for the rest of their lives!”

Dayton ISD seniors raised $12,000 to attend the performance as their senior trip by selling popcorn in November. “The goal of the fundraiser was to pay for the tickets, charter bus, and box lunches, but the students did so well they were able to purchase foot-long Subway sandwiches for each student!” Dayton High School English IV teacher, Dr. Ronnie Wright said, “We are a Title 1 campus and most students have never been to a performance at a theater before today.” Dayton students read the novel in class before attending the show.

Dayton seniors, Brayant Gonzalez and Hannah Waller, agreed the idea of this event being their final senior trip was encouraging, and everyone wanted to participate in selling popcorn.

Gonzalez said, “This is my first time to attend a show at a theater. I am looking forward to going back into the classroom to compare the novel and play. The character, Victor Frankenstein portrayed more like a victim in the show.”

Victor Frankenstein is a Swiss scientist with a mission to create an artificial human. Without considering the consequences, he succeeds with terrifying results. Two hundred years later, FRANKENSTEIN still poses a myriad of ethical questions.

“Even though the play was different than the novel, it was a great show. The only other theater performance I have seen was in seventh grade on a school field trip,” said Waller.

Written over two centuries ago in 1818 by Mary Shelley, the play is based on the first true science fiction novel, FRANKENSTEIN: The Modern Prometheus.

FRANKENSTEIN: The Modern Prometheus is locally sponsored by the Stark Foundation, Gopher Industrial, Service League of Orange, Lutcher Theater Service Guild, ARTWorks, and the National Endowment for the Arts to help cover artist fees and offer affordable ticket prices to schools in Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana as well as community members.