The end of the year brings us to the time when we can reflect on the current state of theatre in New Orleans and the many different aspects of our immediate past and the hope and promise of the future. As in any diverse city there are many facets to the theatre community and so in this recap there is no doubt that some important persons, performances or groups will not be mentioned to one extent or another. In fact there will be some that won't be mentioned at all due to no malice on anyone's part, but due to constraints of space and time.
The NOLA Project continues to impress this city with what can be considered its most stellar year to date. In 2011 under the direction of artistic director A. J. Allegra this highly talented coterie of young performers had several feathers to put in its collective hat. NOLA met NOMA when they first presented Yasmina Reza's "Art" with a rotating cast for each performance at the New Orleans Museum of Art's Stern Auditorium. They followed that up with two most inventive presentations of Shakespeare: a summer performance of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" in the Wanda and Sydney Bestoff Sculpture Garden and a late fall presentation of the tragedy of "Romeo and Juliet" in the Great Hall of the museum itself. Couple all that with a joint production with the University of New Orleans of the never before seen farce of Mark Twain titled "Is He Dead?," and one appreciates more deeply the adage about rolling stones and their ability to gather moss.
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