Meridian, Miss. Following the recent death of its longtime director, Jimmy Pigford, Meridian Little Theatre now has a new leader at the helm. This marks week one on the job for Warren Friedman. Having worked as a professional director, choreographer, and musical theatre instructor in New York, Friedman hopes to bring a little bit of the big apple to the Queen City.
"The amazing thing that Jimmy Pigford created here, we're going to take that and now we're just going to move that to the next level," said Friedman.
At 51, he comes to Meridian from New York with more than 20 years of experience in all facets of theatre.
"My style is very energetic! I am a very hands on person and I always have been. I always give, I would say, 250% into my work."
That's exactly what Friedman plans to do at MLT where he hopes to add a fifth show to the regular season.
"The fifth show will probably be a very small like two person cast. It will have the shortest rehearsal period, but it's something to offer to the audience."
Friedman also has plans to offer an adult acting class, after-school programs and audition training for young people at the theatre.
"Some of it will start in the fall and some of it will continue into the spring and then we'll have new programming in the spring as well. I'm hoping to possibly work with the Riley Center and possibly do a co-production or do a performance there and maybe do something with Stage II by doing co-productions; whatever groups that I can go out and meet and bring into the fold, I say the more the merrier."
The first thing that the new director is adding at MLT is a musical theatre camp. It's titled Broadway Comes to MLT. It's for students who are in 6th through 12th grades. It will be held July 8th through the 19th. Tuition for the two week camp is $200; the deadline for the $100 deposit is June 15th. For more information call the Meridian Little Theatre office at (601) 482-6371.