BY ANDREE KEHN / SUN JOURNAL / JANUARY 16, 2022

Julia Groover and Cade Parker finish their makeup Sunday in the green room at the L-A Community Little Theatre in Auburn. The two are actors in the musical “Let It Be,” featuring the music of The Beatles. The show continues next weekend, with performances Thursday through Sunday. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal


Graci Gillen, playing the part of Lucy Martin, works backstage Sunday with musical director Steve Barter on the song “Let It Be” at the L-A Community Little Theatre in Auburn. Gillen is taking over a part for a cast member who called out sick. The musical, which features music by The Beatles, continues next weekend, with performances Thursday through Sunday. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal


Director Jennifer McClure Groover addresses cast members backstage Sunday of “Let It Be” at the L-A Community Little Theatre in Auburn. The musical, which features music by The Beatles, is set during the unrest of the 1960s. The show continues next weekend, with performances Thursday through Sunday. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal


Jude Leaver and Director Jennifer McClure Groover climb the stairs Sunday from the green room to the backstage area at the L-A Community Little Theatre in Auburn before the musical “Let It Be.” Leaver plays one of the leads, Desmond Jones, the father of one of two families on which the musical centers. The show continues next weekend, with performances Thursday through Sunday. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal



Photo caption: Pictured here are CLT members and supporters who were instrumental in securing a federal grant for the theatre of almost $100,000. Left to right are Eileen Messina, Chip Morrison, Bob Gardner, John Cleveland, John Blanchette, and Jennifer Groover.


CLT Awarded Federal Grant

The L/A Community Little Theatre (CLT) has been awarded a federal grant of almost $100,000 from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

CLT applied for this Shuttered Venue Operating Grant (SVOG) through a competitive application process. The SVOG program, designed to support arts organizations that had to close due to the Covid pandemic, is part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 passed by Congress and signed by the president.

"Community Little Theatre is very grateful for the grant funds provided by the SVOG program,” said CLT President John Blanchette. “After more than a year without any operating income due to the pandemic shutdown, this grant is critical to CLT being able to start a new season of live theater performances for the greater L-A community," he added.

The grant amount totals approximately 45 percent of CLT's operating expenses during the last full season and must be used within one year of the award. While these funds are vital in enabling CLT to resume productions this fall, the theatre will still need additional revenue from ticket sales, donors, and sponsors to pay for any capital improvements and the balance of the operating expenses for the coming year.

John Cleveland, president of Community Dynamics Corporation of Auburn, submitted the grant on behalf of CLT. “It was a pleasure to help the theatre prepare this successful SVOG grant application to acquire operating funds for the coming season. Performing arts are an important and essential part of making the Lewiston-Auburn area a wonderful place to live and work," Cleveland noted.

While in March 2020 the pandemic forced the cancellation of the remainder of CLT’s 80th season and the loss of significant revenue, the theatre managed to remain solvent and to produce two highly regarded online productions during its curtailed 81st season and to resume youth theater camps this summer.

CLT will present it’s first in-person production since the start of the pandemic with A. R. Gurney’s “Love Letters,” which will open Thursday, September 16. The remainder of the 2020-21 season – CLT’s 82nd - will be announced at its annual meeting on September 21 at 6:30 p.m. Anyone interested is welcome to attend.

The L-A Rotary Club recently donated $750.00 to CLT as part of its annual grant awards. Our artistic director Celeste Philippon was on hand to accept the generous gift along with her husband Roger (a Rotarian). Our thanks to the Rotary Club, which has been serving the L-A community since 1917. The Rotary Club also recently honored our own Phil Vampatella with the Paul Harris Service Award in recognition of his many contributions to the club, especially in the areas of club and community service. L-A Rotary President Roger Theriault presented the award. Congratulations, Phil!