London Frontier Theatre
The London Frontier Theatre Company

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From WPA Gym to London Frontier Theatre - Photos by LaLuz Photography
From WPA Gym to London Frontier Theatre - Photos by LaLuz Photography

PROPHETIC, OR IN TOUCH WITH THE TIMES?

HARD TIMES & HOPE, the title of London Frontier Theatre Company's summer 2010 presentation, describes LFTC's - as well as most of the country's - situation today.  Set in rural New Mexico during the Great Depression of the 1930's, HARD TIMES was the 13th episode in LFTC's  "Lost Wife Creek" series.  A reviewer stated, "It could be today ... the feeling (this) production evokes. No jobs, no money to spare, foreclosures ... You will laugh and maybe cry, and realize that,

Hilarious, nostalgic, historic, thoroughly enjoyable - come join us!

We need your help!

            with a little grit, ingenuity and determination, we can all survive a depression."

Or as Gardy Trotter (in LUCK OF LOST WIFE CREEK) says, "You just gotta have faith."  But dour husband Cass answers, "I got faith.  I got faith it'll all get worse 'fore it gets better."

We at London Frontier have faith that we'll soon be up and running as before  (50 original productions in 15 years), but there are moments when we waver towards Cass' attitude. LFTC was incorporated as a non-profit arts organization in 1991, offered its first Magdalena presentation, STAGECOACH TO DECAMERON, in the summer of 1996, and for the first time since, has not presented a play during this, its 20th anniversary year and 16th season in Magdalena. LFTC's venue is Magdalena's historic 1936 WPA gym-with-stage, which we're desperately trying to preserve not only as our venue but as a community center with a lot of history and local memories ("Grandpa was one of the CCC boys who built it...I remember dances/games there."). Early in 2012, we must pay the remaining $14,900 on our mortgage; then there's maintenance...  Three years ago, heavy rains caused part of the west wall  to crumble (adobe + water = mud); now the east wall is in danger. Performances can't be held in winter because our ancient, never-very-efficient heating system (regular attendees were recognizable in winter by their arrival with blankets, sheepskins, and down vests) is beyond repair, not to-code, therefore illegal to use.

We wish that we could invite you to a LOST WIFE CREEK CHRISTMAS, or to celebrate the holidays with us, New-Mexican style, as in TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT!, which combined Christmas, Solstice, Chanukah & Navajo dancers in a  lively re-telling of the Great Story. But we must first secure our venue, production funding - and heat!

Since making Magdalena our home, we've created and presented a wide variety of entertainment from original scripts, ensemble work, history and legend, and adaptations of classic and contemporary writings, incorporating our local/New Mexico's vivid multi-culture in shows ranging from the multi-media BALLAD OF BABE & BEAU to adaptations of Twain and Harte, to a musical, DOGS! and the satirical historic epic, ENCHANTMENT!

We're planning further creative ventures, including promotion of our "Lost Wife Creek" series for public television. Reviewed as, "Hilarious, historic, nostalgic, thoroughly enjoyable ... with sure and true ensemble acting",  this saga of the Trotters and the Aragones takes place as  Roosevelt's New Deal is "turning the country around", and Eleanor, anathema to some, is inspiration for ranch wives Ruby Aragon and Gardy Trotter. Dreams of lost gold, stardom in "talkies", and a Spanish land grant vie with reality of drought, a ne'er-do-well son, and a decrepit old flivver, all ambling and rollicking along to bluegrass banjo.  We believe it can find -  as it has in our theatre over the years - a large, devoted audience; that the humor, character development, social comment, history, and immediacy of presentation will create a following in much the way "Lake Woebegon" has on radio: viewer identification, and nostalgia for a lifestyle that, while difficult, is remembered as solid and enduring - and extremely relevant to today's hard times.

We're heartened by the number of you who've asked, "When's the next show?" and said "We miss our theatre.", and we apologize for being "dark" at this time. It is your theatre; you - our Friends of the Theatre - have supported us with attendance and suggestions, as well as donations of cash, costumes, and props. Our grantors, particularly the McCune Foundation - though also stressed by the recession - are greatly appreciated. But we're in a life-&-death struggle. To continue creation and communication, gathering together to share laughter and tears, pleasures and memories, a sense of community and hope, not only in the Holiday Season but inherit in every theatre presentation, we do need your financial help!

                                                                                                                 Donna Todd, Director, LFTC

 

 


LFTC in motion: The London Frontier Theatre Story is a lively video of scenes from LFTC shows, an overview of the working theatre, and a scenic tour of the area. Other videos include segments from the popular Lost Wife Creek series. Trailer from the Ballad of Babe & Beau

London Frontier Theatre Company:

Become a Member of Friends of the Theatre
Become a Member of Friends of the Theatre with a one-time donation of $100 or more.

“Care and feeding” of our venue - loan repayment, heat, lighting, insurance - is vital; your contributions help insure its maintenance and improvement. We'll gradually renovate, with care for historical features, audience comfort, and better presentational qualities: improved heating/cooling, acoustics and sight-lines, installation of our 1920's/30's theatre seats, and a lobby displaying works of local artists. We'll make the space available to other organizations for performances, art shows, music, videos/films, story-telling, and meetings, creating a performance-and-arts center for the area.

What does it mean, to be a FRIEND of the THEATRE? (Besides our eternal gratitude, and a tax deduction?)  Each FRIEND will have their name/business name on a plaque in the theatre, and we proudly list you in our programs and on our Website – view a list of our FRIENDS.

Any FRIEND who buys two adult tickets for a performance will be given a third ticket free. We hope to have our yearly Gala for FRIENDS (May, 2007, was the first: an “It’s Ours!/Cinco de Mayo celebration): food and entertainment, a chance to tell us what you’ve liked/disliked (get fed for being a critic!) and to make suggestions for future plays. Celebrate with us; it’s your theatre, too!

Donna Todd, Director, LFTC
Become a FRIEND of the THEATRE with a donation of $100 or more.
Any support will be gratefully received:

London Frontier Theatre
575-854-2519
PO Box 1126, Magdalena, NM 87825

Where is Magdalena?

A SPECIAL THANKS to our FRIENDS

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We are turning to you, the public, for help. Few grants are currently available in New Mexico, especially for the performing arts, so we’re throwing ourselves - as performers often do - upon the mercy of the public. The Loan Fund has graciously extended our deadline, but we must raise the remaining amount due. With grant applications put forth, and your generous help, we can save our beloved theatre of 15 years. Thank you in advance for your most appreciated goodness and generosity.

London Frontier Theatre Appreciates Your Donations

or email us at LondonFrontier@gilanet.com
or mail to the address above.

Click Here for Further Performance Information/Reservations

For information about the Magdalena area, click here.

 

 

 

New Mexico Department of TourismMajor funding for this project by the McCune Charitable Foundation of Santa Fe. Additional funding by New Mexico Department of Tourism.

 

Steppin’ Out New Mexico
Review: The Long Ride of Old St. Nick

Stock Photo Gallery

Video

 

 

 

London Frontier Theatre Company Group Photo Courtesy of Copyright© Kelly D. Gatlin/
La Luz Photography

 

London Frontier Theatre Company
a Non-Profit Arts Corporation.
All donations are tax-deductible.

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