Insider Louisville: The Wiz

Youth Repertory Theater Troupe takes on ‘The Wiz’ and prepares for a bright future

Insider Louisville: Black Nativitydd

Russell neighborhood’s Youth Repertory Theater Troupe performs Langston Hughes’ ‘Black Nativity’

Arts Louisville Review: The Wiz!

Education Spotlight: Something New On The West Side

Arts Louisville Review: Black Nativity

Go Tell It On The Mountain

Arts Louisville: End of the Year Community Theater Recap

Louisville Performing Arts Redeem 2016

WHAS: Great Day Live- The Wiz!

WHAS: Great Day Live – Youth Performing Arts Camp


WHAS: Great Day Live: LCCC Planning to build 350 Seat Theater!

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – A local theatre troupe is performing their version of television classic, The Wiz to raise money for a new performing arts theater.

It’s the first production for the Youth Repertory Theatre Troupe of Louisville.

The kids have spent the entire summer break learning to sing, act, dance, make costumes, design props and most importantly, put on a show.

The troupe has 5 sold out performances scheduled this weekend at the Old Walnut Street.

Ticket sales will raise money to build a new 350-seat theatre in that space which will be called the Grand Lyric Theatre.

“It means we would have a real theatre to perform in. Right now, we’re just kind of using an empty room and we’ve transformed it. So we would have a state of the art facility to actually put on our performances and actually have a full season of shows – we can do at least four to five shows a year,” Erica Bledsaw of the Louisville Central Community said.

The group has raised $500,000 so far which is half their goal.

To donate, click here.

WHAS: Call to Action – Youth Programs Coming Up Empty

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) — There has been a call to action in recent weeks after a string of violent incidents involving teenagers.

Some have said there isn’t enough activities for young people to do.

“We need more programs for kids. We need to get our kids out of the streets. We need to get them in more positive environments,” Charles Grandmason said, who was at a vigil earlier this week.

But there’s another side of the story here; disheartened youth leaders saying there’s actually plenty for kids and teens to do.

“I hear that all the time. There’s nothing for the kids to do, what are we going to do? And it’s like, we ARE doing things, we have programs,” Louisville Central Community Center’s Erica Bledsaw said.

Bledsaw said its kids and parents who aren’t taking advantage of them. The Louisville Central Community Center is one of those centers that sits right on West Muhammad Ali Boulevard.

“We’re right here. We’re right across the street, just come on over,” Bledsaw said.

Inside there’s a dance studio, an art studio, plenty of rooms with activities, but not enough kids to fill them.

“We average about 30 to 35 kids, but we could easily accommodate a lot more than that,” Bledsaw said.

Bledsaw said their organization has a hard time reaching kids who could benefit the most.

“I try to break through those walls but it’s really difficult because of the fear,” Bledsaw said.

The LCCC offers after school programs for free, but admits the $300 cost of the 8-week summer program starting next week does deter a lot of her students.

“I lose a lot of the kids that do come over for the after school program over the summer because they can’t afford it,” Bledsaw said.

That price pays for three meals, a snack and a field trip every Friday.  Bledsaw said there are scholarships available and the LCCC is always looking for sponsors.

For more information on the LCC summer programs, click here.

Martin Luther King Day Celebration

Monday, January 19, 2015 at 2:00pm to 4:00pm

The Playhouse 1911 S. 3rd Street , Louisville, Kentucky 40208

Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X are inextricably linked, but the two leaders never got together to share their points of view.

Now, almost five decades after their deaths, student actors from the University of Louisville Theatre Arts Department will perform “The Meeting,” a fictional take on the two civil rights titans, as part of the department’s annual Martin Luther King Day celebration.

“The Meeting,” written by playwright Jeff Stetson, imagines what would have happened if the pair came together to discuss their beliefs and passions for equality. The two met only once for a brief minute after a U.S. Senate press conference in 1964.

Sponsored by the African American Theatre Program (AATP), the celebration will be held 2 p.m., Monday, Jan. 19 at The Playhouse, 1911 S. Third Street. In addition to the play, there will be an appearance by the Kentucky Center ArtsReach Dance Ensemble performing a contemporary piece to “Strange Fruit” and a performance from local singer Erica Denise Bledsaw & Friends. Professor Ricky Jones, chair of the Pan African Studies Department at UofL, also will moderate a forum.

“At a time when civil rights are still at the forefront of our national consciousness, it’s essential to honor great leaders of the past as we strive to live up to the ideals they set forth so many years ago,” said Baron Kelly, associate professor of theatre and director of the AATP.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit