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POS has difficult settling down

The Picayune on Stage drama troupe has had a difficult time trying to restart their program after Hurricane Katrina, and the road ahead is still bumpy at best.

In their Tuesday meeting at the amateur thespians’ new location on West Canal Street, POS members discussed the work needed to begin their first season since 2004. First on the agenda is remodeling the space they occupy, which was once a beauty parlor.

“We’ll do the best we can do with such a small space,” said POS director Gladys Hughes.

After being displaced from their playhouse at Friendship Park, POS has had constant trouble securing a location where they could rehearse and perform. They are paying $400 monthly to rent the small space in downtown Picayune.

“We still have a lot of work to do. We have to paint, sew draperies and put down new carpet,” Hughes said.

POS has spent $1,400 on their newly built stage, $1,600 on risers and plans to spend around $2,800 on new carpeting. However, more deductions from their funds are on the way.

“Some of the boards the carpenters used are bad, so we still have to buy more materials to sand and fix them,” Hughes said.

There is still a great deal more to do to start their new season.

“We’ll have to paint soon. We also need to sand and stain the front door, darken the windows, set up the chairs, sand the risers, find Masonite to put on the stage, replace the carpet, replace the lights and replace the fans,” Hughes said.

They are faced with a decision on adding add a portable air conditioner to their growing list of necessities.

“The wall unit will not only be way too loud during the performances, but it also doesn’t cool enough. With almost 50 people in here on performance nights, we have to have another way to keep these people cool,” Hughes said.

All the unexpected work has changed POS’s performance schedule.

“We’re looking at having our first performance October 26 through 28 or November 19 through 21. We’ll have three shows and one summer play as usual,” Hughes said.

The ticket prices also have changed for POS. Adult tickets, which were formerly $8, now are $10. Senior citizen tickets, which were once $6, now are $7 and student tickets, which were once $4, now are $5. Children five and under will be admitted free.

With many people still suffering financially since the hurricane, Hughes said that POS “does not feel right raising the prices too much, but in order to pay bills, an increase in profits is needed.”

People will need to have reservations in order to attend POS performances. Those who wish, can still purchase season tickets.

The group discussed the idea of having one ticket that could be hole-punched for each performance, allowing season tickets holders to attend each show only once. However, the group decided to maintain their practice of giving season ticket holders 12 individual tickets to be used in any combination they choose.

“Some people give their tickets to family or friends and some people want to go to a certain show more than once and we decided they should have the option to do that, so we’re not going to change our system,” Hughes said.

POS is seeking painters, people who can sew and a certified electrician to help get their theater up and running. As always, they are constantly looking for new talent to grace their stage.