Performers will take to the balconies Oct. 29 for the second annual New Iberia Beneath the Balconies performance series.
The event features eight live theatrical vignettes performed atop balconies along New Iberia’s Main Street.
Each vignette is about five to eight minutes long and will be performed by a mix of students, actors and singers, Robert M. DeRouen Jr. said.
DeRouen came up with the idea after he returned to the New Iberia area about two years ago and began working in an office on Main Street.
DeRouen said he walked out onto the office’s balcony one day and became “impressed with how nice downtown looked.”
While DeRouen stood there, Mark Antony’s funeral oration in William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” popped into his head, and DeRouen said he began to think about how “The Balcony presents itself for that sort of presentation.”
The performances also provide an opportunity for drama and speech and debate students to perform outside of the school, in a setting that is likely to attract a much more diverse crowd, DeRouen said.
The event was launched last year in October and was well-received by the public, DeRouen said.
Offerings have been expanded this year and the gap between performances has been reduced, he said.
Audience members will also be led from one performance to the next by a Second Line band, he said.
Student performances include “The Tell Tale Wallpaper” performed by Catholic High School; “True Love Will Find a Way” performed by Westgate High School; and “Hairspray” performed by New Iberia Senior High.
Other performances include a stump speech by Huey P. Long, which will be performed by Jeremy “Jay” Suire; Atticus Finch’s closing arguments in “To Kill a Mockingbird” performed by Vincent P. Barras; and dueling gospel choirs, featuring Star Pilgrim Baptist Church and St. Edwards Catholic Church in a two-balcony performance.
The event is being held in conjunction with New Iberia’s fall Art Walk, and is presented by the Iberia Preservation Alliance, a coalition consisting of the Iberia Cultural Resources Association, Shadows-on-the-Teche and the Bayou Teche Museum.
Cathy Indest, president of the Iberia Cultural Resources Association, said there is nothing else around that is quite like Beneath the Balconies.
“I believe it is so unique,” Indest said. “It’s a rare opportunity to experience theater from the balconies of our downtown New Iberia.”
Performances run from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.
- 3:30 p.m., Shadows-on-the-Teche, 317 East Main St., “Weeks Hall Welcomes Guests”
- 4 p.m., The Old State Bank Building, 124 East Main St., “The Tell Tale Wallpaper.”
- 4:20 p.m., Jewelry Repair & Design, 109 East Main St., “True Love Will Find a Way.”
- 4:40 p.m., Gordon Doerle residence, 107 East Main St., Atticus Finch’s closing arguments from “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
- 5 p.m., Bojangles Sushi & Oysters, 101 East Main St. and the Gougenheim, 101 West Main St., Dueling Gospel Choirs.
- 5:20 p.m., Broussard, Poche, Lewis & Breaux, 146 West Main St., “Hairspray.”
- 5:40 p.m., Iberia Building Systems, 235 West Main St., Huey P. Long on the Stump
- 6 p.m., The Gazebo in Bouligny Plaza on West Main Street, selected songs from “South Pacific.”