HCLT 50 years

Tom Sawyer Hits the Stage

By Becky Donner


It’s time to whitewash the fence – nightly!  Halifax County Little Theatre opens their main stage season with a musical version of Mark Twain’s classic The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.  Opening November 16, the show will run for three weekends at The Prizery.

Director Andy Rice is working with musical director Cheri Blackwell to recreate the story of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, rambunctious boys who would rather fish and play than attend school.  Their shenanigans are entertaining to watch but also get them into trouble at times.  Set to a script by well known playwright Ken Ludwig with a musical score from Don Schlitz,  the show features classic scenes such as white washing the fence, school mischief, Tom’s first love Becky Thatcher, and the dangerous Injun Joe and a murder in the graveyard.  It should be great fun for the entire family.


"Crowns" Cast Bios

Halifax County Little Theatre is delighted to present the musical "Crowns", directed by Chris Jones with musical direction by Chris Oliver and featuring a vastly talented cast of local and regional players, many of whom are making their theatrical debut in this production!

The Cast (In Order of Appearance):

Juanita Cross (MOTHER SHAW)


Making her theatrical debut with Halifax County Little Theatre on the Prizery stage as Mother Shaw, Juanita is an avid tennis player, who is "taking time off the court to give acting a try". She has been a professional jazz singer in Halifax County and its environs for years, most memorably featuring on the program at the opening of the Berry Hill Resort. She also sings regularly for her Church.


Gara Chandler (MABEL)

Making her theatrical debut with Halifax County Little Theatre on the Prizery stage as Mabel "because she thought it might be fun to try her hand at acting", Gara has been singing in Church choir and in chorus at school since she was about twelve years old, and was featured in the Norfolk State concert choir as a college student. She now serves as the musical director for the children's choir at her Church.

Nicole Jackson (WANDA) 

Making her theatrical debut with Halifax County Little Theatre on the Prizery stage as Wanda, Nicole originally hails from Connecticut and currently resides in Durham, N.C.,  where she is pursuing a Master's Degree in Technology and Information services. She has previously sung backup vocals for performers, sang for both Pope John Paul XXII and for Pope Benedict XVI in Italy, and served as the musical director for the nationally-ranked Virginia State University gospel chorale.

Jewell Medley (VELMA)

Making her Halifax County Little Theatre debut on the Prizery stage as Velma, Jewell is no stranger to theatre and creative expression, having been writing plays and monologues as well as original poetry for years. She has been singing and perforimng in choir since the age of five. The CEO executive director of Halifax County United Way, she is also married to a local pastor and is the mother of three children.

Ron Walker (MAN)

A true Renaissance Man, Ron Walker's talents span the artistic spectrum, including painting, graphic design, and cabaret singing in addition to acting. Prior to Crowns, Ron's theatrical work has included the roles of Rodolfo in La Boheme, King Caspar in Ahmal and the Night Visitors, Bernando in West Side Story, and Frederick in A Little Night Music.  After living variously in  Paris, France, Dakar, Africa, Miami and San Francisco, Ron has returned to Southside Virginia, where he was been volunteering most recently with the Clarksville Players. He can next be seen in the Prizery Summer Theatre production of Side by Side With Sondheim. This is his HCLT debut.

Sharron Garrett (YOLANDA)

HCLT is delighted to welcome Sharron back to the Prizery stage for our production of Crowns as the delightfully saucy and surly Yolanda. Last seen with HCLT in our production of Smokey Joe's Cafe, Sharron began singing "around the age of 7 or 8 or so", participating both in Church choirs and high school Camarata performances throughout her youth. In addition to her singing, she is also an accomplished musician, having played the clarinet both in middle and high school band.

Yvonne Bostick (JEANETTE)

 The eldest of eleven children, Yvonne sings regularly in Church, and has a wide variety of interests occupying her time and energies, including decorating, travel, fashion, and people. But her greatest love is for music and ministry, through which she "is constantly seeking the Lord". A veteran performer, Yvonne was last seen with HCLT in our production of Little Shop of Horrors, and her role as Jeanette in Crowns marks her first performance on the Prizery stage.



Making his debut as a musical director for Halifax County Little Theatre, Chris Oliver brings with him a wealth of enthusiasm, and dedication as well as an amazing natural talent for music. A self-taught musician, Chris "learned the chords and notes [on the piano] from his mother around the age of four or so", and has been developing his abilities ever since. Although he dedicates this talent for the most part to the service of his Church, he has also served as the musical director for Momma's Pearls, among other musical programs.

Chris Jones (DIRECTOR)

Chris Jones is the Executive Director of the Prizery in South Boston, Virginia, as well as the director for the special Summer Theatre Program. He has been working with Halifax County Little Theatre to bring quality musical productions to the area for years, most recently with the musicals Children of Eden, Alan Menken's A Christmas Carol, and Honk! When he is not accepting Rising Star awards from the Virginia Commission for the Arts on behalf of the Prizery, auditioning over 800 regional musical actors and 500 local performers for summer stock theatre programming, squeezing last-minute productions into the Prizery to delight local audiences, or directing, Chris can often be found enjoying a gelato and the company of friends at Cafe Pieroni in South Boston.

Almost, Maine Cast Bios


Almost, Maine by John Cariani

Directed by Martin Beekman

Cast of


Cast of "Almost, Maine". HCLT Winter 2011 Production. Top (L to R): Martin Beekman (Director), Chris Bailey, Alison Streeter, Everett K. Arthur, Deena Sasser (Stage Manager). Bottom (L to R): Richard Reeves, Donna Tollerson, Kirk Compton, Tracy Martin (Not Pictured: Melissa Elmes).


Everett K. Arthur (EAST, LENDALL, RANDY, DAVE)

Making his HCLT debut on the Prizery stage, Everett K. Arthur is a New Hampshire native who has made Virginia his home since 1986,  when he was stationed on board the USS Guadalcanal, in Norfolk. He has been married for ten years and is father to 4 amazing children (ages 17, 18, 19, and 20).  Currently, he is enrolled in the RN program at SVHEC.  He asked us to extend his special thanks to his daughter Caitlin, who has help him every day with studying his lines.

Chris Bailey (PHIL)

Making his HCLT debut on the Prizery stage, Chris Bailey hails from Clarksville, Virginia, where he owns and operates Edward Jones Investments. Married for eleven years, he is the father of two children. During his off hours, he enjoys hunting and kayaking. He can next be seen on stage in the Clarksville Community Players production of On Golden Pond  in May.

Kirk Compton (PETE, STEVE)

Kirk Compton has been a member of the Halifax County Little Theatre board of directors for five years - but a loyal supporter for as long as he can remember.  With the organization he has acted in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, The Tempest, The Odd Couple (Female Version), and Almost, Maine.  When he's not assisting with HCLT duties, he enjoys seeing other theatre on The Great White Way or in local venues, reading fiction novels, travelling, and playing tennis.  He is a graduate of Virginia Tech and is currently employed with Carlbrook School.

Tracy Quackenbush Martin (SANDRINE, GAYLE, HOPE)

No stranger to the HCLT stage, accomplished thespian Tracy Martin has portrayed the Mother in Honk!, the Ghost of Christmas Present in A Christmas Carol and Prospera in The Tempest, as well as appearing in Laundry and Bourbon and The Abridged Works of William Shakespeare for HCLT's summer programming. In her offstage hours, she is a lawyer in Halifax County.

Richard Reeves (JIMMY, CHAD, MAN)

Richard Reeves' previous theatre experiences include Escanaba In da Moonlight  with HCLT. He also did several plays in his home town in the Shenandoah Valley years ago. He was in the US Navy and now works for Staunton River State Park as a Nature Interpreter. His wife, Suzanne, and three little girls (Breanna, Arica and Lorien) have been gracious about sharing him with us! In his off time, he enjoys Cooking, Brewing, Art, History, and SuperHeroes.


Melissa Ridley Elmes (WAITRESS, MARCI, RHONDA)

Melissa Elmes made her debut as a player with HCLT in Honk!, and has been featured in A Christmas Carol, Children of Eden, and Don't Dress For Dinner, as well as having worked backstage on just about every other production since. She is currently serving as the secretary and head of the grants writing committeefor the HCLT Board of Directors as well. In her off stage life, she is an avid medievalist, writer, painter, singer, dancer, wife and mother of two humans, two dogs, and three cats.

Alison Streeter (GINETTE, MARVALYN)

A perennial crowd pleaser, Alison Streeter has appeared in a number of highly successful HCLT productions, including A Christmas Carol, Children of Eden, Smokey Joe's Cafe, and SUDS. She is also a lead vocalist for popular local band Sixth and Main and Past President of Halifax County Little Theatre Board of Directors. She trained in theatre with an emphasis on musical theatre at Indiana University, and is employed in the Alumni Transition Services department at the Carlbrook School.

Donna Tollerson (GLORY)

Donna Tollerson lives in Buffalo Junction with her husband, Steve Tollerson, and works at Halifax Endocrinology & Osteoporosis Center. She was last seen on the Prizery stage in HCLT's production of Escanaba in the Moonlight, and is the acting President for the Clarksville Community Players "for the next twenty eight days"! In her free time, she is  the pianist at Libert baptist Church in Skipwith Va. 


Martin Beekman (DIRECTOR)

After 31 years as a lecturer and administrator with the University of Virginia's Department of Drama, Martin retired in 2007.  Over the years he appeared in dozens of productions with the UVa Drama Department and the Heritage Repertory Theatre, most recently as Don in Rounding Third, Robert in Proof and Norman in On Golden Pond.  He is pleased to be working again with HCLT, having appeared as Fred in Lying In State and Albert Soady in Escanaba in da Moonlight. Almost, Maine is his first directorial effort in 25 years.


HCLT's production of Almost Maine runs through Saturday, February 26, 2011. Get your tickets now!

Summer Theatre Camp

Once again, it's time to sign up for Summer Theatre Camp! Kids from 7 to 14 will love this unique opportunity to bring stories to life on stage, create scenery and costumes, and perform for an audience. 

Camp participants will present "How to Eat Like A Child," Directed by Sandy Slayton, for ages 7-14.

9AM-3PM Mon-Fri, June 13-17, with performances on June 17 and 18.

This event was very popular last year, so don't wait until the last minute to sign up. Tuition is $100 per person for the week. Sign up below, or by calling 572-8339. Summer Theatre Camp will be directed by Sandy Slayton.

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Season Schedule

Miracle on 34th Street
Nov. 17, 18, 24, 25 @ 7:30 l Nov 19 and 26 @ 3:00

Grace & Glorie
February 16, 17, 22, 23 &  24 @ 7:30pm,  February 18 & 25 @3pm


The Lion King, Jr.
April 20, 21,27, 28 @ 7:30pm; 22, 29 @3pm

Photo Galleries

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