Another feather in the theater’s cap is its reputation as a training ground for young performers who have become well-known. Among big names who got their start on the Warehouse stage are:
Terry Fator, winner of TV’s America’s Got Talent in 2007. Headliner at The Mirage Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas.
Julie Mitchell, a drama coach in Hollywood who also works in independent films, one of which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Currently runs Outside the Lines Creative Studio and is the artistic director of Ennis Public Theatre.
Glenn Cooley, Stage Managed a number of Cirqe de Soleil shows including The Beatles LOVE in Vegas, member of the Tony Award-Winning Manhattan Theatre Club.
Baltimore Russell, who has starred in Sex and the City and Saturday Night Live as well as worked as a stand in for actors in a variety of the Marvel Netflix shows like Daredevil and Iron Fist.
Erin Glass, Actress, Founder & CEO, Broadway Bound Kids
These artists have not forgotten their Navarro County roots and each expresses gratitude to the Warehouse Living Arts Center for giving them their start in the field they love. “The confidence I built through my time at the Warehouse has carried me into career realms I could never have dreamed of,” Terry said. “I’m certain that without the Warehouse I may never have achieved these goals." Glenn admitted, “The exposure I received from the Warehouse led to my pursuit of theater as a career.” For Baltimore, better known to locals as Jay Pallanich, his own “first and enduring love” of the stage began at age 7 when he acted in the Warehouse production of The House at Pooh Corner. “I can’t give enough praise to the teachers and directors who shaped my formative years,” he said. “They helped give me the tools I needed to be the best actor I could be.” Julie is still involved with the Warehouse, conducting its annual theater camps. “Because my teachers at the Warehouse helped me figure out who I am,” she said, “I’m dedicated to doing the same for the children I teach in L.A. and in Corsicana.”
The Warehouse Living Arts Center, one of our community's greatest assets, has been at the very heart of entertainment, theatrical education, and culture in North Texas. With a cast and crew of 20, the Warehouse began in 1971, housed at Navarro College’s Arena Theatre. The award-winning community playhouse, now a fixture of downtown Corsicana, has a history rich in local culture and an influence that has extended to Broadway, Vegas, TV, and the English stage.
From intimate productions of The Matchmaker and Always, Patsy Cline to large-scale musicals like The Wizard of Oz and Oklahoma, the Warehouse has packed in crowds of all ages and tastes. Alongside local talent, shows have starred famous actors and singers, toured regionally, won awards in state competitions and been featured in national festivals. The WLAC, in addition to making its mark on the social and artistic landscape of Corsicana, is a physical ornament to the city, with its bright entrance awnings, recently dedicated Walk of Fame, and newly renovated digital marquee.
The Warehouse has a knack for staging plays with broad appeal. Patrons love musicals, and in this genre classics such as The Sound of Music, The Music Man, Annie, and Guys and Dolls have been box-office hits for the Warehouse. But the theater doesn’t shy away from soul-stirring dramas, and some of them have been smashes: To Kill a Mockingbird, The Diary of Anne Frank, and A Raisin in the Sun.
We stress that the popularity of Warehouse productions is due as much to the team behind the scenes as to the plays and actors: people like Norma Russell, a great local playwright; Nancy Roberts; Otis Kindle; J.B. Kirkpatrick; and Edwina White, a hilarious actress who all will remember. The volunteers who build sets, manage the lighting, sew costumes and help pass out programs are also to be congratulated for their part in making the years both fruitful and meaningful. Many people have made lifelong friendships through working at the Warehouse, on stage and off; some even have met future spouses while volunteering.
Board of Directors
The men and women who dedicate their time and resources to keeping the WLAC thriving.