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Coast theaters spotlight local performances, players

LYNN MEADOWS DISCOVERY CENTERLynn Meadows Discovery Center's production of Disney's "High School Musical" will star Elyssa Coloma, left, Kaleb Heidleberg, Benjamin Benigno, Joseph Jones, Megan Allen and Ethan Worch.
LYNN MEADOWS DISCOVERY CENTERLynn Meadows Discovery Center's production of Disney's "High School Musical" will star Elyssa Coloma, left, Kaleb Heidleberg, Benjamin Benigno, Joseph Jones, Megan Allen and Ethan Worch.

From casinos and concerts to movie theaters and festivals, South Mississippi is home to countless entertainment options, but the Coast's many community theaters and their diverse performances are a form of recreation not to be overlooked.

The Mary C. O'Keefe Cultural Center in Ocean Springs may host a variety of events in its theater but at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Jackson's New Stage Theatre troupe will perform a musical adaptation of "Walk, Don't Ride! A Celebration of the Fight for Equality." In honor of Black History Month, the players will re-enact the Montgomery, Ala., bus boycott, the Freedom Rides and the Nashville sit-ins during the civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s. The 10 a.m. performance is geared toward school-age children, and general admission is $5. Seating is limited, so call 818-2878 for tickets.

Another local production to look forward to is the Jefferson Davis Players' presentation of "God of Carnage" at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College's Jefferson Davis campus in Gulfport. The story unfolds as two sets of Brooklyn parents meet to discuss a playground injury, but the evening spirals into mayhem as tensions and tempers rise. Catch the critically acclaimed play at 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday. The production does contain adult content, and it may not suitable for younger audiences. General admission is $5, but students may attend for $3. Details: 897-3931.

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"The Piano Lesson" -- the story of two 1936 siblings fighting over an heirloom piano -- will open at Center Stage Theatre in Biloxi at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday. The show's lead characters, Boy Willie and Berniece, will have to decide how to honor their grandfather and the past while moving into the future. August Wilson's original screenplay won a Pulitzer Prize in 1990, so don't miss the opportunity to see South Mississippi's interpretation of this classic play. Tickets begin at $18 for general admission, but the cost for seniors, students and military members is $15. Details: 388-6258.

If you're looking for something fun and lighthearted for the younger crowd, Lynn Meadows Discovery Center in Gulfport will present Disney's "High School Musical" at 7 p.m. Friday; 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday; and 3 p.m. Sunday. Head back to East High School and enjoy its musical story of teenage rivalry and young love. Cost: $13 general admission; $10 seniors, members and military; and $7 students. Details: 897-6039.

This week alone, the Coast's local theaters will commemorate Black History Month, perform a Pulitzer-winning screenplay and offer two shows geared towards a specific age group. When looking for a little diversity in your leisure activities, keep our local playhouses in mind; the acts are always changing.

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