Seven Daysies Awards: Best local theater company, 2011

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Best local theater company 

Lyric Theatre Company & Lost Nation Theater

Inside Chittenden County

Lyric Theatre Company

Outside Chittenden County

Lost Nation Theater

In its first incarnation in Bristol in the late ’70s, Lost Nation Theater performed exclusively original works. Later, it began focusing on productions that addressed social issues. Since 1989, though, Lost Nation Theater has been in residence at Montpelier City Hall, where it puts on a steady flow of shows, from classic dramas to original, Vermont-based works. For the current show, Woody Guthrie’s American Song, producing artistic director Kathleen Keenan says she’s gone back to her “singer-songwriter roots” — not to mention her guitar. She’s hard pressed to name a favorite production, but some that spring to mind are To Kill a Mockingbird, Judevine, and Having Our Say.

SEVEN DAYS: What does live theater bring to a community?

KATHLEEN KEENAN: What I love about theater is, it’s an opportunity to walk in someone else’s shoes for a while, to be transported, to see it together and see how other people respond. … Theater is a heightened form of storytelling; it reflects who we are. … It’s one of those art forms where you can go and be surrounded by a bunch of people in a really positive way; at once to be outside ourselves and totally connected to how we’re feeling and what we’re thinking. It speaks to something primal.

— Pamela Polston

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