Paragon directors launch new company

Diana Evans Pulliam (scarf) and Robyn Peterman Zahn (glasses) worked with students selected to play munchkins in a touring production of The Wizard of Oz that visited the Lexington Opera House in 2009. © Herald-Leader photo by Mark Ashley.

With the departure of founder and music director Ryan Shirar, Paragon Music Theatre closed following its performance of Gypsy in May. But stage director Robyn Peterman Zahn and choreographer Diana Evans Pulliam wasted little time in collaborating on a new effort.

This weekend they announced on Facebook that The Rep will have its first production in December with Smackdown for the Christmas Crown at the Lyric Theatre.

Pulliam and Zahn will serve as co-artistic directors with Brock Terry serving as music director.

Auditions for Smackdown will be at 5 p.m. Sept. 24 and 25 at the Diana Evans School of Dance, 153 Burt Road.  The show is set in the 1950s with two vocal groups vying for the coveted Christmas Crown at an annual holiday variety show. The Facebook page describes it as, “think Lawrence Welk after 6 beers.”

In all, they are seeking to cast one strong male, comic actor, make and female ensembles of four to eight and a chorus of 15 to 30.

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