Vive Les Arts today shared its 2017-2018 Season, including comic favorites, musicals, Sherlock Holmes and some Christmas magic, too! The season features an innovative partnership with Waco Civic Theatre, and promises to bring audiences to their feet all year, and re-establish VLA as a premiere community arts organization. 

The season opens with The Marvelous Wonderettes: Dream On, the jukebox musical featuring songs from the 60s and 70s and the fictional group the Wonderettes.  The show includes songs from Dusty Springfield, The Lovin’ Spoonful, Linda Ronstadt, and Sister Sledge. Dream On takes place in 1969 and 1979, taking its inspiration from the solo artists and girl groups from two decades of pop favorites. Hilarious and heartwarming, it runs October 19– 22, 2017.

The season continues with the holiday classic A Charlie Brown Christmas. Based on the classic TV special from 1965 in which Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang discover the true meaning of Christmas, the stage adaptation runs December 1-3 and 8-10, 2017, and will have you in ready for holidays. A production of the VLA Children’s Theatre.

A second Christmas celebration comes soon after in the Christmas review the Most Wonderful Show of the Year.  December will mark the Killeen premiere of the show developed in 2016 by local choreographer and director Dylan Gibbons. The Most Wonderful Show is a wonderful, whimsical musical look at Christmastime, featuring well-known holiday songs, carols, and original dance numbers to bring the festive time of year. December 12–15, 2017.

Bringing in the New Year will be the thriller Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery.  From the award-winning playwright Ken Ludwig comes a fast-paced comedy about everyone’s favorite detective solving his most notorious case. Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson must crack the mystery of "The Hound of the Baskervilles" before a family curse dooms its newest heir. It plays January 19 – 21 and 26-28, 2018.

February brings the captivating and hilarious musical Sister Act. This feel-good musical comedy, based on the hit 1992 film has had audiences jumping to their feet since producer Whoopi Goldberg got it on the Broadway stage. Sister Act is an uplifting musical to celebrate African American History month, and is sure to amuse and inspire audiences in its run, February 23 - 25 and March 2-4, 2018.

Hands on a Hardbody, the musical based on real-life truck give away in Longview, Texas opens in April.  This all-American musical tells the story of a small-town endurance contest, where the contestant who keeps their hands on a truck the longest, gets to keep the truck. All ten try, but only one can drive away with a piece of the American Dream. Says author Doug Wright, himself a Texan, the story focuses on “the innate hospitality, tenacity and good-humored spirit of so many of its people.”  April 6–8 and 13 - 15, 2018.

The VLA Children’s Theatre will bring its second production to life in May with Seussical, Jr.  Seussical Jr. leads you on a journey from Sneetches to Whos to Thing 1 & Thing 2, and all your Seuss favorites. Our friend the Cat in the Hat narrates the story of Horton the Elephant in Seussical, Jr. from May 17 – 20, 2018.

Vive Les Arts’s 2017-2018 Season concludes with a large-scale, well-known musical sure to please audiences in July. Stay tuned for more details in the weeks ahead to find out the name of the show sure to be packed with youthful energy and an unforgettable score from June 22-24 and June 29 – July 1, 2018.

Also returning November 1 – November 20, in its thirteenth year on the annual roster, is our weeklong residency with the Missoula International Children’s Theatre Tour in November 2018.

“I’m very excited for Vive Les Arts’ 2017-2018 Season,” said Executive Director Eric Shephard. “There’s a wonderful range: musicals, the comic and serious plays, celebrations of theatre that relate directly to today’s world. Our audiences will find many extraordinary evenings of theatre on our stage. I’m proud to welcome the very best talent from around the Heart of Texas area and here in Killeen to make work at a high level of artistic achievement. Our innovative production agreement with Waco Civic Theatre opens so many doors for us all. The diversity of our area, as well as the opportunities the military performers and audiences bring us, allows VLA to engage with Central Texans in a unique and powerful way. All in all, this is a season that embodies the best of what Vive Les Arts can be, and one that will give audiences the best sense of truly community theatre.”

SEASON SUBSCRIPTIONS offer substantial savings with special subscriber benefits. Tickets to the VLA 2017-2018 Season are currently available by subscription and by individual show. Subscription packages can be purchased online at, by phone at (254) 526-9090, or by visiting the Box Office at 3401 S, WS Young in Killeen.


Subscriptions to Vive Les Arts 2017-2018 Season begin at just $85. Single tickets for main stage shows begin at $18, and Children’s Theatre productions begin at $10. Discounts are available for full-time students, seniors, military members, and groups of 10 or more.








Thursday, the Vive Les Arts Board of Directors announced their officers for 2017-2019. Brett Pritchard was elected Chairman of the Board; Michael Linnemann elected 1st Vice Chairman; Vicki Carlson, 2nd Vice Chairman; Cody Sulak, Treasurer; Susan Faucett, Secretary.  Summer Heidtbrink will serve as Ex-Officio Chairman, Kerry Ann Frazier was appointed Parliamentarian, and Howard Fomby was appointed Legal Counsel by Chairman Brett Pritchard.


Former chairman Summer Heidtbrink expressed optimism at the development, “We are so lucky to have great leadership from Brett, Mike and Vicki, and I know they’ll do a fantastic job of leading us. I know VLA is in good hands.”


In a joint effort with Waco Civic Theatre, the Board named Eric Shephard as Consulting Executive Director.  Mr. Shephard, former Artistic Director of Vive Les Arts, will work with the Board of Directors in bringing the theatre back to its position of prominence in Central Texas. Said Mr. Shephard, “I am challenged and humbled by the opportunity to serve again at VLA.” Mr. Shephard will continue to serve as Executive Director of the Waco Civic Theatre during his tenure in Killeen.


“Our first order will be to announce the 2017-2018 Season, and then we’ll show Central Texans that we are back artistically. VLA had great success this summer with ‘The Little Mermaid.’ We’ll need to capitalize on all the attention the theatre has recently received in the press,” said Mr. Shephard.  


Shephard successfully served as Artistic Director from 1999 to 2012, but the theatre has failed to maintain its profitability since his departure. However, he sees cause for hope. “The new board is energetic, and they’ve faced the problems they see unflinchingly. They’re effective leaders, and respected in the community. I’ve helped turned around the fortunes of struggling theatres in the past, and I’m determined to help VLA get back to where it needs to be.”


With VLA’s board and staff leadership in place, new 1st Vice Chairman Mike Linnemann sees good days ahead.  “We’ve got a great team, and even though there are challenges from the building itself to finances to gaining a good reputation in the community, I think we’re up to it. I see great days ahead for VLA.”


For further info, please contact Mike Linnemann at Linnemann Realty, 254-628-9272, or Eric Shephard at











Killeen: Volunteers need help saving local theater


Killeen Daily Herald News


Take the ​Independent poll developed and issued by the Killeen Daily Herald News:

Do you think Killeen city officials should work to save the Vive Les Arts Theatre, which is scheduled to close next month?


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