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Le Petit Theatre Announces New Artistic Director

NEW ORLEANSA.J. Allegra joins Le Petit Theatre as the new Artistic Director, after a nationwide search led by Management Consultants for the Arts. He joins Don-Scott Cooper, who was promoted as the theatre’s Producing Executive Director in 2021 and is currently overseeing his sixth season at the venerable French Quarter theatre.

Rounding out the Le Petit leadership team is new board chairperson, Janet Daley Duval. Duval has been on the Le Petit board since 2011. A graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, attorney Duval served as a federal law clerk in the Eastern District of Louisiana for the Honorable Stanwood Duval Jr. from 1994 to his retirement in 2017. She was named by New Orleans Magazine as a 2013 Top Female Achiever for her activities which have included service on the Board of Directors of the Federal Bar Association, president of the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival, and member of the Board of Governors of Le Petit Théâtre du Vieux Carré. She was a founding member of the Young Leadership Counsel and is a sustaining member of the Junior League of New Orleans.

Allegra comes to Le Petit from The NOLA Project where he is a founding member and has served as the artistic director since 2008. He was also the head of the theatre program at the Willow School from 2014 to 2023 and taught in the Musical Theatre Division at NOCCA from 2007 to 2014. In his time at The NOLA Project, the theatre company produced two plays he wrote; Treasure Island (with James Bartelle and Alex Martinez Wallace) and Oregon Trail: The Play.

Producing Executive Director for Le Petit Theatre, Don-Scott Cooper says, “I am thrilled that after an extensive national search, we were able to find the next artistic director in our own backyard. I look forward to partnering with A.J. as we continue Le Petit’s recent growth and continue to develop our education and community programs.”

About joining Le Petit Theatre, Allegra states, “I am humbled and honored to have the opportunity to serve Le Petit Theatre as its next Artistic Director. For over 100 years, Le Petit has provided the city of New Orleans with live theatre at the heart of our city center, and for the past two decades I have had the supreme pleasure of working with the many talented and dedicated theatre artists of New Orleans. It is my goal to keep excellent and groundbreaking theatre and theatre education at the forefront of our mission while ensuring that Le Petit remains a vital part of our community’s artistic identity for all New Orleanians.”

Along with the current staff and Board of Governors, the leadership team is joined by new board members Marilee K. Hovet, Mamta Melwani, and Helen Young. Brent Barriere and Ned Benjamin return to the Le Petit board this season; and Tommye Myrick, who served last season as a consulting producer, has been added as the newest advisory board member.

Allegra will direct Le Petit’s season closer, The Importance of Being Earnest, June 6 – 23, 2024.

Other season productions include Let the Right One In, October 5 – 22, 2023; Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (directed by Myrick), January 11 – 28, 2024; Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, March 7 – 31; and Born With Teeth, April 25 – May 12.


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