Tea Party at the Fort: Arts for Lawrence preps for annual party, spring events


Arts for Lawrence preps for its spring season. (Submitted photo)

The Arts for Lawrence’s Tea Party at the Fort has expanded after a successful first year.

In its second year, the event is a unique type of open house for the arts organization that operates the historic Theater at the Fort at Fort Benjamin Harrison in Lawrence.

“It is a fundraising event, but we also like to refer to it as a ‘friendraising event’,” Arts for Lawrence Executive Director Judy Byron said. “We really hope to bring people in who haven’t already been to the theater to show them a little bit about what we do. It’s just a lot of fun.”

With tables spread across the stage of the 200-seat theater at 8920 Otis Ave. that used to show plays and films to the servicemen stationed at the base, friends of the theater and people wanting to learn more about it will gather for a traditional tea party at noon April 25.

“We actually set the party up on the stage, and we have a dress-up table so guests can kind of act the part if they want to,” Byron said. “So, we have some hats and gloves and stoles and jewelry even.”

Local business supporters and neighbors of the theater are helping out with food, including Porter’s Books and Break, providing small versions of their sandwiches. More food will be provided by other popular restaurants near the fort – Lawrence Bakery, Fitzgerald’s and Heidelberg House, to name a few.

Guests also will hear live music from Mr.  Warren, keyboardist for Queen Delphine and The Crown Jewels.

“It’s one hour for lunch, and everyone will sit down at a themed table, which is new this year,” Byron said. “We’ll do a very brief presentation to just talk about what we do, and then there are always a few door prizes as well. We’ve designed it so if you have a one-hour lunch break, you can still come and enjoy it, and if guests have the opportunity to stay longer, we offer backstage tours and things like that.”

Tea Party at the Fort will feature food and tea from local Lawrence restaurants, spread across the historic Theater at the Fort stage. (Submitted photo)


Lawrence Central Jazz Band

From 7 to 8 p.m. May 2, the Lawrence Central High School jazz ensemble will perform at Theater at the Fort. For tickets and more, visit artsforlawrence.org.

Lawrence Central Gospel Choir Showcase

On May 4, Arts for Lawrence will welcome Lawrence Central’s Gospel Choir to Theater at the Fort from 4 to 7 p.m. For tickets and more, visit artsforlawrence.org.

Plein Air in the Park will return adjacent to Theater at the Fort in Fort Harrison State on May 5. (Submitted photo)

Plein Air in the Park

This event will take place from 1 to 4 p.m. May 5 at Fort Benjamin Harrison Park’s Cherry Tree and Delaware Lake Shelters. Open to those 12 and older, two workshops will run simultaneously – watercolors for ages 12-18 and acrylics for ages 19 and older. For more details and registration, visit artsforlawrence.org.

Queen Delphine and The Crown Jewels will perform May 12 at Theater at the Fort. (Submitted photo)

Queen Delphine and The Crown Jewels

Queen Delphine and The Crown Jewels will perform at Theater at the Fort at 7:30 p.m. May 12, as the theater is transformed into a 1940s juke joint. Guests are invited to dress in juke joint attire and wear dancing shoes. Queen Delphine will invite people on the stage to dance with her. Also performing will be Joseph Morganfield, son of Muddy Waters, and other special guests. Advance tickets are $20/general admission, $18/student and seniors and $15/military and veterans. Prices at the door are increased by $5 per ticket. For more, visit artsforlawrence.org.

Fortune Academy Spring Play

At 7 p.m. May 16 and 18, Fortune Academy will perform its spring play, “The Mark Twain Show,” at Theater at the Fort. Details TBA. For more, visit artsforlawrence.org.

Fridays at the Fort

It’s signature, annual community series, Fridays at the Fort will kick off at 6 p.m. May 25 with “Lawrence Township Night.” The event will take place on Lawrence’s Civic Plaza and will include a free outdoor concert, performing arts groups from various Lawrence Township schools, food trucks, a beer tent and a kids’ zone. For more, visit artsforlawrence.org.

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