The new Pella Theatre Productions troupe will present "Bus Stop" Sept. 14 to 16 at Logan High School.

Troupe organizer Luke Pella said the time seemed right to start up his company.

"There have been some shifts here in the community, with directors taking different jobs and actors looking for new venues," Pella said.

Pella, who studies acting for part of the year with Robert Modica in New York City, comes back to the area in the summer to work with his father in his conservation and forestry business.

While back home, he said, he decided to do something here he couldn't do in New York - form his own production company.

Though La Crosse is a far cry from New York City, this is where Pella first fell in love with theater. "I discovered acting in La Crosse. I worked with Morrie Enders at La Crosse Community Theatre. That's where I met Shana Gramling" who appears with him in

"Bus Stop."

"It's an amazing experience having two such different worlds."

Pella chose "Bus Stop" because he loves the play and could visualize the characters. "It just moved me. The dynamic play between the characters is just outstanding. There's plenty of action, which is very important to me."

"Bus Stop" tells the story of travelers stranded in a Midwest bus station during a blizzard. While waiting out the storm in a diner, they reveal their frustrations with interrupted travel plans.

"It's really neat. About the first 20 minutes, you kind of think it's a cozy slice of down-home Americana. And then everything kind of changes."

IF YOU GO

WHAT: Pella Theatre Productions' "Bus Stop"

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Thursday to Saturday, Sept. 14-16

WHERE: Logan High School, 1500 Ranger Drive, La Crosse

TICKETS: $10 adults and $6 for students, senior citizens and children; call 1-888-815-2205 or available at all Festival Foods

CAST LIST: Lynn Marie West, Dan Schneider, Shana Gramling, Luke Pella, Patrick Nee, Joe Lyman, Clair Coleman, Sierra Schermerhorn. Director and scenic designer is Michael Allman.

NEW THEATER BUILDING: Some of the proceeds from "Bus Stop" will be donated to Pegasus Players, another local theater troupe that has purchased an industrial building near Houska Park. Plans are to begin construction this winter to build a performing arts stage there.

Geri Parlin can be reached at gparlin@lacrossetribune.com or (608) 791-8225.

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