ART BEAT: Lionheart Theatre announces 2012 season and Flex Pass

Need a last-minute gift idea for that theater-loving friend or relative? Norcross' Lionheart Theatre has just announced its 2012 Season along with a Season Flex Pass to offer patrons the ability to pick and choose the plays they want to attend.

Lionheart Theatre performs in the Norcross Cultural Arts and Community Center at 10 College St., at the corner of Britt Ave. Since 2000, this nonprofit, volunteer-driven arts group has presented programming and educational programs for all ages. Growing and thriving in the blossoming burg of Norcross, Lionheart reflects the energy emanating from its hometown.

"This is our most ambitious and exciting season yet, with more shows and some fabulous stories," Artistic Director Tanya Caldwell said. "Our big musical will be the classic 'Fiddler on the Roof.' We'll have a romantic chick story in 'Enchanted April,' and the classic American tale 'Of Mice and Men.' We lighten it up with two fantasy adventures in 'The Hobbit' and our kids' show, Disney's 'The Jungle Book.'"

"One area we're extremely proud of is that we're also featuring three original plays," Caldwell said. "'Sister Sex' is a very funny show about a nun and a sex therapist. It's written by Pat McGeever, and it won our annual 'Make the Lion Roar' play contest. We have another original comedy called 'Bleach,' by Norcross playwright James Beck. And we'll kick the season off with 'The Kindness of Strangers,' seven short plays written by Atlanta-area writers. It's extremely difficult for playwrights to get their original plays produced, and we're proud to showcase this homegrown excellence."

The Flex Pass allows patrons to create their own season with ease. By purchasing a Flex Pass for $100, patrons receive ten admissions to use any time and any way they like (with the exception of the play "The Kindness of Strangers.") This is a savings of 33 percent off of the price of ten tickets purchased at the regular price.

To purchase a Flex Pass, visit the website at lionhearttheatre.org or call 678-938-8518. You can also email reservations@lionhearttheatre.org.

For planning purposes, the names and dates of each play are listed here. "The Kindness of Strangers" honors Tennessee Williams' 100th birthday and runs Jan. 6 and 7. "Bleach," Feb. 10 to 19, is a comedy about an exterminator who finds trouble on his misguided quest to keep his life clean. "Enchanted April," a delightful tale about two frustrated London housewives who escape to Italy, play March 23 to April 8. "Sister Sex," May 4 to 20, is about a huge nun and a sex therapist with fascinating clients.

"Disney's The Jungle Book" plays from July 20 to 22 and is the summer kids' show. "Of Mice and Men" is John Steinbeck's classic story of drifters searching for the American dream. It runs from Sept. 14 to 30. "Fiddler on the Roof," Nov. 2 to 18, is the timeless musical about a tightly-knit Jewish community in Czarist Russia. Finally, "The Hobbit" will run from Dec. 13 to 15, recreating the fantasy fun of Bilbo Baggins.

Holley Calmes is a freelance writer and public relations consultant specializing in the arts. Email her at hcalmes@mindspring.com.