The Work of Art

IATSE Local 39

New Orleans’ Saenger Theater originally opened in 1927 as a vaudeville palace, and struggled through the ‘40s, ‘50s and ‘60s as a movie theatres accommodated changing tastes. In 1977, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and was renovated for the large musical theatre tours of the ‘80s and ‘90s. Since then, Katrina damaged it in 2005 and it was again renovated and reopened in 2013. As officials plan an implosion on the Hard Rock site across the street, the theater building sits idle.

Karl Lengel / WWNO

This Work of Art episode features an interview with Hardy Weaver. The New Orleans native found theatre in his teens and attended NOCCA. He then went on to the theater program at FSU and a showcase in New York. Following some road tours with productions of Footloose, Cats and A Chorus Line he landed a spot in the national tour of The Book of Mormon, opening in Chicago. He stayed for about a year and headed back to NewYork as an understudy for The Book of Mormon on Broadway.

New Orleans Public Radio begins a new series today entitled “The Work of Art.” Support for this series is provided by the Helis Foundation.

A play, a concert and even a simple painting on the wall, all require the contributions of many people, some with very unique and individual perspectives on their “work of art.” How does an artist’s work get to its audience - who are the contributors, why do they prefer the shadows, and what makes art work?