Harry Lewis and Rex Young are two Citrus County performers who, in forming their relatively new Lewis and Young Entertainment company, have been at least partially inspired by the work of Valerie Players Artistic Director Patrick Erhardt.
Erhardt formed the first resident troupe to perform at the Valerie Theatre, which the City of Inverness refurbished in 2015 and which is more frequently offering live productions since the threat from the pandemic has receded.
Lewis and Young’s Facebook page states that Erhardt is “one of our ‘go-to-guys’ when we need input.” And they have awarded Erhardt their first “Peep in the Peepsight” award.
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Lewis and Young have worked with Erhardt on a number of projects, they state. “Thank you, Pat, for all you do for us and the ‘board-strutting community.’”
Both Lewis and Young said they hope to branch out, and their first show may be a “scary ghost stories at Christmas” radio program they would like to perform at the Old Courthouse in December.
They also may produce other old-time radio programs.
Additional projects they’ve considered include doing short videos for a “Citrus Theater Beat” and putting original theater works online.
Young said they formed the company in part because they’ve run businesses and have performing experience and feel “We need to do our own thing,” rather than having to rely on others with their “board meetings and too many suggestions.”
Lewis said he would like their business to become one of the local production companies performing plays at the Valerie.
He also mentioned developing short video projects with local actors.
As for Erhardt, Lewis said he has “a huge depth of theater. He has been in a lot of shows for many, many years. He has a lot of experience. And he’s the nicest guy you’ll ever meet.”