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Lamp-Lite Theatre was born under the direction and inspiration of Sarah McMullan, our Founder and Managing/Artistic Director for more than half a century, who sadly passed away in 2022.
Sarah moved to Nacogdoches from her native state of Mississippi, where she had founded the Hattiesburg Little Theatre and served as Arts/Entertainment Editor of the Hattiesburg American.
Over the years, she directed more than 320 productions for the Lamp-Lite Theatre, as well as guest directing for SFASU’s Summer Rep program in Rusk, Texas. She also directed the Sesquicentennial play, Nacogdoches: Gateway to Texas, as her contribution to the community historical celebration.
Sarah always said she fell in love with the theater when she first appeared on stage at the age of five in a Christmas play, and her love affair has continued throughout the years.
She studied speech art as a child and began acting and directing in Virginia. She held a B.A. in theatre from the University of Southern Mississippi. She furthered her knowledge of current theatre through “field trips,” at least once a year, traveling to the East Coast where she sampled the new theatre season in New York and Washington in order to select the best new plays for East Texas. As a result, Lamp-Lite audiences were able to see plays such as On Golden Pond and Crimes of the Heart before they became motion pictures. By the same token, Greater Tuna and Social Security played here a season before most community theaters in the area.
Occasionally, Sarah returned to her first love, acting, with appearances in the Lamp-Lite production of The Christmas Carol and appearances on stage at Lamp-Lite. Favorite roles at the Theatre included the actress in The Elephant Man, Julia in The Cocktail Party, Dorothy in Inspecting Carol, Mrs. St. Maugham in The Chalk Garden, Lettice Douffet in Lettice and Lovage, and Vada in The Exact Center of the Universe and Queen Aggravaine in Once Upon a Mattress.
She also performed at The Southern Playhouse (a summer stock theater), in Chancel Drama in Washington, D.C., and at the Modern Language Association in New York and Chicago. She personally conducted workshops at the Lamp-Lite Theatre and enjoyed bringing out new talent, as well as working with “old pros.”
Sarah has five grown children (three lawyers, one doctor and one actress) and eight grandchildren.