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Fried Chicken and Friendship

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June 10, 2019 | By Andrew Seay

Llt Hearts Of Gold Photo

Aleta Richmond was hungry. She was driving back home from a conference in Philadelphia when she pulled off the Pennsylvania Turnpike to grab lunch at Popeye’s Chicken. She stepped into the restaurant and started to read the menu. The woman in front of her looked awfully familiar, and Aleta tapped her shoulder.

Sure enough, it was Lynnelle Goins! Her eyes lit up with recognition. “Oh hey, you’re in my yoga class! Good to see a friendly face. Do you want to eat together?”

The duo sat down, and over their meals of fried chicken, a wonderful friendship was born. Aleta (a public sector labor arbitrator) and Lynnelle (a retired IBM software specialist) found that they shared many interests, including a desire to try new things.

When Aleta received an email from Little Lake Theatre Company announcing its I Can Do That! beginning acting class for adults, she persuaded Lynnelle to join her. Neither woman had ever acted before, but both proved to be naturals. During the 2018 season, Lynnelle was cast as “Ouiser” in Steel Magnolias while Aleta was cast as “Death” in A Streetcar Named Desire. The women quickly became part of the Little Lake family, where actors, designers, staff, board members, volunteers, and audiences all work together to create and enjoy quality theatre.

Aleta reminisced, “Little Lake is a special place because of the camaraderie among the actors, directors, and high school apprentices, and the relaxed atmosphere at the Lake makes you feel like you’re at home. Plus, the hot fudge sundaes are to die for!” Lynnelle agrees, adding that “Little Lake is truly my theatre. You don’t have to go to downtown Pittsburgh to see great theatre, there are first-rate shows happening in your backyard at the Lake.”