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Lean Ensemble Theater: An Innovative Newcomer Goes for the Drama

Pink Magazine

The lights go down. The play begins. The drama unfolds. You notice you’ve leaned forward in your seat, alert and engaged. The people around you are hushed and intent. This is the live performance experience the new Lean Ensemble Theater is bringing to the Lowcountry.

On May 14, the Lean Ensemble Theater will open its doors for their first production—God of Carnage—at the Main Street Theatre.

Blake is a talented actor and director—performing in both capacities at the South Carolina Repertory Company, which closed May 2014.  He insists his role in Lean Ensemble Theater is no more or less important than any other member in the company.  He was born in Pineville, La., and was a theater major at Hanover College. He says, “I knew I wanted to act since third grade; I was 34 before I really knew I could do it.” Blake and his wife, Peggy Treker White, met as actors in a production and later moved to Hilton Head.

Lean Ensemble Performance Group transforms stage performance into group conversation.

Hilton Head Monthly May 2015

Lean Ensemble’s mission is the pursuit of those moments when you find yourself so engrossed in what’s happening on stage that you unconsciously lean forward as if to understand it better, and then you notice that others around you are doing the same thing. It’s a collective experience that transforms a stage performance into a group conversation.

Community Testimonials

"I attended last evening's opening night of The Waverly Gallery and I cannot stop thinking not only of the play but of the top notch performances by all the actors. We stayed for the post show discussion and though I wanted to jump up and cry 'You nailed each and every aspect of a family dealing with dementia.' The subject is still very close to my heart... During the play I saw MY FAMILY on the stage. I saw scenes played out EXACTLY as they had occurred in our lives. I saw the laughter, the hurt, the anger, the sadness experienced by all family members... We are thoroughly enjoying all LET's productions and glad that Hilton Head is your home." - LeAnn Kalita

"I just wanted to say thanks again for allowing our students to come see a performance of The Glass Menagerie. It truly was an excellent performance, and I think many of my students in particular (AP Literature students) enjoyed and really benefitted from seeing such a well-produced play." - Christine Dykstra, English Department, Hilton Head Christian Academy

Thank you! We loved the Play! Great Job.  I am so glad I became a charter member. It will be successful.” - Patty Crews

I don't think an audience could have been more appreciative. Congratulations on the successful opening!” - Marcia Collett

First class production from the minute we came to the front doors of the theater. We were leaning forward in our seats- totally involved, listening, laughing and loving it. Theater is back on the island.  Great job all of you. Thank you. Too much drama, not enough theater. Amen!” - Pat Marks

It was Wonderful.. a full house, a great play, wonderful performers. How exciting! Congratulations to you all!!”  - Cathy and Mike Nairne

We really enjoyed the show!  Bravo! Thank you so much.  Lean Ensemble is a terrific addition to the community.” - Terri Bennett

The production we saw tonight was a towering success in every way.  We had high expectations- but this far exceeded them.  For many years we attended the Long Wharf Theatre and the Yale Rep-- and The Westport Playhouse-- all in Connecticut. We have missed "real" theatre dreadfully.  Thank you all--and especially Blake-- for having the vision." - Roger and Lynne Irvine

Thanks so much for a wonderful experience @ the Theater last nite! When we moved to SC from NYC 10 years ago, my friends up North decided that we were "giving up culture" for good!  As I was enjoying your production of God of Carnage, I laughed at the recollection.” - Sue Gassner