PCA’s Lannom Bowman Lights Up ASF’s Festival Stage

Alabama Shakespeare Festival’s main stage, the Festival Stage, seated with over 500 guests roared with laughter as Lannom Bowman, acting out the role of Charlie Bradley, dances around Ollie Herdman, evading his attempts to snatch his dessert while bragging about all the sweets he receives from his church. For Lannom, being on stage “is like being at home. It feels like I belong there.”

Lannom is never hard to miss in ASF’s 2019 holiday production of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, his cheerful voice recognizable from his first line and his radiant smile evident – even from the back row seats. Despite having performed in more than 11 showings of the production before, Lannom’s personality is as strong as his first performance, his demeanor never wavering as he teased his onstage mother, moaned and groaned about the Herdmans and dutifully played the role of a shepherd. “Charlie, the character I play could be my friend, said Lannom. “He is a lot like me, and he fits my personality.”

Lannom’s passion for performing on stage began when he played Haydn in PCA’s Christmas production of The Colors of Christmas last Christmas. “This past summer, I went to an ASF acting camp and decided it was what I wanted to do!” In addition to serving in the role of Charlie in The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Lannom has already developed quite a list of community roles.

His onstage presence led to laughter rippling throughout the audience during PCA’s production of Mulan Jr. in his role of Mushu, the quippy, heroic dragon-guardian sent by Mulan’s ancestors. Despite only being in sixth-grade in the production, Lannom brought a fresh personality to the cast, his infectious, enthusiastic personality evidenced in all his lines, from, “I’m not a lizard!” he shouted as an echoing stomp filled the auditorium, “I’m a fire-breathing dragon!” to his ad-libbed “Does this mean we can take him home?” as he and Mulan dragged the prone body of Shan-Yu offstage. 

Lannom’s joy and enthusiasm isn’t limited to the stage. He always brings smiles from students and adults alike, whether he’s ordering ice cream from me at Chick-fil-A, passing by in the hallway, or simply beaming if you wave to him. Lannom will appear onstage again during PCA’s presentation of Annie Jr. on February 20, 2020, as Sandy, Annie’s lovable and loyal dog.

Photo courtesy of the Alabama Shakespeare Festival

Written by: Jenna Stilling
PCA Journalism Student

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