For most people, a play about a pig would not be the ideal way to celebrate more than three decades of wedded bliss or a grand reunion.
But Larry and Vivian Snipes' union was made in children's theater, and Lexington Children's Theatre's current production of If You Give a Pig a Pancake comes as they have passed three decades at LCT and reunite with the theater where they met.
Larry, LCT's producing director, was hired by Vivian's mother, then president of Adventure Theatre in Glen Echo, Md., just outside of Washington, D.C.
Vivian, LCT's artistic director, knew since she was in elementary school that she wanted to work in children's theater, and went to work for mom's company.
Then Larry, who had started working in the D.C. area after graduate school, applied to be a set designer for a production of Alice in Wonderland that Adventure Theatre was mounting.
"We joke that Mom didn't like the boyfriend I was dating at the time, so she hired Larry," Vivian says.
Vivian's boyfriend was a musician, and there was also a costumer in Larry's life. But soon, the close proximity of theater brought them together.
In summer 1979, the Snipeses got married, and Larry accepted a post as director of Lexington Children's Theatre. Vivian started working with the theater while keeping a day job at the University of Kentucky library. By 1981, she was on staff at LCT.
Pancake, directed by Jeremy Kisling, is a co-production with Adventure Theatre. Lexington Children's Theatre and Adventure Theatre have grown from largely volunteer operations since the 1970s, making a collaboration an attractive option. Adventure Theatre designed the sets, and the sets and costumes are being built at LCT. Both shows have their own casts and directors.
Arts organizations in different cities are increasingly sharing productions to save costs and drum up more ideas.
"This is in an experimental stage," Larry says, "We're seeing how it goes."
The fast-forward process hasn't left Larry and Vivian much time to reminisce about their Adventure Theatre courtship. But Vivian has had a little time to reflect, "Yes I did make the right choice, in a lot of ways."