Category Archives: Special Events

Midlands Gives 2022

Town Theatre had a banner day through Midlands Gives raising $22,111.25 via the 18-hour give-a-thon sponsored by the Central Carolina Community Foundation. More than $3.7 million was raised supporting 540 nonprofit entities throughout the Midlands area.

Town’s donors were a mix of patrons, Board and staff leadership and performers with $5,500 being provided in match funds.

BIG congrats to the cast of The Red Velvet Cake War who has the bragging rights of being THE LAST CAST STANDING for 2022! Congrats to the casts who met the challenge of having 50% or more of their group give to Town. They will be hosted for a cast reunion in the coming week.

Thank you to all of our Midlands Gives Donors. We are so grateful!

Anonymous
Chelsey Art
Liz Auld
Agnes Babb
Anita T. Baker
The Barnette Agency, LLC
Mary Lynn & Robert Barnette
Allison Bastos
June Bell
Bill Bentley & Alex Carrico
Marybeth  Berry 
Billy Bishop
Crystal Blackwell
Chauntel  Bland
Hans and Lou
Drs. William and Sallie Boggs
Robert Borom
Ann R. Bowles 
Mike & Carol Braddock
Andrea Brown
Bryann K. Burgess
Connor Burney
Blakely CahoonIn honor of Susan Gehlmann
David Campbell
Peter Carnohan
Bonnie ChanceIn honor of my granddaughter, Rosemary Buzzell
Kara Cieri
Emily Clelland
Phil & Stacey CobbIn celebration of Grant Cobb and the children’s theater program
Chip and Cortlin Collins 
Alex Cone
Dawn Cone
Greer Crow
Vickie E. Davis
Jackie DeWitt
Bill DeWitt
George Dinsmore
Phyllis Dixon
Megan Douthitt
Christopher Eargle
Nick Eberhardt
Ruth Ellen
Mike & Kim Epperson
Kim Etcheson
Kimberly FreemanThank you for all you do to bring the arts to life in Columbia!
Alyssa Gamble
Amy Geddes
Ruth Glowacki
Amanda Goins
Felicia GoinsIn memory of Will Moreau 
Faye Goolsby
Christie Gross
Beth Gross
Todd R. Gustafson 
Elisabeth Hammond
Kathy Hartzog 
Elizabeth Helmboldt
Barry and Karin Hill
Amanda Hines and Steve Wrona 
Ellen Hinrichs
Pat Itter
Betsy JacksonIn honor of Nathan Jackson
Nathan Jackson
Regina JanvrinIn honor of the box office staff!
Tiffany Jones
Edward Kester
Elizabeth  Kinney
Cara Koerber
Brigitte Kraushaar
Chris J Kruzner
David LaTorre
Ashley R Leaphart
Keith Marsh
Wydna Martin
Cheryl Martino
Jeni McCaughanIn honor of Lee Martin
Patrick McCormick
David McCree 
Kerry  McGregorFor all the wonderful shows I’ve been a part of. 
Allison  McNeely 
Honey’s Gang
Christy MillsIn memory of Honey
Matthew Mills
Zanna Mills
Thomas Monahan
June E Nemetz
Norene Family
Robin NorrisHonoring TJ Leitzsey 
Toby O’Connor
Kristy O’Keefe
Brenda OwensIn honor of Josie “Kat” Sanders
Craig Parks
Lara Popovich
Caroline Powell
Karen Quinn
Kristen Randall
Kerri Roberts
Chelsea Rudisill & Luke Browder
Gabe and Donna Saleeby
Gina, Robin and Grayson Saviola 
Jennifer Scott
Shannon Scruggs
Kendall Scruggs
Thomas  Scruggs 
Rebecca and Michael Seezen
Jack Seezen
Kathryn Seppamaki
Donald and Alicia Shealy
Toni Sheridan
The Cason Group
Julie Songer BelmanIn loving memory of Don Songer
Diana W Stevenson
Kerry Stubbs
Hannah Thompson
John Tighe
Leah Tudor
Stacy Veldman
Megan Walker
Hollis & Nancy Walker
Virginia Walker
Lauren Way
Bailey Weikel-FeekesIn honor of the wonderful cast in Bright Star and Jekyll & Hyde
Carl and Nancy White
Elizabeth & Robert WilliamsIn memory of Anna Williams
Love,
Elizabeth & Robert Williams
Robert & Penn Williams 
Robert E Williams Jr
Michael Willis
Willis Tax & Accounting
Sandra Willis
Christine Wilson
Sadie Wiskes
Cathy Wiskes
Janice and David Yensan

Music, Mayhem, Madness and Mmmmmm…

Saturdays, May 14 & 21

It certainly is a part of our DNA to host dessert nights at Town ~ no scientific experiment necessary. Jekyll & Hyde gives us the perfect opportunity to mix up some of our favorite desserts for your enjoyment!

Get your tickets to the show on Saturday, May 14 OR Saturday, May 21 and we’ll add some mouth-watering munchies to this evening of melodious mayhem. All you have to do is go out to eat ~ and then bring us the receipt.

No deception here ~ your dinner receipt in exchange for dessert which will be provided on the patio before the show. Dessert will be served from 6:45 PM to 7:15 PM.

So, on Saturday, May 14 and/or 21, go #DineAroundTown, bring us the bill and enjoy dessert on the patio! Receipts must be dated March 14 or 21 with a time stamp of 4 PM or later. Don’t worry ~ if you run out of time to grab dinner, we’ll still serve you dessert. Your choice of one dessert for $4. Water, soft drinks, beer and wine will also be available for purchase.

Homemade desserts selections may include death by chocolate, lethal lemon and/or coconut crime. Come join us to see which desserts will show their true face.

Treat your Valentine to a Valentown!

Looking for a unique way to spoil your Valentine? How about a ValenTOWN Vocalist? ValenTOWNs are $50 and include a serenade, a rose, and a sweet treat all delivered to your doorstep (or location of choice). ValenTOWN vocalists will arrive masked and will remain socially distanced.

You’ll provide your location and a 1-hour window in which we can arrive and perform. Then leave the rest to us! ValenTOWN Vocalists will be scheduled based on availability and geography. We will try to honor specific pairings if at all possible. First come, first served!

Vocalists are available Friday and Saturday, February 12 & 13 from 12 noon to 8 PM as well as Sunday, February 14 from 2 PM to 8 PM.

Reserve your ValenTOWN today! Upon reservation, we will connect with you for details. Questions? Contact Shannon Scruggs, Executive Director.

Picnic in the Park with Town & Forest Acres

There’s nothing better than great music and great company – in the BEST neighborhood around! This month Town Theatre will present three mini-concerts by some fantastic performers that have graced not only the Town Theatre stage but are well known throughout the Midlands.

On Friday, October 16, guests will enjoy the talented Kerri Roberts and Jeremy Reasoner who will be presenting some musical theatre favorites with a quarantine twist. The duo appeared as Tony and Maria in Town’s West Side Story and are well known for their portrayals of many favorite characters such as Mary Poppins, Eliza Doolittle, Jerry Lee Lewis and Quasimodo. Kerri and Jeremy will be accompanied by Jeremy Hansard.

Friday, October 23 brings the vocal talent of Vicky Saye Henderson, Clayton King and Lanny Spires. This talented trio has appeared on stages throughout the Midlands as well as in cabaret-type events at local restaurants. They will bring great music and fun to Pinetree Park. The group will be accompanied by Michael Simmons.

Lee Martin and Scott Vaughan will take the stage Friday, October 30. Lee wowed audiences as the title role in Hello, Dolly! and in Hairspray. Scott’s portrayals of Harold Hill, Willy Wonka and Joseph (and his Technicolor Dreamcoat) are true favorites. Lee and Scott will be accompanied by Dr. Greg Boatwright.

Each concert will begin at 6 PM and will last 30-45 minutes. Tickets are $5 per concert and may be purchased here. In the event of rain, the Roberts/Reasoner concert will move to Saturday, October 17; the Henderson/King/Spires concert will move to Saturday, October 24 and the Martin/Vaughan concert will move to Sunday, Nov. 1.

In true picnic fashion, we strongly encourage you to grab dinner from your favorite Forest Acres restaurant to bring to the concert. Please also bring your own seats in the way of tailgate chairs and/or blankets. Guests will be asked to socially distance from other parties during the event.

Town Theatre thanks Forest Acres for their support of this partnership. If you have questions, please call Town Theatre at 803-799-2510 and leave a message or email town@towntheatre.com.

T3 presents Guys & Dolls Jr.

“What’s in the daily news? I’ll tell ya what’s in the daily news!” Town Theatre is over the moon excited to produce Guys & Dolls Jr. with the fantastic Town Teen Troupe. This production was halted due to COVID, but thanks to so many, we will be able to offer the show in our latest development called Twilight Theatre!

That’s right! Come enjoy 17 young actors in the beautiful outdoors at the Marwin Stage in West Columbia. Just a “bushel and a peck” from downtown Columbia, we are grateful to have been able to create an outdoor theatre space for this production and know that audiences will enjoy seeing and hearing students perform live in a socially distanced atmosphere.

Interested in priority seating? For $50, you can be a member of the Guys & Dolls fan club. This sponsorship gets you a 4×8 area that can seat up to 5 guests. Have a larger family? We can put two plots side by side! Fan club spaces are closer to the stage area. Fan club sponsorships may be purchased here. Theatre staff will be in touch to confirm any add-ons for your party.

Individual tickets are only $5 and seating is general admission with a twist! You’ll need to bring your own seat. Our “auditorium” is a nice grassy area so your favorite tailgate chair will be perfect. Individual tickets are available here.

Want to enjoy some provisions while enjoying “the oldest established permanent floating crap game in New York?” We are offering PRE-ORDERED soft drinks, water and snacks. When you place your ticket order, be sure to choose your “add ons.” We’ll have these ready for you when you arrive at the outdoor site.

Guests will be asked to socially distance and wear a mask while being seated or if walking around. The Marwin Outdoor Stage is located at 107 McQueen Street, West Columbia SC 29172. Free parking is available. Guys & Dolls Jr. is a one hour show. There are no restroom facilities available.

“Luck be a lady…” but we’re planning rain dates for Sunday, Sept. 27 and Monday, Sept. 28. The theatre will work with patrons to adjust ticketing as needed.

So “follow the fold and stray no more!” Get your tickets now via towntheatre.com. Starting September 14, we can accept phone reservations weekdays from 12 noon to 2 PM at 803-799-2510.

Guys & Dolls Jr. is directed by Kerri Roberts with special thanks to Scott Vaughan, Katie Hilliger, Danny Harrington, Jeremy Hansard and Shannon Scruggs. We also express our appreciation to Andy Davis.

Fly Like Mary!

Here’s your chance to FLY like Mary Poppins. Enter our contest to win a flight at the Historic Town Theatre. ONE lucky winner will be selected to fly under the operation of a ZFX Flying Director. 

$10 = 1 entry
$50 = 6 entries 

Purchase your entry here!

(Click the Fly Like Mary option. Enter the number of entries you wish to purchase. For every $50, you will get an additional entry for FREE!)

The “flyer” must be less than 175 lbs. and be in good physical condition. A waiver must be signed by the flyer or the flyer’s guardian (if under 18). The flight will be over the stage and will be with a single point harness.

The flight must take place on one of these days/times: Tuesday, March 3 at 9:15 PM; Wednesday, March 4 at 4:00 PM OR Wednesday, March 4 at 9:15 PM. Time will be agreed upon once winner is drawn. If you have a height phobia, this is NOT the event for you. 😊 Message shannon@towntheatre.com with any questions before purchasing your chance(s) to win! No refunds will be made. 

The winner will be selected on Facebook Live Monday, March 2 at 4:30 PM. 

Honoring Milena Herring

Photo courtesy of Facebook.

As you may know, our upcoming show was slated to be directed by Milena Herring. She was thrilled to be back in the director’s chair at Town after taking last season off for knee surgery. Regretfully, she had to withdraw from directing the production due to complications from Multiple Sclerosis.

Milena has lived with MS for almost 20 years. Things have been even more challenging this past year. More physical therapy and new medications have not helped. However, she is not giving up and neither are we!

We invite you to join us on Thursday, Jan. 16 for a special preview performance of Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville. The show begins at 7:30 PM and the cost of admission is a donation ($10 minimum suggested) which will go directly to the National MS Society. Milena has been a long-time fundraiser for MS research through the Walk MS Columbia event with her team the Drama Queens. We’re excited to support our dear friend Milena and are thrilled that she will be our guest of honor on the 16th.

To RSVP, please e-mail us at town@towntheatre.com with the number in your party OR give us a call at 803-799-2510. Want to participate but cannot be with us on the 16th? Send your check to Town Theatre and note MILENA on the memo line OR visit here.

Beyond the stage

Town Theatre is proud to partner with FACES ~ Foreign Academic & Cultural Exchanges Services ~ to assist with a special project taking our acting chops into a classroom setting. FACES works with teachers from other countries to help them succeed in the academic arena of the United States. As one might imagine, the classroom setting in America is quite different. Teachers from other countries often encounter situations that they are not used to seeing in their home country. FACES reached out to our Town Theatre to see how we might help and we knew that many of our Town Teen Troupe actors would be perfect for the job! At the end of July, these actors will role-play classroom scenarios that showcase issues that FACES teachers might see. The action will “freeze” while a moderator addresses ways in which teachers might handle these scenarios.

We are so proud of our youth theatre program and delighted to have this very special opportunity to use our stage skills in a way that will bring such value to academia.

FACTS about FACES…
*FACES is a Columbia-based company that recruits foreign teachers for South Carolina schools K-12.

*FACES recruits international teachers, evaluates their credentials for appropriate experience and certification requirements and then provides the selected teachers for possible selection by local South Carolina districts who are seeking teachers for the cultural enrichment opportunities for the school.

*Before leaving for the school, FACES provides an intensive staff development program to prepare the teachers for their role in an American classroom.

*FACES is unique for providing training in academic subjects and classroom management before they report to school.

*To learn even more about FACES, please visit facesinc.org.

BE LIMITLESS with Matilda!

By Padgett Mozingo, APR

If you love theatre or children, or both, Town Theatre has a real treat in store for you. Its summer musical Matilda runs July 12-28, with a Be Limitless special event and show preview on Sunday, July 7 for all ages.

Town Theatre is partnering with Limitless Purpose ~ an organization that works to dispel the myths falsely associated with Down syndrome. Limitless Purpose was founded by Padgett Mozingo, whose 8-year-old daughter Lila was diagnosed with a heart defect and Down syndrome before birth. 

From that day in her pregnancy, Padgett found that people started underestimating their baby girl – including her doctor. She and her husband were told of all the things their daughter would not be able to do. Today, however, Lila is a thriving elementary school student who is happy, outgoing, sassy and so much more.


“Lila’s diagnosis doesn’t define her, and we won’t let it limit her, either,” says Padgett. “We might have to fight a little harder to make sure others don’t limit her, but we know she’s giving it her all, so we will, too.”

Matilda’s story is similar to Lila’s and that of many children. Once Matilda finds someone who believes in her, she too is LIMITLESS. We know that every child can be limitless when loved, accepted and included. 

We’re shouting that message from the rooftops and we want YOU to join us! Here’s how you can be a part of this awesome adventure…

·         Come to the show prepared to buy a Token of Hope handmade by Lila and other special items!

·         Bid on one of our awesome silent auction packages, available before each performance.

·         Come BE LIMITLESS on Sunday, July 7. (Fun details below!)


Limitless Purpose will receive a portion of the proceeds from these summer events. Come enjoy a great show and join us to prove that all children are limitless!

Be Limitless with Matilda, the cast and Lila too.
Sunday, July 7 will be a fun-filled day at Town as we host Be Limitless ~ an interactive day with Matilda and her friends. Be one of the firsts to see a special preview of the show, and that’s not all! Learn to salsa with Mrs. Wormwood, decorate your own chocolate cake with Bruce and have a dance party with the other Revolting Children. And, while you’re here, learn how to be LIMITLESS with LILA. Throw in some photo ops with our cast and maybe even win a ticket to see the full show. It’s sure to be limitless fun!

Be Limitless tickets for participants ages 12 and under are $10. ALL activities and photos (e-mailed after the event) included. Tickets for chaperones (ages 13 and up) are $5. After all, it is a GREAT cause! Choose between a 2 PM or 3:15 PM start time. (The first tour runs 2:00 PM to 3:30 pm and the second tour runs 3:15 PMto 4:45 PM.

Tickets are available at towntheatre.com anytime OR by phone at 803-799-2510. The box office is open 12 noon to 5 PM Monday through Friday. Tickets MUST be purchased by Friday, July 5 and will NOT be available at the door.

My Kind of Town ~ Al McNeely

al town t 300

“My love/love relationship with Town Theatre goes way back to the dark ages: 1964. That’s when my wife Pat and an old high school girlfriend joined forces to force me to a tryout. I hadn’t been on the stage for seven years, but shockingly got the part, the lead and later the laughs. I was totally hooked. Now, 54 years later, my total is 28 productions. They cover everything from heavy drama to second tenor in a Sha Na Na line (twice!). From warbling an Irish lullaby solo in Guys and Dolls to a not-too-bad W.C. Fields impersonation. From opening one play by falling over dead, and two others that co-starred a 6-foot invisible rabbit.

It has been a wondrous ride. Six decades of laughter and hard work.

Learning all those lines. I even wrote scenes for two plays. Offstage, there were two terms on the Board of Governors, one term as president of the Players Club, and countless hours spent in such committees as play reading. I loved it all. Rehearsals were a kick. With each new production I made new friends, and as the years rolled by, they became old friends. Other McNeelys wound up on stage and we sometimes did shows together.

It all culminated in seeing my daughter Allison morph from a kid who once crawled around under the conference table upstairs to become the theatre’s Resident Director. As such, she has directed me in three shows so far, neatly turning our relationship upside down and proving that she has forgotten more stagecraft than I ever knew.

Today, at the precarious age of 83, it’s the people I remember more than the shows, people like my good friend John Wrisley. John and I played Holmes and Watson twice and did essentially the same two characters for My Fair Lady. At one time or another, my talented niece Leah, my comedy-improv son Alan, and of course my awesome daughter Allison were in shows. Many of our rehearsals were more like parties and some of the cast parties were held at our house. Occasionally, even today, someone in a restaurant or grocery store will call out “How’s Harvey?” and I have been “made” as Elwood P. Dowd, the angelic friend of Harvey the Rabbit. I played Elwood twice, 15 years apart, and a portrait of Harvey and myself, paw on shoulder, hangs on our bedroom wall. I can still use lines from that play anywhere I need to kill some time. Only the remnants of other lines from other plays are still in my feeble memory bank today, remarkable when you consider the sweat and tears once necessary to pound them in.

There were other plays that came under the “Heavy Lifting” category. Doing Sleuth with Bill Arvay as a two-actor grind wore us down to the nub every night. I thought about walking away from my TT hobby/habit. But new plays came along with roles I liked, so I was still moderately hooked. In 1999 Allison tricked me into doing a very long role in Over My Dead Body. It proved to be my swan song for retentive memory. I did two more walk-ons and am sneakingly searching for another. Three years ago, at age 80, I played the one-scene one-laugh cop in Singin’ in the Rain. By all the evidence I can conscientiously collect, that makes me the oldest actor ever to appear in a TT show. I’m proud of that.

I was lucky enough to do shows in both the 50th and the 75th anniversary seasons. So if anybody desperately needs a walk-on for the 100th, I’m your man.

Or the rabbit.”