Category Archives: Special Events

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.”

ABOUT THE ARTIST ~ Kathy Hartzog

ABOUT THE ARTIST ~ Kathy Hartzog

Kathy photoKathy Hartzog is a well-known Columbia actress having appeared in numerous musicals and comedies at Workshop Theatre, Town Theatre and Village Square Theatre in Lexington.  She appeared as Mame at Village Square, as well as Rosie in Bring Back Birdie and a soloist in All Night Strut.  At Workshop she played Noleta in Sordid Lives and Mrs. Meers (for which she was awarded Best Supporting Actress by On Stage Columbia) in Thoroughly Modern Millie.  Some of her memorable roles at Town Theater have included Bloody Mary in South Pacific, Aunt Eller in Oklahoma, Ouiser in Steel Magnolias, Dorothy Brock in 42nd Street, Daisy Werthen in Driving Miss Daisy, The Duchess in “Nice Work if You Can Get It”, Sue Ellen Smith Barney Fife in Honkey Tonk Angels, as the Ghost of Christmas Future in A Christmas Carol and most recently as Mrs. Kirby in You Can’t Take it With You, plus countless others.  Her favorite role, however, has been Louise in Always…Patsy Cline, which not only has been presented at Town Theatre several times but has toured all over the state including Newberry Opera House, Bishopville Opera House, Dillon’s Performing Arts Center and Greenwood Theatre. A transplant from Montgomery, Alabama, Kathy appeared in over 30 productions with the Montgomery Little Theatre.

Kathy started painting in watercolors and oils 20 years ago under the guidance of renowned South Carolina artists, Michele McNinch and Anna Kaye Singley.  She has been juried in the South Carolina State Fair art exhibit for several years and has won several Purchase Patron Awards.  Some of her pieces are in private collections across the South. She is a member of the Corley Mills Artists’ Group and her work can be viewed on their website, www.corleymillart.com.

IMG_8144Title:   “Making an Entrance”
Inspiration for the work:  An actress getting ready to step onto the stage during Town’s production of South Pacific.
Medium:  Oil on canvas                    Size:  11” x 14”

This piece was already purchased, but see Kathy’s other submission and check out all of the other art pieces here!

ABOUT THE ARTIST ~ Hans Boeschen

ABOUT THE ARTIST ~ Hans Boeschen

Hans Boeschen

Hans Boeschen, a high school math teacher by day, has made many appearances on the stages at Town Theatre and Workshop Theatre. At Workshop, he appeared in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory as Phineous Trout, Roger and Hammerstein’s Cinderella as the Steward, Doctor Dolittle as Matthew Mugg, and Crimes of the Heart as Barnett. Hans made his directorial debut in the Columbia community theatre two years ago with Barefoot in the Park at Workshop Theatre. He has also directed Shrek Jr: The Musical for Workshop last June. At Town Theatre, Hans has appeared as The Professor in South Pacific, Naphtali in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, the Park Keeper in Mary Poppins, Mr. Smythe in A Christmas Carol: The Musical, and most recently appeared as Amos Calloway in Big Fish” Hans makes his directorial debut at Town Theater this season with Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story.

Hans is a self-taught painter after having picked up some oils, brushes, and a Bob Ross instructional book 7 years ago. He finds painting as a hobby a great way to relieve stress and reconnect with his creative side.Hans

Title:  “Life of Stages”
Inspiration for the work:  Growing up in the theatre and continuing the cycle by sharing it with the family.
Medium:  Acrylic on canvas  Size: 10” x 20”

Bid on Hans’ piece here ~ or check out all of the pieces here!

My Kind of Town ~ Gabe Flores

gfloresheadshot“My only performance with Town Theatre was as Jerry, the drummer for The Crickets in Buddy, The Buddy Holly Story during the 2008-2009 season. This was a pivotal moment in my life and, looking back, I can see how that time was so formative. Having extensive performance experience in the rock and roll and marching band worlds, I had a minor interest in live theatre. On a whim, I decided to show up to an audition and try something new. I decided to audition for the drummer and rest, as they say, is history.

In a previous life, I was dragged to the theatre unwillingly. I begrudgingly sat with arms crossed and barely allowed myself to enjoy the show. During my brief residence in South Carolina, I had a hard time finding a home or community to call my own. Little did
I know it was going to be in the theatre. My fondest experience of Town Theatre was realizing I was part of something wildly different than I had ever expected. One of my favorite memories of our show was the first time I was told we were sold out. To me, that validated my choice to spend time in the theatre. Another memorable time was finishing the show to a standing ovation that lasted long after the curtain had dropped. It only got louder when we returned for the curtain call.

After returning to my native Florida, theatre became a borderline obsession. I spent years as a theatre reviewer and used that time to “educate” myself about all types of shows. I have since directed multiple plays and musicals for schools and theatre festivals. I also
started writing my own plays and eventually wrote a musical. Shows I have been associated with as director, playwright, composer, musical director, actor and stage manager have been seen in New York, Florida and Kansas City.

My time at Town reinforced my drive and desire to work in collaboration. It also taught me the magic of the theatre. Many of life’s problems can be solved, or at least examined, in some sort of way by the theatre. Whether it’s a series of solving problems, relating to strangers with similar interests or just turning off the world for a couple of hours, these are skills I learned in the theatre. I now put art and passion first. Thanks to my time at Town Theatre, I live a very fulfilling life. I look forward to an opportunity to return and repay my debt someday, somehow.”crickets

Tip of the Hat

Tip-of-the-HatTip of the Hat – limited number of tickets for sale!

Please join us on Sunday, August 12 at 3 PM. We will officially “kick-off” our Centennial with a special Tip of the Hat celebration. Plans include the unveiling of our historical marker and a production of the first play ever produced by Town, Alice Brown’s one-act comedy Joint Owners in Spain. The show stars some of Town’s favorite performers ~ Kathy Hartzog, Leah McNeely Tudor, Gayle Stewart and Bill DeWitt ~ and is under the direction of Allison McNeely.

We are excited to welcome as our special guest, Penelope Reed, the granddaughter of Town’s first director, Daniel A. Reed. A reception will follow the event.

A limited number of tickets is now available for $10 each. Visit towntheatre.com to purchase OR call 803-799-2510 from 12 noon to 5 PM through Friday.

BE OUR GUEST ~ TOWN GIVES BACK TO MY FIRST BOOKS SC

Time to give back…

If you have been around Town during a summer show, you know that one of our favorite things to do is to give back! We are proud to partner with My First Books SC. Did you know that it is estimated that one-third of our state’s children do not have the literacy skills needed to be successful in kindergarten? Through My First Books SC, we are proud to help prepare SC children for kindergarten and a lifetime of success by helping them build a home library.

Belle ~ who LOVES to read ~ will work to support My First Books SC in several ways, but she needs YOUR help.

  1. Buy an enchanted rose when you come to see the show!
  2. Bid on one of our awesome silent auction items, available before each performance.
  3. Come BE OUR GUEST on Saturday, July 14. (Fun details below!)

A portion of the proceeds from the above events will be shared with My First Books SC. So, not only can you enjoy a great show, you can make a huge difference in the life of someone in need.


Saturday, July 14 will be a fun-filled day at Town as we host BE OUR cropped-myfirstbookssc1-4GUEST ~ a fun and interactive day with Belle and her many friends in the enchanted castle. We’ll have a special preview of the show ~ be the FIRST to see it! And that’s not all! You can join in on the fun and learn the proper way to drink tea from Mrs. Potts, play corn hole with Cogsworth and compete with the Beast to see who has the fiercest roar! And, while you are here, we’ll have story time with Belle and learn more about our friends at My First Books SC. Throw in some photo ops with our cast of characters and maybe even win a ticket to see the full show… it is sure to be a magical day!

Tickets for participants ages 12 and below are $10. This includes ALL of your activities and your photo (which will be e-mailed to you after the event). Tickets for chaperones (ages 13 and up) are $5 ~ after all ~ it is a GREAT cause! Sign up to be a part of the 10:00 AM tour or the 11:15 AM tour.

Tickets are available at towntheatre.com (starting July 1) OR via phone at 803-799-2510 NOW! A portion of our proceeds from BE OUR GUEST will be given to our partner, My First Books SC.

WHODUNIT? DESSERTS

Whodunit? Desserts ~ Saturdays March 3 and 10
Whodunit? Desserts ~ Saturdays March 3 and 10

WHODUNIT? DESSERTS

Saturdays, March 3 and 10

It’s no mystery that we love to host dessert nights at Town. Our next show gives us the perfect opportunity to get in on the GAME! Get your tickets to the show on Saturday, March 3 OR Saturday, March 10 and we’ll add some mouth-watering munchies to this evening of mystery! Sounds dubious, doesn’t it? Not at all! 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 7:15 PM to 7:45 PM (and not a second before!).

So, on Saturday, March 3 and/or 10, go #DineAroundTown, bring us the bill and enjoy dessert on the patio! Receipts must be dated March 3 or 10 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 for $3 Water, soft drinks, beer and wine will also be available for purchase. Homemade desserts selections may include death by chocolate, lethal lemon, coconut crime, coffin cookies and/or “I spy” pieCome join us to see which desserts make the cut…

Join Wonka as we Feed Children Everywhere

FCE_Logos_Masterfile_FCE_Logo_Horiz-1If you have been around Town during a summer show, you know that one of our favorite things to do is to give back! We are proud to partner with Feeding Children Everywhere (FCE). FCE’s mission is to activate people for a hunger-free world. Since inception, FCE has distributed 73 million meals across 50 countries using the help of
485,000 volunteers.

Willy Wonka and the gang will work to support FCE in several ways, but we need YOUR help. Grab a Wonka bar when you come to the show and be sure to bid on one of our awesome silent auction items.

All proceeds will benefit Feeding Children Everywhere.

Christmas in the Carolinas ~  Nutcracker basket courtesy of
Carolina Ballet
Family pass (2 adults, 4 children) to 2017 The Nutcracker ($150 value); Nutcracker ornaments and pencils

Dinner and a show! Opening night tickets to Million Dollar Quartet (revival show Aug. 18) and $20 to Pasta Fresca ~ seats Left N1 & N2

Tech Free Zone Basket ~ courtesy of Ms. Teavee
Paperback copies of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory  and Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator; Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory with Gene Wilder; 8 DVD set of 101 classic TV show episodes; Bag of assorted snack size chocolate; Chewy Gobstoppers; Nerds candy; Box of Crunch-n-Munch

Kids’ candy delight basket courtesy of Mrs. Gloop (and a Romanian etched glass candy dish courtesy of Three Rivers Antiques for the grownups!)
All of your favorite Wonka candies! Wonkabars, Gobstoppers, Whirly pops, candy buttons ~ and MORE! Plus, a beautiful tall Romanian etched glass candy dish.

Guaranteed Spot in Fall 2017 Town Youth Theatre Class ~
Annie Jr. (production Nov. 10-12; classes begin week of Aug. 28) Does not include class tuition.

Bid before the show on the patio OR email your bid to town@towntheatre.com. We’ll notify you if you are outbid and check to see if you would like to make another offer. Auction closes on August 6th — you do not need to be present to win!