Category Archives: Special Events

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.”

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.