Category Archives: Youth Theatre

“May” we update you?

May 4, 2020

Hello Town Theatre members and ticket purchasers!

First – THANK YOU. Thanks for hanging in there with us as we continue to navigate the unknown. Of course, we have more questions than answers it seems, but we have been fortunate in so many ways. I wanted to update you on a few things with the information that I have available to me.

Midlands Gives
Tomorrow, Tuesday, May 5, is Midlands Gives. This is a community-wide day of giving. We know that everyone is in a different place right now, but we think it is important to seek support for the theatre from those who are able. We will host our “$20 for Town” campaign again inviting you to make a $20 gift through the Midlands Gives platform. Click here to make your gift. We received word on Friday that that we will receive a match of up to $3,000 from The Cheerful Giver – an anonymous donor. We feel so fortunate! (And if you so inclined and able to make a gift larger than $20, of course we would appreciate that too!)

Please know that this ask does not come without understanding of what a rough time this is for everyone. We sincerely want to find the balance between the tough situations that everyone is facing and making sure we can open the doors at 1012 Sumter Street after the pandemic is behind us. If this is not the right time for you to receive this request, no pressure at all. We simply present it as an opportunity.


The “State” of Town Theatre

So far, Town Theatre is hanging in there! The quarantine has created job loss and a great deal of financial instability for so many. Our heart aches for everyone who has faced a loss of any magnitude. Town went from a time of incredibly strong ticket sales in an amazing season of shows to an immediate halt. The theatre was fortunate to receive a PPP loan which is allowing us to retain our staff and not face layoffs at the moment.

Our job duties and descriptions have altered just a bit, but everyone is working as best they can. We are grateful for the time to tackle some of those “to do” list items that never seem to get done. We are hopeful that our Midlands Gives event will be fruitful and that we will be able to generate some revenue from virtual camps. We’re counting on the return of our shows and in-person camp activities.

But we have no crystal ball, so we are moving forward with great care and caution – doing our best to make decisions on a rolling basis. We continue to communicate with theatres and arts organizations locally and across the country to understand their best practices upon a return to the theatre. We constantly seek and apply for any relief funds that might be available to non-profits. We gently fundraise because we want to find the balance between the tough situations that everyone is facing and our own goal to stay in business.

101st Season
It is still our intention to complete our 101st season including our run of Mary Poppins and A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder. We must have details on what we can do, when we can do it as well as guidance on appropriate social distancing before any of those decisions can be set in stone. When they are – we promise to share our plans with you. As a reminder, if you had already made reservations for Mary Poppins, you will have the first opportunity to re-reserve your tickets for our new slate of performance dates. Once an appropriate amount of time has passed, we will open ticketing for others. We continue to appreciate your patience as we wait until that time to communicate about ticketing.

Classes

We are continuing our virtual youth theatre classes through May. In another month we believe we will have more information about how we can continue to serve our 150 students. Just like with the 101st main stage shows, it is still our intention to allow the students to perform when possible. We know that it won’t be exactly the same as we originally planned, but we will deal with that when details are provided from our state and local officials.

Summer Camps
Next week, we will outline summer camps for the first few weeks in June. These will be planned as virtual offerings with small groups of students. Classes will be held via Zoom and will vary in topic. This is a first for us and we welcome the opportunity to deliver arts education in a new way. If we need to continue to roll out virtual camps for a longer time frame, we will do so.

We appreciate your support as we all make this journey together.

Shannon Willis Scruggs
Executive Director
Town Theatre

Town Theatre happenings

April 7, 2020

Hello Town Theatre families, patrons, members ticket purchasers, volunteers and more!

It has been three weeks since we all had an abrupt change of pace. At the time, we had more questions than answers and while we still have some questions, we do have a little more clarity on how we will proceed. We also thought you might have an interest in reading about what we have been doing to keep things going as best we can.

The shows MUST go on!
We are very excited to let you know that we do intend to complete our 101st season including our run of Mary Poppins and A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder. When? Well, that is the million-dollar question it seems. But, once we can be together again safely, we will determine dates for these performances and will communicate with you about ticketing times. If you had already made reservations for Mary Poppins, you will have the first opportunity to re-reserve your tickets for our new slate of performance dates. Once an appropriate amount of time has passed, we will open ticketing for others. We appreciate your patience as we must wait until that time to communicate about ticketing.

In the interim, our casts have been making lemonade out of lemons. Check out the coverage of our Poppins Car Parade which was held at the end of March. We had a fantastic day as you can see from these photos. What a great time to come together (safely) and share the good with our community.

Youth Theatre
Our youth theatre classes were running full speed ahead when we were interrupted. Weekly classes for Mary Poppins Jr., Give and Take as well as Guys & Dolls Jr. came to an immediate halt. However, just as with our main stage shows, we are committed to holding these productions. Once dates and times are known, we will communicate with you about ticketing.

During this time of being at home, our youth theatre students have remained engaged. We have held rehearsals for small groups on Zoom and have provided weekly activities for our students including costume design challenges, dialect exercises and even props building activities. Members of our Town Teen Troupe created a COVID Containment Entertainment concert series which you can view on our YouTube channel. Stay tuned as we hope to share more while we go through this process together.

Summer Camps
We do intend to host camps once again this summer! We are holding off on enrollment until we have more confidence on what the end of the school year looks like for our students. Our list of camps as originally planned can be seen here. We are also considering several options with adjustable dates and will share those at the appropriate time. And we are developing a “May Minis” Series of lessons and classes that we will roll out when needed.

Town Theatre Staff
Town staff has committed to using this down time to grow. We’re working on some of those projects that have been on our “to do” lists. Technical Director Danny Harrington has created a fun demonstration on how to create a stage model for set design. Check it out! He is also working on set designs for the 102nd season so that we can “make up for lost time” once the quarantine is over. Assistant Technical Director Corey Langley was able to spend some time reorganizing areas of the theatre and our warehouse. He is also currently creating a scenic painting series to share with our students. Youth Theatre Director Megan Douthitt has become well versed in shifting in-person rehearsals and classes to online opportunities. Executive Director Shannon Scruggs has been exploring the ever-changing opportunities for funding in a time of little revenue as well as working with staff, licensing companies, casts and youth theatre families to keep the wheels on the bus turning.

What Can You Do Now?
Many of you have reached out asking how you might help. We would truly appreciate your continued support of our theatre during this challenging time. One easy way to do that is to purchase your 102nd Season Membership at the early bird rate. You can do that online here.

Once we have ticketing dates for the rest of our current season and all our youth theatre shows, be sure to get your ticket and bring a friend. Live theatre can and will be such a great part of our restoration process.  

If you are able and so inclined, we would appreciate your support as a donor. We were so very fortunate to renovate two of the three areas of our theatre before this crisis hit AND we did so without adding any debt. If you still have a portion of your pledge outstanding, are you able to make an early or an extra payment? Or, if you never got around to joining us as a donor and the time is right for you, we would welcome your support. You can mail your check to the theatre or make a gift online at this link. We do plan to participate in the community-wide Midlands Gives on May 5 with our popular “Give Town a Twenty” campaign.

We hope that you and your family are safe and well. Though this was certainly not a part of our plan, we will make the very best of it and, more than ever, are excited to see you at the theatre as soon as we possibly can. In the interim, if you have questions, please reach out to Shannon Scruggs at shannon@towntheatre.com.  

Until the next curtain call,

Mary Lynn Barnette                                                            
President                                                                                                           

Shannon Willis Scruggs
Executive Director

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.

Summer 2019 Technical Internships Announced

Town Theatre’s mission is to provide quality, live, family-oriented community theatre to the Midlands and beyond as well as to offer the foundation for those who wish to participate on stage or backstage. As such, we are offering up to four technical internship positions for the summer of 2019.

 Intern Duties:
~Assist with various aspects of the technical side of theatre.
~Participate actively in preparing for the summer production of Matilda the Musical.
~Work in one or more of the following areas: carpentry, stage lighting, engineering, scenic art and design.

Qualifications:
~Some experience in technical theatre.
~Should be flexible, creative, a team player, reliable, and have a good work ethic.
~Display a willingness to assist in load in/out, as artist liaison, and setup/tear down stage.
~These internships are ideal for candidates who are looking to study technical theatre and/or design in high school, Governor’s School or college.
~Candidates should be at least 14 years of age.

Time Commitment:
In general, interns will work from 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM Monday through Friday beginning June 3. The week of July 4 will have a varied schedule. There may be some optional opportunities to work on weekends as well as backstage crew for the production which runs July 12 to 28. Time for vacations, etc. can be negotiated. Interns will receive at least 75 hours of scenic building, painting and lighting work on a realized production. Each intern’s ending date can be flexible, but a general guideline is that most should expect to work through the week of August 9.

Other Details:
Interns will be under the supervision of Danny Harrington, Technical Director. All technical internships are unpaid. Neither housing nor transportation is provided. College credit may be granted but must be coordinated in advance with the intern’s university/college. Interns will work primarily at Town Theatre which is located at 1012 Sumter Street in downtown Columbia and at Town’s warehouse located off Shop Road.

To apply:
Please send a letter of interest and, if available, your theatrical résumé to shannon@towntheatre.com no later than April 8. Selected applicants and their parents will be scheduled for an interview with Town’s Technical Director and Executive Director.

Town’s Talent

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Corey LangleyWe are pleased to announce that Corey Langley has been selected as Town Theatre’s Assistant Technical Director. Corey has been a part of the Town family for many years both on stage and off. He recently played Cogsworth in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and just finished the role of Krupke in Town’s season opener of West Side Story. On the technical side, Corey has served as a freelance scenic designer in the Columbia area for the past eleven years. His portfolio includes work at Airport High School, BC High School, Congaree Baptist Church, and the former Stage Five Theatre. We are glad to have Corey serve in this capacity.

We also are pleased to announce that Megan Douthitt, anotherMegan Douthitt long-time Town Theatre participant, has now joined our staff in a full-time capacity. Megan has been on the Town stage in Mary Poppins, Miracle on 34th Street and Willy Wonka. She has worked at Town since 2016 in the box office and with our youth theatre program. She continues to wear several hats including serving as Assistant Director of Youth Theatre, serving as the lead arts faculty for our school theatre initiative and taking on additional administrative duties. Megan works alongside Scott Vaughan, whom we welcomed in late summer as our Youth Theatre Director, and Jeremy Reasoner, who continues in his role as Musical Director for Youth Theatre and Town’s private voice instructor.

MIXED EMOTIONS…

MIXED EMOTIONS…

It is with both sadness and excitement that we share the news that Jamie Harrington, Town’s long-time Youth Theatre Director, will be departing at the end of the summer. Jamie has accepted a job with Dutch Fork High School as a theatre educator. Jamie has been with Town for more than a decade instructing our youth as well as assisting our Technical Director and directing/performing in some of our main stage shows. We are truly happy that Jamie is off on another adventure and are grateful for her service to Town. While we will miss having her here, we are excited about the opportunity to partner with yet another theatre educator in the school system. We also are excited that she plans to be back as a main stage show director.

While we announce this departure, we welcome the arrival of Scott Vaughan who will take on the role of Youth Theatre Director. Scott currently serves as the theatre instructor at Satchel Ford Elementary School and, in this capacity, brings a tremendous wealth of knowledge and talent to the table. Scott has performed on the Town stage as well as throughout our local community and the country.

Our youth theatre program will continue to be served this year by Megan Douthitt, Assistant Director, and Jeremy Reasoner, Musical Director. We are excited to have this team together. Details for our fall 2018-2019 program may be found here.

In honor of Jamie, Town is establishing a scholarship fund that will allow students to participate in our youth theatre programs who financially may not be able to do so. If you would like to contribute to the fund in Jamie’s honor, you may donate here. Simply note your contribution is in honor of Jamie Harrington. Or, send your donation to Town Theatre, 1012 Sumter Street, Columbia, SC 29201 with an indication that your gift is for the scholarship fund.

Technical Theatre Internships Available

Town Theatre’s mission is to provide quality, live, family-oriented community theatre to the Midlands and beyond as well as to offer the foundation for those who wish to participate on stage or backstage. As such, we are offering up to four technical internship positions for the summer of 2018.

 Intern Duties:
~Assist with various aspects of the technical side of theatre.
~Participate actively in preparing for the summer production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.
~Work in one or more of the following areas: carpentry, stage lighting, engineering, scenic art and design.

Qualifications:
~Some experience in technical theatre.
~Should be flexible, creative, a team player, reliable, and have a good work ethic.
~Display a willingness to assist in load in/out, as artist liaison, and setup/tear down stage.
~These internships are ideal for candidates who are looking to study technical theatre and/or design in high school, Governor’s School or college.
~Candidates should be at least 14 years of age.

Time Commitment:
In general, interns will work from 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM Monday through Friday beginning June 4. We will not work the week of July 4. There may be some optional opportunities to work on weekends as well as backstage crew for the production which runs July 19 to 29. Time for vacations, etc. can be negotiated. Interns will receive at least 75 hours of scenic building, painting and lighting work on a realized production. Each intern’s ending date is flexible, but most should expect to work through the week of August 6.

Other Details:
Interns will be under the supervision of Danny Harrington, Technical Director. All technical internships are unpaid. Neither housing nor transportation is provided. College credit may be granted, but must be coordinated in advance with the intern’s university/college. Interns will work primarily at Town Theatre which is located at 1012 Sumter Street in downtown Columbia and at Town’s warehouse located off of Shop Road.

To apply:
Please send a letter of interest and, if available, your theatrical résumé to shannon@towntheatre.com no later than April 22. Selected applicants and their parents will be scheduled for an interview with Town’s Technical Director and Executive Director.

Leapin’ Lizards ~ Annie Jr. is Here!

Annie Jr. is a production of Town’s youth theatre program. Students meet once a week for a ten-week period and then come together for two weeks of full ensemble rehearsals. The result? A fantastic and energetic show which will delight audiences of all ages!

Based on the popular comic strip and adapted from the Tony Award-winning musical, Annie Jr. features everyone’s favorite redhead. With an equal mix of pizzazz and positivity, little orphan Annie is easy to fall in love with despite her meager start in a 1930s orphanage under the watch of Miss Hannigan.

Photo by Clayton King.
Photo by Clayton King.

Annie and her mutt, Sandy, are determined to find the parents who abandoned her years ago.  Ultimately she finds a new family with Daddy Warbucks and Grace Farrell.

Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for youth (17 and under) and seniors ($65+).

Photo by Clayton King.
Photo by Clayton King.

Shows times are ~
~Fri. Nov. 10 at 7 PM
~Sat. Nov. 11 at 3 PM
~Sat. Nov. 11 at 7 PM
~Sun. Nov. 12 at 3 PM

Call our box office beginning Monday, Oct. 30 at 12 noon for tickets OR go online at towntheatre.com.

Annie Jr. is directed by Jamie Harrington, with Megan Douthitt as assistant director and Jeremy Reasoner as music director. Lori Stepp is designing the costumes with Danny Harrington on set and lighting design. Town’s youth theatre program is generously sponsored by Colonial Life.

Technical Internships at Town

set buildTown Theatre Technical Internships

Town Theatre’s mission is to provide quality, live, family-oriented community theatre to the Midlands and beyond as well as to offer the foundation for those who wish to participate on stage or backstage. As such, we are offering up to four technical internship positions for the summer of 2017.

Intern Duties:
~Assist with various aspects of the technical side of theatre.
~Participate actively in preparing for the summer production of Willy Wonka.
~Work in one or more of the following areas: carpentry, stage lighting, engineering, scenic art and design.

Qualifications:
~Some experience in technical theatre.
~Should be flexible, creative, a team player, reliable, and have a good work ethic.
~Display a willingness to assist in load in/out, as artist liaison, and setup/tear down stage.

These internships are ideal for candidates who are looking to study technical theatre and/or design in high school, Governor’s School or college. Candidates should be between the ages of 14 and 19.

Time Commitment:
In general, interns will work from 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM Monday through Friday beginning June 5. We will not work the week of July 4. There may be some optional opportunities to work on weekends as well as backstage crew for the production which runs July 21 to August 6.  Interns will receive at least 75 hours of scenic building, painting and lighting work on a realized production.

Other Details:
Interns will be under the supervision of Danny Harrington, Technical Director. All technical internships are unpaid. Neither housing nor transportation is provided. College credit may be granted, but must be coordinated in advance with the intern’s university/college. Interns will work primarily at Town Theatre which is located at 1012 Sumter Street in downtown Columbia and at Town’s warehouse located off of Shop Road.

To apply:
Please send a letter of interest and your theatrical résumé to Shannon Scruggs no later than April 24. Selected applicants and their parents will be scheduled for an interview with Town’s Technical Director and Executive Director.

#pureimagination… with Kimberly Hubbard

We were thrilled to hear from Kimberly Hubbard who is playing the role of Grandpa Joe in this weekend’s upcoming production of Willy Wonka Kids. Check out what she has to say.

hubbard“Hello! I’m Kimberly Hubbard. I’m excited to be playing Grandpa Joe in one of the casts of Willy Wonka Kids. For those of you not familiar with the story, Grandpa Joe accompanies Charlie on Willy Wonka’s factory tour – a tour that is filled with quirky turns and… a surprise ending!

Grandpa Joe has been a fun character for me, because not only does he get wheeled on stage while sitting in the bed with the other grandparents, he sings, dances, and flies in the air.

Throughout these last 10 weeks, the two casts of Willy Wonka Kids have learned lines, blocking, songs and dances. We are now in the final week of rehearsals which is one of the most exciting times for me. We get to wear our costumes, see the sets and go through our final runs of the show before showtime.

As always, Jamie Carr Harrington, our director, has done an amazing job of directing and choreographing our show. Now she and her staff are putting the final pieces together to make it a wonderful experience for the kids and an entertaining show for the audiences. I’m sure it will be fantastic.”

 

logo_200x200_000326Grab your tickets to see Kimberly and the other amazing kids in Willy Wonka Kids. Shows are Friday at 7; Saturday at 3 and 7 and Sunday at 3! Call 799-2510 to join us!

 

Kimberly Hubbard first performed at Town Theatre in 2010 as Orphan Kate in Annie.  Since then she has performed in regular season shows, summer shows, and the youth program at Town. Her past favorite youth program roles include Maleficent (Sleeping Beauty Kids), Fagin (Oliver Twist), and Drizella (Cinderella Kids). Last summer Kimberly completed SC Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities’ Discovery Program (Drama) and will participate this year in SCGSAH’s Academy program.