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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.

Annual meeting

From the Board of Governors

The Columbia Stage Society will hold the annual meeting on Tuesday, August 25 at 5:30 PM at Town Theatre. At this time, members of the Board will be elected. All persons who hold memberships with the Theatre for the 101st season are eligible to vote. Due to COVID, those wishing to attend should email shannon@towntheatre.com so that we can ensure social distancing.

“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

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.

Who is going Into The Woods?

Ruth Glowacki

Meet Ruth Glowacki ~ our Giant. Having never been considered tall, or even medium height, it is happy irony to be giving voice to The Giant! Some favorite performances include The Soothsayer in Julius Caesar, Hannah in Newsies, Lt. Shrank and Glad Hand in West Side Story, Beline in The Imaginary Invalid, a gargoyle & the madam in Hunchback of Notre Dame, Gym Teacher & Prison Guard in Hairspray, Mrs. Bennett in Pride & Prejudice, Quince in A Midsummer Night’s Dream,  Mrs. Parker in A Christmas Story, Lady Montague in Romeo and Juliet, Mrs. Lambchop in Flat Stanley and Actress One in The Dining Room.

Debi Young

Meet Debi Young ~ Cinderella’s Mother/Granny. This production of Into the Woods marks Debi’s 55th community theatre production. Ironically, she played “Little Red’s Granny” in Workshop Theatre’s 1995 production. Debi is a retired public-school music educator and currently teaches private voice and piano at On Stage Productions in Lexington, SC. In addition to being passionate about all things theatre, she is also passionate about cats, reading, and staying active. Thanks to everyone involved in the show!!!

Erin Godfrey

Meet Erin Godfrey ~ Cinderella. Erin is thrilled to have the opportunity to step back onto the stage at Town. Erin grew up in New Jersey but is currently a junior psychology major and business minor at the University of South Carolina. Erin would like to thank David, Augie and Joy for giving her such an amazing opportunity and for all their hard work. Erin also would like to thank Mom; Dad; and her sisters Amanda, Bridget, Rachael, and Mia for being her biggest source of stability and strength.  

Jacob Cordes

Meet Jacob Cordes ~ Cinderella’s Prince and the Wolf. Jacob is a former student at the University of South Carolina Honors College, majoring in Vocal Performance. His first musical theatre production was Town’s West Side Story in 2018, and Into the Woods will be his third show with Town, in addition to performing Heathers at Trustus this summer. Jacob is excited to perform his first solo in a musical.

Jerryana Williams-Bibiloni

Meet Jerryana Williams-Bibiloni ~ Rapunzel. Jerryana was last seen on Town Theatre’s stage as Miss Honey in Matilda. As a junior Vocal Performance Major at the University of South Carolina she has performed with numerous ensembles and as a soloist in various styles both domestically and internationally. She also serves at St. John’s Episcopal Church as a Choral Scholar and leader of St. John’s Music Makers. Jerryana wishes to thank all her family and friends for encouraging her passion and putting up with her hectic schedule.

Anthony Sampedro

Meet Anthony Sampedro ~ Rapunzel’s Prince. Anthony has been singing in choral and other vocal groups for nearly 16 years. A former member of the Blythewood High School Acabengals as well as USC’s Carolina Gentlemen a Cappella. Anthony enjoys singing all styles from classical and Broadway to pop and jazz. Anthony enjoys fencing, tabletop roleplaying games, and entertaining in all forms. This is his first community theatre production. 

Rachel Glowacki

Meet Rachel Glowacki ~ one of our Stepsisters. Rachel is very excited to be going Into the Woods! She has studied, voice, tap, ballet, musical theatre and lyrical dance. She has been a dance captain, choreographed, staged managed and performed in productions at Town Theatre, Chapin Community Theatre, Columbia Children’s Theatre, Workshop Theatre, and with the South Carolina Shakespeare Company. Favorite roles include Baby Louise (Gypsy) Lucinda (Into the Woods), The Mad Hatter (Shrek), Star-to-Be (Annie), Louison (Imaginary Invalid) and Jetsam (The Little Mermaid). A big thanks to everyone involved in this fantastic show!

Irene Baerwalde

Meet Irene Baerwalde ~ Jack’s Mother. Before becoming a wife and mother, Irene went to school for musical theatre and vocal performance.  She has performed in My Fair Lady, Jesus Christ Superstar, as well as various choral performances.  After becoming a mother, Irene chose to focus on entertaining her kids and their friends, instead of focusing on entertaining the masses.  Over the past 16 years, she has performed for her church, on their praise and worship team.  This is will be her first community theatre production.

Robert Dooley

Meet Robert Dooley ~ our Steward. Robert is excited to be making his Town Theatre debut in his first Stephen Sondheim show, Into the Woods. He would like to thank David for giving him this opportunity and everyone at Town for being amazing. Robert’s next show will be Carousel with Opera at USC in the spring semester 2020. When not performing in the theatre, Robert can be found singing with the Midlands Men’s Choir. Robert would like to thank his AMAZINGLY PATIENT husband, Chess, who keeps the house running and the dogs walked while Robert is off running through “the woods.”

Abigail Frier

Meet Abigail Frier ~ one of the Stepsisters. Abigail has been doing theatre for 5 years and is very excited about her first show at Town Theatre. She has attended both of the South Carolina Governors School for the Arts and Humanities summer programs and hopes to go into the residential program next school year. Some of the recent shows she has performed include Heathers, Wizard of Oz, Annie, and Alice in Wonderland Jr

Billy Bishop

Meet Billy Bishop ~ the Baker! Billy draws on extensive theatrical experience and vocal training from Mercer University. Billy completed a Master of Music degree in Church Music at Mercer’s Townsend School of Music in 2012, where he also received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Music in 2009. Billy’s stage credits include the roles of Amos (Chicago), Ernie Cusak (Rumors), William Gillette (The Game’s Afoot), the Ghost of John Barrymore (I Hate Hamlet), Ben Hecht (Moonlight and Magnolias), Leonato (Much Ado About Nothing), John Dickinson (1776), Isidor Straus (Titanic), Uncle Max (The Sound of Music),and the Trunchbull (Matilda). When not on stage, Billy remains active at Town Theatre as a costumer and serves Northside Memorial Baptist Church as Minister of Music. Many thanks to Makaela Clark for supporting me in this endeavor even in the midst of planning our upcoming wedding in December.

Lisa Baker

Meet Lisa Baker who portrays the Witch. Lisa is excited to be making her debut on the Town Theatre stage! A 26-year veteran music teacher/director in Lexington, Lisa has most recently performed in Heathers: The Musical (Mrs. Fleming), Hairspray (Velma) and Shrek (Gingy). She would like to thank her family for all their love, support and encouragement to get back on the stage this last year, and to David and Augie for giving her the opportunity to play one of her ‘dream roles’.

Kristen Bales

Meet Kristen Bales ~ the evil Stepmother ~ Kristen is ECSTATIC to return to the Town Theatre family. She previously played Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz when she was only 14 years old (time sure has flown by!). She has enjoyed performing as sweet, kind characters in productions throughout middle school, high school, and college; however, she is definitely having a wonderful time as the snobby Stepmother. Kristen is the chief financial crimes prosecutor at the Fifth Circuit Solicitors Office and she genuinely loves tackling mountains of paperwork. Kristen thanks her family and friends for all their love and support – especially her Mom, who encouraged her to rekindle her love of musical theatre. 

Ayden Wunderlich

Meet Ayden Wunderlich ~ Jack. Ayden is a Sophomore at the University of South Carolina currently studying History. He has been involved with school and community theatre since the age of 6 when he was cast as an orphan in a production of Oliver! His roles here at Town have included Archie in Hairspray and, more recently, Specs in Newsies. He is incredibly proud of this talented cast and thankful for the opportunity to perform for all of you!

Elise Heffner

Meet Elise Heffner ~ our Red Riding Hood. Elise is thrilled to be taking on one of her dream roles with this amazing cast and production team. Elise was seen in Town’s centennial season opener of West Side Story, has been a part of many of our backstage crews and has served for two years as a Town Theatre Summer Technical Intern. She thanks her family for their endless support, and most importantly her mom for always believing in her. She hopes you all enjoy the show and learn that achieving your dreams is only the beginning.

Hannah Thompson

Meet Hannah Thompson ~ our Baker’s Wife. Hannah is thrilled to be making her Town Theatre debut! She graduated from Belmont University with a degree in music education and recently earned her master’s degree in voice performance from The University of South Carolina School of Music. She was part of Opera at USC as the Fox in Janaček’s The Cunning Little Vixen and as a Street Singer in Bernstein’s MASS. Last summer she made her international debut as Sister Genevieve in Puccini’s Suor Angelica with the Varna International Academy.

Jeremy Hansard

Meet Jeremy Hansard ~ our Narrator/Mysterious Man. Jeremy remembers falling in love with Into the Woods when it aired on PBS in 1993 and is so glad it has finally come to Town. Other favorite roles on this stage have been Bert (Mary Poppins) and Edward Bloom (Big Fish). He is grateful for his Trinity Baptist Church Cayce family where he is Music Pastor and dearly loves the biggest Into the Woods fans he knows – his wife, Cindy, and daughters, Jillian, Jenna and Julie!

On Becoming Dolly…

We invited our two leading ladies… Kathy Hartzog and Lee Martin… to share a few thoughts on their road to Yonkers and what it meant to play such an iconic role.

Lee: “Dolly Levi, that’s right Mrs. Dolly Levi born Gallagher ~ social introductions, ladies and gentlemen, of excellent family!” This is how we are first introduced to the one and only DOLLY LEVI! What an introduction! Playing Dolly has always been a role that I always wanted after I saw THE Barbara Streisand portray her in the movie as a child. As I began studying Dolly, I realized that she is one amazing woman. She is a hustler, a nurturer, a puppet master, a devoted widow and an all-around woman who wants to be whole again. The loss of her husband changed her life completely. She had to figure things out on her own which led her to become a jack of all trades.”

Kathy: “Well, where to start? Late in June, I auditioned for this show and what I consider the role of a lifetime. I researched the character extensively but ultimately came to the realization that the actresses who came before me must have come to the same conclusion as I did. I had to find my own voice. Carol Channing, Bette Midler, Bernadette Peters, Betty Buckley and numerous other big names who performed the role of Dolly through the years were completely different and fresh in their interpretations. Not one was the same as the other! Channing was brash and delightful, Bette Midler was larger than life, Betty Buckley was charming and decided to focus on Dolly’s Irish background by using a soft Irish brogue in her performance, whereas Barbra Streisand was decidedly well, Barbra Streisand, using a strong Jewish characterization and New York accent. All of this helped me immensely in knowing what I had to do. I had to be true to myself as an actress but find the sweetness and vulnerability and quiet determination that was inherent in Dolly.”

Lee: “I found myself really relating to Dolly in the sense of feeling unease if something were to happen to my spouse. I can also relate to learning how to figure things out on your own. I stopped working to stay home and raise my children. My husband’s job is very demanding and has caused us to move around the country more often than most. It has also had us rethink our career paths a few times. That being said, Dolly’s acknowledgment of just being tired of constantly being worried about money can be heard in several of her intimate monologues to her deceased husband Ephraim. Although he has passed, he is still very present in her life. She constantly refers to his sayings and asks for him to let her live again!” “Dolly has learned to figure things out the hard way. In that time, she found that she was not necessarily enjoying life and was just living to survive while giving of herself to everyone. In the end, she realizes that is no way to live and so she “decides to rejoin the human race.” As a woman and an actor, I admire Dolly’s spunk, tenacity and vigor!

Kathy Hartzog as Dolly Levi ~ GoFlashWin.com

Kathy: “One song that spoke volumes to me that I immediately had an emotional attachment to ‘Before the Parade Passes By.’ Dolly sings, ‘I’ve got to get in step while there is still time left before the parade passes by.’ Wow! That sums up the character so completely and spoke to me on a personal level as well. It’s the one time in the entire show that you really see and hear Dolly’s vulnerability and see her tenacity. I can absolutely relate to this sentiment on so many levels and I hope that my interpretation of that song carries over the footlights to the audience because, for me, that is the pinnacle of everything I do on stage and in life.”

Lee: “I agree with Kathy on the importance of the song, ‘Before the Parade Passes By.’ I consider it Dolly’s moment of enlightenment, her anthem. It articulates all the emotions she has been feeling since the loss of her husband and her desire to live life again. It provides a picture of what she believes life could be if she ‘rejoined the human race.’ The song is preceded by a monologue she gives to Ephraim begging for him to let her go but she also asks for him to give her away. The song begins as a slow melancholy acknowledgment of what she wants. As the song continues Dolly’s excitement grows as she pictures all the wonderful things that can happen with her new take on life. I love this song because it is an anthem for anyone who does not want life to pass them by anymore!

Kathy: “I feel so fortunate to have a someone like Lee Martin share the role with. To have that sisterhood and to share the same challenges and moments of self-doubt with someone who was going through the exact same things I was more than I could have hoped for. Lee said it in an interview once, that it could have felt like an ongoing “call back” or competition  but it didn’t because we’re both in it together to produce the best show possible and for each of us to find our Dolly voice in our own unique way.”

Ahearn-Chalfant, Goins and Parks to Join to Theatre Board

Left to right: Ahearn-Chalfant, Goins, Parks

Town Theatre is pleased to welcome Pamela Ahearn-Chalfant, Dr. Felicia L. Goins and Craig Parks to the Board of Governors for the Columbia Stage Society.

Pamela Ahearn-Chalfant began volunteering at Town Theatre 12 years ago when her daughters became involved on stage. This “family affair” continued as she and her girls have performed, crewed, assisted with classes, and stage-managed at Town. Pamela’s professional experience has been in teaching, leadership development and sales. She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan (BA Ed. ’88), and her graduate degree from the University of South Carolina (MA School Leadership ’99). Pamela taught in schools in Los Angeles County, Ann Arbor, Michigan, and South Carolina, and she also homeschooled her children for 15 years.  Pamela has long been involved in nonprofit work, volunteering for a variety of nonprofits around the country.  Some of her favorite nonprofits besides Town Theatre include the Los Angeles homeless shelter Jovenes and Atlanta-based Curing Kids Cancer.

Dr. Felicia L. Goins was born and raised in Washington, D.C.  She is a graduate of George Washington University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree and she received her Doctor of Dental Surgery from Howard University College of Dentistry. Dr. Goins completed her advanced training in Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital National Medical Center and received her Certificate of Pediatric Dentistry from Georgetown University School of Dentistry. She is well decorated having earned many accolades and honors in dentistry. Dr. Goins is extremely dedicated to the community. She co-founded the Links Inc. Dental Sealants Program at W.A. Perry Middle, the Health Reach Program at Prisma Health Tuomey Regional Medical Center and has served on many boards including the YWCA of the Upper Lowlands, Sumter Museum of Art, Tuomey Hospital Foundation, Kershaw County Historical Society, Heathwood Hall Episcopal School and The Columbia Chapter of Links. She was also a Board member of the University of South Carolina Commission on Higher Learning and continues to be a member at Wake Forest University College Board of Visitors. In 2006, Governor Mark Sanford appointed Dr. Goins to the South Carolina State Board of Dentistry where she served until 2015. Since 2004 she has been a member of the State Dental Board Disciplinary Panel. For the past 16 years, Dr. Goins has administered the Pediatric Dental Specialty Examination for the South Carolina State Dental Board. She also serves on the Executive Board of the South Carolina Ac of Pediatric Dentists and has been a member of the South Carolina Dental Association Medicaid Ad Hoc Committee since 1999.  Dr. Goins has been a proud sponsor of March of Dimes and the Special Olympics for many years. She and her family established the Will Moreau Goins Memorial Fund at Town Theatre in honor of her late brother who performed at Town for 20 years.

Craig Parks is Director of Public Affairs and Advocacy for the University of South Carolina, serving as a link between the university system, elected officials and other stakeholders across the state, helping to match the university’s strategic plan with the needs of the South Carolina.  Prior to joining USC in 2018, Craig served as Assistant Director for Tax Policy for the South Carolina Senate Finance Committee and was the committee’s Senior Budget Analyst for Higher Education, capacities in which he was responsible for state tax policy and higher education finance analysis and development. In 2009, Craig was selected as lead staffer for the South Carolina Tax Realignment Commission, an independent blue-ribbon panel charged with assessing the effectiveness of the state’s tax structure. Before moving to the State Senate in January 2006, Craig was a Fiscal Policy Analyst with the SC Board of Economic Advisors, Budget and Control Board from 2000 to 2005, and he also worked as a Labor Market Analyst at the SC Department of Employment and Workforce from 1999 to 2000 after finishing graduate school. Craig received his bachelor’s degree, cum laude, in Government from Wofford College and his master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of South Carolina. In 2010, Craig was named Wofford College “Young Alumnus of the Year” and in 2011, was appointed by Richland County Council to serve on the Hospitality Tax Advisory Committee, a committee on which he served for many years, including serving several terms as Chairman. Craig is married to Amy, his wife of 19 years, and they have four children, Anna Grace (14), Coleman (11), Addyson Virginia (8), and Margaret Heyward (1).



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.