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Art, lectures, theater and music highlight Fanfare’s opening

An art exhibit, lectures, musical concerts and theater performances are just some of the events scheduled during the opening of the 38th season of Fanfare, Southeastern Louisiana University’s annual fall arts festival.

Tonya Lowentritt

September 20, 2023

t rex skull with ranger martin

HAMMOND – An art exhibit, lectures, musical concerts and theater performances are just some of the events scheduled during the opening of the 38th season of Fanfare, Southeastern Louisiana University’s annual fall arts festival.
     The 2023 Visual Arts + Design Faculty Exhibition is currently on display in the Contemporary Art Gallery on campus and will remain through Nov. 2. Gallery hours are Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., Wednesdays from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m., and Fridays from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m. An artist lecture is scheduled Oct. 6, at 3 p.m. in the gallery.
     The Southeastern English Department will present a Common Read Q and A with author Adrian Matejka on Sept. 25, from 11 a.m. until 12:15 p.m. in the Student Union Theatre. Matejka is the author of The Big Smoke, a collection of poems that was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. She will present a reading and hold a book signing that afternoon from 2 until 3:15 p.m. in the Student Union Theatre.
     Southeastern Theatre presents its first fall production, “Waiting for Lefty,” just in time for Fanfare Sept. 27 – 30. An American classic by Clifford Odets, “Waiting for Lefty” is directed by guest artist Leicester Landon and will be presented nightly at 7:30 p.m. in the KIVA on the second floor of the Teacher Education Center on Southeastern’s campus. Produced by The Impactful Group Theatre in 1935, the play revolves around a meeting of cab drivers planning a labor strike. Tickets are free for Southeastern students with university ID, $20 for general admission, and $15 for seniors,  Southeastern faculty and staff, military, and non-Southeastern students.
     Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts presents “Aladdin! Choose Your Own Arabian Night” in the Columbia Studio Theatre. Scheduled Sept. 28 and 29 at 7 p.m. and Sept. 30 at 2 p.m., the production is the creation of Columbia’s resident playwright Tommy Jamerson.
     Ever wished to control the fate of Aladdin and Genie? Well this time, it’s possible. This all-new, interactive play allows the audience to determine what happens next. No two performances are alike in this choose-your-own-adventure, world-premiere production. The play will be performed in Columbia’s Studio Theatre, so tickets will go quickly. Tickets are $25 general admission and $15 for students.
     Also on Sept.28, the Southeastern Wind Symphony will present “A Gershwin Celebration” with special guest Dr. Henry Jones. After graduating cum laude from Yale University in 1978, Jones was a free-lance vocal coach and accompanist in New York City for 10 years. His credits include choral performances at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, vocal recitals at Lincoln Center, musical director of a gymnastic exhibition at Madison Square Garden, and Broadway and Off-Broadway shows, including Evita, Jerome Robbins’ Broadway, and The Fantasticks. Scheduled at 7:30 p.m. in Pottle Auditorium, the concert is free.
     The first Then and Now Fanfare lecture from the History and Political Science Department is scheduled Oct. 4 at 2 p.m. in Pottle Music Recital Hall. Southeastern faculty member Joe Burns from the Department of Communication and Media Studies will present “What Was the First Music Video?”.
     “Video Killed the Radio Star” by the Buggles was the first video shown on MTV Aug. 1, 1981 at midnight. Was it the first music video, that is, after the Moonman intro, which had the MTV theme music, which was a video? Absolutely not,” Burns said. So what was the first music video? That is the question that Burns will attempt to answer in his lecture.
     Also on Oct. 4, the Southeastern Symphony Orchestra Concert is scheduled in Pottle Auditorium at 7 p.m. Admission is free.
     On Oct. 7, at 11 a.m., Columbia Theatre presents “The Dinosaur Experience Returns.” Ranger Martin, Rexi, and Nash are back with an all-new, original, interactive theatrical experience. VIP tickets include a chance to meet the dinosaurs up close, take pictures with them, and maybe even feed them. There will also be a Halloween costume contest for children ages 14 and under. The winning costume receives two tickets to Columbia’s Dec. 1 screening of “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” Tickets range from $15 to $30.
     Advance tickets are available online at, at the Columbia Theatre box office at 985-549-2787, Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and one hour prior to each performance.
     Fanfare events are free, unless otherwise noted. For more information, contact the Columbia/Fanfare office at 985-549-2999.


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