Opera/Music Theatre Workshop to present ‘The Merry Wives of Windsor’
Southeastern’s Opera/Music Theatre Workshop will present “The Merry Wives of Windsor,”
based on the Shakespeare play of the same name, on Thursday and Friday, Feb. 23 and
The performances are scheduled at 7:30 p.m., at the Columbia Theatre for the
Performing Arts in downtown Hammond.
“The Merry Wives of Windsor” by Otto Nicolai is set in the village and forest
of Windsor, which still exist today. However, to make Opera Workshop’s production
a bit more topical, explained Charles Effler, director of the Opera/Music Theatre
Workshop, this local version of the play is set in 1950s New Orleans.
“So instead of a tavern in the village of Windsor, theater goers will see Lafitte’s
Blacksmith Shop Bar on Bourbon St.,” Effler said. “Instead of a courtyard between
two of the character’s houses, there will be a sidewalk outside a wall of the St.
Louis Cemetery No. 1 near the French Quarter. A corner of Jackson Square will stand
in for Windsor Forest.
“The plot of the opera retains much of the action of the play,” he added. “Mrs.
Ford and Mrs. Page, the merry wives, both receive an identical love letter from the
old, unattractive, and corpulent Sir John Falstaff. They decide to teach him a lesson
and, at the same time, teach a different lesson to Mrs. Ford’s jealous husband. This
sets off a comic chain of events that occupies much of the opera.”
Effler said there is also a young couple in love: Fenton and Anne Page. Mrs.
Page prefers the strutting Dr. Cajus as a suitor; Mr. Page prefers the wealthy Mr.
“The wives finally decide that they’ve tortured Falstaff enough, except for one
last trick, which the husbands are in on – a masquerade will be held in Jackson Square
that night,” Effler continued. “Falstaff is to come dressed as the infamous pirate,
Jean Lafitte, but doesn’t know that the other revelers will be dressed as ghosts and
spirits. They torment the terrified Falstaff, but in the end he is forgiven. Anne
plays a trick on her parents and her unwelcome suitors, and elopes with Fenton.”
Opera Workshop welcomes back guest stage director Rachel M. Harris, who has directed
the productions “Opera by the Slice,” “La Perichole,” “Fairy Tales: Hansel & Gretel
and Cendrillon,” “Street Scene,” “Puccini: Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicci,” “Die
Fledermaus,” and “The Marriage of Figaro.”
The cast for the production includes guest artist Spancer Reichman of Austin,
Tex., as Falstaff; Alfred Harper of New Orleans as Mr. Ford; Mrs. Ford is double cast
with Sara Cage of Baton Rouge and Rachel Dengon of Jena; Brennan Simmons of Walker
as Mr. Page; double cast as Mrs. Page is Deondra Bell of Baton Rouge and Claire Putnam
of Mandeville. Other cast members include Elizabeth Langley of Mandeville as Ann Page;
Terelle Bibbins of Slidell as Fenton; Earl Poole of New Orleans as Dr. Cajus; and
Jody Bennett of Lake Charles as Mr. Slender.
Members of the chorus are Anne Labranche, Abita Springs; Imari Simmons, Baton
Rouge; Wesley Newton, Bourg; Hannah Turner, Central; Cody Sires, Chalmette; Kaylin
Guillory, Covington; Carley Duet, Cutoff; Jeremy Guillot, Denham Springs; Seth Guerra,
New Orleans; Regan Adcock, Derik Tran, and Ryan Pitre, Pearl River; and Cheyenne Moore,
Effler will serve as musical director and conductor, and Department of Fine and
Performing Arts faculty members Jeff Mickey will design the set and Benjamin Norman
will design the lighting. Costume design is by Nicole Watts.
Advance tickets are available at the Columbia Theatre box office Monday through
Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will also be available one hour prior to each performance.
Ticket prices are $21 for adults; $16 for seniors, Southeastern faculty/staff and
non-Southeastern students; and $8 for children 12 and under. Southeastern students
are admitted free of charge with their university ID.
For more information about the Opera/Music Theatre Workshop contact Effler at
Southeastern Dance to present concert named ‘Untitled’
Southeastern’s resident student dance company, Dance Performance Project, will present
“Untitled” on Feb. 22 and 23 at 7:30 p.m. in Vonnie Borden Theatre located in D Vickers
Hall on campus.
The production is directed by Director of Dance Skip Costa.
“Dance Performance Project’s concert ‘Untitled’ is intentionally named, as all
dances remain nameless so that the audience makes their own interpretation of the
choreography being presented,” said Costa.
Dancers performing in the production include Forrest Duplantier, Covington; Hayley
Jordan, Baton Rouge; Alexis May and Brianna Denmark, Denham Springs; Morgan Georgetown,
Baker; Fonzy Vasquez, Marrero; Sophia Miano, Garyville; Shelby Johnson, Houma; Cierra
Calloway, Houma; Ireiell Hawkins, New Orleans; Demi Wells, Amite; Ashley Barbarin,
White Castle; and Alaura Cervini, Metairie.
Tickets for “Untitled” are $8 for students, seniors, and children, $10 general
admission, and will be available in the D Vickers box office the evening of each performance.
For more information, contact Costa at email@example.com.
Southeastern professor receives LEH Literacy Award
Southeastern Professor of English Richard Louth was selected as recipient of the
2017 Light Up for Literacy Award by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities.
It is the second LEH award Louth has earned. He was recognized in 2001 with the
LEH Special Humanities Award.
As director of the Southeastern Louisiana Writing Project, an initiative he founded
in 1992, Louth is devoted to improving the teaching of writing at all academic levels.
The SLWP is part of the National Writing Project, a network of “teachers teaching
teachers” about writing in all grade levels and disciplines. The program works with
teachers through annual summer institutes, as well as through workshops, writing retreats,
and writing marathons held each year.
Louth is also founder of the New Orleans Writing Marathon, where participants
under his guidance write across the city in small groups for hours or days at a time.
New Orleans-style writing marathons now take place in schools, cities, and National
Writing Project sites across the country, and have been an annual feature at the Tennessee
Williams Festival in New Orleans for four years.
A member of the Southeastern faculty since 1978, Louth is a recipient of the
Southeastern President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, one of the highest honors
the university presents to faculty. He also received the College of Arts and Sciences’
award for Teaching Excellence the first year it was offered in 1991 and served as
Southeastern’s Distinguished Professor of Arts and Sciences from 1997 to 2000.
The LEH is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing educational opportunities
for all residents in the state. The award will be presented April 13 at the 2017 Bright
Lights Award Dinner at the Shaw Center for the Arts in Baton Rouge. The event is sponsored
by Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser and Entergy Louisiana.
Eating healthy on Valentine’s Day
Southeastern’s Employee Wellness Committee sponsored a demonstration last week to
emphasize healthy eating on Valentine’s Day. Nutrition instructors Christie Martin
and Heather Dykes provided healthy advice on modifying recipes to reduce bad fats
and sugar, while increasing vitamins and nutrients.
Among the treats offered to faculty and staff attendees were Black Bean Brownies,
homemade granola, and healthy guacamole. The presentation was made in the Family and
Consumer Science nutrition lab, which has recently been updated with a grant from
the Louisiana Board of Regents.
EATING HEALTHY DEMONSTRATION - Christie Martin, left, and Heather Dykes demonstrate preparation of Black Bean
Southeastern to sponsor Sustainability Day with tours of center
The Southeastern Sustainability Center will celebrate Sustainability Day Wednesday,
Feb. 22, with educational tours of the high-tech facility for junior high and high
“We offer tours to area schools as a hands-on learning experience on alternative
energy techniques, providing students with opportunities to learn more about the sustainability
techniques that are available,” said Carlos Doolittle, manager of grounds, landscaping
and recycling at Southeastern.
The 90-minute tours will be offered at 9 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the center,
which is operated by the Southeastern Office of Physical Plant Services. The center
is located at 2101 North Oak Street. Schools are asked to pre-register for the free
tours on Sustainability Day or any other day by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 549-5172.
The center opened several years ago to provide an educational facility for university
students as well as generate financial savings for the university. The award-winning
center, which also is now a teaching resource available to the public, is a demonstration
site to assist students in learning more about renewable energy, recycling and waste
reduction, plant biology and other sustainable technologies.
Features include a plant propagation area that uses rainwater runoff for irrigation;
technologically-strong classrooms for energy engineering technology study; and an
educational outreach center powered by solar, wind and hydrothermal energy.
The facility also features projects that demonstrate biofuel technology, a mobile
gasification unit that turns woody products into electricity, and a rainwater collection
unit for non-drinking water purposes.
SUSTAINABILITY CENTER TOURS – Elementary school students learn about solar power and other alternative energy
methods at a tour of Southeastern’s Sustainability Center. The center will offer educational
tours for junior high and high school students on the university’s celebration of
Sustainability Day, Wednesday, Feb. 22. Tours on that day or at other times can be
arranged by calling 549-5172.
Students turn out for Literary Rally, Rock ‘n Roar
More than 3,400 students from 85 different high schools converged on Southeastern
Saturday for the Southeast Louisiana District Literary Rally and Rock ‘n Roar, the
university’s annual campus-community festival. The event featured departmental information
exhibits. Pictured, Mohamed Zeidan, left, assistant professor of Engineering Technology,
talks about robots with Leith Reardon of Mandeville.
‘T.B.A’ – Science on Tap presents ‘Stealth Talk’ by Southeastern Physicist
The fact that many students and the general public fail to show up for scientific
presentations – thinking the title, speaker, or subject isn’t of any interest to them
– will be the topic at Southeastern’s next Science on Tap presentation on Tuesday,
Sponsored by the Department of Biological Sciences, the presentation titled “T.B.A.”
by Associate Professor of Physics David Norwood will be held at 7 p.m. at Tope La
Catering, 113 East Thomas St. in Hammond. The lecture is free and open to all ages.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Norwood contends that simply considering the subject or speaker can be short-sighted,
even for someone with decades of experience in science.
“The most memorable talk I ever heard was about milk; the second most memorable
was about the rings that are left when a water spot evaporates,” said Norwood. “I
recently heard a great lecture about salamanders, which you may think would have little
interest for a physicist.”
So now Norwood, an experimental physicist who works in the “fuzzy area” where
physics and chemistry overlap, has decided to present what he calls “stealth talks.”
Moving forward, many of his presentations will be on topics unknown to attendees until
“My presentations that night will be stealth talks ‘To Be Announced’ or T.B.A.;
you’ll have to be there to learn the topic,” he said.
For information on this or future Science on Tap presentations, contact the Department
of Biological Sciences at 549-3740.
Center for Faculty Excellence News
As part of The Center for Faculty Excellence’s “Celebrate” initiative, the month of
February is dedicated to the celebration and recognition of the College of Arts, Humanities
and Social Sciences. Students, faculty, staff, and visitors left “Thank You” messages
on the college appreciation banner, which was presented to the College of Arts, Humanities
and Social Sciences Dean, Dr. Karen Fontenot.
The College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences is committed to providing
students with an intellectually stimulating and challenging experience in the classroom,
research lab, art studio, concert hall, and stage. The faculty is dedicated to engaging
students in their disciplines, developing their intellect and creativity, and offering
educational opportunities to increase their future success.
THANK YOU BANNER - Pictured with the banner are Karen Fontenot, Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities
and Social Sciences and Moodle Administrator Mark Terranova.
University Police to hold RAD Class
The University Police Department will offer a Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) class
for women in the community March 25-26. The class is open to women ages 12 and over
interested in learning active defense techniques and other useful safety skills.
“The RAD System of Physical Defense is currently being taught at many colleges
and universities and in communities throughout the United States, Canada, and globally
in countries across three continents,” said Southeastern Sergeant Will Smith. “Women
from 12 to over 65 have completed the RAD course and all have gained useful information
and skills to help them stay safe.”
The class will be held at a confidential location on or near Southeastern’s main
campus in Hammond. Space is limited and priority will be given to Southeastern participants,
although all women in the community are welcome.
Enrolled Southeastern students and current Southeastern employees are admitted
free. Students and employees may bring one guest at a charge of $25.
For more information or to register for the class, e-mail Sgt. Smith at RAD@southeastern.edu.