News Release

Chuck Effler and Jordan Leggett

Cast chosen for Southeastern Opera Workshop's "Pirates of Penzance"

Contact: Tonya Lowentritt


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     HAMMOND – Lock up your daughters – the pirates are coming to town! For Fanfare 2011, Southeastern’s Opera/Music Theatre Workshop will present Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic operetta, “The Pirates of Penzance.” 
     The musical theatre team of W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan were kings of the worldwide musical theater scene in the late 19th century. Their comic, topsy-turvy operettas were performed all over England, the United States, Canada and Europe. 
     Performances will be held Wednesday through Saturday, September 28 – 30 and October 1 at 7:30 p.m. in the Pottle Music Building Auditorium. General admission advance tickets are available at the Columbia Theatre box office at 220 E. Thomas Street, (985) 543-4371. Ticket prices are $16 for adults and $13 for seniors, Southeastern faculty/staff and non-Southeastern students. Southeastern students are admitted free of charge with their ID.
     “There are organizations in England, Canada and the U.S. called Savoyards, named after the Savoy Theatre in London, which were built specifically for Gilbert and Sullivan productions. Their sole purpose is to produce the operettas of Gilbert and Sullivan,” said Charles “Chuck” Effler, director of Opera/Music Theatre Workshop. “Light opera companies around the world perform the shows, and even large opera companies occasionally produce a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta. ‘Pirates of Penzance’ is one of their most popular works and was last seen in Hammond when Opera Workshop produced the show in 1995.”
     Opera Workshop welcomes back guest stage director Rachel M. Harris for this production. Harris has directed recent Opera Workshop productions of “The Marriage of Figaro,” “Die Fledermaus,” “Sour Angelica,” “Gianni Schicchi” and “Street Scene.”
Lead cast in the production are Damian Faul, Amite, as the Pirate King; Joshua Williams, Mandeville, as Frederic; BriAnna Dewar, Slidell, and Kristina Temple, Amite, as Mabel; Kayla Blanchard, Lafayette, and Mary Malbrough, Covington as Ruth; Brent Goodrich, Sulphur as Major General; and Jordan Leggett, Slidell, as Sergeant. 
     Joining them are Chase Ledet, Schriever, and Bernard McPherson, Nurnberg, Germany, as Samuel; Kim Dupre, Luling, and Amanda Lucas, Albany, as Edith; Heather Hand, Denham Springs, and Kelly Todd, Houma, as Kate; and Anastasiia Ped,  Hammond, and Alexandra Mejia, Bush as Isabel.
     The General’s Daughters will be played by Annie Balfour, Folsom; Sarah Bertrand, Covington; Joy Clark, Central; Jordan Cressy, Mandeville; Karista Filopoulos, Abita Springs; Mindy Guidroz, Houma; Provence Hatfield, Amite; Tyler Lange, Slidell; Bethany Putnam, Mandeville; and Kayla Turner, Hammond.
     Serving as policemen are Devonte’ Bryant, Amite; Charles Daussin, Hammond; Justin Mihalik, Geismar; Andrew Johnson, Destrehan; and Robert Roy, Lacombe.
Pirates are Daniel Duensing and Todd Melancon, Prairieville; Lawrence Joiner, Loranger; and Jeremy Lloyd, Baton Rouge; and Leon Moore, Byhalia, Miss.
     Effler will serve as vocal coach and conductor, while Department of Fine and Performing Arts faculty and staff members Steve Schepker (set design) and Ellen Sovkoplas (lighting design) will provide their expertise to the production. Bridget Lyons of Ponchatoula will serve as stage manager.
     For more information about the Opera/Music Theatre Workshop, contact Effler at

SOUTHEASTERN PRESENTS ‘PIRATES OF PENZANCE – Charles “Chuck” Effler, left, director of the Southeastern Louisiana Univeristy Opera/Music Theatre Workshop, coaches student Jordan Leggett of Slidell in early rehearsals for “The Pirates of Penzance.” The production will run on campus Sept. 28 – Oct. 1.

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