Southeastern's Columbia Theatre announces new season, additional forms of entertainment

Thursday, August 27, 2015
by: Tonya Lowentritt or Rene AbadieJaimee Paul

NEW COLUMBIA SEASON ANNOUNCED AT LAST - The 2015-16 season of Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts has broadened its horizons, offering something for everyone with everything from live music to Broadway to Sherlock Holmes. The 2015-2016 season includes a performance of hot and cool jazz stylings in “The Jaimee Paul Quintet: At Last” on Feb. 24.

     HAMMOND – The 2015-16 season of Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts has broadened its horizons, offering something for everyone with everything from live music to Broadway to Sherlock Holmes.
     The season also boasts new entertainment genres, such as the new artist concert series, campus ensembles and silver screen cinema showings featuring the best of independent and classic movies on the big screen at the theatre, said Roy Blackwood, interim director of the Columbia Theatre.
     Movie screenings will be shown every other Monday and Tuesday from November 2015 through April 2016, while campus ensemble performances and new artist concerts will be scheduled throughout the season. Dates and additional information will be available soon at
     The Columbia season officially opens Sept. 24 with Southeastern Opera/Theatre Workshop’s presentation of “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.” Winner of five Tony Awards, the show is considered one of the funniest musicals in the history of theatre. Based on the 2000-year-old comedies of the Roman playwright Plautus with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart, the production promises fast paced hysteria, desperate love and mistaken identity. The production is scheduled on Sept. 24 and 25.
     Next on tap is a Pajamas and Play production from Bits ‘N Pieces Puppet Theatre on Oct. 9. Titled “Princess Thimbelina,” the classic Hans Christian Anderson fairytale tells the story of a little girl no bigger than a thumb.
     “Princess Thimbelina demonstrates you can find happiness if you have belief in what your heart tells you to be true,” said Blackwood. “Thimbelina and her menagerie of animal friends are featured in this original musical adaptation. The production also features giant puppets, fanciful costumed characters and actress Holli Rubin as Princess Thimbelina.”     
     Later in the season, on Oct. 27, patrons will be treated to a musical performance of “Broadway’s Next Hit Musical,” the only unscripted theatrical awards show. Blackwood said master improvisers gather made up, hit song suggestions from the audience and create a spontaneous evening of music, humor and laughter. The audience votes for their favorite song and watches as the cast turns it into a full blown improvised musical complete with memorable characters, witty dialogue and plot twists galore.
     Also in the theatre category is Aquila Theatre in “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” on Feb. 19. Legendary sleuth Sherlock Holmes takes the stage in this witty, fast-paced production.
     “The clever Holmes skillfully maneuvers the twisted web of London’s most intriguing cases with his split second deductions revealing intimate and useful details of a person’s life,” Blackwood said. “Sherlock Holmes is a master of disguise and a brilliant actor, as well as a composer and musician – is there anything he can’t do?”
     February also includes “The Jaimee Paul Quintet: At Last” on Feb. 24.
     “Join us for an evening of hot and cool jazz stylings presented by the dynamic Jaimee Paul Quintet,” Blackwood said. “Jaimee will perform a classic tribute to the great female vocalists of jazz and will take you away to the wonderful world of one of America’s most unique musical forms.”
     Rounding out the season and back by popular demand is Missoula Children’s Theatre, a traveling theatre troupe that casts 50-60 local children, rehearses for one week, and stages a full scale performance at the end of the week. This year’s production is “Little Red Riding Hood.” Missoula Children’s Theatre will be in town April 11-15.
     A compliment to the Columbia Theatre season, Fanfare, the university’s annual October celebration of the arts, humanities and social sciences, will feature many “home-grown” artists.    Fanfare will once again showcase music, theater, lectures, films, children’s events, art exhibits and more, highlighting the myriad of talent university faculty and students have to offer in Fanfare’s 30th season.
     The complete Fanfare schedule will be posted soon and updated regularly at For more information on the Columbia Theatre season, contact the administrative office at 985-543-4366 or log on to

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