Southeastern's Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts brings back Pajamas and Play for 2015-16 season

Friday, September 25, 2015 Princess Thimbelina
by: Tonya Lowentritt

PAJAMAS AND PLAY - Southeastern Louisiana University's Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts is bringing back Pajamas and Play this season. A series designed especially for young children, Pajamas and Play will feature two performances this season - Bits 'N Pieces Puppet Theatre's Princess Thimbelina and Missoula Children's Theatre's Red Riding Hood.

a feature tailored specially for children
a feature tailored specially for children

     HAMMOND – Southeastern Louisiana University’s Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts’ youngest fans will get an extra treat this season.
     “We are bringing back Pajamas & Play, a feature tailored specially for children,” said Roy Blackwood, interim director of Columbia Theatre and Fanfare. “It’s a fun series designed to make theater performances especially accessible and appealing for children. Kids are invited to wear their pajamas, robes and slippers to the 60-minute performances, no matter the time.”
     Blackwood said Columbia will present two shows that youngsters will love – “Princess Thimbelina” by Bits ‘N Pieces Theatre, America’s giant puppet company, on Oct. 9, 2015, at 7 p.m. Missoula Children’s Theatre will present “Red Riding Hood” on April 16, 2016, at 2 and 5:30 p.m.
     “All children love bedtime stories. That’s what this is – only live,” Blackwood added. “We even plan to send the kids home with cookies and milk. Parents, all you’ll have to do is tuck them in.”
     First up is Bits ‘N Pieces Theatre presenting “Princess Thimbelina.” Specializing in the art of puppetry, Bits ‘N Pieces Theatre has produced 11 original, musical adaptations of classic children’s literature. Millions of children in the United States, Asia and Europe have seen their productions, which feature nine-foot-tall puppets, Blackwood said.
     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 features giant puppets, fanciful costumed characters and actress Holli Rubin as Princess Thimbelina.”     
     Following in the spring and back by popular demand is Missoula Children’s Theatre, the world’s largest touring children’s theatre. They will offer a week-long residency April 11-16 starring 50-60 local school age children in a full scale musical of “Red Riding Hood.”
     Blackwood said Missoula Children’s Theatre provides two professional actor/directors, five days of team building, 20 focused hours of rehearsal and approximately 60 cast members.
     “On Monday the children are cast as characters,” he said. “By Saturday they’ve gained character – the kind that really counts.”
     Tickets for “Princess Thimbelina” and “Red Riding Hood” are on sale at the Columbia/Fanfare box office, 220 E. Thomas Street, 985-543-4371. The box office is open Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and one hour prior to Columbia performances. For a complete schedule, contact the Columbia Theatre office at 985-543-4366 or visit

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