Ventriloquist, opera, lectures, dance and film highlight Fanfare's first week

Friday, September 23, 2016 Impaired Faculties
by: Tonya Lowentritt

SOUTHEASTERN’S FANFARE BEGINS 31ST SEASON – The 31st season of Southeastern Louisiana University’s Fanfare opens this week. This year’s Then and Now Lecture series features the members of the all-Southeastern faculty band “Impaired Faculties.” The group is also performing a benefit concert for Fanfare on Nov. 5 at 7:30 p.m. at the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts. Pictured, from left are Communication Professor Joe Burns, Professor of Management Randy Settoon, History and Political Science Department Head William Robison, Assistant Dean of the College of Nursing and Health Science Ralph Wood, and Dean of the College of Science and Technology Dan McCarthy.

     HAMMOND – A ventriloquist, an opera, lectures, a dance production and film festival are just some of the events providing the opening flourish for the 31st season of Fanfare, Southeastern Louisiana University’s annual October arts festival.
     “With over three decades of Fanfare, we are excited to continue the celebration of arts and culture that were at the heart of Fanfare’s beginning. Through this festival, our community has had access to many life-enriching events,” said Roy Blackwood, director of the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts and Fanfare.
     Kicking off with the opera “A Little Night Music,” the tradition of excellence will continue this year with everything from favorite events generated on the campus to nationally known acts, Blackwood said.
     Set in 1900 Sweden, “A Little Night Music” explores the tangled web of affairs centered around actress, Desirée Armfeldt, and the men who love her: a lawyer by the name of Fredrik Egerman and the Count Carl-Magnus Malcom. It is full of hilarious, witty and heartbreaking moments of adoration, regret and desire, and contains Stephen Sondheim’s popular song, the haunting “Send in the Clowns.”
     “A Little Night Music,” presented by the Southeastern Opera/Music Theatre Workshop, will be held Sept. 29 and 30 in the Columbia Theatre. Tickets are $21 for adults; $16 for seniors, faculty, staff, and non-Southeastern students; $8 for children 12 and younger; and free for Southeastern students with university ID.
     Oct. 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Columbia Theatre, the Louisiana Children’s Discovery Center, Entergy and Holly and Smith Architects are sponsoring an interactive children’s event called Building Blocks: If Kids Ruled the City. Scheduled at the Columbia Theatre, the event is an interactive experience where children 7 – 10, together with their parents and siblings and aided by architects and university students, get to build a small scale version of their ideal city.
     “This is an educational event intended to introduce kids and their families to the importance of design and planning in community development,” Blackwood said. “Admission is free, and participants are asked to bring a cardboard box.”
     On Oct. 5, the Department of History and Political Science’s free “Then and Now Lecture Series” officially kicks off its 16th presentation of free lectures. This year’s series features Southeastern’s all-faculty band, Impaired Faculties, and is dedicated to Blackwood.
     Southeastern Assistant Dean of the College of Nursing and Health Science, Professor of Health Studies, and Impaired Faculties drummer Ralph Wood will present the first lecture in the series, “Dirty Basements & Crowded Vans: American Punk Rock in the 80s.” Co-sponsored by the College of Nursing and Health Sciences and the Department of Kinesiology and Health Studies, the lecture will take place at 1 p.m. in Pottle Auditorium. Wood will discuss the bands, independent labels and dirty basements that shaped American punk rock in the 1980s and set the stage for the alternative rock explosion of the early 1990s.
     Next up is Southeastern Dance Performance Project presenting “Bayourella: A Story of Forgiveness” scheduled Oct. 5-7 at 7:30 p.m. in Vonnie Borden Theatre located in D Vickers Hall. The production is directed by Dance Instructor Skip Costa and will include original music performed live, original costume designs, and a set that includes a 25-foot dock over a bayou. All tickets are $5.
     A free lecture titled “A Journey through Slavery at Whitney Plantation” by Sengalese historian Dr. Ibrahima Seck is scheduled Oct. 6 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the Cate TEC Building, Kiva room 239. Seck is the academic director of the slavery museum at the Whitney Plantation.
     A free film screening is also scheduled on Oct. 6. “Hamilton’s America/PBS Arts Fall Film Festival” will be shown at 7 p.m. in Columbia Theatre.
     Columbia Theatre will present ventriloquist and comedienne Lynn Trefzger on Oct. 7 at 7:30 p.m. With a trunk full of zany characters that have accompanied her to stages throughout the country, Trefzger, and her many voices, have appeared on ABC, TNN, A&E, and Lifetime. Recently she was featured in a comedy/documentary about the art of ventriloquism with Jay Johnson and Jeff Dunham called “I’m No Dummy” by NBC Universal. Tickets for the kid-friendly performance range from $15 to $30. For more information, contact the Columbia Theatre box office at 985-543-4371.
     Fanfare tickets 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/Fanfare office at 985-543-4366 or visit

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