News Release

1)Pirates of Penzance2)David Benac

House of Blues art exhibit, two lectures and a musical classic highlight Fanfare's first week

Contact: Tonya Lowentritt


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1) THE PIRATES ARE COMING – Practicing their swordsmanship in rehearsals for Southeastern Louisiana University’s performance of “The Pirates of Penzance” are, center, Damian Faul of Amite, who plays the Pirate King, along with Lawrence Joiner of Loranger, left, and Bernard McPherson of Nurnberg, Germany. The Southeastern Opera/Music Theatre Workshop will present the Gilbert and Sullivan classic comic opera at the university’s Pottle Auditorium Sept. 28 – Oct. 1.

2) BENAC OPENS THEN AND NOW LECTURE SERIES– Southeastern Louisiana University’s Fanfare will present the first lecture in the 11th annual Then and Now Lecture Series on Monday, Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. at the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Maritime Museum in Madisonville. Historian David Benac will present “Conflict in the Ozarks: Life in a Lumber Town.”

     HAMMOND – The 11th annual International House of Blues Foundation Art Exhibit and a beloved musical are just some of the events providing the opening flourish for the 26th season of Fanfare, Southeastern Louisiana University’s annual October arts festival. This year Fanfare is sponsored exclusively by the Southeastern Student Government Association.
     Fanfare’s first full week also includes a German film and two “Then and Now” lectures about conflicts in the Ozarks and Jim Crow laws.
      From Sept. 28 to Oct. 1 at 7:30 p.m. in Pottle Auditorium, Southeastern Opera/Theatre Workshop will present Gilbert and Sullivan’s “Pirates of Penzance.”  
     “Described by Sir Arthur Sullivan himself as ‘exquisitely funny’ with music that is ‘strikingly tuneful and catching,’ this two-act comic operetta remains as fresh today as when it first thrilled audiences in 1879,” said Opera/Theatre Workshop Director Chuck Effler. “Join young Frederic, apprenticed to a band of tender-hearted pirates, in this story about law and order, love, misplaced children and the difficulties of being born on the extra day of a leap year.”
     Tickets are $16, adults; and $13, senior citizens, faculty, staff, alumni, and non-Southeastern students. Southeastern students are admitted free with their university I.D. The 11th annual International House of Blues Foundation Art Exhibit officially opens on Monday, Oct. 3, at 11 a.m. in the Grand Lobby of the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts. Each year area students create artwork using “found” or recycled materials. The artists are encouraged to depict significant events that have shaped their lives and world.     

     The artwork will remain on display each Monday, Wednesday and Friday in October from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. The exhibit is free and open to the public.
     Also on Oct. 3 the Department of History and Political Science’s Then and Now Lecture Series officially kicks off its 11th presentation at the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Maritime Museum, 133 Mabel Drive in Madisonville. Southeastern’s David Benac will present “Conflict in the Ozarks: Life in a Lumber Town.” 
     “Dr. Benac’s new book ‘Conflict in the Ozarks’ is powerfully reminiscent of the southeast Louisiana lumber history and exemplifies the Gilded Age labor conflict,” said Bill Robison, head of the Department of History and Political Science. “He describes the rapidly changing lives of lumber workers in the rugged Courtois Hills, where isolated late 19th century inhabitants subsisted on timber that soon drew in the Missouri Lumber and Mining Company.”
     A reception and book signing will follow the free 7 p.m. lecture.
On Tuesday, Oct. 4, the Southeastern Department of Languages and Communication will present “Kebab Connection,” a German film with English subtitles. Scheduled for 5:30 p.m. in the Student Union Theatre, the free film is rated “R,” and has a running time of 96 minutes. 
     “Kebab Connection is a crazy, comedic feast from directors Anno Saul and Faith Akin,” said Roy Blackwood, interim director of Columbia Theatre and Fanfare. “The recipe calls for two fast food stands, one Turkish and the other Greek, one frustrated filmmaker and a dash of intercultural love.”
     Wednesday, Oct. 5, will see the second free Then and Now lecture featuring Southeastern’s Edith Ambrose. Ambrose will present “Labor in Jim Crow New Orleans: Thar’s Reds in Them Thar Ba’Yous!” at 1 p.m. in Pottle Auditorium. 
     “The biggest challenge New Orleans labor organizers faced from 1920 to 1950 was the conflict of interest that pitted workers and their associations against one another, regardless of divisions in skill, race, or otherwise,” said Robison. “In rivalry for work and often led by unscrupulous union figures, the rank and file seemed always to lose out in the union movement.”
     Fanfare tickets are on sale at the Columbia/Fanfare box office, 220 E. Thomas Street, 985-543-4371. The box office is open Monday, Wednesday and 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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