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TAG – Vonnie Borden Technical Director
Steve Schepker adjusts the stage lights in preparation for the open of
"Our Town" at the newly renovated theatre.
SLU VONNIE BORDEN
REOPENS WITH “OUR TOWN”
HAMMOND – On October 8, Southeastern
Louisiana Theatre will take an encore bow to history as it reopens its
newly renovated Vonnie Borden Theatre with “Our Town.” Thirty years ago,
the Thornton Wilder drama christened the new theatrical facility, then
called the Humanities Theatre.
Guests of the October 8-12 production
of “Our Town” will be just as pleased with Vonnie Borden’s facelift as
audiences were with the brand new performance hall back in March 1971.
“People would walk into Vonnie Borden
before this make-over and know it was built in the 1970s,” said the theater’s
technical director Steve Schepker. Schepker, associate professor of design
and technical theater, designed the set and lights for “Our Town.”
He also supervised the theater’s renovation which took about three weeks
during the summer.
“People will now notice a tremendous
difference. They’ll be pleasantly shocked,” Schepker said.
Gone are the gold shag walls, small
seats with swing out desks, and maroon carpet. Vonnie Borden now boasts
fresh paint, new green and taupe carpeting, and acoustic fabric decorating
the walls. Dark aisles have been illuminated with step lights. The most
popular feature of the renovation will undoubtedly be the larger seats,
“Patrons expect a little more room in
the theater now, in part to advancements in seating at newer, grand movie
theaters,” said Schepker. “The new chairs in Vonnie Borden are one inch
bigger. It has caused us to lose some seats, but when you’re talking comfort,
the loss in seats is worth it. That one inch makes all the difference in
To reduce wear and tear on the theater,
Schepker said it will no longer be used on a daily basis for university
classes, but will be reserved for plays, lectures and other events.
The curtains will rise for “Our Town,”
the nostalgic and beautiful look at small town life in 1901 America, in
Vonnie Borden at 7:30 p.m. nightly.
Starring in the Southeastern production
are: Jacob Zeringue of Bogalusa; Kelly Stone, Betsy Mayeux, Lauren Faraone,
Sean Gasser, Lauren Folks and Derek Barnes, Tiffany Long and Anthony Long,
Baton Rouge; Natalie Austin, Betty Turner, Erin Klein and Elsie Mae
Rogers, and Daniel Thomas, Ponchatoula. Alumnae Jeff Polito of Mandeville
will be a guest star.
Other cast members include Lee Jeansonne,
Dustin Diaz, Casey Saba and David Prejeant, Covington; Sean Curry, Hahnville;
Rusty Gregoire, Pumpkin Center; Terrance Walker, Loranger; Anastasia Wesley
& Darce’ Dorsey, New Orleans; and Kristi LeJeune, Joseph Luna, Ben
Norman, and Rachel Lee, Hammond.
Theater faculty member Kay M. Files
will serve as director, while Robin Steptoe and Schepker design the setting,
lighting and period costumes. Senior Jonathan Stelly is the stage manager.
Tickets for “Our Town” will be available
at the Vonnie Borden Theatre box office in D Vickers Hall beginning from
10 a.m. to 3 p.m. October 1 and at 6 p.m. on performance days. Tickets
may also be obtained by calling the box office at 985-549-2115.
Tickets are $5 general admission; $3
for students, faculty & staff, and senior citizens, and admission is
free for all Southeastern students with valid ID. All seating is
reserved. For more information, contact Files at 985-549-3546.