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‘Shakespeare in the Swamp’ festival promises an evening with The Bard

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Helena, played by Ellyn Heald, left, and Flute, played by Chasen Schneider, will star in 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' in the Shakespeare in the Swamp production  at John Schneider Studios in Holden.

They’ll be trading British for Cajun accents when John Schneider Studios stages its Shakespeare in the Swamp festival this weekend. “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is on the bill for three performances — Friday through Sunday, Aug. 27-29 — in the studio’s converted barn theater, where Schneider will make a special appearance. But, Schneider’s… Continue reading →

‘Katrina’ actress, 14, is serious about her role: ‘They lost everything ... and I’m going to tell their story’

Photo provided by Maddgame Entertainment -- Maya Horton plays 14-year-old Katrina in UpStage Theatre's 'Katrina: The Girl Who Wanted Her Name Back.' 'I can only fathom what those kids went through,' says the young actress who was only 4 when the storm hit.

Maya Horton is 14, the same age of the leading character she plays in UpStage Theatre’s one-night production of Jason Tremblay’s drama, “Katrina: The Girl Who Wanted Her Name Back.” Curtains open at 6:30 p.m., Friday, Aug. 28, in the McKinley Middle Magnet School auditorium for this 10th anniversary commemoration of Hurricane Katrina. And playing… Continue reading →

Registration opens for fall dance workshop

Registration is open for the Regional Dance America/Southwest Fall Workshop scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 19, at the Dancers’ Workshop, 10745 Linkwood Court. This all-day intensive, hosted by the Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre, will provide dancers from throughout the region with the opportunity to train under the direction of the workshop’s regional artistic directors Mary Beth Arrington, of… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge arts calendar for Aug. 23, 2015

Here’s what’s happening in the area arts and cultural scene: Registration is open for the fall session of Southeastern Louisiana University’s Community Music School, which begins Monday, Aug. 31. Registration for the fall session will remain open throughout the semester and is open to students of all ages. The school offers private lessons on… Continue reading →

New Bang Bang group strives to serve 'underserved' theater community, debuts with dark comedy 'Stupid Kids'

Advocate staff photo by ROBIN MILLER -- Matt Reed, right, plays Jim the rebel and Hannah Daugharty plays Judy the popular girl in Bang Bang You're Dean Theatre's production of the dark comedy 'Stupid Kids,' opening Aug. 21 in Theatre Baton Rouge's Studio Theatre.

The way Neal Hebert sees it, the teens in John C. Russell’s “Stupid Kids” aren’t stupid at all. But they’re necessary, because they offer something that’s not always readily available in Baton Rouge’s theater scene — contemporary theater, the kind that doesn’t pull any punches. “It’s an underserved part of the theater community here,”… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge arts calendar for Aug. 16, 2015

Here’s what’s happening in the area arts and cultural scene: “Music from the Beatles, Summer of ’65,” will be performed by Ben Herrington and Friends, 3-5 p.m. today, Aug. 16, in the Manship Theatre in the Shaw Center for the Arts, 100 Lafayette St. The event will include an auction of signed instruments, photos and… Continue reading →

Merchants plan Mid City late night shopping event

Photo provided by Elizabethan Gallery -- Keith Douglas' 'Blues Heart, Echo Park' is among the artwork that will be featured at Elizabethan Gallery during t the Mid City Merchants' fifth annual summer art hop on Thursday, Aug. 20.

The Mid City Merchants association’s fifth annual summer art and shopping event, “A Mid City Night’s Dream,” is set for 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 20. At many of the featured businesses, local artists will be on hand, and some establishments will be unveiling new fall merchandise. There also will be live music, painting and… Continue reading →

Nature Center to host ‘Duck Duck Goose Day’

BREC’s Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center will host its annual “Duck Duck Goose Day” from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 22, at the center, 10503 N. Oak Hills Parkway. This event gives visitors a first-hand look at waterfowl decoy carving, an art form firmly rooted in Louisiana’s rich cultural heritage, by featuring some of the region’s… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge Gallery to spotlight three local artists

Photo provided by Chelsea Borruano -- In Amy James’ latest Baton Rouge Gallery show, 'Kin,' she documents her family's life cycle.

Three artists will talk about their work, now on exhibit at the Baton Rouge Gallery, at 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 9. In the gallery’s ARTiculate Artist Talk, artist members Amy James, Linda Jeffers and Brian Kelly will discuss their work, which is being featured through Aug. 27 at the gallery, 1515 Dalrymple Drive. Regular gallery hours are… Continue reading →

Arts calendar for August 9, 2015

Here’s what’s going on in the area arts and cultural scene: The exhibit, “Other Voices, Other Rooms,” will open with a reception at 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 15, during Covington White Linen Night, at the St. Tammany Art Association, 320 N. Columbia St., Covington. Visit The West Feliciana Parish… Continue reading →

Ballet Theatre sets tryouts for 2015-16 season

The Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre will hold open auditions for advanced dancers for its 2015-16 season at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 15, at the Dancers’ Workshop, 10745 Linkwood Court. This audition is for classically trained intermediate- and advance-level dancers who have been on pointe for at least two years. While company auditions are usually held… Continue reading →

'Normal' play examines mental illness in surburban family

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- The family in 'Next to Normal,' played by, from left, Emily Heck as daughter Natalie, Jacob Voisin as son Gabe, Marion Bienvue as mom Diana and Jason Dowies as dad Dan, are trying to deal with Diana's mental illness.

Laughter has a way of surfacing even in the most oppressive situations. And there’s nothing that boxes in a person more than mental illness, weighing the spirit down to the point of hopelessness. “But there are points where you can’t help but laugh, because you’re saying to yourself, ‘I tried that, and it doesn’t work,”… Continue reading →

'Mystic' art exhibit on display until Aug. 12 at Shaw Center for the Arts

Advocate staff photo by ROBIN MILLER -- Jonthan 'feral opossum' Mayer's 'Amiteeauxsaurus Crossing.'

In the depths of south Louisiana’s waterways lurks the Armiteauxsaurus, the vicious monster that taunts kids with brightly colored bubbles then swallows them. Some people don’t believe in its legend, while others tread carefully at the Amite River’s Armiteaux Crossing, the place for which the creature is named. It’s here where it stands in a bulky swamp,… Continue reading →

Kids’ Orchestra seeks elementary students

Advocate staff photo by APRIL BUFFINGTON -- Conductor Pat Lavergne leads a practice session earlier this year for the Kids' Orchesta, which is now registering youngsters for the upcoming after-school program.

Registration is open for the Kids’ Orchestra’s after-school music program, which can accept 800 students in the 2015-16 season. All youngsters from kindergarten through the fifth grade in East Baton Rouge Parish are eligible to enroll. The after-school program offers music instruction twice a week. Kids’ Orchestra also provides homework assistance, transportation and a snack.… Continue reading →

Arts calendar for August 2, 2015

Here’s what’s happening in the area arts and cultural scene: The Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra Chorus is conducting auditions for the 2015-16 season. To schedule an audition, call (225) 924-6269 or email For more information, visit Tickets are on sale for a local production of Tennessee Williams’ “A Streetcar… Continue reading →


Here’s what’s happening in the area arts and cultural scene: The Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge, 427 Laurel St., Baton Rouge, is showing “Too Close/Not Close Enough: New Work by Emily LaCour” through Aug. 14 in its Firehouse Gallery. It’s 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday. Admission is free. Call (225) 344-8558… Continue reading →

Theatre Baton Rouge names award winners

Jacob Voisin

Theatre Baton Rouge presented its winners of its 2014-15 season at its annual Beaux Arts Ball on July 25. This yearly awards ceremony and party honors the theater’s volunteers, from actors to interns. This year’s winners featured several Theatre Baton Rouge veterans, as well as many new faces: PRESIDENT’S AWARD: Mary and Bill… Continue reading →

Dizzy Arts to host party featuring live music, art

Dizzy Arts, which helps establish collaborations among artists of all mediums, backgrounds and styles, is hosting a Dizzy Arts Party on Aug. 1. The event will hop from one Baton Rouge venue to another, starting at 7 p.m. at Chelsea’s Cafe, 2857 Perkins Road, then moving to the Atomic Pop Shop, 2963 Government St., at 10 p.m.… Continue reading →

UpStage Theater reopens Christine Houston's 'I Love You Nana'

Photo provided by Maddgame Entertainment -- From left,, Ashley Downing, Nikki Nadkarni and Will Merrill rehearse a scene from UpStage Theatre's 2015 summer comedy, 'I Love You Nana,' which opens Friday.

Everyone will love Nana in the end, maybe even Doris. But that’s a tall order, considering Doris’ ingrained disdain for the elderly. It’s not unfounded — she has good reason for how she feels. Doris was raised by an elderly aunt who mistreated her, so any preconceptions about her husband’s grandmother are understandable. Then again, not… Continue reading →

Art gallery to feature Baton Rouge natives Pramuk, Riche

Photo provided by FW Gallery --  Andrea Pramuk's work will be featured at FW Gallery through Sept. 5.

FW Gallery, 8501 Highland Road, will open an exhibit featuring work by Andrea Pramuk and Erin Riche with a reception from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, July 24. The show will run through Sept. 5. Pramuk, a Baton Rouge native and Austin, Texas, resident, brings a selection of mixed-media paintings to the gallery.… Continue reading →

Arts Calendar for July 19, 2015

Here’s what’s happening in the area arts and cultural scene: Registration is open for the Cangelosi Dance Project’s Intensive Contemporary and Classical Dance Workshop, set for July 24-26 at the Cangelosi studio, 3749 Perkins Road, Baton Rouge. For a schedule or to register, call (225) 937-3367 or visit… Continue reading →

Origami, the art of folding paper, also touches our everyday lives through fashion, architecture, technology

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- The crane, this one by  Japanese American artist Ruthie Kitagawa, is probably the best known origami work and is part of the exhibit 'Folding Paper: The Infinite Possibilities of Origami' at the Louisiana Art & Science Museum.

There’s no denying its elegant beauty, but the importance of a designer’s dress pattern seems inconsequential among the examples of how the art of origami has played a role in engineering, architecture and technology. But that’s the point of “Folding Paper: The Infinite Possibilities of Origami,” which runs through Sunday, Sept. 27, at the… Continue reading →

‘Distorted Realities’: Healthcare Gallery hosts show

Photo provided by The Healthcare Gallery -- Rodney Pike's 'The King of the Blues BB King.'

The Healthcare Gallery is showing “Distorted Realities” featuring digital photo manipulation and caricature illustrations by Baton Rouge artist Rodney Pike through Sunday, July 19. The mission of the artwork is to celebrate the fun in each individual and create a joyous experience when engaging with the work. Pike is a member of the National Association of… Continue reading →

Arts Calendar for July 12, 2015

Here’s what’s going on in the area arts and cultural scene: Tickets are on sale for Swine Palace’s production of William Shakespeare’s comedy, “As You Like It,” which opens Wednesday, July 22, in the Reilly Theatre, Tower Drive. Tickets are $15. Call (225) 578-4174 or visit The West Baton Rouge… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge Gallery features members’ work

Photo provided by Baton Rouge Gallery -- April Hammock's 'Surfaced' exhibit up through July 30 at Baton Rouge Gallery.

Baton Rouge Gallery is featuring works from three of its artist members — April Hammock, Randell Henry and Tom Richard — through Thursday, July 30. Hammock’s exhibit, “Surfaced,” dives into how events — big and small, significant and seemingly meaningless — can impact the world. Influenced by old myths, poems and songs, Hammock became inspired by the… Continue reading →

Local sculptor creates artistic welded metal 'toys'

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- Scupltor Joseph 'JoJo' Jilbert creates towering metal sculptures from found mechanical objects. Several can be found outside of the House of Jamba at Government and Hebert streets.

As a kid, Joseph “JoJo” Jilbert never waited around for Santa. He started building toys in his own workshop in the first grade. “My toys have just gotten bigger,” says the 59-year-old artist. And it’s always Christmas morning when he hears the clang of metal falling into the box he keeps by… Continue reading →

Exhibit of iconic vinyl album covers on display at Manship Theatre

Advocate staff photo by ROBIN MILLER -- 'The Art of Vinyl,' a new exhibit in the Gallery at the Manship Theatre in the Shaw Center for the Arts celebrates album art.

There was a time when the cover of an album was almost as important as the music inside. An African-American woman’s profile, perspiration dripping from her perfect skin, covered Miles Davis’ “Bitches Brew.” Wild psychedelic caricatures fronted The Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine,” and the Rolling Stones, the quintessential bad boys of rock ’n’ roll, focused on,… Continue reading →

Summer Show planned for Covington

The St. Tammany Art Association, 320 N. Columbia St., Covington, will open its 50th National Juried Artists Exhibition, the Summer Show, with a reception from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, July 11. Artists’ awards will be presented at 7 p.m., and the show will run through Saturday, Aug. 8. Closing day will feature… Continue reading →

Arts Calendar for June 5, 2015

Here’s what’s going on in the local arts and cultural scene: The West Baton Rouge Museum, 845 N. Jefferson Ave., Port Allen, will host a lunchtime lecture, “We All Wore Black: Mourning Dress at the End of the Civil War,” by Jenna Kuttruff at noon Thursday, July 9. Admission is free. For more information, call… Continue reading →

Brick floors stained with beeswax to signature slate roofs, Old State Capitol exhibit puts A. Hays Town's architectural genius on display

Photo by PHILIP GOULD -- Architect A Hays Town designed his Baton Rouge home, incorporating many of the elements -- stained brick floors and a weathered slate roof -- that are hallmarks of his style. This photo is among several by photographer Philip Gould in the exhibit 'The Enduring Architecture of A. Hays Town' at Louisiana's Old State Capitol.

From the ground up, A. Hays Town always knew exactly how he wanted the houses he designed to look. Hays’ touch was on every element, from the stain he and Warren Grevemberg developed for his signature brick floors to the weathered slate that roofed his designs. To him, the art was in the whole package.… Continue reading →

‘Summer Sounds at St. James’ begins on first Wednesday of July

Photo provided by The National WWII Museum -- Victory Belles will perform Wednesday at the 'Summer Sounds at St. James' concert at St. James Episcopal Church in Baton Rouge.

The St. James Center for Spiritual Formation will host its sixth annual “Summer Sounds at St. James” series of musical concerts at 7 p.m. Wednesdays in July at St. James Episcopal Church, 205 No. Fourth St., Baton Rouge. Admission for each concert is $10; college students with a valid ID will be admitted free. A reception follows… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge arts calendar for June 28 - July 3

Associated Press photo provided by NASAComet C/2013 A1, also known as Siding Spring, as captured by Wide Field Camera 3 on NASA's Hubble Space Telescope March 27.

Here’s what’s happening in the area arts and cultural scene: Tickets are on sale for the LSU Museum of Art’s 11th annual Fourth of July Celebration, 7-10 p.m. Saturday, July 4, on the third and sixth floors of the Shaw Center for the Arts, 100 Lafayette St., Baton Rouge. Tickets are $125 for museum members;… Continue reading →

Canvases come alive with dancers’ choreography in debut production 'Abstraction'

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND --  Darion Hill and Brionia Gougis, 17, rehearse "Abstraction," a New Venture Movement production, at En Pointe Studio Friday, June 12, 2015.

Each dance interprets an untitled abstract painting. Some will express happiness, some sadness and still others courage and tragedy. But Darrion Hill’s dances will reflect only love. The audience will see it in the dance he choreographed and the one in which he performs in “Abstraction,” the debut production by New Venture Movement, Continue reading →