Opening Night will be the first gala fundraiser staged by the Manship Theatre.
The theater opened in 2005, and Renee Chatelain was named executive director in 2010.
“This is my third year here,” Chatelain said. “I wanted to spend the first two years working to set our programs and see where we stand.”
Now it’s time for a gala, one in which audience members will be the stars.
They’ll be the ones walking the red carpet, the ones paparazzi will be scrambling to photograph.
Well, paparazzi members really will be members of the Manship Theatre’s Student Advisory Council snapping photos on Thursday, Nov. 8. That’s when Opening Night will take place. It will open at 6 p.m. with the red carpet, a silent auction and cocktails, and will be followed by a live auction at 8 p.m. Then comes the biggest event of the season, The Second City’s U.S. touring troupe performing a show tailored for the Baton Rouge area.
For those unfamiliar with The Second City, it’s a Chicago-based sketch comedy theater that has risen to legendary status since its founding in 1959. Many of its alumni have moved on to television and movies.
The Second City also is known for its improvisation of which there will be plenty during this show.
And in the end, all proceeds will benefit the Manship Theatre and its programs.
“We celebrated our eighth year in March,” said Liz Siccone, the theater’s director of development. “We realize that this is one of many galas going on in the Baton Rouge area at this time, and we wanted to make it different.”
“We wanted to create something that would be unique to the Manship Theatre, something that would be specific to the performing arts,” Chatelain said. “We know we’ll the regular Manship supporters will be at this show, as well as new audience members. We wanted something that would be memorable for everyone.”
Back to the auctions, artistic items were chosen for the silent auction. Live auction items will include a private Super Bowl party for 200 at the Manship Theatre; a weekend getaway for four on Jan. 10-11, 2013, at Gray Point Lodge in Vinton, which includes a guided duck hunt; a ski trip to the Teton Club in Jackson Hole, Wyo.; a golf trip to the Teton Club; and a trip to New York that will include Broadway tickets and a live taping of a television show.
And that’s just a sampling.
“We’ll also have two guest emcees,” Chatelain said. “They’ll be Ruffin Rodrigue of Ruffino’s and Brandon Landry of Walk-On’s.”
Tickets are $100-$500, which includes $250 tickets for audience members who want to sit on stage with The Second City troupe.
Careful, though. Those who sit on stage just may be pulled into the action.
“It could happen,” Siccone said.
And if it should happen, then the audience members truly will be the stars on Opening Night.
For tickets or more information, call (225) 344-0334 or visit http://www.manshiptheatre.org.
Copyright © 2011, Capital City Press LLC • 7290 Bluebonnet Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70810 • All Rights Reserved