A Haunted Weekend is just around the corner…this week’s Art Talk Monday

RCT Unveils Witchy Comedy

All Because of Agatha

By Hilary Hileman, Board Member Ruston Community Theatre, actress All Because of Agatha 

Ruston Community Theatre’s next production, the witty comedy All Because of Agatha, written by playwright Jonathan Troy, will debut at The Dixie Center for the Arts on May 1st and run through May 4th and is sponsored by Woodard & Clement Law Offices.

In All Because of Agatha, set in 1974, Duff and Joan O’Hara relocate from California to Salem, Massachusetts.  The historical property the real estate agent shows them has a suspiciously low price. They learn that in 1692 Agatha Forbes, accused of witchcraft, was burned to death right where the house sits, but before she died she swore she would come back every year on that date and terrorize the occupants right out the front door. In short, the house was haunted. Joan, a big fan of the occult, thinks that a resident witch is a great, challenging addition to the house and she persuades Duff that this is the perfect place for them. So of course Joan plans a party for the September date when Agatha will allegedly appear.

The cast includes actors Anna Alexander, Debbie Allen, Kevin Cuccia, Dusty Hampton, Hilary Hileman, Brenda Mitchell, Dixie Mitchell, Heather Peterson, Terry Stepp and Michael Tannerhill.

After All Because of Agatha, Ruston Community Theatre has one remaining production for the season: The award-winning musical The Sound of Music, which will run from July 10-13. Tickets for each of RCT’s productions are $12 at the door for adults and $6 for students/children. Visit RCT’s website at www.rctruston.org, on Facebook at www.facebook/RustonCommunityTheatre, and on Twitter @RustonCoTheatre.

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The NCLAC office would like to announce our summer interns: Hillary Clary, Art Education; Nicholas Davis, Community Engagement; Tess Stickney, Gallery Coordinator; and Rosalynne Fluty, Graphic Design. These young talents will be out and about in our community, working hard for their futures. Welcome aboard!

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Next week, the NCLAC office will be gone to Baton Rouge for Culture Connection, the Office of Cultural Development’s annual assembly of Louisiana’s culture stakeholders. This is a general assembly in which Louisiana’s cultural workforce meets to discuss the state of the arts, as well as hold break-out meetings and workshops in our respective fields. Those convening include professionals in the fields of archaeology, arts, French language, historic preservation and more. The agenda also includes addresses from state and national leaders, the Louisiana Culture Awards, and visits with legislators.

Art Talk Monday: It’s Summer Arts Camp Time!

This week’s Art Talk Monday is from Jessica Slaughter, NCLAC Executive Director.

NCLAC is excited for the upcoming summer months, because summer equals art camps! For over twenty years we have been offering art camps in our region, with talented teachers and interesting projects. This year we have three camps scheduled: Ruston 1, June 23-27; Jonesboro, July 7-11; and Ruston 2, July 14-18. Our camps are for students who will be entering 2nd through 7th grades in the fall. Each camp runs Monday through Friday, 9am-noon, and the camp fee includes all supplies and a daily snack. $60 covers tuition if you pay and register by May 1st; $65 is the camp fee after May 1st.

Chatham Camp 2013

Chatham Camp 2013

We have wonderful teachers lined up this year, including some who teach in area schools. Lauren Dixon of Dubach School will be teaching at Ruston 2, and Adrian Gibson, from Talented Art in Ouachita Parish, will be teaching at Ruston 1. Artist Matthew Knopps will be back again, as will fiber artist Rachel Johnston. We are excited to welcome Beckie Huckaby of Cedar Creek School, who will be leading our Drama classes. Bethany Raybourn of Farmerville High School will be working as camp coordinator again this year, keeping everyone fed and on track. There are other teachers, assistants, and NCLAC interns who will be working diligently to ensure each camp’s success.

This great team will be leading campers in two-dimensional art, three-dimensional art, and drama. Each week when camp ends, we hold a “Final Friday” presentation, where campers display the week’s artwork and hold a short performance they’ve prepared in drama. Friends and family are invited, and it’s a perfect way to end a week full of creativity.

We are very appreciative of the support we receive from our local partners who provide space for our camps. First Baptist Church of Ruston is offering classrooms for the Ruston camps again this year, as is United Methodist in Jonesboro. We work hard to keep our camps affordable for children, and the donation of classroom space is a huge asset in this goal.

Jonesboro Camp 2013, teacher Peter Hay

Jonesboro Camp 2013, with teacher Peter Hay

One of my favorite things when organizing these camps is rounding up our volunteer assistants. Each year we have parents call and say, “My child has aged out of camp but has loved going for so many years. Can he/she assist?” For me, this is the mark of a successful program: parents trust us to care for and inspire their children, send them to us year after year, and then when they get older, the teens want to come back and volunteer to continue the art camp tradition. It’s a lovely cycle.

So, if your children or grandchildren attend NCLAC Summer Arts Camps each year, now is the time to register! And if your kids have never attended a NCLAC Summer Arts Camp, this is a great year to begin!

You may download a registration form here from our site, nclarts.org, or call our office at the Dixie Center for the Arts, (318)255-1450.

Marc Broussard to be Featured at JAZZLAND in Ruston

From our friends at the Boys and Girls Club of North Louisiana. This will be a great concert, so mark your calendars for May 9. Ticket purchasing details are found below:

The Board of Directors of the Boys and Girls Club of North Louisiana will present their annual fundraiser JAZZLAND, a benefit concert for the Boys and Girls Club on May 9th at the Dixie Center for the Arts in Ruston, LA. The concert will feature noted Southern-rock/soul artist Marc Broussard and open with a performance from Dr. Larry Pannell and the Grambling State University Faculty Jazz Ensemble. All funds generated from the event will go directly to support the Boys & Girls Clubs of North Central Louisiana.

Tickets ($30 balcony seats and $40 floor seats) may be purchased online at on the 2014_JazzlandBoys and Girls Club’s website, www.bgcncl.org and at the Boys and Girls Club located at 300 Memorial Drive, Ruston. Doors open at 6:45pm and the show begins at 7:00. An after party sponsored and held by Sundown Tavern will immediately follow.

Marc Broussard is a singer-songwriter hailing from Lafayette, La. His style is best described as “Bayou Soul,” a mix of funk, blues, R&B, rock, and pop, matched with distinct Southern roots. In his career, he has released five studio albums and one EP, and has charted twice on Hot Adult Top 40 Tracks.  Marc and his band are known for their relentless touring and high energy shows that have won them legions of fans.  They have performed sold out shows in thousand plus capacity venues around the country, have been regulars on the festival circuit and have toured with such artists as Maroon 5, Dave Matthews Band, Ronnie Raitt and Willie Nelson, to name a few.

 “We are very excited to bring such a talented artist to Ruston,” said Jazzland committee chair Karen Gordon. “We hope Marc will help us sell out the Dixie and raise as much as possible for the Boys and Girls Club.”

Starting the show will be Dr. Larry Pannell and the Grambling State University Faculty Jazz Ensemble.  Dr. Pannell formed a talented group of former and current Grambling State musicians from all over the country.  “Their jazz stylings were the hit of last year’s JAZZLAND and we are excited they have agreed to come back this year!” Janet Wilson, Director of Resource Development of the Boys and Girls Club, said. “This may be my favorite performance ever at the Dixie! They are playing everything from Barbara Streisand’s, The Way We Were to Al Green’s Lets Stay Together. This group is amazingly talented and if you miss THIS CONCERT- you are really missing something GREAT!” Dr. Pannell graduated from GSU with his undergraduate degree and his Masters degree in Music from LA Tech University. He went on to study at The American Conservatory of Music in Chicago, IL and he and a classmate were the first Black men to graduate from the institute.

For more information please visit www.bgcncl.org or call 318-255-2242.