Columbus State to Host Georgia Theatre Conference

COLUMBUS, Ga. - Columbus State University will showcase its RiverPark campus teaching and performing spaces when the university hosts the Georgia Theatre Conference Oct.14-18.

The conference, the annual gathering for Georgia’s official theatre organization, will draw about 1,300 participants to Columbus State’s downtown Columbus campus.

“This presents a great opportunity for surrounding retailers, as well as for the CSU theatre department in terms of recruiting the state’s top theatre students,” said Associate Professor of Theatre Steven Graver, who is organizing the conference.

In addition to high school students and their teachers, conference-goers will include college-level theatre students and professors, community theatre professionals and novice enthusiasts.

Columbus State previously hosted the conference in 1999, prior to the conception of the downtown campus. Activities were based at what was then Fine Arts Hall on main campus. The same facility’s (now University Hall) auditorium will be the site for one of this year’s programs, the Georgia High School Association Secondary Play Competition.

Meanwhile, other conference programs will be staged in downtown Columbus. Planned activities include:

• The Southeast Theatre Conference secondary play competition at CSU Theatre on the Park Mainstage.
• The community theatre festival at CSU Theatre on the Park Studio Theatre.
• The Southeast Theatre Conference screening auditions, RiverCenter of the Performing Arts Studio Theatre.
• A theatre for youth festival at St. Luke United Methodist Church Ministry Center, 1104 Second Ave.
• Secondary college auditions in CSU Theatre on the Park’s Lab Theatre.

A special event — “Joseph Golden Plays Broadway” — will be staged 9:30 p.m. Friday in RiverCenter’s Legacy Hall for all convention participants. Golden, Columbus State’s director of opera, professor of organ and coordinator of music history and literature, will perform selected Broadway numbers on a Steinway concert grand piano. He will be accompanied by CSU student singers. The program will include a salute to “unsung backstage heroes of theater” and culminate with an audience sing-a-long.

The conference also will feature a staged reading of the winning entry from the conference’s annual One-Act New Play Competition.

Established in 1965, the Georgia Theatre Conference mission is to encourage and coordinate a close relationship among the community, educational and professional theatres in Georgia; to aid in maintaining the highest possible quality of live theatre; and to promote and facilitate education in varied phases of theatre. Membership is open to all individuals and groups.

The RiverPark campus is home to Columbus State’s College of the Arts, where the theatre department is joined by the art and communication departments and Schwob School of Music. The campus also is home to student apartments and a space science center.

Day passes, $10 each, can be purchased from the Theatre on the-Park Box Office at 10th Street and Bay Avenue. The pass is good for all activities on the day of purchase. For more information, contact Mary Norman, Georgia Theatre Conference executive director, at 229-798-0227, or