Cole staff readies for DeWitt series kickoff

The staff of the Cole Auditorium at Richmond Community College spent Monday preparing for Tuesday night’s kickoff of the 2014-15 DeWitt Performing Arts Series, which begins with the Broadway musical revue “Smokey Joe’s Café.”

A Cole Auditorium photo Assistant Cole Auditorium Director Sherrie Jenks and her stage crew arrange the lights for Tuesday’s performance that will kick off the 2014-15 DeWitt Performing Arts Series.

A Cole Auditorium photo
Assistant Cole Auditorium Director Sherrie Jenks and her stage crew arrange the lights for Tuesday’s performance that will kick off the 2014-15 DeWitt Performing Arts Series.

“There is a whole lot that goes on behind the scenes to make these events a success,” said Cole Auditorium Director Joey Bennett.

Along with scheduling performances for the series, Bennett is charged with making sure everything is in place when the acts arrive. Assistant Cole Auditorium Director Sherrie Jenks was in charge of getting the stage set and lights hung appropriately for Tuesday’s show.

“Because this is a Broadway show, they’ll bring their own set,” Jenks said. “So we just have to make sure we have the area completely clear for them to set up, as well as have the lights set up the way they want them.”

Bennett also held training sessions for RCC Ambassadors who will volunteer as ushers throughout the Performing Arts Series. Ambassadors are a select group of RCC students who represent the College.

“I always meet with the Ambassadors days before the show to go over the layout of the theater in order for them to easily be able to assist audience members in finding their seats,” Bennett said. “We also go over a list of commonly asked questions and cover how to appropriately handle situations such as someone sitting in the wrong seat.”

Cole Administrative Assistant Kiana Taylor is also responsible for printing the physical tickets and creating the playbill for each show.

“There’s a lot that has to be done prior to each performance, but it always comes together,” Bennett said. “It’s our goal to ensure that each audience member has the best experience possible at each of our shows.”

Ticket Information

“Smokey Joe’s Café,” which is a two-act performance showcasing around 40 pop music standards from the 1950s and ’60s, is the first of six shows scheduled for the 2014-15 DeWitt Performing Arts Series. Tickets to the show are $35 and may be purchased at the door prior to the 7:30 p.m. performance.

Other shows in this year’s DeWitt Performing Arts Series include concerts by The Beach Boys, Collin Raye and folk family royalty Livingston Taylor and Tom Chapin, as well as a piano battle and Rhythm of the Dance.

Season ticket prices range from $115 to $145 per seat and include reserved-seating tickets for all six shows. Although individual show tickets may be available, purchasing season tickets affords patrons a large cost savings and guarantees seats for the shows.

“Our season ticket prices are cheaper than what you will find for comparable season line-ups in other cities in large part thanks to the support of the DeWitt family, who has help with financial support since the facility opened in 1999,” Bennett said.

Requests for seats are filled based on the order they are received.

Cole Auditorium staff will be offering patrons who purchase season tickets the opportunity to join “The Director’s Circle.” This optional membership-giving program supports the RCC Foundation and offers special privileges for members, including a meet and greet with the performers.

A full season brochure can be viewed on the auditorium’s website at www.richmondcc.edu/cole-auditorium.

The box office hours are Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. You can also call the box office at 910-410-1691. Information is also available on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Filed in: Arts & Entertainment, Featured News

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