This week has seen a flurry of activity here in the Dixie Center for the Arts, and it gets me excited for fall when the new “season” of programs will begin. One of the best things about having our NCLAC office inside the Dixie Center is that we are able to stay abreast of so many cultural activities that take place here. This historic theatre gets a lot of use throughout the year, and if you have never been to an event at the Dixie, you’re missing out! Ruston Community Theatre, who last night opened their summer musical, The Sound of Music, has set its lineup for the upcoming year. In October, they’ll hit the stage with Till Beth Do Us Part, a comedy about the ins-outs-ups-and-downs of marriage, directed by Satish Bharadvaj. The Christmas production this year will be everyone’s favorite The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, directed by Mitch Dufour. This one will have children’s roles, so be on the lookout for audition dates. Spring will bring the classic To Kill a Mockingbird, with director Nancy Wallace. Personally, I’m really looking forward to seeing on the Dixie Center stage! The season will end a year from now, with Bye Bye Birdie in July, directed by Dee Alexander. Who won’t want to see this one for some good old-fashioned fun.
The Dixie Center for the Arts itself has its new lineup of shows, and these will begin with Chinese Acrobats on September 27. Won’t this be fun!? Other musical performances scheduled are Jason Coleman in November, who will dazzle with the Piano Magic of Floyd Kramer; Jason Petty and the Swinging Cowboys in March; and Albanie Falletta and Thrift Set in April, who will entertain us with jazz of the ‘20s –‘40s.
Troupe Dixie, whose mission is to introduce new generations to the majesty of the Dixie Center, has set its schedule as well. September will bring back the Loud and Live concert series, with ‘90s music on tap for this year. October will feature the showing of a Reels and Chills Halloween movie, and their Merry Movie in December is always a fun night. Live events are wonderful here in this building, but there’s still something magical about seeing a movie in this space. If you haven’t done so, make plans see one here this year!
Our organization, the North Central Louisiana Arts Council, holds art exhibitions in the lobby throughout the year, featuring artwork by regional artists. September will be the Fall Crawl, where we’ll participate with other arts-businesses downtown in a walk-able art crawl. We also have Holiday Arts Tour activities here, including our Community Variety Show, which packed the house last year. In October, we’ll have opera singer Brenda Wimberly perform for Lincoln Parish 6th graders.
In addition to the activities I’ve already listed, the Dixie Center for the Arts hosts the Russtown Band for its Christmas and Peach Festival Concerts. The community always looks forward to the annual Joe Woods Wildwood Express, as well as the March of Dimes Talent Show and the Dixie Horizon Talent Search. Several schools hold events here, such as AE Phillips 8th Grade Musical and Montessori School of Ruston’s Christmas Story Evening. For dates and other details, visit our website, nclarts.org, where we have a comprehensive community arts calendar. We do our best to include art activities throughout the region, so that it’s a one-stop source of information of places to go and things to see.
The next time you think there’s “nothing to do in Ruston,” take a peek at what’s happening at the Dixie Center for the Arts. It should be your destination for a variety of entertainment.