Bertram Rantin

Columbia Children’s Theatre celebrates 10 years of curtain calls

Evelyn Clary and Paul Lindley II appeared in Columbia Children’s Theatre production of “Goodnight Moon” in 2012.
Evelyn Clary and Paul Lindley II appeared in Columbia Children’s Theatre production of “Goodnight Moon” in 2012. Provided photograph

Columbia Children’s Theatre is throwing a party and the community is invited.

The theater, which specializes in shows for families and young audiences, will celebrate a decade of entertaining during a birthday bash 1-3 p.m. Sunday, May 17, at Heathwood Park, 800 Abelia Road, Columbia.

“When we were looking at what to do to celebrate our 10-year anniversary, we thought about a gala with a silent auction or some sort of commemorative dinner but then said ‘wait, this is not who we are,’” said CCT co-founder and artistic director Jerry Stevenson. “And that’s when the idea to just have a big, free party with fun kid stuff in a park came about.”

Theater patrons have lots of reasons to celebrate. During the past 10 years, there have been 47 main stage shows for families, 17 YouTheatre productions involving more than 1,000 children and more than 90 summer camps, after school and home school classes.

It was 10 years ago that the theater mounted its first production, a musical adaptation of the story of “Rapunzel” by the creators of the television series “Friends.” Today company members say they are still laughing.

Sunday’s party will include cake by Whole Foods, face painting by Lunatrix Arts, and balloon sculptures by Princes B. Twist.

The afternoon also will reunite many favorite CCT characters from the past 10 years, including Captain Braidbeard from “How I Became A Pirate,” The Evil Queen from “Snow White,” and the cast of “Skippyjon Jones.”

Columbia Children’s Theatre is on the second level of Richland Mall, 3400 Forest Drive in Forest Acres. It is supported in part by the city of Forest Acres, The Cultural Council of Richland and Lexington Counties and the S.C. Arts Commission, which receives funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Sunday’s party is sponsored by the Goings Law Firm.

A major Pat on the back for charities

The Five Points Foundation recently donated $53,500 to 36 area nonprofits and charities.

The donation was made with proceeds from the 33rd annual St. Pat’s in Five Points festival.

This year’s festival welcomed more than 30,000 patrons into Columbia’s oldest entertainment district to celebrate all things Irish.

Since it began 33 years ago, the festival has provided nearly $1 million for local charities.