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Let us entertain you

By: Leila Case

The Rylander Theatre is open again. Let us entertain you.

If the walls of the historic Rylander Theatre could talk what a fantastic tale we would hear.

The venerable theatre is observing its centennial this year, an historic milestone in its colorful history that is being celebrated with an outstanding Centennial Series of performances announced this week by Maggie McGruther, president of the Friends of the Rylander, the fund raising branch of the theatre.

This has been a difficult and disappointing year for the Rylander. The 100th birthday was actually January 12, 2021, when the theatre as other theatres and entertainment venues nationwide were shuttered due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Heather Stanley, director of the theatre, and her competent staff have done a superior job to stay engaged with the community and have diligently rearranged performance schedules for everyone’s safety all the while remaining hopeful the theatre will soon welcome back everyone.

Stanley says as always they are committed to the stewardship of the historic theatre and to provide quality, live performance opportunities at an affordable price.

Membership to the Friends of the Rylander provides more than just complimentary tickets to select performances, says McGruther. Donations go toward historic preservation projects, educational outreach programs such as summer camps for youth, and bring in professional national and international touring artists for the community.

“We need you now more than ever,” said McGruther. She stated grants help provide funds to offset the costs of preserving the historic building but they do not replace the individual support received from dedicated patrons each season. “You stood by us and showed your support during the theatre’s closure during the pandemic and we are forever grateful. Help us make the 2021-2022 a season of celebration,” she said.

She explained purchasing tickets will look differently from this season forward. A Friends membership will allow the unique opportunity to select seats in advance of the show going on sale to the general public. In fact, patrons are able to pre-select seats for the entire season upon receipt of your membership. Alternatively, you may wait until 30 days prior to each show when tickets and seats will be released to the general public.

The 2021-2022 season of performances called the “Centennial Series” includes “Jigjam” on Friday, October 22; “Destination Motown” Saturday, November 13; Dance Alive National Ballet: “The Nutcracker” December 2; “Time for Three” on Sunday, January 9; “American Spiritual Ensemble,” February 3, and “Catapult: Magic Shadows!” on Thursday, February 24.

For the series membership levels visit the Rylander website, www.rylander.org and use the online links to purchase the desired level or purchase over the phone by calling the theatre box office at 229-931-0001 Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Meanwhile, good luck to Charlene Pennymon of Americus who is running her eighth consecutive Boston Marathon. This year like last year, she’s running the 26.2 mile course virtually due to the limited in-person field due to the Covid-19 pandemic. She says hopefully she can return to Boston to run in person next year. Charlene trains daily year round, running her longest run, 18.5 miles, on Sundays. Pennymon is employed at Citizens Bank of Americus where she is a loan officer at the Tripp Street Branch.

Wave and say so long to Brooks Peak Nettum who moved to St. Mary’s, Georgia, this summer; Janet Siders who recently moved to New Jersey and to Beth Alston who is moving to Parrott and into her childhood home. Each of these strong ladies contributed to our community in varied ways and will be missed.

Elsewhere, Brent and Kathryn Fowler Moore and toddler daughter, Albright, joined her parents Beth and John Fowler at Seagrove Beach, Florida, this past weekend. And Lori and Andy Shivers enjoyed a long weekend at Panama City and were joined by their daughter, Lauren Shivers Van and her family, Brandon Vann and children, Bennett and Andrew. And Mark and Anne Barrett were in Atlanta for her Deerfield Windsor, Albany, class reunion.