For Rep Stage, a Sweet 16 party

November 13, 2008|By Sandy Alexander | Sandy Alexander,Special to The Baltimore Sun

Rep Stage will celebrate its Sweet 16 on Saturday night with a party and a salute to its "mom" - founder Valerie Lash.

The theater company, in residence at Howard Community College, is throwing its first gala event, called REPartee, in the newly renovated Smith Theatre on the college's Columbia campus.

"We are saluting Valerie for all of her work over the years for education and entertainment in the community," said Michael Stebbins, producing artistic director of the theater. The 8 p.m. show in Smith Theatre, hosted by Stebbins and Rep Stage regular Bruce Nelson, will feature musical entertainment and guests. It will be followed by a post-show party with desserts, beverages and a swing band in the grand hall of the Horowitz Center.

Tickets cost $50 for both portions, although an anonymous donor has underwritten $10 tickets for HCC students and $15 tickets for staff and faculty. Donors at the $150 level and above can also attend a preshow party at the Rouse Company Foundation Student Services Hall, starting at 6 p.m., that will include food, wine and a live auction.

Proceeds will benefit a new Valerie Lash Arts and Humanities Scholarship and Rep Stage.

Stebbins said it seemed fitting to help a student who might have the talent but not the means to pursue an education in the arts. Lash has been a professor and administrator at HCC for 16 years, along with running Rep Stage.

She handed daily management of the company to Stebbins three years ago and is chairwoman of the college's Arts and Humanities Division.

For Rep Stage, the main benefit will be in raising its profile in the community and building relationships with new and regular patrons, Stebbins said.

For those who attend, Stebbins said, it is going to be an enjoyable evening and a chance to set aside concerns during trying economic times.

"People want to celebrate, even if they don't have a lot of money to spare," he said.

Information: or 410-772-4900.

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