Articles by David Dupont

Lionface one acts find comedy & drama close to home

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News That coffee shop could be in Bowling Green. That comic convention could be in Columbus. The Lionface Productions one-act plays – all three written for the troupe – have a sense of familiarity viewed through a different lens. The Lionface production of one acts opens tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the rehearsal hall behind the Performing Arts Center in the middle school. The show continues Friday and Saturday. Guests should enter through door M, near the patio area to the south of the Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $7 and $5 for students. Two of the plays were presented at a Wednesday night dress rehearsal. (The third “The Amazing Red Diamond” written by Jesse Koza got an early run through because of a scheduling conflict.) “Every Seven Years or So,” written by J. Benjamin and directed by Christina Hoekstra, traces the arc of the friendship between Eric (Cole Stiriz) and Fiona (Kathryn Gonda) from being artistically inclined and insecure high school students into young adults when the issues that first drew them together still resonate. We meet them mid-conversation as Eric is telling Fiona how his father, the high school art teacher, caught him in flagrante with another boy in the ceramics studio. The story sets up the relationship between Eric and Fiona as friends with no romantic interest. It also helps introduce the character of the father, as a fellow dreamer, who is never seen, but casts a shadow on the action. Stiriz and Gonda have good chemistry as friends so close they know just how to grate on each other. Eric is high-minded, and a snob. Fiona is interested in writing fantasy, which Eric mocks as these “fairy stories” and considers selling out. On a dare they push each other into new artistic territory that influences the way their lives unfold. The play addresses real life issues faced by creative people as they struggle to survive and find their muses. The characters also struggle with their relationship to home, and where that is. Fiona leaves for New York, while Eric becomes an advocate for the local Toledo scene. Benjamin manages to weave these topical concerns into sharp dialogue, and includes a tragic plot twist. Nothing tragic happens…


Jody Madaras show, ‘All Hands on Deck!’ opens in Branson

Fresh off a three-year national tour, having played to sold-out audiences across the country, The Dutton Family Theater in Branson, Missouri, has announced “The All Hands on Deck! Show” as part of its 2016 lineup. The popular, All-American Roadshow and Radio Broadcast reproduction opened March 17. “The All Hands on Deck!  Show” is an All-Singing, All-Dancing, All-American 1942 Roadshow & Radio Broadcast reproduction filled with the songs, dances and laughs that America has loved for 70 years. Directed and choreographed by Jody Madaras, “The All Hands on Deck! Show” is a fun-filled, true-to-life reproduction of the kind of USO show Bob Hope and Jack Benny would have taken to the troops 65 years ago: classic humor and great music from those special days of road shows, war-bond drives, and radio broadcasts.  Early versions of the show were staged in Perrysburg in 2011 and as part of July 4th celebrations in Bowling Green in 2013. “The All Hands on Deck!Show” boasts over 40 classic Big Band hits in original arrangements including: “Chattanooga Choo-Choo,” “Atchison, Topeka And The Santa Fe,” “I’m In The Mood For Love,” “Pennsylvania Polka,” “I’ll Never Smile Again,” “Any Bonds Today?” “Don’t Fence Me In,” “God Bless America,” “Deep In The Heart Of Texas,” “Thanks For The Memory” and a Military Medley that salutes America and its servicemen and women. “The All Hands on Deck! Show” features Broadway veteran Jody Madaras (creator, Ted Crosley), Valerie Hill (Betty Blake), Rachel Saad (Daisy Maxwell), and Trevor Dorner (John Handley), and the rich sounds of the LIVE 9-piece Hollywood Victory Caravan Orchestra (featuring some of Branson’s finest musicians) , classic commercials, tight harmonies, impromptu skits, and 42 of the greatest American songs ever written. “The All Hands on Deck! Show” offers a musical message for all Americans with a full-circle patriotic salute celebrating the American way of life; reminding us of a time when our country was fully united. “The All Hands on Deck! Show” was born of a heart filled with gratitude and patriotism. Creator and star Jody Madaras wanted to write a show that would say “Thank you” to the greatest generation – the men and women who served our country during WWII and The Korean War – and also remind Americans of a…


BGSU hears about taking the initiative to keep students engaged

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Vincent Tinto left the best news for the end of his keynote address Monday at Bowling Green State University’s Teaching and Learning Fair. “You don’t need new initiatives,” he told the luncheon crowd in the student union ballroom. “You have enough of them.” And they seem to be working. “I’m very impressed with the directions you’re taking.” Tinto, a professor emeritus from Syracuse University who is considered a leading scholar in how to keep students in college, prefaced this good news with a review of approaches to help students succeed. To anyone paying attention to curriculum developments on campus, much did seem familiar. Supporting students means engaging them in the classroom, giving them a sense of belonging, setting high expectations and then assessing what’s working, Tinto said. He reviewed strategies to do all this. For example, he said, “we hear again and again and again, that students do better in groups than they do on their own.” Tinto continued: “The thing that drives learning in the classroom is active engagement with others in the classroom…. That drives a sense of belonging in the classroom.” That learning can come in many flavors – collaborative, cooperative, problem-based or project-based. All, he said, use the student’s interest in making social connections in order to get them more involved in their learning. Those groups, though, must be structured by the teachers. Letting students select who they work with often leads to one person doing most of the work. The more students work together, the more they will study. “Active engagement with others predicts time on task,” he says. And time on task, studying, predicts academic success. Tinto also noted: “You have service learning to which I say ‘Amen!’ … We’re producing citizens not workers.” While institutions worry how they can retain students – in Ohio state funding depends on it – “students don’t want to retain. Students want to persist and complete even if it means having to transfer. The question you have to ask yourself is how do I act in ways that students want to stay and finish successfully? … How do we drive their motivation, that sense that they can succeed, and that sense of belonging. How do we get students…


Once & future Falcons: BGSU presidents discuss achievements & challenges facing higher ed

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The recent history of Bowling Green State University was gathered on stage of the Bowen Thompson Student Union Monday afternoon. Two past presidents, Sidney Ribeau, 1995-2008, and Carol Cartwright, 2008-2011, and Mary Ellen Mazey, who has been president since 2011, discussed past achievements and the challenges facing the university. Ribeau said that educators, whether those on the stage with him or the faculty and administrators in the audience, need to advocate for the value of higher education. “The criticism higher education is taking, that we need to change this way and that way and be more like Fortune 500 companies, is not well founded,” he said. “Higher education in America is still the envy of all the world. … When you travel to other countries, they are modeling their universities after our universities.” He noted that during the economic downtown when so many sectors of the economy were suffering a meltdown, higher education continued to do well. He dismissed those who say colleges need to graduate students faster and need to make radical changes. “We need to graduate students who want jobs. They need to be able to think, to be able to analyze. They need to have character. They need to stand for something. They need to be leaders so we don’t have the fiasco like we’re seeing in our current presidential campaign. “Higher education has real role to play in our society,” Ribeau continued. “We need to speak to the value of higher education as a difference maker in our society. We’re not going to have a better world unless we really do things to make it better. And where can we do that? In the laboratory that is our classroom. We need to create a pipeline of thoughtful enlightened individuals. … That’s our challenge.” In talking about their accomplishments, the presidents spoke on how their work addressed the issues of their time and built on what their predecessors had done. “No president does these things by himself or herself,” Cartwright said. They are built across administrations with the assistance of faculty, staff, administrators and students. Ribeau launched the university’s first comprehensive campaign that raised $150 million and that concluded during Cartwright’s tenure. Now under Mazey, a…


Small ensembles compete for cash & bragging rights at BGSU

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News With the list of winners in hand Connor Nelson didn’t waste any time making the announcement everyone was waiting for. He’d been in this situation many times before, the flutist said. So he announced the 10th class of winners in The Bowling Green State University College of Musical Arts Chamber Music Competition. Nelson with fellow faculty member Susan Nelson coordinated this year’s event. The event was founded by Douglas Wayland in 2007 to give instrumentalists a chance to hone their skills in a way only having to perform before a panel of judges and having their performances ranked among their peers will do. The event now bears the name of the founder, who died in November, 2013. The Wayland competition is sponsored in his honor by Pro Musica. The competition took its place with the Competitions in Music for concerto soloists and the Conrad Art Song Competition for vocalists and pianists. So this weekend, musicians in ensembles of three to six members competed. Each is coached by a faculty member or graduate student. This year eight undergraduate ensembles with 26 musicians and seven graduate ensembles with 28 musicians competed. The semifinals were held Saturday. For both rounds panels of outside musicians were brought in to judge. Four undergraduates and three graduate finalists were selected to move on to Sunday’s final round where they performed up to 18 minutes of music. The finals got underway with a torrent of saxophone sound from Enohpoxas, that is “saxophone” spelled backwards – the names of the ensembles are often as fanciful as the music played. As in the past contemporary music dominated the repertoire. There was even a heavy sample of rock ‘n’ roll when the undergraduate trio Pitnix performed “Techno-Parade” by Guillaume Connesson. During the piece pianist Varis Vatcharanukul drummed on the strings of the piano with a toothbrush. The trio put on a lively show with flutist Samantha Tartamella swaying like a wood nymph as she played. “Yes we pride ourselves on moving together,” she said after the performance. Pitnix, which also includes clarinetist Stephen Dubetz, won the top undergraduate prize for their efforts. They were the only ensemble other than a saxophone quartet to win. Top graduate prize went to…


The Hart of the matter: Jazz saxophonist shares passion for music at BGSU

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News When Antonio Hart first took the stage at Bowling Green State University, he had some stern advice for the music students in the audience. Ask me questions. Citing his experience playing with some of the greats in jazz, he said students needed to take advantage of having him among them for a while. Then he played demonstrating the mastery students could aspire to. That was Wednesday night when Hart performed with the jazz faculty, arriving shortly before from Thailand. He was in town through Thursday before leaving on an early morning flight back to New York before heading back east to China. Hart is a man on the move, squeezing as much as he can during his sabbatical from Queens College in New York City where he teaches. Still when Adonai Henderson took him up on his offer to ask a question Thursday after a coaching session with small bands, it was as if time stopped. As the crew reset the Kobacker stage for the Lab I rehearsal and concert, Hart sat at the piano and gave Henderson a lesson. During the session before, Hart had drilled the quintet Henderson was a part of on the proper execution of the melody to Charlie Parker’s “Scrapple from the Apple.” It’s a bebop standard many fans and even players may take for granted. Something to set the stage before the improvisation. But Hart brought such notions up short. It’s the beginning and end of a tune that stays with the listener. He spent a good half hour with group, on how to articulate each phrase of the melody, giving proper weight the key notes, gradually playing louder to the point where two high notes pop out. Now after the session, Henderson approached Hart. He wasn’t exactly sure he knew how to phrase the melody. Hart had him go over it, and then do a scale exercise to work on his point. They may very well have been in a private studio, not a concert hall with a dozen or so people working and milling about. This is what drew Henderson, from Cleveland, to study jazz, the sense of “being so thoroughly inside the music.” And Hart gave him a new way…


BGSU students respond to university’s stance on city solar project

Lily Murnen, Environmental Service Club president, and Matthew Cunningham, Environmental Action Group president, have responded to the university administration’s explanation of why Bowling Green Sate University will not participate in a city solar project by allowing the construction of a solar array on campus. See related story: http://bgindependentmedia.org/2016/03/08/bgsu-sheds-light-on-why-its-taking-a-pass-on-city-solar-project/ Dear President Mazey, Dr. Hennessy, and Dr. Meyer, Thank you for explaining the University’s position concerning the city solar project. We understand the concerns that BGSU has regarding the leasing of campus property, and we agree that there is great potential for university­owned renewable projects on campus. We are excited to see that within the past month there has been a convergence of many different groups all advocating for the development of renewable energy on campus. 1. The Student Green Initiatives Committee has made clear that putting solar panels on campus is one of their top priorities, and funding will be allocated for these kinds of projects. 2. With the proper publicity through the University, the existence of the Clean Energy Fund could provide additional funding for solar, wind, geothermal, and other campus energy projects. 3. The Environmental Impact Assessment course (ENVS 4020) is undertaking an environmental impact assessment of the potential for small­scale solar arrays around campus. This assessment will include feasible locations for solar panels using cost­benefit analyses and accounting for many variables. 4. The many student organizations that signed on to our first and second letters to President Mazey further support the development of solar and other clean energy initiatives as a top priority. 5. The Renewable Energy Feasibility Study was a positive first step on the part of the University to work toward the goals described in the Climate Action Plan. We look forward to actual, tangible accomplishments that use the findings of this study. We ask that the University continues pursuing renewable energy projects on campus and that transparency is maintained between the administration, faculty, and students. Achieving the goals described in the Climate Action Plan will require the cooperation of people at all levels to create a culture of sustainability on campus. If the campus as a whole is informed and engaged, then the likelihood of support from the campus community for sustainability initiatives will increase drastically. We hope to establish a…


Opera director, teacher & administrator to visit BGSU

Longtime opera stage director, administrator and teacher Jay Lesenger will bring his expertise and experience to Bowling Green State University students in the College of Musical Arts March 21 and March 22 as part of the Helen McMaster Endowed Professorship in Vocal and Choral Studies. Lesenger, who is familiar to Toledo audiences from his staging of last season’s Toledo Opera production of “Madama Butterfly,” will give master classes, work with students on building their resumes and auditioning, and provide insight into the music business. All his classes and presentations are free and open to the public. On March 21, he will present an introduction and master class from 3:30-6 p.m. in the Conrad Room at the Wolfe Center for the Arts, and a master class from 7-10 p.m. in Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. On March 22, he will hold a resume session from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Kobacker, a session on the music business and auditioning from 2-4 p.m. in Kobacker, a master class from 4-6 p.m. in the Conrad Room, and another from 8-10 p.m. in Kobacker. Lesenger has produced and directed more than 200 operas for New York City Opera, Chautauqua Opera Company, and multiple other companies throughout the U.S., Europe and Scandinavia. Through his 40-year career, he has directed a range of operatic genres, from classical to bel canto to works by contemporary composers. A well-known teacher of acting for singers, he recently joined the guest faculty of the Washington National Opera’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program. He has also taught in the School of Music opera faculties at the University of Michigan and Northwestern University and has directed productions for the Julliard, Mannes, and Manhattan Schools of Music as well as at Indiana University and the Academy of Vocal Arts. Lesenger is a frequent adjudicator for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and other vocal competitions. He holds a master’s degree from Indiana University and a Bachelor of Music and Theater from Hofstra University. Helen and the late Harold McMaster established the endowed professorship in spring 2000. Helen McMaster, a longtime Perrysburg resident, has supported the arts at BGSU for many years. In 1992 she served as honorary chair of BGSU’s Campaign of the Arts, to…


Young entrepreneurs poised for revamped Hatch at BGSU

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Fledgling entrepreneurs at Bowling Green State University hatch all kinds of ideas, and every year at The Hatch they get to test how those ideas will fly with a panel of possible investors. The fourth Hatch event, modeled on ABC’s “The Shark Tank,” will be presented April 7 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the ballroom in the Bowen-Thompson Student Union on campus. The event culminates E-Week, a week-long series devoted to entrepreneurship. This year eight ideas, ranging from a solution to a dorm room space problem to a solution for a type of water pollution, will be among the ideas pitched by individuals and teams to a panel of BGSU graduates with money to invest. Kirk Kern, director of the Dallas-Hamilton Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, said that the major changes for the event are adding graduate students and students working in teams to the mix. “What we’re trying to do is get a better quality of ideas,” he said. Kern said the vision is to expand even further to include faculty, staff and alumni. Already, he said, graduates will approach staff at the Dallas-Hamilton Center for help developing their business ideas. “That’s a logical extension,” he said. The event is also moving back to the ballroom after one year at the Stroh Center. Last year, Kern said, with 3,500 people attending, the event seemed too overwhelming. The focus is on the business ideas. The eight pitches were culled from 130 applications. Those students selected are then paired up with business mentors who help them refine their ideas. For Khory Katz, a sophomore studying finance in the College of Business Administration, that meant a trip over spring break to Cleveland. Katz is working with fellow finance major Meredith Moore on a no-hassle loft bed. The idea is to make it easier to adjust the height of a dorm loft bed to give students more space flexibility in their rooms. As it stands now, Katz said, the bed gets set at the beginning of the semester and that’s where it stays. In Cleveland, he visited Balance, Inc., a company that supports product innovation, to review his proposal. They provided useful insight into how to develop it and expressed interest in…


Musical specters come to life in string quartet concert on campus

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Spektral Quartet lived up to its name when it performed a Music at the Forefront concert Monday at Bowling Green State University. The Chicago-based quartet summoned plenty of specters with its ghostly, translucent sounds. The program included two pieces, Hans Thomalla’s Bagatellen and the formidable Third String Quartet by Beat Furrer. Both robbed the graves of bygone composers to create pieces that entranced and intrigued listeners. Little of the music was made using traditional violin sounds. Both pieces called for the virtuosity of unlikely techniques. The string players – Clara Lyon and Austin Wulliman, violins, Doyle Armbrust, viola, and Russell Rolen, cello – summoned snaps, crackles and pops from their instruments. Those sounds, though defying conventional notions of tunefulness, were strangely captivating. In Bagatellen, made up of nine brief episodes, Thomalla used odd bits of classical quartets by Beethoven, Mozart, and Haydn to construct the piece. Not recognizable melodies, but a scale, or a harmony part or a trill. These wafted through the work. Thomalla exploited silence, and near silence, and the hint of silence, and very, very soft sounds to draw listeners in. At one point, the musicians bowed their instruments without making contact with the strings. At other times, they rubbed the bodies of their violins with the bows and then stroked the tuning pegs. The slightest sound from the audience, even the scratching of a pencil on a program, crackled loudly. When the piece ended, it resolved not on any harmonic tonic but in silence. Furrer’s quartet also called for inventive uses of the instruments (though the part where the cello string breaks was spontaneous). In introducing the piece, violinist Wulliman explained the piece evoked “a half-submerged consciousness coming to life” as “a strange, neurotic landscape.” It was a tangle of sound effects patched together, the bits returning obsessively. The composer mixes, matches and folds the fragments and effects trying to exhaust all possible permutations. Then a sad chorale theme emerges. A song of lost love, Wulliman said at the outset of the piece. Its sadness seeps into this forbidding modernist environment. Are we still wandering as the piece ends much as it began? The audience seemed a bit dazed. Then they roused themselves, invaded…


BGSU Lively Arts Calendar, March 16–30

March 16—Jazz Week continues with a performance by the BGSU College of Musical Arts jazz faculty. The performance begins at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free March 17—The Visiting Writer Series features Lynn Emanuel, author of multiple volumes of poetry including “Oblique Light,” “The Dig,” “Then, Suddenly” and “Noose and Hook.” Her reading begins at 7:30 p.m. in Prout Chapel. Free March 17—The International Film Series features a 2007 film from Pakistan, “Khuda ke Liye  (In the Name of God).” Director Shoaib Mansoor follows the lives of three young Pakistanis in Britain, Pakistan and the U.S. pre- and post-9/11. The film explores the radicalization of youth, rise of extremist mullahs, Quranic law and U.S. Homeland Security’s use of torture. The screening begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Gish Film Theater in Hanna Hall. Free March 17—BGSU’s Jazz Lab Band I is joined by guest artist Antonio Hart on alto sax. The performance begins at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Advance tickets are $3 for students and children and $7 for adults. All tickets are $10 the day of the concert. To purchase online, visit bgsu.edu/arts, or call the box office at 419-372-8171. March 18—Three ARTalks will be presented by the BGSU School of Art as part of the Ashel and Dorothy Bryan Residence. Painter Paul Beel, a 1993 BGSU graduate, will speak at 2:30 p.m. in 204 Fine Arts Center. Graphic designer Nathan Hendricks will speak at 3:30 p.m. in 111 Olscamp Hall. Nathaniel Stern, interactive artist and writer, will speak on “Ecological Aesthetics” at 4:45 p.m., also in 111 Olscamp Hall. Free March 18—The Chamber Jazz Ensembles will perform during Jazz Week in Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. The performance begins at 8 p.m.Free March 19 —The Ashel and Dorothy Bryan Residence continues in BGSU’s School of Art with a conversation titled “Where Next? The Future of Art (School/Work/World)” featuring painter Paul Beel, graphic designer Nathan Hendricks and interactive artist and writer Nathaniel Stern. The discussion will begin at 4 p.m. in the Eva Marie Saint Theatre at the Wolfe Center for the Arts. Free March 19-April 3—The BFA Senior Thesis Exhibition opens with a reception from 6-8:30…


Tackling Injustice: Sports as an Arena of Social Change will be focus of Women’s History month on campus

This year, Bowling Green State University will celebrate Women’s History Month with the theme “Tackling Injustice: Sports as an Arena of Social Change.” The Women’s Center and the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program, along with a number of campus departments and organizations, have created a slate of programming that explores the role of athletics — and athletes — in positive social change. Numerous special events throughout the month of March are designed to inspire audiences to recognize and celebrate women who have challenged injustice both on and off “the field.” All events are free and open to the public. The first of the two keynote events is “The Toledo Troopers: An Evening with the Winningest Team in Pro-Football History,” featuring the remarkably diverse team of northwest Ohio women who overcame sexism and skepticism to accumulate the best win-loss record in professional football history, in a time before Title IX. Moderated by Tamara Jarrett, executive director of the Women’s Football Foundation, an all-star panel of Toledo Troopers — Linda Jefferson, Verna Henderson, Olivia Flores, Gloria Jimenez, Terry May, Eunice White and Mitchi Collette — escorted by current BGSU Falcon football players, will share their stories and memories. The event begins at 7 p.m. March 23 in 202B Bowen-Thompson Student Union. The second keynote presentation, on March 28, will explore “Women’s Empowerment Through Sport and Exercise: Rhetoric or Reality?” Dr. Pirkko Markula, a physical education and recreation faculty member at the University of Alberta (Canada) and a scholar specializing in socio-cultural studies of physical activity, will discuss her research on feminist empowerment rhetoric, and what terms such as “empowerment,” “choice” and “liberation” mean for today’s female athletes and physically active women. Her presentation is also the keynote address for annual Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Research Symposium. It begins at 2 p.m. March 28 in 308 Bowen-Thompson Student Union (a photo of Dr. Markula is attached to this email). Also from the University of Alberta, Dr. Jim Denison, another prolific and highly respected sport sociologist, will take part in a Sport and Social Justice panel on “Race, Religion, and Social Justice in Sport, from 1-2:15 p.m. March 31 in 207 Union. Also on the panel, from BGSU, are Dr.Dafina-Lazarus Stewart, higher education and student affairs; and…


BGSU launches Optimal Aging project with $1 million from Med Mutual

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Bowling Green State University has a new $1 million baby – an initiative to help older area residents age more gracefully. Officials from Medical Mutual of Ohio, which made the $1 million donation, and BGSU officially delivered the new project at a press conference Monday morning at the College of Health and Human Services. That’s where the Optimal Aging Institute will have its offices. Its services, though, will be offered throughout the area, wherever older folks want and need help make their lives easier, healthier and fuller. In announcing the project, Health and Human Services Dean Mary Huff said: “Optimal aging is defined as living at one’s highest potential, whether or not we are living independently and in excellent health, or coping with a chronic illness or disability. Optimal aging is a focus on what is possible, not on the impossible.” The initiative, Huff said, will have three major goals: • It will create and expand programs and activities for middle-age and older adults. • It will assist those doing research in aging and assist those needing supportive services for themselves or others. • It will educate and train students, service providers, health care workers, caregivers, older adults and business owners. That will include providing students with hands-on learning experiences. Huff said the first step will be to hire a director. A conference will be held in August to help launch the institute. The programs will address all the dimensions of wellness, Huff said. Those are physical, emotional and cognitive as well social, occupational, cultural and spiritual. BGSU President Mary Ellen Mazey said more older adults are returning to college towns to live. Campuses provide a wealth of activities, and the stimulation of a young population. Students, she said, help keep her young. Aging, she said, is “beautiful.” “You can do what you want and say what you want to say. You impact the lives of others. You get to have a major impact on the future of this country,” she said. Rick Chiricosta, the chairman, president and CEO of Medical Mutual of Ohio, said the name and concept of the Optimal Aging Institute “really resonated with me.” “That’s what it’s all about,” he said. “Let’s make this a…


Community band mixing art & music at Sunday concert

By BOWLING GREEN AREA COMMUNTY BAND On Sunday, March 20 the local community will be treated to a very special arts event in Bowling Green – a simultaneous band concert and gallery opening.  The Bowling Green Area Community Bands presents the first  Music Paints a Picture Concert,  in the spectacular Bowling Green Schools’ Performing Arts Center at 4 p.m. Featuring mixed media, photography, fabric arts and more, all of the displayed art has been created by the band performers themselves. The concert is the brainchild of assistant conductor Catherine Lewis, herself an award winning quilter as well as the highly regarded director of bands (retired) from Fremont City Schools. Ms Lewis has programmed entertaining and “visual” music selections that coordinate with the art work provided by the adult musicians in the bands. Fittingly, the concert opener is “Pictures at an Exhibition,” followed by dance inspired pieces  “Tango,” “A Two-Step: The Walking Frog”  and  “A Galop to End all Galops.” The entire clarinet section will dazzle the audience with the Leroy Anderson classic,  “Clarinet Candy.” Local artists include Kathy Bame, Portage:  quilted wall-hanging Sandra Dally, Portage:  sculpture, mixed media portrait, mixed media paper work Diane Huffman, Bowling Green:  3-D scarecrow figure Howard Williams, Woodville:  photographs Pat Williams, Woodville:  photograph, beaded cross stitch Patty Pickering, Bowling Green:  crocheted 3-D frog hat, crocheted scarf Jane Milbrodt, Bowling Green:  photograph Tom Milbrodt, Bowling Green: photograph Greg Predmore, Bowling Green:  clarinet sculpture Shelby Steinhagen, Grand Rapids:  large metal sculpture Dan Van Vorhis, Bowling Green:  photographs Sue Stokes, Weston:  cross stitch Steve Arnold, Bowling Green:  under water photography   The doors of the PAC will open at 3:30 with the gallery available both before and after the concert. Immediately following the concert, a reception will be held in the PAC atrium as a time to meet the artists. The BGACA is comprised of the concert band, directed by Thomas Headley and Catherine Lewis and the BG BiG Band, led by William Lake. This concert is free and open to the public; as a 501c3, the BGACB does accept donations. The PAC, located at 530 West. Poe Rd, Bowling Green, is accessible for those with physical challenges and has convenient parking.


Horizon Youth Theatre takes its show on the road… a necessity shared with others in BG thespian community

Horizon Youth Theatre is a troupe on the move… by necessity. The troupe is now in its 19th year of giving local children and teens the chance to be drama kings and queens, and it continues to be nomadic – at Otsego Elementary for its Festival of Shorts April 8, 9 and 10; holding drama classes at St. Mark’s in Bowling Green also that month; and in June presenting “Honk!” at the First United Methodist Church in Bowling Green. The location for the summer workshops is still a question mark. The troupe has had many homes over its lifetime from the soon-to-be-demolished theaters in University Hall on campus to whatever space has been available at the Woodland Mall. In a recent conversation a group of board members – President Karen Walters, Elizabeth Roberts-Zibbel, Alisa Suelzer and Haley Wilkins – said despite that peripatetic existence the troupe continues to provide theater experience to dozens of children. Since children participate in different ways, drama club to the full-blown productions, putting a precise number on how many children it serves is difficult. And the troupe is always recruiting. Still Walters estimated the participation has doubled in the last three years. “Our goal is education first, and we do that by putting on very high quality productions. But we’re not so much performance oriented as educational,” she said. Still the troupe knows how to put on a show as demonstrated by its participation in the Ohio Community Theater Association’s OCTA Fest Jr. and its collaborations with its partner the Black Swamp Players, including the recent production of “Seussical.” To do this, the board members said, they’ve had a lot of help from various segments of the community. They depend on the kindness of strangers. They appreciate that help. The mall management, Walters said, has gone out of their way to let Horizon use space rent free even doing set up for them. But recent changes there has meant there’s no room in the mall. At least for now. The Otsego school district stepped up when a previous arrangement with the Bowling Green school district fell through. “They bent over backwards” to make Horizon feel welcome, Walters said. They even allowed the troupe to stage two productions last fall, one…