Articles by David Dupont

Misfeldt honored at the 2016 OCTA Conference

At the sixty-third annual conference of the Ohio Community Theatre Association (OCTA), held at the Holiday Inn in Independence, Ohio, over the Labor Day weekend, Willard Misfeldt of Black Swamp Players was one of three OCTA members inducted into the state organization’s Hall of Fame.  This is an honor which recognizes outstanding achievements, contributions, and support by members of the organization. Willard has been involved in amateur theatricals since his high school senior class play and has been a member of Black Swamp Players since 1975, serving the group in various capacities including as President and as representative to the state organization.  He has been a regular attendee at regional and state OCTA conferences and has brought home a number of awards. In February and March of this year his more than forty years of theatre design work was surveyed in an exhibition at the Four Corners Center gallery in downtown Bowling Green. Dr. Misfeldt was a professor of art history in BGSU’s School of Art for 31 years.  For him theatre was a strong hobby and good way to have fun away from the job.

BGSU graduate student dies

Brian Witzgall, 23, a first-year master’s student in mathematics at Bowling Green State University, died Thursday night. Brian was from Harwich, Massachusetts, and had come to BGSU in late June. Counselors are available to help the campus community cope with this loss. The BGSU Counseling Center is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday, or can be reached by phone at 419-372- 2081.

BGSU hosts forum on “The Broadband Imperative”

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Like water, sewers and electricity, broadband has become an essential, fourth utility. Sufficient access is now critical to the economic success and survival of communities, whether urban, suburban or rural. Bowling Green State University’s Center for Regional Development is partnering with the Dublin, Ohio-based Global Institute for the Study of the Intelligent Community to explore the challenges, opportunities and next steps involved in the effort to create an “Intelligent Ohio” through the deployment, access and use of broadband capabilities. The center will host a forum on “The Broadband Imperative: Creating an Intelligent Ohio” from 2:30-4:30 p.m. Sept. 20 in 201 Bowen-Thompson Student Union. The agenda will include an overview of the broad band imperative, a brief case study of a community that has seen success through deployment and an hour of gathering input from attendees about their challenges and needs in order to move forward with deployment. In order to help plan seating space, attendees are requested to register Now sponsored by the city of Dublin, the intelligent community institute will eventually become a nonprofit organization. Its goal is to serve as a resource for local governments and as a consortium of thought leaders from numerous disciplines and organizations interested in advancing broadband. It is affiliated with the Intelligent Community Forum, a global network of cities and regions with a think tank at its center. Its mission is to help communities use information and communications technology to create inclusive prosperity, tackle social and governance challenges and enrich their quality of life.

Soprano Stacey Mastrian honors Italian heritage with art song recital

  By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Comic timing brought composer Christopher Dietz and singer Stacey Mastrian together. Dietz, who teaches composition at Bowling Green State University, heard the Seattle-based soprano perform on a contemporary music concert. She sang a comic piece, and Dietz also had a comic piece performed on the same bill. Two funny pieces on one contemporary music recital is extraordinary, Dietz said. “I should talk to this person,” the composer said. He was impressed by her musical technique, “impeccable intonation” as well as her “sure sense of the personality of the piece.” “She sold it with such confidence,” he said. That she was able to execute a difficult contemporary piece and perform it in an engaging manner, set her apart, Dietz said. “This is a special kind of singer.” They’ve been in touch ever since then, and now with funding and timing falling in line, Mastrian is now visiting BGSU. She’s working with students, both composers and singers. Mastrian will perform a recital, Post-Puccini: The Contemporary Voice, Saturday at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall on campus. She will perform vocal works composed between 1923 and the present by Luciano Berio, John Cage, Alfredo Casella, Thomas DeLio, Bruno Maderna, Stephen Lilly, and Luigi Nono. The recital has ample selections representing Mastrian’s own particular specialty, art songs from Italy. She always loved art songs, but she wondered why there were so few from Italian composers. “People may know Respighi.” Mastrian is of Italian extraction. The family name was Mastroianni “until a few letters got chopped off” during the immigration process in the early 20th century. “Italian has always resonated with me,” she said. She started studying the language when she was in high school. This meshed well with her growing interest in contemporary music. She did her undergraduate work at Catholic University in Washington D.C. where she had limited exposure to contemporary music. She did not care for what she heard in music history class. But during the orientation period at the start of her graduate studies at the University of Maryland College Park, she met composers her age. Mastrian, the daughter of an engineer, was fascinated by the spectrographs they were studying. So she got to know them and their work. She performed in a piece for four voices and found percussion. Then…

The musical evolution of Corey Baum

By LUDMILA POLYAKOVA For BG Independent News Corey Baum picked up his guitar in second grade and has yet to set it down. Baum has been creating music as long as he can remember, from first taking guitar lessons to playing the upright bass in the Kenwood Elementary Orchestra—that’s right, he’s a Bowling Green native—which eventually led to a music scholarship to Bowling Green State University. Along the way, Baum has had a rap persona (The Suave Farmer) and a hip-hop group (IDB Rangers), played drums for a punk outfit (Bullet Teeth), and was the front man for two indie rock bands (The Press Gang, Stop Don’t Stop). And that’s just to name a few. In 2007, Baum started a new project and called himself Taber Maine. “That’s when I started to get serious about myself as a songwriter.” Baum had been writing songs that were hard to categorize, and began to channel a southern, Appalachian sound. Taber Maine inspired Baum to move to Austin, Texas, where the vibrant, progressive country music scene has helped him grow into the artist he is today. “In Ohio I was an observer of it,” he said. “Moving down here, I became a direct participant. My joke is always that I moved to Austin calling myself a country artist, but I was actually a folk artist.” Taber Maine was a character; he played rough cowboy-sounding songs fueled by late nights and whisky. But like the many iterations of Baum, it led him to the next phase. “Coming down here, I just felt like my songwriting became more honest, so I didn’t need that persona anymore,” he explained. Baum took his sound from acoustic-folk to full on, honky-tonk country. He began playing under his given name, and when he felt ready to have a band behind him, he adopted the nickname “Croy” to form Croy and the Boys. Croy and The Boys will play Black Swamp Arts Festival on Sunday at the Main Stage, 11 a.m., and the Community Stage at 2 p.m. The band features Baum on vocals and guitar, Amy Hawthorne on Bass, Steve Carlson on lead guitar, and Felipe Granados on drums. Baum is eager to share this new sound with his hometown. “I’ve never been up with a full band in Bowling Green,” he said. “I’m…

Philly glass artists display work at River House Arts

River House Arts and Contemporary Art Toledo will present HUSH.ex, an exhibition of works in glass and mixed media by Megan Biddle, Amber Cowan, Jessica Jane Julius, and Sharyn O’Mara. The show opens with a public artists’ reception on Thursday, Sept. 15 from 6 to 9 p.m. and will be on view through Oct. 22, running concurrently with Hot Glass/Cool Music, a month-long community celebration of glass and music in Toledo. HUSH.ex is the second iteration of a body of work that debuted last spring at the Philadelphia Art Alliance. Working over the course of a year, the artists, who are also colleagues on the glass faculty at Tyler School of Art, Temple University, created visually and conceptually diverse works that include site-specific installations as well as individual sculptures and drawings. At the outset, the artists recognized commonalities in their practice: reflection (literal and figurative) and distillation. They began with a collective desire to see past the overstimulus of the digital age and to focus on the analog, narrow the vocabulary from color to gray scale, and capture the power of memory and reflection in interpretation of experience. And yet, there is nothing simplistic either in the ambition or scope of any of the artists’ work. This ambition and scope has not gone unnoticed. In the September 2016 edition of Glass Quarterly, Alexander Rosenberg writes. “It is uncommon to find the flashy and performative medium of glass used to express silence or solitude, but the four artists here offer a convincing alternative to the noise and hyper-connectivity of digital culture.” Megan Biddle is an interdisciplinary artist whose work orbits between sculpture, installation, drawing and video. Rooted in glass, she produces experiment and process driven work with an emphasis on materials and their distinct characteristics. As an observer of nature she responds to the elusive and subtle, reflecting on variations of time, cycles of growth and erosion. She has exhibited nationally and internationally and her work was acquired into the American Embassy’s permanent collection in Riga, Latvia. She teaches in the Glass Program at Tyler School of Art of Temple University in Philadelphia,Pennsylvania. Amber Cowan’s sculptural glasswork is based around the use of recycled, up-cycled, and second-life glass, usually American pressed glass from the 1940’s – 1980’s. She uses the processes of flameworking, hot-sculpting and glassblowing…

BGSU offers support for displaced ITT Technical Institute students

Bowling Green State University announced today that it will provide support to students displaced by ITT Technical Institute’s sudden closure. Northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan students who were affected by ITT’s closing are encouraged to investigate opportunities at the University’s Bowling Green and Firelands campuses or eCampus by calling 419-372-8136 or “We are happy to help these students explore their options and continue to meet their career goals,” said Dr. Barbara Henry, assistant vice president for non-traditional and military student services. “We understand this is a difficult time for the area’s former ITT students, and we want to offer our services as they look for opportunities to continue their education.”

Parking kiosk system use in Lot 2 to begin Monday, Sept. 12

The parking kiosk system in City Parking Lot 2 has been fully installed. Beginning on Monday,  Sept. 12, visitors of Lot 2 will be required to begin to pay for 2-hour or 10-hour parking at one of the 3 kiosks within this parking lot. Previously enforced parking rules will continue including the prohibition to backing into or pulling through parking spaces. As a reminder, visitors will be required to enter their license plate number at the kiosk so the vehicle can be associated with the payment.

BGSU Jazz Night an enduring downtown BG tradition

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Jazz lives in downtown Bowling Green. Even a tornado couldn’t keep the jazz sessions from getting started earlier this semester. For most Wednesday nights over the last 35 years, jazz jamming has been a staple on the Wednesday night scene. Sometimes it’s students, sometimes it’s the biggest names in the business. It just depends on the night. “It’s taken on different shapes and colors over those 35 years,” said bassist Jeff Halsey. What’s now called Jazz Studies Night has settled into Bar 149, at 149 N. Main St. starting at 8:30. The sessions feature the Bowling Green State University jazz faculty quartet of Halsey, David Bixler, alto saxophone, and Ariel Kasler, guitar, and newcomer Dan Piccolo, drums, during the first hour or so. In the second set, student start filtering into the lineup, putting to the test the lessons learned on campus. That on-the-bandstand experience is crucial to their development. “You really have to be here if you want to be a jazz player,” Halsey said. “This is part of the community hang.” Visiting musicians to take part in the action. When internationally known star Branford Marsalis did a residency on campus, he showed up to play a set with the faculty. When guitarist Mike Stern’s concert with the Jazz Lab Band I was canceled in January, 2014, because of a snow storm, it was rescheduled for Jazz Night with the entire big band packed into a corner of the club. And exactly a year later, after a long day of delayed flights, the then 88-year-old Jimmy Heath rolled into the bar round about midnight, pulled out his saxophone and wailed. Jazz history had come to call. “Jazz is an art form that takes shape in a community,” Bixler said. Spending time in the practice room, using play-along recordings is part of learning, he said, “but you really learn how to play by playing.” “On the bandstand everything is different. You learn how to communicate, how to start and end songs, how to keep a mistake from derailing the whole piece, how to react to the melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic input of your bandmates,” he wrote in an email. What the students learn in the studios and practice rooms of the Moore Musical Arts Center blossoms in the dim…

BGSU enrollment on the upswing (updated)

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News New facilities are translating into more faces on the Bowling Green State University campus. BGSU officials announced today that 15 days after class started, that enrollment on the Bowling Green campus is up 4.4 percent to 17,4649. The headcount for both the Bowling Green and Firelands campuses is up 640 students, or 3.3 percent, from last year, and almost 1,000 more than two years ago. That was helped by a freshman class that is larger than last year’s and, according to Cecilia Castellano, vice provost for strategic enrollment planning, the most academically prepared ever. Those 3,542 students have an average grade point average of 3.42 with an ACT score of 22.8. Retention of those students who entered last fall and are back this fall is just under 76 percent. That’s lower than last year, by about a percentage point. But because the class was bigger, the sophomore class is larger than last year’s. One reason students are attracted to BGSU, she said, is the new facilities. “I would say overall our new facilities and renovated facilities are continuing to attract students because it really aligns with our quality and innovative programs,” Castellano said. “The facilities are just strengthening what’s taught.” That means more students in architecture and environmental design, which is housed in a brand new home that used to be a warehouse. It means a modest growth in media and communications majors with the opening of the new Kuhlin Center. Castellano expects even more growth in those programs next year. The building wasn’t open when this class of students was touring campus, but those prospective students looking to enroll in fall, 2017 are “floored” by the possibilities of the new building. Overall the sciences, including the university’s new forensics science program, business majors and education majors are also seeing growth. First and second year science instruction will get a boost when the renovated Moseley Hall opens a year from now. And a new home for the College of Business is in the planning stages. The College Credit Plus program has also increased by 35 percent, both with high school students taking college courses at their home school and those taking courses on the BGSU campus. More graduate students have enrolled as well in computer science, business and the new…

Wendell Mayo brings his “lonely ones” into the spotlight

By DAVIDDUPONT BG Independent News Writing stories can be a lonely job. Maybe that’s why fiction writers populate their stories with so many lonely souls. So when award-winning fiction writer Wendell Mayo took the stage last week in what was billed as the first in the Spotlight on the Arts series, his theme was All My Lonely Ones. But as a professor in the Bowling Green State University Creative Writing Program, he’s certainly not alone in his pursuit. Eschewing the usual introduction, he spent the first few minutes of his presentation singing the praises of BGSU Creative Writing Program. And as a former engineer, he did it with a string of numbers including 415 books published by graduates of the program and 226 awards bestowed on their work. And that includes the big one, a Pulitzer Prize in fiction, for Anthony Doerr. The program’s importance, though, is unquantifiable. “What we do here is bring authors from all over the world out of isolation,” he said. Together they share insights and learn the craft of writing.  Mayo said he started writing in the 1980s when he was living in the San Francisco and commuting by train to his job as a chemical engineer. There surrounded by people, his first lonely ones first stepped out onto the page. Mayo then presented four examples of his own craft. “I introduce you to some of my lonely ones.” Mayo offered a few words telling how each story came about, each a fictional elaboration on a real world situation, an example of how germ of inspiration from daily life can be spun into a fictional construct. Then he stepped aside as the stories were read by either F. Daniel Rzicznek or Jackie Cummins. The first story, from early in Mayo’s career, grew out of a mystery about his mother. When his father died, she started signing checks including “Soledad” as part of her name. The checks bounced. He wondered where the name came from. In the story, it is the character’s mother who had died, and the narrator goes to Texas to discover the meaning of the name, Soledad. The second tale grew out of a tragedy, though the story itself has comic moments and only hints at tragedy. While teaching Indiana Purdue University, Fort Wayne, a colleague told Mayo…

BGSU Lively Arts Calendar, Sept. 6- 21

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Sept. 6 – Tuesdays at the Gish kicks off with “Almost Famous” (2000), directed by Cameron Crowe. Set in the 1970s, this semi-autobiographical story based on the director’s experiences as a rock journalist for Rolling Stone continues to be a beloved coming-of-age and rock-n-roll film. The screening begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Gish Film Theater located in Hanna Hall. Free Sept. 7 – The Faculty Artist Series continues with Penny Thompson Kruse performing on violin presenting a recital on the theme of Farewell to Summer. The recital begins at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Sept. 8 – The Visiting Writer Series welcomes American fiction writer Alissa Nutting, author of “Tampa” and the short story collection “Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls.” The reading will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Prout Chapel. Free Sept. 8 – BGSU’s International Film Series commences with “Fordson: Faith, Fasting and Football,” directed by Rashid Ghazi. The 2016 documentary follows a predominantly Arab-American high school football team from Dearborn, Mich., during the last 10 days of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and unearths the story of a community desperately holding onto its Islamic faith while struggling to gain acceptance in post 9-11 America. The screening begins at 7:30 p.m. Free Sept. 10 – The Falcon Marching Band will perform during the BGSU vs North Dakota football game. Join in the festivities at 3 p.m. in the Doyt Perry Stadium. Tickets to the football game are available at or 1-877-247-8842. Sept. 10 – Guest artist Stacy Mastrian, soprano, will perform in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center at 8 p.m. Free Sept. 11 – The Sunday Matinee Series begins with the 1912 films “An Unseen Enemy” and “Musketeers of Pig Alley,” directed by D.W. Griffith, followed by “Harvest” (1953), directed by James Sheldon. In this “Robert Montgomery Presents,” two legendary figures appear: Dorothy Gish is James Dean’s mother in a highly charged farm-country drama, which has been preserved in Kinescope form. The screening begins at 3 p.m. in the Gish Film Theater located in Hanna Hall. Free Sept. 11 – The Faculty Artist Series continues with assistant professor of violin Caroline Chin performing at the Toledo Museum of Art, 2445 Monroe…

Comedy troupe to improv on Shakespeare in conjunction with Bard exhibit

From TOLEDO MUSEUM OF ART What will happen on stage is anybody’s guess, but one thing is for sure: whatever you see and hear will be created right on the spot when the Improvised Shakespeare Company appears Oct. 8 at the Toledo Museum of Art Peristyle as part of Holy Toledo Laughfest. The 6 p.m. performance by the critically acclaimed improv group is among a series of fall programs being offered in conjunction with the Museum’s free exhibition Shakespeare’s Characters: Playing the Part, on view Sept. 2 through Jan. 8, 2017 in Gallery 6.The Museum is honoring the great playwright 400 years after his death with an exhibition that explores The Bard’ s band of characters and a series of performances, a Shakespeare on Film series and a lecture by exhibition curator Christina Larson, TMA’s Mellon Fellow. The Improvised Shakespeare Company has been performing to sold-out audiences in Chicago since 2005. Based on one audience suggestion (a title for a play that has yet to be written), the company creates a fully improvised Shakespearean masterpiece right on stage. Each of the actors has brushed up on his “thee’s” and “thou’s” to provide an evening of off-the-cuff comedy using the language and themes of William Shakespeare. Nothing is planned out, rehearsed or written in advance. Tickets for the performance at the Peristyle are $20 each and available for purchase online at Approximately 30 paintings, prints, sculptures, photographs and illustrated books bring the beloved playwright’s works to life in the Shakespeare’s Characters exhibition. Among the works of art are Fred Wilson’s sculpture Iago’s Mirror (2009), which references “Othello,” and Arthur Hughes’s painting Ophelia (1865), which takes its subject from “Hamlet.” Other works dramatically represent scenes from “Romeo and Juliet,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Antony and Cleopatra,” “The Tempest” and other plays. Other events related to the free exhibition include: FREE Midweek Shakespeare –  Wednesdays, Sept. 7, 2016 through Jan. 4, 2017: 2 p.m., Libbey Court. This midweek, mid-afternoon series celebrates the plays and poetry of William Shakespeare, including a reading of all 154 sonnets, famous and lesser-known scenes and monologues, plus music and other Shakespeare-inspired creative works. Participants include students, faculty, and actors drawn from the Toledo School for the Arts, the Actors Collaborative of Toledo, the Bedford Community Players, the University of Toledo and more. Toledo…

Gathering Volumes in Perrysburg offers place for book lovers to congregate

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Like most booklovers, Denise Phillips can name her favorite bookstores. In Chicago, where she and her family lived until moving to Perrysburg five years ago, there is the Book Table. In Ann Arbor, where they’ve made regular trips in the past several years, there’s Literati. But until earlier this summer, she didn’t have one close to home. So Phillips, and her husband, Brian, took initiative and opened Gathering Volumes at 196 E. South Boundary in Perrysburg. “We’ve been searching for an independent bookstore,” she said. One that sells new books. Used bookstores are plentiful. “I think a bookstore is such a community hub,” Phillips said.  “You just feel at home, no matter if you’ve ever been there before.” With a stock reflecting local customers’ interests, book clubs geared to popular genres, and events featuring area authors, that’s just what she envisions Gathering Volumes to be. The store marks a career switch for her. She was a project manager for an information technology firm. When her father died, Phillips said, “I decided I wasn’t happy doing what I was doing, and this was something that was always there for me.” So two years ago she started researching the book trade. And she tapped the expertise of those who ran the kind of bookstore she loved. “The owners of independent bookstores were incredibly helpful and lovely.” The demographics of the Perrysburg area, with higher than average number of college graduates and lots of families with kids, was a promising market. Phillips knows it’s a gamble. “It’s a huge risk,” she said. “There’s no guarantee it will be here in three years.” It was a bet, though, her family was willing to place. With a small business loan, some savings and help from family the business was launched. Her own two children Isaac, 7, and Mackenzie, 10, are two of the stores biggest fans, preferring to come to the shop after school rather than go home. Mackenzie will even “play” bookstore with friends. “I don’t think the bookstore will replace the income I had,” Phillips said. “But I enjoy my days, and I enjoy the families that come in.” Figuring out what those families want is a key. To stock the more than 8,000 volumes now in the store, she tapped in…

Festival etiquette: Little things that make it better for all of us

From DAVE SHAFFER Chair, Black Swamp Arts Festival   Of course Bowling Green and the Black Swamp Arts Festival welcome you wholeheartedly to the festival coming up this weekend.  We are so enthusiastic about making you all feel welcome that I would like to take a little of your time to discuss what it takes to do just that (make everyone feel welcome). The classic advice to never discuss politics or religions is maybe going a bit too far.  Civil, considerate discussion amongst consenting adults is fine, yelling at people to think like you, no matter how important the cause, is best done elsewhere.  Come to enrich yourself: enjoy the art, the food, the music and the people watching.  How we each interpret and present ourselves to the world is an art we bring to our own lives and the best thing about people watching is that the people you watch are different than you.  Open yourself up to the differences. Personally, I love to see dogs at the festival and if you do want to bring your “best friend,” it would be best to do it earlier when the crowds are fewer and the pavement is cooler.  People will pet your dogs.  Some will ask and some won’t.  You and they should be ok with that. One of my favorite movies, A Blast from the Past, summed it up well: “good manners are just a way of showing other people we have respect for them.” and “…a lady or a gentleman is, someone who always tries to make sure the people around him or her are as comfortable as possible.”  So, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the festival.