Arts and Entertainment

Whitehorse rides into arts fest for Sunday sets

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland started out as musical collaborators playing in bands together and working on each other’s projects. “Our relationship was strictly professional … for weeks,” Doucet quipped. “Our relationship was very close, very intimate early on. We found each other.” That was about 14 years ago, and now Doucet is talking on the telephone with their 3-year-old son in the background. He wants a boat ride, Doucet said. For years, Doucet and McClelland continued on their separate careers as solo artists and “hired guns,” though they worked together as much as they could. Then six years ago, tired of their schedules pulling them apart, they formed Whitehorse, a musical act informed both by their long musical and personal relationship Whitehorse will perform at the Black Swamp Arts Festival, Sunday Sept. 11, at 12:30 p.m. on the Main Stage and then at 2:45 as the penultimate act on the Family Stage. Reflecting on those early years, Doucet said “our musical lives were very confused.” They were including each other so much in their own bands that when their schedules didn’t allow them to play together, their fans would ask where the missing party was. They also toured together with fellow Canadian Sarah McLachlan. Doucet had been backing the star for a while. As McLachlan’s backup singers came and went, he suggested he knew someone. “She rolled her eyes and told me: ‘I’m not hiring your girlfriend,’” Doucet recalls. Then a backup singer left just as McLachlan was heading off on a short tour with Pete Seeger. She relented. McClelland joined the band…

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Lionface back on the scene with set of Shakespeare shorts

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Local theater lovers have not gotten their annual serving of open-air Shakespeare this summer. Beautiful Kids, the 20-year-old campus-based troupe, is on, what we hope, is a one-year hiatus. Lionface Productions has also been quiet. Now that community troupe is ready to roar, though they are going to do so indoors at Trinity United Methodist instead of on the Needle Park stage. (As much as I love outdoor Shakespeare, given the number of mosquitos I had to dodge on the short walk from my car to the church, this may be a blessing.) Lionface is staging “Party Bard: A Lionface Productions Shakespeare Shorts Festival” Thursday, July 27, Friday, July 28, and Saturday, July 29, at 8 p.m. at the church at 200 N. Summit St., Bowling Green. Tickets are $7 and $5 for students. In introducing the dress rehearsal Wednesday, Ryan Halfhill said the show was a way for the troupe to signal a return to the basics, Shakespeare and other classic plays. The four scenes presented within the hour-long show cover a gamut of the Bard’s work with two scenes from tragedies, one scene from a comedy, and one scene from a history play. All involve drinking or eating. The party starts with Halfhill playing the porter from “Macbeth.” After a long night of drinking, the porter takes his sweet time answering the door at Macbeth’s castle, imagining himself the gatekeeper of hell – quite appropriate given the murder that’s just occurred – and wonders what manner of sinner may be banging to get in. Then Halfhill’s drunken porter regales Macduff about the…


Music marathon at Toledo Museum to mark centenary of composer Lou Harrison, Aug. 12

From TOLEDO MUSEUM OF ART The Toledo Museum of Art and the Toledo Symphony Orchestra, in conjunction with Bowling Green State University, will celebrate the centenary year of Lou Harrison with a music marathon from noon until 10 p.m. on Aug. 12. Harrison (1917-2003) – a composer, environmentalist and gay icon – began his own musical revolution more than 50 years ago, and is considered the godfather of the influential world music movement, particularly its popularity in the West. His more than 300 compositions written for symphony orchestra, ballet, small chamber ensembles and soloists incorporate western, eastern and custom-made instruments. “We welcome opportunities to host fascinating, innovative performances for our visitors, and this year’s music marathon celebrating Lou Harrison is no exception,” said TMA Programs Manager Scott Boberg. The schedule includes chamber music, a documentary film about Harrison and a demonstration of gamelan, the traditional Indonesian ensemble of mostly percussive instruments used widely in Harrison’s compositions. The marathon culminates with a Peristyle concert at 7:30 p.m. featuring Grammy Award-winning Third Coast Percussion performing two concertos: The Concerto for Organ with Percussion Orchestra featuring Grammy Award-winning soloist Paul Jacobs, and the Concerto for Violin and Percussion Orchestra with soloist Todd Reynolds. Harrison is best known for challenging the traditional music establishment with his explorations of new tonalities and propulsive rhythms and his ground-breaking use of percussion. His contemporaries and colleagues included composers John Cage, Aaron Copland, Virgil Thomson and Leonard Bernstein; Living Theater founder Judith Malina; and choreographer Merce Cunningham. Beyond his myriad musical accomplishments, Harrison was also recognized and received multiple awards as a political activist. Merwin Siu, artistic administrator of the Toledo Symphony Orchestra…


Fantasy tale makes Chelsea Bobulski’s literary dream a reality

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News “The Wood” that gives the title to Chelsea Bobulski’s debut novel is located along Route 315 that travels along the Olentangy River as it winds along the route to Columbus. That’s a familiar stretch of road for Bobulski who grew up in the Columbus area and attended Ohio State University. She always enjoys the drive. Her imagination has conjured a darker, fantastic image of those woods. It’s a place where a teenage girl finds purpose, loss, and romance in a mysterious world. Sometimes people wander into The Wood from other time periods. The teenage Winter serves as a guardian, as her father was before and she is responsible for guiding them back to their own times lest the historic continuum collapse. But now something is seriously wrong and aided by a handsome young stranger from 18th century England, Winter must find out what’s happening. She also finds romance. In “The Wood,” Bobulski, 27, has taken the first steps to literary success. This gripping fantasy will be issued Aug. 1 by the major publisher Macmillan. The night before, Bobulski will celebrate the publication with a book release party in her Perrysburg hometown. Gathering Volumes, 196 E. Boundary St., will host the party Monday, July 31 from 7 to 9 p.m. Bobulski will be on hand to sign books, and talk with readers. She said she’d be happy to answer any questions people have about her “publishing journey.” Cupcakes from Cake in a Cup will be served. “I was telling stories since I was very little,” Bobulski said in a recent telephone interview. When she was in third grade, an author…


Black Swamp Arts Festival’s juried art show celebrates continued excellence in its 25th year

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News For the Black Swamp Arts Festival’s juried art show the 25th year celebration is pretty much business as usual. That means working to maintain its standing in the Sunshine Artist magazine’s listing of top art shows. Last year the festival was ranked 70th on the journal’s Top 100 Classic and Contemporary Show list. That’s about where the festival has ranked in the 15 years or so that, it has broken onto the list. Those rankings are based on artists’ average sales which are something shy of $3,000. The 25th Black Swamp Arts Festival will be presented Friday, Sept. 8 through Sunday, Sept.10, with the art shows presents Saturday and Sunday. For more details, visit: http://www.blackswampfest.org/. Brenda Baker, who chairs the festival’s visual arts committee, said she would like to think the milestone year has attracted a few more artists to apply. As it was the jurors Kathy Buszkiewicz and Brandon Briggs reviewed 222 applications to fill the 112 booth spaces on Main Street in downtown Bowling Green. Six award winners from last year have committed to returning. That includes best of show winner Isaac Smith. Baker said that 18, or 12.5 percent, of the artists are in their first Black Swamp Arts Festival. “That’s pretty high.” Another 15 percent have been regulars for at least that past five years. The rest are in or out depending on the judgement of the jurors. Buszkiewicz wrote in an email: “Having judged this show in the past, this time I have seen some good returning artists’ applications. There also seems to be some new applicants to the…


‘Fair season is the best season’ – Theresa Gavarone

Guest Column from State Representative Theresa Gavarone   The best part of summer, and even fall, in Ohio is the variety of festivals around the state to enjoy. From the big Ohio State Fair to the Pumpkin Show in southern Ohio, there are events of all kinds to take part in—fairs celebrating zucchini, strawberries, and yes, even apple butter! This year, I encourage you to traverse across Wood County and see everything your local community has to offer. Our local fairs and festivals present a great, inexpensive way to spend a summer day or night with the family.   One of the biggest and most loved festivals in northwestern Ohio is certainly the Wood County Fair. Taking place this year from July 31st through August 7th in Bowling Green, this long-standing tradition supports the county’s youth and community members with exhibitions, educational opportunities, and entertainment. With a catch-a-pig contest, lawnmower derby, livestock sale, and more, there is always plenty for all ages to do.   If the arts and music scene is more of what you appreciate, then the Black Swamp Arts Festival is for you. Celebrating 25 years in Bowling Green this year, the festival will be held the weekend after Labor Day, September 8th through the 10th.  This event has one of the most unique atmospheres around Ohio, and up to 60,000 people come to town to enjoy the fine arts and music! With hundreds of booths to stop into, you’ll be sure to find a special piece of art for your home while listening to talented local musicians.   In between all of these fairs, I highly encourage you to…


Youthful performers bring historic figures to life at Rossford Chautauqua

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The stories of historic figures who shaped Rossford and the world will be told in youthful voices at this year’s Chautauqua. Rossford Chautauqua will be presented Wednesday, July 19, through Sunday, July 23, under a tent on the Rossford Marina. This is the third time Rossford has presented Chautauqua. The city hosted the Ohio Humanities Council’s official troupe of performing scholars in 2014 and 2016. But that series runs on a two-year cycle, and Chautauqua was such a hit that the Convention and Visitors Bureau wanted to stage a living history event of its own this year. So they approached Jeremy Meier, a theater professor at Owens Community College, for help. Meier has portrayed Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry. He appeared on the Rossford bill as the hero of the Battle of Lake Erie in 2014. Meier recruited some Owens alumni as well as a trio of Rossford High School students to form a local troupe of young performing scholars. While Marie Curie and Mary Shelley won’t be visiting Rossford this year, Susan Marie Frontczak, the scholar performer who acted those roles last summer, did come to town. She was on hand to help teach these young performers how bring history to life on stage. Wednesday she was working with the high school seniors Alex Chiarelott, Hannah Beene, and Nolan McHugh who are portraying Edward Ford, Florence Scott Libbey, and Samuel “Golden Rule” Jones, respectively. Frontczak said she was impressed with what the students had accomplished. But she wasn’t there to praise but to coach. As they delivered their monologues, she stopped them every few lines to suggest…