Arts and Entertainment

Pirates play coming to Pemberville Opera House

From PEMBERVILLE OPERA HOUSE Pemberville Children’s Theatre Workshop will stage Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island” Friday, Aug. 3, and Saturday, Aug. 4 at 7:40 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 5 at 2 p.m. in the Pemberville Opera House, 115 Main St, Pemberville “Treasure Island” is one of the most durable adventure stories of all times, with the villainous Long John Silver following young Jim across the ocean in search of a buried fortune on Treasure Island. Tickets are $8.0 and  $5 under 18 at at Beeker’s General Store or by calling Carol Bailey at  419-287-4848. Luke McHaffie plays Jim and Stephen Williams plays Long John Silver. Cast, directed by Angie Patchett, includes: Mercy Lanning, Chloe Holcomb, Eli Smith, Karena Lowe, Madison Fox, John Williams, Isabella Holcomb,  Titus Angel, Abigail Farris, Seamus Maxon, Kevin Williams, Devon Eidenour, Shane Meehan, Cozy Daniels, Deign Maxon, and Danielle Angel. Also, . Justus Angel, Hayden Cadaret, Ethan Headley, Finnian Maxon, Eamon Maxon, Neely Maxon, Rebekah McHaffie , Caitie Meehan , Delilah VanderWaarden , and Liam VanderWaarden. This year’s production of “Treasure Island” will feature “sea and sky” scenery.  Original to the opera house, it is approximately 100-120 years old. Each piece measures 9’ x 10’ and has small porcelain wheels in the bottoms. These were designed so that one person on each side of the stage could change the scenery with one swift pull. Each piece of scenery fits into a wooden slat at the top of the stage which serves as a channel. The canvas was repaired before artist Kim Baskey, of Toledo, touched in all the wear and tear to make it look like brand new all the while preserving its wonderful history. This is the 11th year for the Pemberville Children’s Theatre. Featuring 28 children between the ages of 7 and 16, who worked weeks to put this production together. Workshop made possible through the generosity of the Gale and Marlyn Williamson Performing Arts Fund.

Firefly Nights fans party on despite gloomy forecast

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News There was more of the lightning bug than lightning about Firefly Nights Friday in downtown Bowling Green. The second street fair in the monthly summer series was staged under the threat of rain – telephone weather reports had ominous lightning bolts for throughout the event. Yet the rain never amounted more than a heavy sprinkle, and people weren’t scared way as they came to enjoy food, vendors, shopping, music, games and visiting. In deference to the predicted storms, the music was moved inside to Howard’s Club H and Doc’s. But when the storms failed to materialize Ryan Roth & The Sideshow did take the outside stage on the north end of the festival to close out the evening. And vocalist Flannery Murnen and guitarist Mike Bryce, who opened the festival with a set indoors, decided to perform a second impromptu show later in the evening outside on the south stage. Though the weather wasn’t as predicted, Firefly Nights came through as promised with more outdoor food options, both food trucks and eateries serving outdoors, more craft vendors, and more activities for the younger set. The third and final Firefly Nights street fair of the season will be held Aug. 17.  

Hundreds of volunteers share in Black Swamp Arts Festival’s I Love BG Award

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News A volunteer enterprise that knows how to show the community a good time won the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce’s I Love BG Award. The Black Swamp Arts Festival received the award at the Chamber’s Mid-Year Meeting and Awards Program. Given the number of volunteers, as many as 1,000, with some seated in the luncheon audience, festival vice chair Jamie Sands dubbed the honor the “We Love BG Award.” The Black Swamp Arts Festival will be staged Sept. 7-9 in downtown Bowling Green and feature visual arts, music, and more than a dozen youth art activities. In his introduction, Clint Corpe, of the Morning Show on WBGU-FM, recalled talking to Floyd Craft, one of the festival’s founders, about the event’s soggy start. Craft recalled that first year organizers pulling down tents with rain coming at them from all directions and knowing they had lost thousands of dollars that they’d put into the festival. They asked: What next? The answer was: “Let’s do it again.” And they did. Again and again and again. Last year’s the festival marked its 25th year. In the spirit of the founders, the festival committee wondered after 25 years what was next, said Bill Donnelly, who chairs the festival committee. “What’s our vision for the next 25 years?” The festival’s mission is to foster a relationship between members of the community and the arts, he said. Donnelly said he’s researched other events and he could not find another festival of this magnitude that is totally staged and funded by community volunteers. Among those volunteers is Earlene Kilpatrick, the executive director of the chamber. She’s served on the festival’s artist hospitality committee. Donnelly said if he asked her to show up at 4:30 a.m. on the Saturday morning of the festival, she was there. This was the last major chamber event Kilpatrick will preside over. She is retiring on Oct. 1 after 10 years in the job. “The chamber has grown,” she said, “and I’ve grown as part of the chamber.” Heritage Corners, which won the Customer…

Music is what matters to high school folk-rock trio

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The rock band Mindless Matters has now played on both sides of the street just north of the intersection of Main Street and Court Street in downtown Bowling Green. In the two years that Kameron Frankart, guitar and vocals, Joey Craig, drums, and Allan Landgraf, fretless electric bass, have been a working band, they’ve appeared on the iconic stage at Howard’s Club H. Wednesday night the trio of Bowling Green High School seniors, played across the street at the Wood County District Public Library, on the site where Howard’s was originally located. Mindless Matters did a set to support the Libraries Rock summer reading program. They performed a mix of classic rock tunes, a couple songs by Bob Dylan, and a number of originals. They also urged those in attendance to head out to the Civic Music Club at 135 S. Byrne in Toledo to cheer them on Friday night (July 20) when they compete in the finals of the venue’s Battle of the Bands. The show starts at 7, but the band isn’t sure when they’ll hit. The competition started weeks ago with 40 bands playing over the course of a number of nights. Now it’s down to eight bands that will appear Friday and Saturday. Mindless Matters stems from a time when Frankart and Craig jammed with another young musician they knew from school. When that trio didn’t work out, Craig suggested they recruit Landgraf whom he knew from the high school jazz band. The new combination clicked, but then Landgraf left town to spend a year in Austria with his family. As soon as he got back, though, Mindless Matters started playing shows. That was two years ago. They’ve made the rounds of venues, including Grounds for Thought where they launched their four-song EP, the Black Swamp Arts Festival, where they will play again this year, and the aforementioned Howard’s Club H. They also have a single making the rounds. “We all love playing music together,” Landgraf said. Recently they’ve been entertaining at friends’ graduation parties as an…

Now OH honors familiar faces on local art scene

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News A year ago Aaron Pickens won best of show at the Now OH exhibit with a painting it took him two hours to complete. The painting was a small a landscape painted on location. This year Pickens won Best of Show for a very different piece. “In Da Club” took two years in the studio to complete. It draws on Pickens’ fascination with toys, and serves as a commentary on the contemporary art scene. Pickens said the piece references fashionable trends in painting. In the middle is a small self-portrait that’s slashed by a splash of paint. He also plays with the use of repetition. He also employs social media “love” and “like” icons. These are the tropes he sees in the work that are featured in magazines and are accepted in juried show. “In Da Club” has not been accepted in any juried shows. Pickens said. But the Now OH, is open to all comers from 12 counties in Northwest Ohio. The 11th community art exhibit Now OH opened Friday night in the Bowling Green State University Fine Art Center with a gallery talk by juror Michelle Carlson and the awards ceremony. The show continues through July 28. Gallery hours are: Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m. and Friday through Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. The 65 artists who showed work included avocational artists, some who have been at it for decades, and an art professor. The prize winners included names familiar to those who frequent local arts events, such as Art Walk and the Wood County Invitational at the Black Swamp Arts festival. They are stalwarts in those shows, though not necessarily award winners. Painter Craig Blair received the first place in 2D work for his painting “Girl with Balloon.” In her talk Carlson praised Blair’s mastery of spray paint art and the way he used a few simple images – a woman, a balloon, a blimp – to create an evocative effect. Blair said in his 50 years of painting he’d never won an award. He’s been a regular exhibitor at Now OH. “I…

Black Swamp Players to open three-show season with ‘Clue: The Musical’

From THE BLACK SWAMP PLAYERS The Black Swamp Players will open its fifty-first season with a production of “Clue: The Musical.” Based on the 1949 board game of the same name, “Clue: The Musical” is an interactive theater experience that invites audience participation. Like the board game, “Clue: The Musical” concerns the murder of Mr. Boddy and features all of the colorful characters made famous by Parker Brothers, including Colonel Mustard, Miss Scarlet, Professor Plum, Mrs. Peacock, Mr. Green, and Mrs. White. But the musical also allows audience members to randomly select cards that will determine which suspect committed the murder, which weapon was used, and where the murder took place. The show has 216 possible endings. The production will be directed by Melissa Shaffer. Open auditions for the production will be held on the following dates: Sunday, August 12 from 3-5 p.m.; Tuesday, August 14 from 7-9 p.m.; and Saturday August 18 from 10 a.m. to noon. The script calls for a cast of five men and three women of various ages. All auditions will be held at the First United Methodist Church on East Wooster Street in Bowling Green. Those who want to audition should prepare a two-minute song excerpt and should expect to cold read from the script. “Clue: The Musical”will open on Friday, November 9 at 7:30 p.m. Additional performance dates include: Saturday, November 10 at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, November 16 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, November 17 at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, November 11 and 18 at 2 p.m.. Both Saturday evening performances will be preceded by a dinner, beginning at 6 p.m., that will benefit the First United Methodist Church. Tickets for the Friday and Sunday performances are $15/adults, $12/seniors and students. Tickets for the Saturday “Dinner and a Show” performances are $25/person and must be purchased one week or more prior to the show. All tickets can be purchased on the organization’s website. Clue: The Musical is the first of three productions to be mounted by The Black Swamp Players for its 2018-2019 season. Clue will be followed by a production…

Toledo Opera casts Shawn Mathey in ‘Magic Flute’

Bowling Green native Shawn Mathey will perform of Tamino, the prince in Mozart’s “The Magic Flute,” with the Toledo Opera, Oct. 5 and 7 in the Valentine Theatre. Mathey, who has performed in lead roles with major companies around the world, has returned to Bowling Green. He earned his Master of Music from Bowling Green State University, where his wife Sujin Lee teaches, in December. He appeared in “Cavalleria Rusticana” in February, 2016 on campus. With the Toledo Opera he has performed lead roles in “Madama Butterfly” and “Faust.”  

Toledo Museum of Art recruiting docents

From TOLEDO MUSEUM OF ART Toledo Museum of Art (TMA) is opening recruitment for its docent program. Those who have a passion for teaching and sharing the arts with children are encouraged to apply to the upcoming docent training class. Docents are trained Museum volunteers who engage with visitors to facilitate enriched experiences with works of art and create a warm and welcoming Museum environment. These “gallery teachers” encourage visitor inquiry and enjoyment of the arts. The 2019 docent class will include: A calendar year worth of training Becoming a docent gives the opportunity to participate in a thorough training process. Training will take place from January through December 2019 and will include mentorship from experienced docent peers. Training for specific groups Participants will attend classroom and gallery training sessions to become familiar with the TMA collection and gain skills to connect PreK-8 students with works of art. The training program includes specific training for the PreK-8 school tour program. Convenient training hours Training sessions will be held weekdays to coincide when school tours take place. For further information, please visit and attend an information session on Aug. 9, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Applications are now being accepted and interviews will take place late August and early September. Classes will officially begin January 2019.

Rising blues star Samantha Fish ready to connect with Black Swamp Arts Festival audiences

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News When the Main Stage acts for the 2018 Black Swamp Arts Festival were first posted, a number of music fans lit up social media at the sight of Samantha Fish’s name as the festival closer. Two months from now, on Sunday afternoon, rising blues star Fish will take the Main Stage to round out the weekend’s performances. The 26th Black Swamp Arts Festival runs from Sept. 7 through 9 in downtown Bowling Green. Since the Kansas City, Missouri -based artist emerged on the blues scene about 10 years ago, she’s caught the eye and ear of blues lovers. Last year she released her fifth solo album on Ruf Records. Those records are important, she said in a recent telephone interview, even in today’s changing music business landscape. “An album is a marker of growth. It’s a legacy …. People need something to take home to listen to.” But a recording can only capture so much. The real connection between listener and performer comes in person. “There’s something about seeing someone live,” Fish said. “You see the passion. These guys sweating it out, really living in the moment, and delivering a song that connects to your life. You don’t get that from listening to a record.” Hearing live shows, whether at a festival in Arkansas where she first heard the rawer version of Delta blues or a Kansas City club, where she heard the legends of the music, is what hooked Fish on the music. That was when she was in her late teens. “I was looking for something real, and I found it there.” Fish said she’d also had her eye on doing something in the entertainment business since she was a child. To those around her dancing and theater were “pipe dreams.” She started playing drums at 13, and then picked up guitar at 15. Later she started going to jam sessions to hone her craft. “I didn’t know how to go from wanting to do something to making it happen,” Fish said. “In those clubs, I saw…

Community exhibit, Now OH 11, to celebrate local artistic talent

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Artists are invited to submit to Now OH 11, a community art exhibit hosted by Bowling Green State University Art Galleries, opening July 13. For the 11th consecutive year, BGSU Art Galleries will provide a professional setting to celebrate the talented artists of all skill levels from 12 counties in northwest Ohio. Artists who display their work at the exhibition are eligible to win up to $1,500 in cash prizes and gift certificates, including the Best of Show award, the Kiwanis Young Artist Award, Toledo Federation of Arts Society Award and a People’s Choice Award. This year’s show will be juried by Michelle Carlson, who will also deliver a gallery talk at 7 p.m. July 13. Carlson is the artist and youth services coordinator for the Toledo Arts Commission. She has taught at BGSU, the University of Toledo and Owens Community College, as well as private workshops for youth and adults throughout Toledo. Artists are eligible to submit if they are 16 years of age or older and are from the following counties: Defiance, Erie, Fulton, Hancock, Henry, Lucas, Ottawa, Paulding, Sandusky, Seneca, Williams and Wood. There is an entry fee of $15 for artists ages 16-18 and $30 for artists ages 19 and older. All entrants are able to submit up to three entries. Online registration is open until June 15. For further information, please visit Volunteers are also needed, and artists who volunteer will receive a registration discount. Volunteers will assist with the setup and takedown of the event, as well as be gallery hosts during the exhibition. Contact Jacqueline Nathan at for more information about volunteering. The Now OH Exhibition is located at the BGSU Fine Arts Center and is free and open to the public. It runs July 13-28, and is open Thursday evenings from 7 to 9 p.m. and Friday through Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. Sponsors for this event include Bowling Green Kiwanis, Ben Franklin, the Village Idiot, and Drs. Phipps, Levin, and Hebeka.

Black Swamp Arts Festival’s juried art show takes shape

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News When Marissa Saneholtz was a kid she’d squirrel away her allowance in anticipation of the Black Swamp Arts Festival. She could always find a ring or print that she wanted to buy, she said. “I’ve been interested in art forever. This year Saneholtz, who teaches metalsmithing at the Bowling Green State University School of Art, is one of the jurors who selected the artists and artisans who will exhibit in the juried show. The Black Swamp Arts Festival will be Sept. 7, 8, and 9 in downtown Bowling Green, starting with music, food vendors, and beer garden on Friday, Sept. 7, and continuing with art, music, youth activities, food vendors, and beer garden, Saturday Sept. 8 and Sunday, Sept. 9. “It was really amazing to be asked to jury it,” Saneholtz said. She joined Dan Chudzinski, curator for the Mazza Museum, and painter Jessica Summers on the panel. Saneholtz doesn’t think people will have difficulty finding something that catches their fancy. “Overall there’s such a wide variety of artists that apply.” Knowing the community helped inform her work as a juror. “I know what price points people will buy at, from the kid saving their allowance to the professional.” She has her taste, she said, but must look beyond that. “I’m also trying to think: Would my family members want to buy this?” High quality is first and foremost for the jurors, she said. “I mean there’s always the people who just blow your socks off.” Artists apply through the online service Zapplication. They must submit slides of their work, their display, and their process. The jurors then review those slides individually before coming together as a panel to make final decisions. Just over 200 artists and artisans applied this year. Stacy and Josh Poca are chairing the festival’s visual arts committee this year. They said a few artists got the highest marks in the first round, and immediately made it into the show. Also the winners from last year’s show automatically get a spot, and all but one…

Schedel Garden benefit harvests dollars for library books

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The board meeting room in the Wood County District Public Library is filling up. New treasures arrive every day, said Library Director Michael Penrod. That includes a grill and a bicycle. There’s hand-crafted wooden box by John Calderonello and glass by Dominick Labino and Joel O’Dorisio. Hidden among them are gift certificates from numerous local business. The items are arriving in advance of the 10th Annual Library Benefit at Schedel Arboretum and Gardens, Thursday, July 19, 6-8 p.m. Attendees will also feast on hors d’oeuvres catered by Swig’s and tour the gardens. The price of a ticket is $100 and only 100 are sold. Tickets are available at the library. The focal point is the live auction, said Clif Boutelle, president of the Library Foundation, sponsor of the fundraiser. The bidding gets “very spirited.” People enjoy trying to outbid each other. Items also include a week at a Florida Gulf Coast condo, a family portrait session with Cheryl Hagemeyer, and golf with BGSU coach John Powers, either a 45-minute lesson or a nine-hole round. Then there are Sue Shank’s cookies, Boutelle said, which “seem to be very popular.” Shad Ridenour returns as the auctioneer. Attendees aren’t there trying to get an item on the cheap, Penrod said. Rather they bid enthusiastically. That spirit is fueled by an understanding of what the library contributes to the community and a desire to help it continue its mission. The purpose of the Schedel benefit is to raise money to buy books, both printed and ebooks. Last year $116,000 was raised. Penrod said that money does not replace money from the library’s levy or state funding. It supplements that funding. Boutelle said the fundraising is a way of thanking the community for its support of the library. The money raised has allowed the library to spend $442,000 on materials last year. Boutelle said the goal is always set at $75,000. They never want to take the generosity of those who attend for granted. That generosity starts, said Penrod, with the 15 members of…

BG celebrates 4th with symphony of sights & sounds

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Bowling Green marked the July 4th holiday Tuesday with its annual concert and fireworks display. The Bowling Green Area Community Band and BiG Band BG opened with a concert of patriotic favorites and show tunes. The finale was provided by the orchestrated blasts and bursts of the fireworks. The event, on the intramural fields on the Bowling Green State University campus, was presented by the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce.          

The Beat balances rigor & joy in its dance training

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Colleen Murphy’s mother enrolled her in dance classes in Toledo when she was 3. “I don’t remember not dancing.” Now as the owner of The Beat dance studio she’s the one helping to shape the moving memories of hundreds of young girls, and a handful of boys. The Beat Dance Company just completed its 10th year in business, and its first full year in its new studio space at 1330 Brim Road in Bowling Green. Like the parents of many of her students, her mother wanted to give her an early start. Murphy said she has mothers of children as young as 18 months inquiring about signing them up for dance lessons. The little ones have to wait a year before they can start in the studio’s Mini Movers program. From there they can continue through high school, and beyond. College students who studied at The Beat will return in the summer for classes, Murphy said. She said she can often spot the young students who will stick with dance. “It’s how eager they are to be here. They get here early and don’t want to leave at the end.” The demand for dance, driven by such pop culture phenomenon as “Dancing with the Stars,” remains strong. Despite a number of other studios locally and in the area, The Beat has 250 students. Some dancers take recreational classes in a few styles while others are more serious and audition for the studio’s competitive team. Recent auditions attracted 100 dancers. “Dance is a nice balance between physical activity and the fun of putting on a show and wearing the costumes,” Murphy said. For the youngest they learn basic coordination and “how to take direction from someone other than mom or dad.” She stresses a balance of good technique while having fun, exploring movement working together with their peers, and technique specific to a style. The older dancers work on artistry and, as their schedules get busier, learn to manage their time and see a commitment through. Some dancers participate in…