Arts and Entertainment

Graduating seniors reflect on their time at BGSU through dance

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Footlights Dance concert on campus tonight (April 26) and Friday, April 27, will be bittersweet for some of the dancers. Among the 30 or so dancers on stage will be three graduating dance majors — Adla-Marie Burke, Cincinnati, Alexa Piccirillo, Findlay, and Salon Gegel, Wapakoneta. “It is bittersweet,” Burke said. “We’re closing a chapter, but we’re all moving on time to start our professional careers.” Footlights will be staged at 8 p.m. both nights in the Whitney Studio room 222.in Eppler North on the Bowling Green State University campus. The three dancers said they benefited from a strong support system within the dance program. “Our instructors are helpful making sure we’re doing everything we can to be able to succeed,” Burke said. “One of benefits of small program is you can find your own path. You can find how dance works for you, and they will find ways to help you,” Piccirillo said. Piccirillo said they know they can tap into that support system even after they’ve left campus. The three graduate as the dance program is in transition. The program, now part of the School of Human Movement, Sports, and Leisure Studies, is being shifted into the Department of Theatre and Film, an administrative move from the College of Education and Human Development to the College of Arts and Sciences. As part of the move, the dance major will be eliminated, though the dance minor will be retained. Piccirillo said at first they were sad to hear about the end of the major, but after talking with dance instructor Colleen Murphy, they were reassured. “It’ll be a really good transition for the program,” she said. Burke said that she anticipates that will lead to more of the kind of collaborations that now mostly happen at ArtsX and Bravo! BGSU. At Bravo! this year, she danced with the Combustible Ensemble. She and two other performers moved to sounds the musicians were improvising in…


Show will go on for Black Swamp Players

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Black Swamp Players Board of Trustees voted Wednesday night (April 25) to stage a 51st season, reversing an earlier decision to suspend operations.. Earlier this year, the Players announced it was suspending productions because of lack of personnel to help stage shows. Lane Hakel, president of the Players board stated the earlier decision “was reversed last night due to an influx of enthusiastic, energetic people who have stepped forward to join together to revitalize the Players.” Hakel said details of what shows will be produced next season are not settled. “We do know that they will likely be in November, February, and April.  We also have several experienced and talented directors that have offered to take on a show.” The directors will select the shows they wish to stage. In announcing the suspension in February, Hakel said that it was a lack of technical help that was really hindering its operations. But after press coverage, including a letter published by long time Player Bob Hastings, people began to step forward. “We are really excited by the infusion of talent and energy that we have received and hope to continue performing quality live theater for the residents of Bowling Green and Northwest Ohio for another 50 years,” Hakel said an e-mail Thursday morning. Later in an interview, he said two dozen people have stepped forward to help. The board he noted has been short a vice president and five board members. In the upcoming elections, there will be contested seats for the 14-member board. Hakel said he is running for another term as president. Many of those who have come forward are new to the troupe. A few former board members have also returned. That includes Tom Milbrodt, a stalwart who saw the troupe through rough patches in the past, and has continued to do lights and sound for productions. When it suspended productions, the board was also suspending its fundraising for a new…


Toledo Museum exhibits works from 100 years of Toledo Area Artists exhibits

From TOLEDO MUSEUM OF ART In 1917 the Toledo Museum of Art (TMA) and three local artist collectives established the Toledo Federation of Art Societies (TFAS). The following year, the first Toledo Area Artists (TAA) exhibition sponsored by TFAS was held at TMA. Today TFAS is affiliated with more than 40 area art organizations—including artist clubs, galleries, college and university art departments —and hundreds of individual members within a 150-mile radius of the city of Toledo. This retrospective exhibition celebrates the 100th anniversary of TFAS and the century-long tradition of celebrating and recognizing the best artists in the region by TMA. It will showcase more than 20 works of art in a wide variety of media from the approximately 270 works purchased by TFAS for its collection over the last 60 years of TAA exhibitions at TMA. Decades in the Making will be on view at the Museum from April 28 through June 24. “The greater Toledo area has a history of incubating some of the most forward-thinking creative practitioners in the country,” said Brian Kennedy, TMA’s Edward Drummond and Florence Scott Libbey director. “This legacy is in large part the result of the support provided by the Toledo Federation of Art Societies. Decades in the Making commemorates the 100th anniversary of TFAS and recognizes our joint commitment to the region’s outstanding arts and artists.” The works were selected by Halona Norton-Westbrook, Director of Curatorial Affairs at TMA. Among the featured artists will be Diana Attie (drawing), Edith Franklin (ceramics), Dominick Labino (glassblowing), and Kenneth Thompson (sculpture). “Since 1948 the Toledo Federation of Art Societies has been investing in Toledo-area artists while at the same time growing a permanent collection of some of the most dynamic works of art created in our region,” said Doug Adams-Arman, TFAS president. “We look forward to sharing highlights of these noteworthy acquisitions with the entire community as part of our 100th anniversary festivities.” Decades in the Making: Highlights from the Toledo Federation of Art…


County courthouse murals need a facelift

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Murals depicting the history of Wood County, and now part of that history, need some work. The murals on the third floor of the Wood County Courthouse depict, on the east wall, Fort Meigs in 1813 and facing it on the west wall, one depicting an oil field in 1904. The murals were painted in 1910 and 1911 by I.M. Taylor, an artist and at the time mayor of Bowling Green. Nick Foos, facilities director for the county, said that in the past 18 months as work was being done restoring plaster in the second and third floors of the courthouse, workers noticed some paint flaking on the murals. That information was shared with county officials, including County Administrator Andrew Kalmar. “We collectively decided we should do something about it before it gets worse,” Foos said. So the county contracted with ICA Art Conservation, a non-profit center in Cleveland for advice. On Tuesday, Andrea Chevalier, a senior painting conservator, visited the courthouse, and using step ladders was able to get a closer look at the situation. What she saw was not pretty, but reparable. There are large areas of areas where the paint is peeling, yet still precariously hanging onto the surface. There are also a few areas where the paint is gone altogether. Foos said the mural depicting Fort Meigs is in worse shape than the one depicting Wood County oil fields. The surfaces of the paintings are actually quite clean, without a film of dirt, nor heavy varnish. Foos said there were traces of nicotine from the time when smoking was allowed in the building. Chevalier said that to fix the murals an adhesive will have to be applied under the surface using a hypodermic needle or brush. Then a special packing press will be used to flatten the flaking paint back onto the surface. The areas where the paint is gone will be filled in and repainted to match the original….


Art Walk in downtown BG is a sure sign of spring

From DOWNTOWN BOWLING GREEN Art Walk is here! It’s a sure sign of spring when the artist come out after the long winter to wake us from the gray and whites of that season to the vast array of colors that will be the focus of the weekend. April 28th, Downtown Bowling Green in cooperation with the BG Arts Council will present the 26th Annual Art Walk. This year, there will be 31 “walking galleries” featured at the businesses that offered space to the local artists. So much wonderful art to take in, but this is not all there is to the Art Walk experience. There is also a Quilt Show and Exhibit, performing artists and a culinary art component. Each of the gallery artists’ work will be judged for a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prize as well as 3 People’s Choice Awards. Brochures with a listing of each artist and gallery location will be available at participating merchants and the Four Corners Center on the day of the Art Walk. All the galleries and the performing arts are free and open to the public. Art Walk is really a community event as it features 25 local artists, 20 plus quilters, a multitude of performing artists, 14 casual artists and charities in Project Chair-Art-Y, BG local schools as well as BGSU art departments. One of the galleries, located at 157 N. Main St., features BG Elementary school students’ art and a hands-on activities for visitors to partake in. BG High School students will display metal work at Waddington Jewelers and other artwork at Grounds for Thought. The Quilt Exhibit and Demonstrations, located at the Four Corners Center, is another major highlight of the Art Walk. Over 20 quilters will display their work and several will be demonstrating techniques. This exhibit is sponsored by the Busy Thimble and the Black Swamp Quilters and organized by Connie Miller. This year marks the 5th year for this exhibit. A beautiful quilt that…


Facts are what ignites author & illustrator Don Tate’s imagination

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Perry Field House at Bowling Green State University Saturday hosted scores of future Don Tates. Tate, a prolific illustrator of children’s books who has turned his talents to writing as well, was the guest author for Literacy in the Park. The Austin, Texas-based author and illustrator started out just like all the kids who raised their hands when he asked: Who likes to draw? He’s been drawing since before he could remember, and showed a picture he made when he was 3 of his mother, and baby sister, and some poop falling out of the infant’s diaper. Even then, he liked to include realistic details. When he was a kid growing up in Des Moines, Iowa, Tate said he particularly liked non-fiction, including the “Family Medical Guide,” which had pictures of bloody ulcers and pus-filled toe sores. And when he turned to writing his own books, as well as illustrating them, he turned to non-fiction, writing about strongman Eugen Sandow and early African-American poet George Moses Horton. Those themes were among those reflected in the dozens of activities available to children throughout the field house. Nothing, though, about pus or bloody sores. Still the activities showed how literacy is intertwined with construction, natural science, art, drama, and nutrition. Tate encouraged his young listeners to follow what they loved whether it was dancing, theater, or soccer. Tate said as a child he wasn’t as good at basketball as his father would have liked. He instead wanted to make puppets. He realized he could make a simple puppet with patterns and cloth. He wasn’t satisfied. Using an old wig his mother gave him, he made a more elaborate puppet modeled on the Muppets made by his idol Jim Henson. His mother loved it, but Tate’s father wasn’t impressed. “Your son is making dolls,” he told Tate’s mother. Young Tate persisted drawing, painting, doing macramé. His work progressed along the way and led to a career in…


Rock show at Alehouse to benefit The Cocoon

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Debbie De Steno never met Cat Lambert face to face. They were Facebook friends who shared an interest in the local music scene. Then Cat was off social media, and Steno learned just a few days after they’d last been in contact that Lambert had been beaten to death by her husband. De Steno and others on the music scene wanted to do something. So De Steno pulled a benefit together at the Alehouse in the Woodland Mall. Music Against Domestic Violence was born with the proceeds going to help Lambert’s family. De Steno decided to make the benefit an annual affair.  So this Saturday (April 21) the fourth benefit will be held at the Alehouse from noon to midnight. The proceeds now benefit The Cocoon Shelter. The benefit is also to raise awareness about domestic violence, an issue people hesitate to talk about. For De Steno seeing the movie “The Burning Bed” was her first exposure to the physical and emotional realities of domestic abuse. The benefit will include a raffle and 50/50 drawing   with kids karaoke from noon to 2 p.m. The kids will turn the mic over to a lineup of local bands. Starting with Bliss at 2, each band will play about a 90-minute set. Other bands in order of appearance will be: Blue Ticks; 16-year-old guitar phenom Brad Tober and the Outsiders; BG high rockers Mindless Matters; Midnight Moses; and closers, AmpWagon. The first year De Steno played with the band Second Wynd, but she finds it too much to run the show and also be part of it. Still her love of music is at the heart of the event. As a kid growing up in New Jersey she picked up the guitar her older sister abandoned. She dreamed of being the next Pat Benatar. She’s been playing music ever since. Just picking up her guitar and picking a few notes helps her recharge. Music takes you away…


BGSU Arts Events through April 29

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS At  the galleries  — The School of Art will host its second MFA Thesis Exhibition April 21-29 in the Dorothy Uber Bryan and Willard Wankelman galleries in the Fine Arts Center. The opening reception is at 7 p.m. Friday, April 20. Exhibitors include Fernanda Ruocco, Jacob Nolt and Ericsson De La Paz Lugo. Gallery hours are 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 6-9 p.m. Thursday and 1-4 p.m. Sunday. All exhibitions are free and open to the public. The galleries are wheelchair accessible with the exception of the upper level of the Wankelman Gallery. For more information, visit bgsu.edu/art. April 19 — The International Film Series presents “Dear Pyongyang” (2005, Japan/South Korea, 107 minutes, directed by Yang Hong-Hi), with an introduction by Dr. Ryoko Okamura from the Department of World Languages and Cultures. Filmed in both Osaka, Japan, and Pyongyang, North Korea, in 2004, this deeply moving and intimate documentary features Zainichi (North) Korean immigrants living in Japan and their complex allegiances to family, host country, and their “fatherland.” A daughter interviews her parents as they return to Pyongyang to celebrate her father’s 70th birthday with her brothers. The screening will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Gish Film Theater, located in Hanna Hall. Free April 19-22 — The BGSU Theatre Department presents “The Threepenny Opera,” Bertolt Brecht’s “play with music.” Brecht turned John Gay’s 18th century “The Beggar’s Opera” into a biting commentary on the bourgeoisie and modern morality. Set in Victorian London, this tale of the outlaw Mack the Knife offers a socialist critique of a capitalist world. Advance tickets are $5 for BGSU students and $15 for other adults; all tickets the day of the concert are $20. Tickets can also be purchased at bgsu.edu/arts. For more information, call the box office between noon and 5 p.m. weekdays at 419-372-8171. The show opens at 8 p.m. in the Thomas B. and Kathleen M. Donnell Theatre at the Wolfe Center for the Arts. Additional performances are scheduled for 8 p.m. on April 20 and 21, and 2…


Bawdy “Threepenny Opera” takes the low & highly entertaining road

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Shakespeare for Dummies teaches that certain comic and bawdy bits in the Bard’s plays were written to appeal to the groundlings crowded at edge of the stage. “The Threepenny Opera,” though bearing an elite pedigree as the brainchild of theatrical provocateur Bertolt Brecht and composer Kurt Weill, is written through and through for the groundlings. This is bawdy, often crude by design, in-your-face entertainment meant to please those in the cheap seats. All of Bowling Green State University’s Donnell Theatre becomes the cheap sections when the Department of Theatre and Film presents “Threepenny Opera” opening tonight (April 19) and continuing through Sunday, April 22.  Shows are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 8p.m., with matinees Saturday & Sunday at 2 p.m. Visit for details  bgsu.edu/arts. Jonathan Chambers, directing Michael Feingold’s translation of Elisabeth Hauptmann’s script, doesn’t stint on the raw humor of the piece. Yes, “Threepenny” has complex political and aesthetic underpinnings, but the flashing of women’s underwear and even one actor’s bare butt take precedence. “Threepenny Opera” was conceived a satirical criticism of capitalism and the middle class. The milieu of the show is the underworld, but it’s all the underworld in the opera’s view.  After the ensemble led by Jenny Driver (Erica Harmon) introduces us to the opera’s antihero, Macheath (Kris Krotzer)  with the tune, “Mack the Knife,”, we meet  J.J. Peachum (Noah Froelich) who runs the beggars’  racket around London. If you want to beg you have to pay him a fee and share your earnings. One down-on-his-luck sucker finds this out when he is beaten by Peachum’s operatives. Peachum tells him he should be glad he could still walk. In “Peachum’s Morning Hymn,” Peachum laments that begging requires constant innovation. Human pity has a short shelve life. Even the four or five useful verses from the New Testament lose their appeal. He and his wife the grasping, conniving Mrs. Peachum (Kelly Dunn) have other concerns – their daughter Polly (Anna Parchem)…


Black Swamp Players bask in the glow of ‘On Golden Pond’

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Please note: It is summer on Golden Pond. The loons are calling, and the black flies hatching. Norman and Ethel Thayer have returned for their 48th year to summer on this idyllic lake in rural Maine. Ethel is elated to be there. To spend another summer wiling way the time picking berries, lolling by the lake, and playing board games in the evening. Unfortunately Norman’s mood is far from sunny. It better matches the kind of weather we’ve been experiencing hereabouts lately. His idea for conversation is pondering self-cremation in the fireplace, albeit immolation with style as he does a back flip into the flames. The Black Swamp Players, who at 50 have been a going concern two years longer than the Thayers’ marriage, are staging Ernest Thompson’s “On Golden Pond,” to conclude their own golden anniversary season. The show opens Friday, April 20, and runs weekends through Sunday, April 29 at the First United Methodist Church, 1526 E. Wooster St., Bowling Green. Click for further details. http://www.blackswampplayers.org/ While Norman (Bob Welly) contemplates his demise, Ethel (Fran Martone) is in denial. She insists they are still middle-age, maybe “the far-edge of middle age.” This is the summer Norman turns 80. Ethel is 10 years younger. Welly and Martone make for a fine couple. They exude a bond even when they are bickering. Their relationship still has flickers of the young, romantic spark that refuses to be extinguished. Norman’s concerns are not imaginary. He suffers from memory loss and heart palpitations, the typical theatrical maladies of old age. These are played for laughs, and as someone just on the near edge of aging, there’s plenty of laughter from self-recognition. When he goes out, really sent out by a frustrated Ethel, to pick strawberries, he becomes confused. He returns, his bluster gone. He just wants to be back with Ethel, and the safety of her presence. Ethel would like the presence of their daughter Chelsea (Stephanie King Truman),…


BGSU film students celebrate their movies, the Gish, & Ralph Wolfe

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News For Bowling Green State University film students, the Film and Media Festival is their Oscars. Walking into Gish Theater, the trophies for best drama, comedy, documentary, experimental, and horror, and for the various crafts that go into making these – special effects, musical score, costumes, makeup, and cinematography – are lined up. The festival is a decidedly more low key affair – and it should be noted, a tighter show, lasting less than an hour from the end of the mixer to start of the after-awards socializing. At the Oscars, you wouldn’t have Adam Panter, who would pick up best actor award on Sunday night, hawking t-shirts at the theater on Saturday morning. But then that’s all part of being in a creative community. That sense of camaraderie, even among ostensible competitors, was evident. They appeared in each other projects, and cheered wildly when a classmate won. This community, though, will be losing its ‘home,” or at least the venue where so many of the films produced on campus were first screened, said Keisha Martin, president of the University Film Organization, which presented the festival with BG Reel. Martin said that the experience of screening films in the Gish connected current students with those who came before them. To show their appreciation the student groups honored Ralph Haven Wolfe, the professor emeritus of English, who founded the theater in 1976. Wolfe said that growing up on a farm, he always wanted to go to town because that’s where the two places he loved, the library and the movie theater, were. Those ignited the intellectual passion that led him into academia, and BGSU, first as a student and then as a professor. Wolfe spoke about how he got Lillian Gish to come for the dedication at a time when film studies at BGSU was in its infancy. Though he has been outspoken in his displeasure about the removal of the Gish from Hanna Hall –…


BGHS Drama Club to stage original mime production

Submitted by BGHS DRAMA CLUB Bowling Green High School Drama Club explores a unique art form in their upcoming production NAME: (You Are Mistaken – I am Identity). The production is an original piece created by the students and performed through poetic movement – in other words, crafted through the technique of pure mime. The cast of eleven has been learning about the art form in workshop intensives led by professional mime artist Mr. Michael Lee, who received training from world-famous mime Marcel Marceau. Students have devised original performance pieces rooted in personal experience that stem from the themes of names and identity. Integrated among the students’ performances are demonstrations by Mr. Lee, who will explain the notable skills of the art form. Performances are Thursday and Friday at 7:00 PM in the Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $5.00 for students and $7.00 for adults. Student performers are Kalista Beair, Sophia Bird, Ethan Brown, Megan Carmen, Megan Clifford, Maddy Depinet, Fran Flores, Elaine Hudson, Hudson Pendleton, Charlotte Perez, and Olivia Strang. Drama Club advisor Dr. Jo Beth Gonzalez co-directs the collaborative project with Mr. Lee.


BG high senior Emily Wittig has indy book design covered

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News At 18, Emily Wittig has already put the faces on more than 100 books. Wittig operates her own business Emily Wittig Designs. A photographer as well as a designer, Bowling Green High School senior creates book cover designs for independently published authors, giving their work a more distinctive look than they otherwise may have. A serious illness helped to launch the enterprise. When she was 11, she was diagnosed with severe scoliosis, curvature of the spine, and required surgery. Her recuperation involved a year of no physical activity. A librarian at the middle school recommended she check out Goodreads.com as a way of discovering new books. Through the site, Wittig connected with author Micalea Smeltzer. They hit it off. Wittig loved her “Fallen” series of vampire romances. Smeltzer was 18 at the time. “She was the first indy writer I read,” Wittig said. Their conversations didn’t turn to business until Wittig launched her enterprise a few years later when she was 15. Smeltzer had reformatted the inside of her books, and wanted new covers. Wittig took on the job. Typically self-published authors use templates provided by online publishers. Wittig can offer something distinctive. At first, the designer said, she tried to read some of each book she worked on, but that’s no longer possible. Smeltzer “has pretty good idea for what she wants to do with covers. She can be picky. For her it’s easy to get an initial concept because she has an idea of what she wants.” Smeltzer remains one of Wittig’s favorite writers. She finds herself rereading the “Fallen” books. “I really like her style of writing.” She has covers done for two forthcoming Smeltzer books. But most of the other writers “don’t have anything written or aren’t confident enough to share it. They give me a little synopsis.” And “some people have no idea what might work,” she said. Asked what she’s taken away from her business she said: “I…


Festival of Shorts brings out the best in Horizon Youth Theatre

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Those who want to know what the Horizon Youth Theatre is all about need only make their way to the Otsego Elementary School this weekend. The youth troupe is staging its annual Festival of Shorts Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Everything is the work of the kids, 7-17. They wrote the scripts and act them out, and with one exception students are directing. This is where Horizon’s mission to educate young people in all aspects of theater shines. The goal, said Cassie Greenlee, artistic director of the troupe, is for students to learn “about every step of what’s required to put on theatre.” “What I love about this year is that for the first time every single thing was created by students. That’s really impressive and something that I’m really proud of. It’s more for them to hang their hats on.” The program includes six plays, four written by students and the fifth created collaboratively by youngsters in the Devising Class taught by Keith Guion, who directs. Four of the plays will be staged during each performance. Admission is free, but donations are requested. Scarlet Frishman, a 17-year-old junior from the Toledo School for the Arts, and Terra Sloane, a 15-year-old freshman from Bowling Green High, are among the student directors. This is Frishman’s third time directing. “I wanted to direct in the first place because of the biggest influence in my life outside of my immediate family has been Cassie Greenlee.” They first worked together in 2009, when both were new to the company. “Who I am as a person is completely different because of who she is,” Frishman said, “and I really want to be that influence on another young person’s life because it was extremely valuable for me.” She’s set her sights on studying theatre at Yale University. Sloane has also directed before. “It helps me as an actor,” she said of directing. “I see…


The Stacked Deck offers gaming fans a new place to gather in downtown BG

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News When Joe Busch was in high school, playing Dungeons and Dragons had a “Cheetos in the basement” stigma attached to it, so he and his friends used the school chess as a cover. Now role playing games and the card game Magic are more popular and accepted. Busch is out in the open with his love for the games as the new owner of The Stacked Deck, a gaming shop in downtown Bowling Green. Busch said he first got into gaming in junior high. Like many others in his generation Pokémon served as the gateway game. He and his friends heard about Magic the Gathering, which was more complex with deeper back story, so they started playing that. Busch said he loved writing and telling stories, so in high school, he started his own Dungeon and Dragons campaign, conducted under the cover of the chess club, and continued through his college years. The New Jersey native, Busch attended Rowan University where he studied journalism. Summers he’d come home and muster his friends and resume the campaign. That’s the appeal of role playing games in the world of fast paced video play. Video games may have good stories, he said, but those tales are created by someone else. “Dungeons and Dragons moves with you,” he said. “It’s writing a story but with a group of five people all contributing. You can do whatever you want. You’re just having fun telling the story together.” Whether engaged in role playing, another board game, or a Magic, the social aspect of people gathering for fun and camaraderie is part of the attraction. From the beginning Busch knew he wanted to do more than sell games and cards, but wanted to have a place where people could play uninhibited without the questioning looks of people wondering what they were doing rolling those strange dice and talking about fireballs. “It’s not like you’re an outsider doing something like that here,”…