Arts and Entertainment

Black Swamp Players taking late director’s dream play to state conference

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Dennis East had long wanted to stage “The Black Bonspiel of Wullie MacCrimmon,” a dark comedy about dealing with the devil and curling. Years ago he and his wife, Kathy, had seen the play in Canada, and he just felt would be a great show for The Black Swamp Players to perform back home in Bowling Green. East was a veteran of the troupe, having done everything from set construction to acting to serving as president. Finally “The Black Bonspiel,” with a few approved changes to make it more suitable for a local audience and provide more female roles, made it onto the Black Swamp Players’ schedule for fall, 2013. Then East was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The play was scrapped as East battled the disease. Finally last September, still in treatment, East brought Wullie MacCrimmon and his colorful cast of Canadian curlers to the First United Methodist stage. Kathy East remembers it was a strain on him. But he persisted.  “He was just determined he wanted to do it,” she said.  As was his practice he built the sets. “He would spend a lot of time in morning, and afternoons he was napping.” He complained, she said, that he used to be able to construct a set in two weeks. The devil-may-care comedy, in which a shoe repairman played by Lane Hakel bets his soul on the outcome of a curling match, or bonspiel, came off so well that the Players opted to submit it as their entry into the Northwest Region of the Ohio Community Theater Association conference. As the conference, held…


Horizon Youth Theatre’s “Honk!” delivers important message with smile

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Horizon Youth Theatre is ready to make some noise. This weekend the youth troupe will stage “Honk!” a contemporary musical retelling of Hans Christian Anderson’s story “The Ugly Duckling.” The musical will be performed at First United Methodist Church, 1526 E. Wooster St., Friday, June 17, and Saturday, June 18, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, June 19, at 2 p.m.  Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for children. Visit http://horizonyouththeatre.org/product/honk/. Director Cassie Greenlee said the musical is a perfect fit for the young troupe — a fun show with a message. The script was written for a cast of 12 with most actors playing multiple roles. Instead Horizon cast an actor for every part. That meant a role for all those who came out for auditions. That’s a cast of 37, and there’s plenty for them to do. “The secondary characters may be only in one scene but they have a big song or a big part, so we’re able to showcase the talent Horizon has,” Greenlee said. All the members of the cast “have a chance to shine.” That means they all “have a large chunk of responsibility.” Many are “stepping out of their comfort zone, maybe singing solo for first time.” “It’s important to push them out of those comfort zones a little bit and they’ve risen to the challenge,” Greenlee said. Sky Frishman, 16, auditioned for the show because of that wealth of parts. She wasn’t aiming for a particular role, she just wanted to be part of the show. “There were so many good roles,” she said. She’s…


Perrysburg Musical Theatre brings stage version of “Big Fish” to Northwest Ohio

From PERRYSBURG MUSICAL THEATRE Perrysburg Musical Theatre will be the first theatre company in Northwest Ohio to debut the funny, fanciful and heartwarming new musical “Big Fish” this summer. “Big Fish” will be staged  June 23, 24, & 25 at 7 p.m. and 26 at 2 p.m. at Perrysburg High School. “Big Fish” is based on Daniel Wallace’s 1998 novel, “Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions.” The story which features flashbacks and tall tales that come to life, quickly caught the attention of American Screenwriter John August who adapted the novel for the 2003 film “Big Fish.” In 2013, John August brought the story to Broadway with music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa. Variety called it “(A) wholly satisfying show: meaningful, emotional, tasteful, theatrically imaginative and engaging.” PMT’s Big Fish is cast with gifted and talented actors. D. Ward Ensign stars as the charming, charismatic storyteller and father, Edward Bloom. Ensign has been a part of numerous theatrical and musical productions, both on and off stage since being in his first musical, Godspell in 1988. Elizabeth Cottle plays Sandra Bloom, who is patient, calm – the perfect balance to Edward’s enthusiasm. Elizabeth is no stranger to the stage, but this is her 1st production with PMT. “When we had callbacks for the roles of Sandra and Edward, we paired Ward and Elizabeth together to duet the song, “Daffodils”. It was instant chemistry, they became Sandra and Edward,” said Julie Bermudez, Artistic Director for PMT. Also making his 1st time appearance with PMT is Garrett Leininger as Will Bloom. Garrett is the Choir Director for Perrysburg High School. His character, Will…


Sun sets the stage for Art in the Park

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News All kinds of artists turned out for Bowling Green’s second annual Art in the Park in Simpson Garden Park. Artists were drawing, painting, doing needle work. Adult and budding actors staged shows. Performer Nick Zoulek blew saxophone; Michiko Saiki blew bubbles. And, of course, there were those who expressed their artistic inclinations by snapping photos with their smart phones. Jacqueline Nathan, president of the Bowling Green Arts Council, said the Art in the Park was a success, drawing at least as many attendees as last year’s inaugural event. Sunny weather in the 80s certainly helped. Aaron Pickens, of Grand Rapids, was painting a line of arbor vitae. Painting outdoors is way of taking a break from his highly detailed and realistic paintings of toys. Those can take 500 hours to complete. But if painting outdoors is fun, it’s serious fun. Painting outdoors is a challenge. There’s so much detail, he said. “You have to learn what to leave out. The landscape taught me how to paint.” Denise Carter was working on a rag rug that will serve as a wall hanging. She pulled brightly colored fabric through the weave of a coffee bean sack. The fabric became flowers, but Carter wasn’t depicting the blossoms in front of her. For her working outside was enjoyable because the colors were so much brighter in the full sun. Nearby in the amphitheater the sun served as stage lighting for theater. The Black Swamp Players offered the all-too-topical political satire “The Spot” about the filming of a candidate’s television commercial. The one-act play cast light on a process…


Music duo: Expect some unexpected fun at Grounds show

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Sitting down in Grounds for Thought with Michiko Saiki and Rob Wallace to chat about their upcoming concert, the conversation takes an unexpected turn. Saiki, a vocalist and pianist, said in her improvised performances she aspires to the kind of profound humor experienced in the work of the writer (and BG eatery namesake) Samuel Beckett. Wallace notes that the connection is apt. Their performances like Beckett’s writing can “very intense but funny.” A short discourse on the intersection of music, language  and humor ensues. Still, Wallace said, audiences “don’t need to have all these references.” “You don’t need to understand it to like it,” he continued. “There’s a great deal of audience interaction. This is going to be fun. … It’s not going to be complicated or over your head.” When Saiki and Wallace perform, the music is infused with language, words emerge from lines created on the spot.  The music infuses the words with surprising meanings, and the words help shape the musical lines. Saiki and Wallace will present a free concert of improvised duets Thursday, June 9, at 7 p.m. in Grounds for Thought, 174 S. Main St. Bowling Green. Asked how they will prepare for Thursday’s show, Wallace laughs. For each performance, he said, they bring all their musical experiences to the table. What happens next is anyone’s guess. For Saiki those experiences go all the way back to her childhood in Japan. She studied classical piano, but wanted to be a pop, rock or jazz singer. So her parents sent her to America where she could study jazz singing. She…


Ohio Humanities Presents Ohio Chautauqua in Rossford

From ROSSFORD CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU   History comes to life  in Rossford June 28 through July 2 when Ohio Humanities brings its  Ohio Chautauqua 2016 tour to Rossford. The theme for 2016 is “The Natural World” featuring chemist Marie Curie, Iroquois leader Cornstalk, Frankenstein author Mary Shelley, President Theodore Roosevelt, and zoologist Dian Fossey. Building on the 19th-century tradition established on the shores of New York’s Chautauqua Lake, Ohio Chautauqua is a five-day community event that combines living history performances, music, education, and audience participation into a one-of-a-kind cultural event the entire community will enjoy. Daytime activities feature stimulating adult programs and hands-on workshops for youth hosted at the Rossford Library, 720 Dixie Highway. Each evening, family, friends and visitors gather as live music fills the air in Veterans Park at the Marina, 300 Hannum Avenue with convenient parking and buses from Rossford High School. Then, a talented performer appears on stage, bringing a historic figure to life through personal stories and historic detail. This enriching and delightfully entertaining experience is perfect for every generation. With its warm, nostalgic vibe, this truly unique experience is sure to open minds and start conversations. A daily schedule can be found online at www.VisitRossfordOhio.com or www.OhioHumanities.org. Sponsors of Ohio Chautauqua 2016 in Rossford, Ohio include Ohio Humanities, the Rossford Convention & Visitors Bureau, ProMedica Bay Park Hospital, Lake Erie Living Magazine, Welch Publishing, Wood County Cultural Arts Grant, TARTA, Northwestern Water & Sewer District, the Rossford Business Association, Meijer Rossford, Costco Perrysburg, Camping World, the City of Rossford and the Rossford Library. Daytime Programs Rossford Public Library 720 Dixie Highway, 
Rossford. Programs for youth begin…


Piano festival connects the dots from Bowling Green to China to Italy

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News This tale of global cultural connections begins with a car ride. Thomas Rosenkranz was talking with his friend and fellow pianist Nathanael May, the founder of the SoundSCAPE festival in Maccagno, Italy. They like the town in the Lombardy region in northwest Italy bordering Switzerland. They trusted the people they worked with and the musical and housing facilities were good. SoundSCAPE, now 10 years old, had developed a reputation as a top festival for contemporary music, and they wondered if they could extend their stay by tagging on another, separate piano festival. So the Maccagno Piano Days Festival was born last summer. Rosenkranz, a piano professor at Bowling Green State University, said their discussions turned to who would to study at the festival. “Where are most of the pianists coming from nowadays who want to do these kind of things, come to Europe to study, and can afford it? They mostly come from China. That’s what we realized.” Rosenkranz, who has spent the past year in China, has establsihed ties to that country. When he was on the faculty at the University of Hawaii in Manoa, he frequently traveled to Taiwan to teach and perform. When he came to BGSU seven years ago he was part of a delegation of faculty sent to China by Dean Richard Kennell of the College of Musical Arts to perform and recruit. “When we were there I fell in love with it,” Rosenkranz said. He’s been returning ever since. This year he focused on establishing links to the major conservatories throughout the country, an effort made possible by…


Horizon Youth Theatre offers summer workshops

Horizon Youth Theatre is offering a full slate of summer workshops. Workshops offered week of July 11 from 9 a.m. to noon are: THE TORTOISE AND THE HARE In this Aesop-based script devising class, students have the opportunity to explore the classic fable and write their own spin. Ages: 2nd-5th grade Place: Wood County Library, BG MUSICAL THEATRE Do you love to sing? Dance? Act? Go for your Broadway dreams with this week-long course! All experience levels welcomed. Ages: 6th-12th grade Place: First Presbyterian Church, BG Workshops offered week of July 18 from 9 a.m. to noon are: MUSICAL THEATRE JR. Do you love to sing? Dance? Act? Go for your Broadway dreams with this week-long introductory course! All experience levels welcomed. Ages: 2nd-5th grade Place: St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, BG FOCUS ON FILM Explore filmmaking as a storytelling medium as you work in a team environment to craft a short film from concept to screening. Ages: 6th-12th grade Place: St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, BG Workshops offered week of July 25 from 9 a.m. to noon are: READER’S THEATRE Students will learn the basic fundamentals such as off stage focus and interpretation of text. Ages: 2nd-5th grade Place: Woodland Mall, BG SHAKESPEARE IN PERFORMANCE Students will gain a working knowledge of Shakespeare’s writing style and language through scene and monologue work. Ages: 6th-12th grade Place: Woodland Mall, BG Register online at: horizonyouththeatre.org


Simpson Garden site for open air celebration of the arts

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Bowling Green Arts Council is hoping to establish a new event on the city’s arts calendar. Friday, June 10, the council along with Bowling Green Parks and Recreation Department will host Art in the Park on the grounds of Simpson Garden Park, 1291 Conneaut Ave., from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. This is the event’s second year. Art in the Park is intended as a low key summer night’s excursion, said Jacqueline Nathan, president of the arts council. “The original thought was it’d be plein air (open air) painting and music in the park. “The arts council wanted to have some signature event and work with the community.” Paintings will set up their easels throughout the park, capturing the early summer beauty in paint. In its second year, the event has added elements. This year, thanks to the sponsorship of the Montessori School and the Parks and Recreation Department, there will be interactive activities for children organized by the Montessori staff. Adults will also have a chance to work on a community stain glass project with the guidance of noted stained glass artist Gail Christofferson. The finished work will be displayed at the community center. Theater will be presented in the amphitheater. The Black Swamp Players will present a short one-act play, “The Spot,” by Steven Dietz at 5 and 6 p.m. “The Spot” is a satirical look at how political campaign managers approach their candidates’ TV commercials. Horizon Youth Theatre will present an excerpt from its upcoming musical production “Honk!” at 5:30 and 6:30. The show is a modern adaptation by Anthony Drewe of the Hans Christian Andersen story…


Nick Zoulek’s music for saxophone alone has the sound of togetherness

DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Nick Zoulek’s music for solo saxophone involves working with many people. The saxophonist-composer builds his work on collaborations with dancers, artists and filmmakers. From those collaborations grew the music that will appear on his first CD, “Rushing Past Willow.’ The recording of his original compositions for solo saxophone will be released on the Innova label later this summer. Videos of some of the pieces can be seen on www.youtube.com/zouleksax. While the recording will be music only, Zoulek, a student in the Doctor in Musical Arts in Contemporary Music program at Bowling Green State University, wanted to capture the passion that led to the creative process. The videos juxtapose the sound of Zoulek’s saxophones, alto, tenor, and the elephantine bass, with images of light sculpture by Erwin Redl, animation by John Simmons, who works under the name Simsies, and dancers. “The music came first,” Zoulek said in a recent interview.  “But it was inspired through so many visual memories, so many collaborations and improvisations, I wanted to capture those moments.” The compositions all grew from the practice of improvising that has been a central part of Zoulek’s playing dating back to his lessons in high school. He remembers that toward the end of his lesson his teacher would pick up his saxophone or sit at the piano and just say “here we go.” “I didn’t realize that was unusual,” Zoulek said. “I was very fortunate to have had teachers who were well versed in free improvisation and at the same time the classical and jazz traditions.” As a student of jazz, he learned “bebop change running” and…


Library offers adult summer reading programs & more

From WOOD COUNTY DISTRICT PUBLIC LIBRARY Reading contributes to a limber mind, so Summer Reading Programs aren’t just for kids at Wood County District Public Library in Bowling Green. A Summer Reading Program for Adults, “Exercise Your Mind: Read!” has begun and will continue through July 29. Participation is easy—simply report books read this summer either online at wcdpl.org/Adult_SRP or by completing an entry form available at the library. Sponsors of the program include the Friends of the Library, Bowling Green Parks and Recreation, and Wendy’s. The library also has more activities for adults in store in the upcoming week: Monday, June 6 Monday Mysteries book group meets at 7pm at the Carter House (directly behind the library) to discuss Blackout by Connie Willis. The group is led by Mary Callahan Boone and Doris Ann Norris. Thursday, June 9 “BG’s Got Talent” starts at 6:30 pm in the Atrium. Enjoy an evening of family-friendly performances featuring Bowling Green’s brightest stars. Saturday, June 11 WCDPL IT assistant Nick Sluka offers an Introduction to Computers in the library’s TechLab starting at 10 am. Ideal for beginners, this class covers the basics of operating systems, parts of the computer—including important buttons and ports, and understanding basic applications. Due to space limitations, registration is required. To register, call 419-352-5050. While some programs may require registering in advance due to space limitation, all library events are free. For more information contact the Adult Services department at 419-352-5050.


Spanish sculptor Jaume Plensa’s “Human Landscape” to be displayed outside & inside of Toledo Museum of Art

From TOLEDO MUSEUM OF ART Works by one of Spain’s most celebrated contemporary artists will stretch across the Toledo Museum of Art’s galleries and grounds when “Jaume Plensa: Human Landscape” opens June 17. The major exhibition, which continues through Nov. 6, spotlights Plensa’s sculptures, drawings, paintings and installations that explore the human body in relation to landscape and language. Northwest Ohio is the final destination of this traveling show organized by the Cheekwood Botanical Garden & Museum of Art in Nashville, Tennessee, in partnership with the Frist Center for the Visual Arts. It’s also the last chance to see so many of these outstanding works in one place – in this case in the Museum’s Levis Galleries indoors and outside on the 36-acre campus. “Jaume is one of the most important contemporary sculptors working today,” said Amy Gilman, Toledo Museum of Art associate director and curator of contemporary art. “He is a poet. He is very thoughtful about language, and he’s choosing to express that in this visual way. You leave his work having had a moment of reflection and thoughtfulness that is a hard thing to come by in the very data-driven and internet-connected world that we live in.” Six large-scale sculptures and sculpture groups by Jaume Plensa (pronounced zhow-muh plens-sah) are positioned in various locations on the Museum’s campus while a selection of works on paper, including 18 drawings and 6 etchings, are on display in the Levis Galleries along with large-scale installations that hang on the walls and ceiling. “The addition of Plensa’s sculptures to surroundings that are familiar will give our visitors an opportunity to experience the…


Beautiful Kids’ “Midsummer Night’s Dream” is theater worth celebrating

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Summer’s here. School’s out. Couples are marrying. It’s a season for celebration. Beautiful Kids Independent Shakespeare adds to the festivities with “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” marking its 20th season. Director Abbey Casino noted in her introduction that the company is just a bit younger than she is. Like irises, Beautiful Kids blossoms in June to present a Shakespeare play for all to enjoy, free of charge, in the open air – if the weather cooperates. The play will be staged tonight (Wednesday), Thursday and Friday at 7 p.m. on the Needle Hall stage in Bowling Green’s City Park. (Moved inside in case the weather doesn’t cooperate.) The comedy is the perfect selection for the anniversary show. Weddings play a central part with all the suitable complications, and the play is, in its way, a tribute to theater. Those rude mechanicals, played with gusto by Jalesa Earby, Pat Mahood, Nathaniel Smith and Zachary Taylor Robb as Bottom, are the forbearers of community theater, though not certainly at its finest. And the mischievous sprite Puck (Dee BonAnno) manipulates humans – “What fools these mortals be,” she exclaims – and enjoys the drama as it unfolds, even bringing some popcorn to munch as lovers quarrel. All this makes for a lively, and very funny, production. Trimmed down to run two hours including intermission, the play has comic punch and narrative directness. Using an 11-member cast, Casino makes good use of double casting. Rachel Hetrick plays both the mortal queen Hippolyta and the queen of the fairies, Titania while Michael Portteus plays both Theseus, the king of Athens,…


City Park to come alive with sound of music

Information from BG PARKS & RECREATION Bowling Green Parks and Recreation will present six shows in its Concerts in the Park series, starting on June 12. All concerts are Sunday nights at 7 on the Needle Hall stage in City Park. Scheduled to perform are: June 12, The Bowling Green Area Community Band. June 19, The Joe Baker Band, playing standards, rock, blues and country standards. June 26, Kerry Patrick Clark and Band, playing folk and original songs. July 10, The Jeff Tucker Band, originals and rock classics. July 17, Swingmania, swing and big band sounds. July 24, The Pride of Toledo Chorus and Voices of Harmony, barbershop singing.


Big Kids bring Bard’s beautiful works to BG stage

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Shakespeare’s plays and actual play collide when Beautiful Kids Independent Shakespeare Company brings the Bard’s works into Bowling Green’s City Park. Since 1997, the Beautiful Kids have localized Shakespeare’s observation that “all the world’s a stage,” and paraded Shakespeare’s panoply of characters across the Needle Hall stage. All within laughing and shouting distance of the swings, slides and picnic table. All within a wooded glade that can stand for parapets of a Danish castle, a battlefield at Agincourt, the Forest of Arden, or the wilds of Prospero’s island. The productions began in 1997 when a group of Bowling Green State University theater students decided to stage “As You Like It” at Needle Hall, and every year since students, graduates and the friends have returned to stage a Shakespeare play, sometimes two. The troupe marks its 20th year with “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” this week Wednesday, June 1, Thursday, June 2, and Friday, June 3,  at 7 p.m. The tradition has passed down from student to student with little formal structure. Tyler Ward, who was active with the troupe for five years starting in 2005, said because the plays are not done with the constraints of school or work, they have an element of freedom to them. “Beautiful Kids gave me the opportunity to explore Shakespeare on my terms,” he said. “We were doing it for the love of it. We were doing it because we wanted to do some freakin’ Shakespeare.” With the semester over, and the cast hanging on in town for a few weeks, “it became really celebratory. It became like a…