Theater

BGSU Arts Events through Oct. 3

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATION Through Oct. 21 – Bowling Green State University’s School of Art announces the opening of “So Much More: Ohio’s African-American Artists.” Over the course of its planning, the exhibition has evolved from a tribute to the legacy of athlete, actor, visual artist and BGSU alumnus Bernie Casey, and other African-American alumni to a broader intergenerational conversation among alumni, current students and invited African-American artists from Ohio addressing the intersection of racial identity and personal expression.  The exhibition, in the Willard Wankelman Gallery in the Fine Arts Center, runs through Oct. 21. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 6-9 p.m. Thursdays, and 1-4 p.m. Sundays. Free Through Sept. 29 – BGSU is part of the collaborative “ScupltureX – Igniting Change: Teaching Artists and Social Practice” with the University of Toledo, Owens Community College, Toledo Museum of Art, and Contemporary Art Toledo. The BGSU exhibition, sponsored by David and Myrna Bryan and curated by Saul Ostrow, features the work of regional sculpture faculty. BGSU also will host a series of presentations, including talks by Ostrow and Mel Chin, on campus Sept. 29.  Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 6-9 p.m. Thursdays, and 1-4 p.m. Sundays. Free Sept. 17 – The Grammy-winning choral ensemble Conspirare presents “Considering Matthew Shepard” as part of the McMaster Residency in the College of Musical Arts. Under the direction of Craig Hella Johnson, the group will perform the three-part oratorio, an evocative and compassionate musical response to the murder of Matthew Shepard. Shepard was a young, gay college student at the University of Wyoming who in October 1998 was kidnapped, severely beaten, tied to a fence and left to die in a lonely field under a blanket of stars. The performance begins at 7 p.m. in Kobacker Hall, Moore Musical Arts Center. A talkback with BGSU panelists and Johnson will follow the performance at 9 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall. Admission is free for all BGSU faculty, staff and students with ID at the door. Advance tickets for community members are $7 for adults and $3 for students and children. All tickets are $10 the day of the performance. Call the BGSU Arts Box Office at 419-372-8171 or purchase online at www.bgsu.edu/arts. Sept. 18 – Tuesdays at the…

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Tickets available now for HYT’s ‘Dorothy in Wonderland’

Submitted by HORIZON YOUTH THEATRE Horizon Youth Theatre is proud to present Brian D. Taylor’s musical “Dorothy in Wonderland” June 21, 22, and 23rd at 7 p.m. at Otsego High School, sponsored by The Wood County Historical Center & Museum and the Cagle Family. About this creative combination of two beloved classics, Taylor states on his website that “it’s natural that Dorothy and Alice would become instant friends if they met. After all, they’re both girls who want to return home from the fantasy worlds in which they find themselves.” Dorothy, Toto and the characters of Oz get caught in another whirlwind, sweeping them off to Wonderland where they encounter Alice, White Rabbit, Mad Hatter, March Hare, Cheshire Cat, and other familiar characters from Lewis Carroll’s famous Alice stories. And if you thought the Wicked Witch of the West was bad, facing a dangerous and irrational new foe — the Queen of Hearts – causes Dorothy and her friends to nearly lose their heads. Will a wild game of croquet be enough to defeat the Queen and return both girls home? Songs include “Two Worlds,” “A Mad Adventure,” “The Heartless Executioner,” and “Back Where It All Began.” Helmed by first time director Allison Kulbago, the musical features 47 students age 8 – 16 from many area schools including Bowling Green. The rest of the production team: Kat Knoell, stage manager; Tim Barker, choreographer; Hanna Felver, music director; Scarlet Frishman, assistant director; Christina Hoekstra, costumer; and Brittany Albrecht, consultant. Terra Sloane and Sophia Nelson star in the title roles of Dorothy and Alice. Other cast members are as follows: Dorothy understudy: Kaitlyn Valantine Alice understudy: Izzy Douglass Tin Man: Thomas Long (u/s Bob Walters) Scarecrow: Calista Wilkins (u/s Lola Truman) Lion: Nash Valantine (u/s Aiden Thomas) Wizard of Oz: Bella Truman (u/s Gray Frishman) Glinda the Good: Anne Weaver (u/s Aubrey Evans) Mad Hatter: M Clifford March Hare: Sophi Hachtel (u/s Gavin Miller) Queen of Hearts: Isaac Douglass (u/s Narnia Rieske) Dormouse: Narnia Rieske (u/s Thomas Long) Cheshire Cats: Aria Weaver, Alice Walters, Ligaya Edge Tweedle Dee: Violet Grossman Tweedle Dum: Katie Partlow Toto: Lila Stover White Rabbit: Gavin Miller (u/s Sophi Hachtel) Tigerlily: Izzy Douglass (u/s Isobel Roberts-Zibbel) Rose: Lauren Peppers (u/s Calista Wilkins) Tulip: Emy Wilkins (u/s Reece Hall) Caterpillar: Lola Truman (u/s Lauren Clifford)…


Black Swamp Players get OCTA regional honors for ‘On Golden Pond’

From BLACK SWAMP PLAYERS Several members of the Black Swamp Players were recognized on Sunday at the Northwest Regional Ohio Community Theatre Association (OCTA) Festival. Those who participated in the competition performed an excerpt from the organization’s spring production of Ernest Thompson’s 1979 play “On Golden Pond.” Actors Stephanie Truman and Gavin Miller received Merit in Acting awards, while Bob Welly, Fran Martone, and Tom Edge received Excellence in Acting awards. The cast as a whole was honored with a Merit in Ensemble award and Director Wayne G. Weber received a merit award for directing. The 2018 OCTA Regional Festival was held on June 9-10 at the Owens Community College Performing Arts Center. Black Swamp Players was one of over twenty area community theatre groups that participated. Founded in 1953, The Ohio Community Theatre Association has, for over 60 years, provided support to community theatres through workshops, the annual regional OCTAFests showcasing community theatre productions, and its three-day annual conference each Labor Day Weekend. Black Swamp Players is nonprofit corporation that exists to provide opportunities for area residents to experience quality, amateur, live theatre in all its many aspects. Founded in 1968, Black Swamp Players has been providing community theatre to the Bowling Green and surrounding areas for the past fifty years. Those interested in volunteering for the organization should send an e-mail query to president@blackswampplayers.org.


Art in the Park shines even under cloudy skies

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Rain couldn’t dampen the spirit of the fourth Art in the Park Friday at Simpson Garden Park. It did deter some, but not all, plein air artists. But others came out in force to entertain the attendees, who grew in number as the two-hour event progressed. The rain that arrived mid-afternoon was receding just as folks arrived. So a trio of musicians were heading out to the gazebo. Alice Calderonello, of the BG Arts Council which staged the event with the city Parks and Recreation Department, said the performers took the changes necessitated by the weather in good spirits, even if it meant they were playing in odd corners, and for a shorter period of time. Still by the time the event was wrapping up, musicians had ventured outdoors, and some visitors had wandered off into the garden to admire the garden’s blooms, which are delayed a bit by the cool, wet spring. Phil Hollenbaugh, the volunteer who tends the extensive hosta garden, was on hand checking the plants. Mayor Dick Edwards said that Bowling Green is second only to Dubuque, Iowa, in the number of hosta varieties in its municipal garden. Hollenbaugh said he has 50 more varieties to plant. But he laughed off any competition between the two cities. He’s always happy when people come into the garden to enjoy the plants. Painter Kim Sockman, one of the three artists to arrive to paint outside in the garden, was as close to the outside as she could be while still being inside. The retired art teacher was near the doorway to the Children’s Discovery Garden. With an eye on the weather Thursday, she came out and snapped a photo of the wooden arch in the area. She worked from that image as well as glancing out at the scene. It was good she got a head start on her work because so many people, including her former art students, stopped to chat she wasn’t get a lot of work done. “This is Bowling Green,” she said. “It’s a blast.” That sense of community also attracted newer arrivals to town. Rachel and Phil Beskid were there with their daughters Sylvia and Lucy, who were busy working on a craft project. The family moved to BG about a year…


Airing out the arts in Simpson Garden Park

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Art in the Park allows the arts to blossom right along with the flowers in Simpson Garden. For the fourth year, the festival of arts will take place at the garden, at the intersection of Conneaut and Wintergarden, Friday, June 8 from 5 to 7 p.m. The event packs in a lot of activity into a two-hour span. It features plein air art – artists working in the open air, as well as strolling musicians, theater, at every turn, and children’s activities in the Simpson Building. That’s where performances will happen if the rain comes. But Alice Calderonello, of the Bowling Green Arts Council, urged people not to give up on the weather. Last year the rain threatened all afternoon, but then the skies cleared just in time for art walk. “For some reason heaven smiles on us,” she said. This year, said her husband, John Calderonello, there are more performers than ever. They will be spread from the upper healing garden where strolling performers from the university’s doctorate in contemporary music will do their musical version of plein air art, improvising to suit the mood. Also, new to the event will by the vocal ensemble Inside Voices, also near the healing garden. Down the way in the peace garden the Kaze No Daichi Taiko drum ensemble will perform. In stages closer to the building singer Tom Gorman, the old time ensemble Root Cellar Band, Irish tunes by Toraigh an Sonas, and the Black Swamp Drum Circle will entertain. In the amphitheater, Horizon Youth Theater will stage a preview of its summer musical, “Dorothy in Wonderland,” at 5:15 and 6:30 and in between the Black Swamp Players will read a section of Scott Regan’s original play “Peanuts and Crackerjacks.” The play will be part of the Players’ 51st season. Spread throughout the garden will be artists at work, though not so intently that they won’t take a time to chat with guests. Last year eight artists took part, but organizers are always hoping for more. Jules Webster of Art Supply Depo is again sponsoring a $100 gift certificate to go to one artist voted the favorite by those attending. While artists can sign up on the day of the event, Alice Calderonello encouraged them to register in advance to…


3B’s “25th Annual Bee” spells l-a-u-g-h-t-e-r

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Thirteen years after its Broadway debut, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” keeps going without ever aging. The adolescent competitors vying for this bit of success are still amusingly awkward and distracted, and the host’s victory in the third annual spelling bee is still as bright as ever in her memory. So, just as school is ending, 3B Productions brings us back for a spelling bee at the Indoor Maumee Theatre. The show runs Thursday, May 24, through Saturday May 26 at 8 nightly with a 2 p.m. matinee Sunday, May 27. Visit 3B Productions.org for tickets. As with other musicals centered on competitions – including last week’s moving “Hands on a Hard Body’ staged by Perrysburg Musical Theatre – this show is really about the game of life. And these competitors are just out of life’s starting gate, but not so young as not to have acquired their first scars. Leaf Coneybear (Dylan Coale) is the spacey, lovable home school kid, who backed into his place in the bee. As he sings “I’m not too smart,” yet is able to nail some difficult words thanks to a sock puppet. Marcy Park (Courtney Gilliland) the driven Catholic school girl instead is burdened with her own expectations of prowess in all things – from languages, she speaks six, to sports, she plays several. She’s already placed in the top 10 in the National Bee, and seems to take her return as a given. Chip Tolentino (Quintin Boullion) also went to the finals, though, Marcy doesn’t remember him. She only remembers the top 10. He’s an upstanding kid, just a bit cocky, an Eagle Scout struggling with the emergence of puberty. William Barfee (Matthew Johnston) almost won the bee the previous year but had to withdraw for health reasons. He’s a doughy nerd who relies on his “magic foot” to spell out words, a routine that includes a vocal pop whenever he dots an “i.” But he’s light on his feet when he launches into the soft show number celebrating that magic foot. His physical opposite is the shy, slight, uncertain Olive Ostrovsky (Cayla Kale), who keeps waiting for her father to show up and pay the entry fee. She saves a seat for her mother as well even though…


Perrysburg Musical Theatre hits high gear with ‘Hands on a Hard Body’

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Perrysburg Musical Theatre is taking a detour with this summer’s musical. In previous summers, the troupe has presented big shows, often classics, musicals that employ large casts, including contingents of kids. This year, though, the troupe, moves to a different venue, the Owens Performing Arts Center instead of the Perrysburg High School auditorium, and a smaller, lesser known, but not lesser, show, “Hands on a Hard Body.” The musical runs Friday, May 18, and Saturday, May 19, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, May 20 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15. Based on a documentary film of the same name, the musical, with book by Doug Wright and lyrics by Amanda Green who collaborated on the music with Trey Anastasio, of Phish fame, tells of 10 everyday Texans competing in a car dealership contest to win a car. The one who can keep a hand on red hard body of a Nissan truck the longest will win it. That truck becomes an embodiment of their aspirations. Ronald (Brian D. Jones) wants to win it so he can start his own landscaping business. He imagines it emblazoned with the name McCowan and Son. “First I get the truck, then I’ll work on the son,” he says. And as it becomes evident later in the show, there’s a few females vying for the role of mother. Greg (Jackson Howard) wants the truck so he can head off to California and become a Hollywood stuntman, and in fellow contestant Kelli (Eryn Brook), he thinks he’s found a traveling partner. Jesus (C. Jordan Benavente) wants it so he can get the money to complete veterinary school. A Texan of Mexican heritage, he faces the casual bigotry of many of the others. Cindy (Cynthia Blubaugh), the office manager of the dealership, informs him in broken Spanish that she’ll need to see a green card if he wins. He’s already made it clear, he speaks English perfectly well, and having been born in Laredo, the title of his big number, he is as much a Texan as the rest of them. This is not the only social issue the musical confronts. Brendan Coulter as Chris, an Iraq War veteran, gives a powerful performance as a young man adrift. This is a group portrait a hard…