Theater

BGSU Arts Events through March 13

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS At the galleries —The 67th Annual Undergraduate Art Exhibition, a juried selection of art in all media by students in the School of Art, will remain open through Feb. 19. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday evenings 6-9 p.m., and Sunday 1-4 p.m. The show will be open Presidents Day, Monday, Feb. 19. Feb. 15 — Guest artist Mark Fewer will conduct a violin master class. Described as “genre-bending” by the National Post, and “intrepid” by the Globe and Mail, Fewer has performed around the world to critical acclaim, including performances from the early baroque to the avant-garde, with recent performances as soloist with groups as wide-ranging as the Melbourne Symphony, the Fodens-Richardson Brass Band, the Zapp Quartet and the McGill Percussion Ensemble. The class will begin at 2:30 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall, in the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Feb. 15 — The University Band and Concert Band will perform a concert. Advance tickets are $7 for students and $10 for other adults; tickets the day of the concert are, respectively, $10 and $13. Tickets can also be purchased at bgsu.edu/arts. For more information, call the box office between noon and 6 p.m. weekdays at 419-372-8171. The performance will begin at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall, located in the Moore Musical Arts Center. Feb. 15 — The BGSU theatre department presents the opening performance of “The Language Archive,” playwright Julia Cho’s comedy about a scholar of dead or dying languages who finds it impossible to verbalize love in any of the obscure languages he has mastered, and who perhaps feels more affection for language than for people. 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 6 p.m. weekdays at 419-372-8171. The show opens at 8 p.m. in the Eva Marie Saint Theatre at the Wolfe…

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Players and Horizon revive “Best Christmas Pageant Ever”

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News As an exasperated father observes early in “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” there’s never anything different in the church’s Christmas pageant. Just the usual shepherds in bathrobes, endearingly oblivious baby angels, and the usual characters playing Mary and Joseph. Staging Barbara Robinson’s “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” again may seem to risk lapsing into familiarity. The Black Swamp Players in collaboration with the Horizon Youth Theatre bring the holiday classic back after an absence of two years. But with a new director, Keith Guion, at the helm, and some new faces in the cast, and familiar faces in different roles, the audience doesn’t need to worry about being lulled into complacency. The show is on stage at the First United Methodist Church, 1526 E. Wooster, Bowling Green, Friday, Dec. 1 and Saturday, Dec. 2, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 3, at 2 p.m. Tickets are available at blackswampplayers.org and at the door. What’s intact is the play’s message – that the most unlikely people can teach the most profound lessons. There is something comforting in the ritual though. Just as the Christmas pageant opens with “In those days Caesar Augustus issued a degree,” “The Best Christmas Pageant,” opens with Beth Bradley (Calista Wilkins) declaring: “The Herdmans were the worst kids in the whole history of the world.” It’s the play’s “Marley was dead,” to cite another Christmas classic, nothing good can come from the fable unless that fact is believed and understood. The Herdmans are pint-sized arsonists, cigar chomping, doughnut stealing, bullys in what appears to be an otherwise tranquil, small town, maybe not so unlike Bowling Green. That makes this comic morality tale a perfect fit for our community troupes. We get to see folks we know take on these roles. Like the Christmas story, this centers on family. Beth Bradley is our guide. She’s observant and just questioning enough of the town’s mores to serve as the lens through which to see the story. Her brother Charlie (Eli Marx) gets to…


The Kids and Families of BSP’s “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever”

By Elizabeth Roberts-Zibbel HYT Board Member BG Independent News contributor At a Horizon Youth Theatre board meeting over the summer, someone casually mentioned that Black Swamp Players would once again be producing the one act holiday play The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, based on the children’s novel of the same name by Barbara Robinson. There were excited gasps and clapping, and I believe I may have squealed. Full disclosure: yes, I am on the HYT Board. Yes, I am an occasional contributor and ad manager for BG Independent News. And yes, I did get a role in the play, along with the rest of my family. In 2013 and 2014, Guy and Janet Zimmerman directed the play, and the two productions had many repeat actors, though only Bob Walters kept the same role (Charlie) both years. Johanna Slembarski played the narrator and wise young protagonist Beth, and the next year played the antagonist, bossy cigar-smoking Imogene Herdman. Stephanie Truman had the role of adult protagonist Grace Bradley in 2013, and the next year played the antagonist Helen Armstrong. My entire family was in the 2014 production as well. For many of us, Pageant was our kids’ first theatre experience, a sort of “gateway play” to a happy, creative future of being thoroughly immersed in children’s theatre. The Players decided to take a break from Pageant for a few years, so as to not over saturate the Christmas play market which would surely cause attendance to dwindle. But three years have passed, so the time for this spirited family friendly comedy has come around again. This year it is being helmed by Keith Guion, who often directs and leads workshops for Horizon Youth Theatre. Stage Manager is Macey Bradam, Wendy Guion is Queen of Props, and Producer is BSP regular Melissa Kidder. Most of the adult actors happen to be HYT board members as well as parents of children who were cast (the exception being Linda Lee who has the role of Helen Armstrong). New HYT Board President Thomas Edge was given…


Live radio production of “It’s a Wonderful Life” on stage at Pemberville Opera House

From THE PEMBERVILLE-FREEDOM AREA HISTORICAL SOCIETY The Live In The House Concert series presents a live radio play version of “It’s A Wonderful Life,” Friday, Dec. 1 and Saturday, Dec. 2, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, December 3 at  2 p.m. in the historic Pemberville Opera House While we don’t have Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed, we do have the Vintage Radio Players ready to take the stage, complete with a soundman and his ‘applause’ and ‘on the air’ signs to present The Lux Theatre radio version of the favorite Christmas movies  The show will include a few vintage commercials. The Vintage Radio Players, directed by Janet McClary, will perform “It’s a Wonderful Life” using the original Lux Radio Script that was broadcast in 1947, with live music and sound effects.  This show will be recorded, therefore, audience participation will be appreciated, and it will be broadcast at a later date on WBGU-FM  88.1. Tickets are $12 from Beeker’s General Store, at the door or by  contacting Carol Bailey at 419-287-4848, carol@pembervilleoperahouse.org, or   www.pembervilleoperahouse.org. “It’s a Wonderful Life” is a 1946 American Christmas film produced and directed by Frank Capra. The original story “The Greatest Gift” was written Philip Van Doren Stern in November 1939. After being unsuccessful in getting the story published, Stern decided to make it into a Christmas card, and mailed 200 copies to family and friends in December 1943. The story came to the attention of RKO producer David Hempstead, who showed it to Cary Grant’s Hollywood agent, and in April 1944, RKO Pictures bought the rights to the story for $10,000, hoping to turn the story into a vehicle for Grant.  After several screenwriters worked on adaptations, RKO sold the rights to the story in 1945 to Frank Capra’s production company for the same $10,000, which he adapted into “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Lux Radio Theatre a long-run classic radio anthology series.  Initially, the series adapted Broadway plays during its first two seasons before it began adapting films. These hour-long radio programs were performed live before…


BGSU Arts Events through Dec. 3

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Nov. 26 – Praecepta, the student chapter of the Society of Composers Inc. at BGSU’s College of Musical Arts, will give a performance at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall, located in the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Nov. 27 – The Graduate String Quartet will perform at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall at Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Nov. 28 – The University Choral Society will perform a festive holiday program titled “Joyous Sounds: A Yuletide Celebration,” featuring the BGSU Graduate Brass Quintet and Michael Gartz, organist at First United Methodist Church. The performance will begin 7 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church of Bowling Green. Free Nov. 29 – Trombonist Brittany Lasch will give a Faculty Artist Series performance. Lasch was the winner of the 2015 National Collegiate Solo Competition hosted by the U.S. Army Band and the 2010 Eisenberg-Fried Brass Concerto Competition, and was the recipient of the Zulalian Foundation Award in 2014. Her trombone quartet Boston Based was just named the winner of the 2017 International Trombone Association’s Quartet Competition. Her performance will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall, in the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Nov. 30 – The Concert Band will give a concert at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall, located in the Moore Musical Arts Center. Advance tickets are $7 for students and $10 for other adults; tickets the day of the concert are, respectively, $10 and $13. Tickets can also be purchased at bgsu.edu/arts. For more information, call the box office between noon and 6 p.m. weekdays at 419-372-8171. Dec. 1 – Celloist Deborah Pae will conduct a free master class at 3:30 p.m. in the Choral Rehearsal Hall and give a free performance at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall, both at at the Moore Musical Arts Center.  Pae’s 2017-2018 season highlights include concerto performances of “Rhapsodies for Cello and Strings” by Jeffrey Mumford and Haydn’s Concerto in C as well as chamber music and solo recital tours in New York, San Francisco, Toronto, London, Brussels, France, Indonesia and Taiwan. Dec. 1 – The Men’s and Women’s Chorus will be in concert at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall,…


Romantic comedy “Diana of Dobson’s” wears its age well

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Don’t be fooled by “Diana of Dobson’s.” The production of the 1908 play opens with some period song and dance. Dressed in turn of the previous century finery Anna Parchem and Geoff Stephenson invite us to go to the music hall. They deliver their invitation with a campy enthusiasm touched by cynicism. Something quite deeper and more satisfying awaits behind the curtain. “Diana of Dobson’s” by Cicely Hamilton will be presented by the Bowling Green State University Department of Theatre and Film opening tonight (Nov. 16) at 8 p.m. and running through Sunday in the Donnell Theatre in the Wolfe Center for the Arts. See details at end of story. Once the curtain rises, the glitter disappears. We find ourselves in the stark dorm of the shop girls who work at Dobson’s. As they disrobe for the night the young women played by Laura Holman, Lorna Jane Patterson, Hennessy Bevins, and Megan Kome talk about their lives and their troublesome co-worker Diana Massingberd (Camila Pinero). She’s a rebel who bristles at the petty rules and cruel economies of the company. She gets “five bob a week for my life,” and even then the company fines the employees for minor infractions. Diana has many of those. Diana wasn’t always in these straits. Her father was a country doctor, and she helped him until his death. He left her penniless. To her, even worse than being a fool “is being a pauper.” Her attitude not only grates on her employers but on her fellow workers, who take her complaints about their lives personally. Then Diana receives a letter informing her that she has received an inheritance from distant cousin of 300 pounds. This is not an inconsiderable amount. (The script does well to put this in perspective.) Despite the advice of the good-hearted Kitty (Patterson), Diana decides she will spend it all within a month, living as lavishly as she can so at least she knows what that feels like. Her first stop will be Paris…


BGSU Theatre offers early 20th century romantic comedy

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Bowling Green State University’s Department of Theatre and Film will present “Diana of Dobson’s,” Cicely Hamilton’s Edwardian comedy of manners, in the Thomas B. and Kathleen M. Donnell Theatre at the Wolfe Center for the Arts for one weekend only, Nov.16-19. When London department store employee Diana comes into an unexpected sum of money, she fulfills her dream of vacationing abroad. Posing as a wealthy widow, she attracts the romantic attentions of Captain Bretherton, a fellow traveler she meets in Switzerland. Are his affections genuine, or are he and his aunt merely after Diana’s supposed fortune? “Diana of Dobson’s” explores this question, as well as ones regarding the limited options available to working-class women in the early 20th century, in a style that mixes the witty intelligence of George Bernard Shaw with elements of classic romantic comedy. BGSU faculty member Jonathan Chambers has directed the production of the 1908 play with traditional early 20th-century “music hall” embellishments, including live music provided by BGSU Lecturer Geoffrey Stephenson and theatre student Anna Parchem. Jarod Dorotiak is the accompanist. “Diana of Dobson’s” features Camila Piñero as Diana and Jarod Mariani as her suitor, Captain Bretherton. The cast also includes students Harmon R. Andrews, Hennessey Bevins, Kelly Dunn, Adam Hensley, Laura Hohman, Megan Kome, Lorna Jane Patterson, Fallon Smyl, and Gabriyel Thomas. BGSU Lecturer Kelly Wiegant Mangan has designed scenery and properties to capture the play’s 1908 charm, and Professor Margaret Cubbin provides costumes that showcase the period’s popular fashions. Lighting design is by Professor Steve Boone. The production team also includes Stage Manager Stephanie Vietor and Assistant Stage Manager Nora Long. Performances are in the Thomas B. and Kathleen M. Donnell Theatre at the Wolfe Center for the Arts on the BGSU campus, Nov. 16-18 at 8 p.m., and Nov. 18-19 at 2 p.m. Tickets purchased in advanced are $5 for students, $10 for seniors, and $15 for adults. All tickets are $20 if purchased on the day of performance. Tickets can be purchased through the BGSU Arts Box Office…