Theater

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 home. Since 2000, the Players’ home has been in the fellowship hall at First United Methodist…


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 p.m. on April 21 and 22. See review. April 20 — The International Film Series presents “La Pirogue…


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) has been cavorting with the thug Macheath, a Victorian Tony Soprano. To them their daughter…


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), who hasn’t been back to the pond for eight years. If not for her mother,…


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.


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 so much more now because I’ve been a director. It helps me perform better.” She’s…


BGSU to stage ‘Threepenny Opera,’ ‘darkly comic story of crime, sex, marriage, corruption and betrayal’

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Bowling Green State University’s Department of Theatre and Film will present Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill’s landmark musical, “The Threepenny Opera” in the Thomas B. And Kathleen M. Donnell Theatre at the Wolfe Center for the Arts for one weekend only, April 19-22. Written in 1928 and based on John Gay’s “The Beggar’s Opera,” “The Threepenny Opera” tells a darkly comic story of crime, sex, marriage, corruption and betrayal – all revolving around notorious gangster Mack the Knife. When Mack pairs up with Polly Peachum, heir to the city’s largest syndicate of deceitful beggars, his plans for cashing in on the queen’s coronation day go awry. Mack has friends in high places – but will they be able to protect him from his bitter enemies? Known for its influence on later musicals like Kander and Ebb’s “Cabaret,” Brecht and Weill’s biting tale of beggars, whores and thieves is frequently revived for new audiences around the world.  Weill’s celebrated score includes such standards as “Mack the Knife” and “Pirate Jenny.” BGSU Professor Jonathan Chambers directs the production, which features a cast of more than 20 BGSU students. Scenic Designer and Properties Master Kelly Mangan and Costume Designer Margaret McCubbin infuse the production with a punk-and-junk aesthetic, while College of Arts and Sciences Associate Dean Marcus Sherrell brings the action to life with a dynamic lighting design. The cast includes Kris Krotzer as Mack the Knife, Anna Parchem as Polly Peachum, Kelly Dunn and Noah Froelich as her parents, Erica Harmon as Jenny, and Jabri Johnson and Anne Koziara as Tiger Brown and his daughter Lucy. Jillian Fournier serves as stage manager, assisted by Paige Dooley. This performance is funded in part by the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music Inc., New York, New York. The production includes strong language, violent and adult situations, and brief nudity. Performances are at 8 p.m. April 19-21 and at 2 p.m. April 21 and 22. Tickets purchased in advance are $5 for students, $10 for seniors, and $15 for other adults. All tickets are $20 if purchased on the day…


BGSU Arts Events through April 24

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS April 6 — Academy Award-winning actress Eva Marie Saint will attend a special showing of “The Trip to Bountiful,” the 1953 television production she starred in with Lillian Gish, at 7:30 p.m. in the Gish Film Theater at BGSU’s Hanna Hall. Gish and Saint reprised their roles on Broadway the following year, earning Saint the Drama Critics Award and the Outer-Circle Critics Award. Following the screening, Saint, a BGSU alumna, will discuss her career and her work with Gish. Free   April 6 — World Percussion Night will feature multiple drumming styles, including performances by the Taiko and Steel Drum ensembles from the College of Musical Arts. 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. April 11 — The Faculty Artist Series presents Matthew McBride-Daline on the viola. Since his debut in Carnegie Hall, McBride-Daline has performed worldwide as a viola soloist. An avid chamber musician, he has performed at numerous international festivals including the Banff Center for the Arts, Verbier Academy, the Music Academy of the West, the New York String Orchestra Seminar and Sarasota Music Festival. His performance will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall, located in the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free April 12 — Continuing its focus on exile and migration, the International Film Series presents “Balseros (Rafters)” (2002, Spain, 120 minutes, directed by Carles Bosch and Josep Maria Domenech), with an introduction by Dr. Pedro Porbén from the Department of World Languages and Cultures, Latin American Studies. Filmed in Cuba, Guantanamo Bay and the United States, this transnational film gives insight into the “human adventure of people who are shipwrecked between two worlds.” The award-winning documentary tracks the lives of Cubans who fled Cuba by raft during the economic depression of the so-called “Periodo especial” in the early 1990s. The screening will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the…


Bob Hastings: Keep Black Swamp Players afloat, & reconsider water tower theater

My name is Bob Hastings, and if my 76+ stage appearances have made you smile, I’m glad…but this isn’t about me. I’m 86 years old and over-the-theatre-hill. But what I have to say should…and might be of considerable importance to the Bowling Green area…singing, acting and dancing talent, community band, and theatre fans in all of Wood County. The Black Swamp Players announced recently to suspend operations for a lack of persons to produce, direct and particularly build, paint and design the sets…and fulfill back stage duties.. A more recent BSP meeting produced glimmers of hope in rescinding that suspension and announcing at least a partial season of shows for 2018/19. In my 36 years with the Players I have done it all…many times. Act, direct, board member, president, set designer/builder, paint, etc., etc. PLEASE…I am begging the Bowling Green Community to not allow this organization, celebrating their 50th year, to close its doors for even one year. We have produced our shows on as many as 11 local stages including 10 years at the Mall and 13 at the First United Methodist Church. I retired in 2014, my health and stamina no longer allowing me to be active. I’m retired, but it seems to me that the public and current actors and directors owe it to living charter members, Jim and Lee Forse…and hundreds of past actors, directors and workers, to keep the theatre lights burning for another 50 years. So, if there are those reading this letter, able and interested in working on or behind the stage…or those who would be interested in helping to build sets, or those willing to serve on our board to help make critical decisions about our organization…I beg of you to step up now and call our president, Lane Hakel! I do not have Lane’s permission to print his contact information…but you can reach me…by email at bobhastings@woh.rr.com, I’ll see that it gets to Lane and the board. However, if we are to continue beyond 2018/19, we may have another teeny tiny problem. It is possible we…


Black Swamp Players facing its final curtain

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Black Swamp Players have announced to its members that the theater troupe is suspending operations after its production of “On Golden Pond” in April. The play is the last production of its 50th season. It may be the troupe’s last … or maybe not. President Lane Hakel said that his opinion of what the final outcome will be depends on the day. “We’re in a weird position for a non-profit,” Hakel said. “We have enough money to continue, but we don’t have enough people.” It takes people to build and paint sets, handle all the technical details, as well as administrative work to stage four shows a year – a musical and three “straight” plays. The troupe’s musical “The Secret Garden” ended is two weekend run on Sunday. “This used to be a labor of love, now it’s just a labor,” Hakel said. No there just are not enough to do the work needed to stage another season. Casting has not been a problem this season. “Secret Garden” drew a good turnout of newcomers to the Players. Hakel credited it to the popularity of the show, and to the good reputation of director, Cassie Greenlee. The board has been discussing the fate of the troupe “for years, not just months,” Hakel said. Whether this is intermission before a triumphant resolution in the second act or whether this is the final curtain will depend on response to the news of the suspension.  If other newcomers step forward, or former volunteers who’ve taken a hiatus return and bring “positive contributions” with them, then the Players can survive. A final decision will be made next January. The Players will hold its annual banquet, awards ceremony, and election of officers in May. “If we come back, it will be a new community theatre with an injection of cash that just happens to be called the Black Swamp Players,” Hakel said. The current structure of four productions – several years ago it as five – will have to change. Last August the troupe…


“All Hands on Deck” brings a sense of purpose to its celebration of WWII generation

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Jody Madaras, the song and dance man from Pemberville, created the musical “The All Hands on Deck Show” as a celebration of the World War II generation. The show brings together more than 40 hits from the era, tied together by a plot about a USO troupe. The show has found a home in Branson, Missouri, when it is not touring the country. As the members of that generation pass from the scene though, Madaras said he’s finding fans from an unexpected cohort. “We’re seeing a lot of Vietnam veterans,” he said. “The whole show is about unity. The Vietnam veterans I’ve spoken to and gotten to know have a yearning for unity.” The country was not a unified when they were sent to war, he said. Now they see this show about their parents’ generation as providing a sense of what they miss and long for. “All Hands on Deck” will return to the Valentine Theatre in Toledo Sunday, March 4, for a 2 p.m. matinee. Click here for tickets. https://www.etix.com/ticket/p/7156800/all-hands-on-deck-toledo-valentine-theatre “In six years I’ve personally learned a lot about our country just meeting these people,” said Madaras.  “One of thing I’ve learned that I didn’t know early on is that in 1942 every American had a purpose. Every citizen had a purpose. Every citizen felt like they could contribute to the country. “That could be the key to our future,” he said. It’s something his generation – he just turned 47 – could learn from and emulate. “That idea of every American having a purpose, I don’t think we have that kind of mindset.” That comes through in the songs, he said, especially the Rosie the Riveter. The famous image of the bicep flexing worker flashes on the screen. “These are women with a purpose; that’s powerful.” Madaras hopes the show, which he co-created, “in some small way” reminds people of the need for unity and a sense of “contributing to something greater than our own specific interests.” That may be a lesson for some of the…


Black Swamp Players reveals wealth of talent in ‘The Secret Garden’

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Black Swamp Players have stepped out of their comfort zone in staging “The Secret Garden.” The musical, beloved by many including director Cassie Greenlee, sprawls across two continents, with the main setting a rambling mansion with many rooms, many haunted rooms and gardens, including the secret one of the title. The musical also stretches from the real world deep into the world of memory, populated by the spirits of the dead. These are characters with haunted hearts. And the musical relies heavily on its songs to tell its story and express the sense of longing, loss, and hope. All and all, a challenge, to fit onto the modest stage at First United Methodist Church. But the Players do a splendid job and demonstrate why the show is beloved by its fans. “The Secret Garden” opens tonight (Friday, Feb. 16) at 8 p.m. and continues this weekend  with shows Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. and next weekend with evening shows Feb. 23 and 24 and a matinee Feb. 25. For tickets click.  http://www.blackswampplayers.org/ The show begins with a lively party in India, where British officers and their wives are celebrating while our heroine Mary (Zoe Cross-Nelms) is in bed upstairs. Soon cholera will serve to make her an orphan (the preferred state for children in such stories). But Mary’s parents (Keith Guion and Melanie Moore) aren’t making early exit, rather they and the rest continue to haunt the stage, forming a kind of Greek chorus in dazzling white as Mary is shipped back to England to live in a gloomy mansion with her gloomy Uncle Archibald (Nathan Wright) The house has secrets. Archibald is also in mourning for his wife and sister of Mary’s mother, Lily (Megan Meyer) who died 10 years before. And Lily as well continues to haunt those she left behind. Mary’s disposition – she was apparently always something of a pill – does not improve with this change of scenery. Indeed, it seems designed to make it worse. A spoiled, waited-upon…


“The Language Archive” speaks to difficulties of communicating from the heart

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The linguist at the center of the play “The Language Archive” is fluent in a number of languages. The language of the heart is not one of them. The play by Julia Cho is all about the difficulty of mastering that language. “The Language Archive” opens tonight (Thursday, Feb. 15) and continues weekends through Feb. 24 at the Eva Marie Saint Theatre in Bowling Green State University’s Wolfe Center for the Arts. Click for show times and ticket information. For George (Connor Long) those troubles are evident from the opening scene. He’s concerned about his wife who always seems sad, crying at the least provocation whether watching TV, cleaning the house, or writing notes. “She uses her tears to seal the envelopes.” But his wife, Mary (Felita Guyton), wonders why he never cries, not even at the death of his grandmother. As a linguist devoted to preserving dying languages, he finds the extinction of a language far more moving than the death of any pet or family member. There are 6,900 languages in the world, he notes, and half of them are expected to be gone by the end of the century. The death of a language is the death of a world, he believes. (Though as another character points out later, the world dies first.) George works in an archive of tapes of dead and dying languages. He and his long-time assistant Emma (Laura Beth Hohman) are welcoming a couple who speak a nearly extinct language. They hope to capture their conversation on tape. Usually they have only a single speaker of an endangered language who delivers long stories and monologues. Seldom do they have two people who can converse. And Resten (Michael Tosti) and Alta (Hope Elizabeth Eller) do converse in a comic scene. They are sullen when they enter, and then they start talking, bickering. It starts with the wife’s complaints about getting stuck in the middle seat on the airplane on their flight over, devolves into his complaints about her cooking, and then they vow…


BGSU theater staging ‘The Language Archive’

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Bowling Green State University’s Department of Theatre and Film will present Julia Cho’s award-winning play, “The Language Archive” in the Eva Marie Saint Theatre at BGSU’s Wolfe Center for the Arts, Feb. 15-24. Performances are in the Eva Marie Saint Theatre at the Wolfe Center for the Arts on the BGSU campus, Feb. 15-17 and 22-24 at 8 p.m., and Feb. 17, 18, and 24 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 in the Wolfe Center, online at bgsu.edu/arts, or by calling 419-372-8171. Winner of the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for women who have written distinguished works for the English-speaking theatre, “The Language Archive” tells the story of George, a brilliant linguist who has devoted himself to archiving dying languages. When George’s wife leaves him after he fails to decode a series of mysterious notes he receives from her, he struggles to learn the vocabulary of loss as he fights to preserve the Elloway language. Its last known speakers, a bickering elderly couple grappling with their own sense of loss, refuse to speak to each other in their native tongue, making George’s work nearly impossible. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to George, his assistant, Emma, finds herself unable speak in complete sentences as she tries to come to terms with her feelings for him. Inspired by the universal language of Esperanto, which was created with the hope of moving toward a more peaceful and unified world, “The Language Archive” offers a poignant and bittersweet exploration of the insufficiency of language to capture and communicate the human experience. Still, Cho’s play reminds us that language is sometimes an act of faith, and often our only hope for coming to terms with loss. As Cho’s characters discover, we sometimes have to venture further into sadness to find the endings we need – even if they’re not the endings we imagine. Introspective and lightly comic, “The Language Archive” offers a subtle…


Energetic “Newsies” sets a high bar for future productions of Disney show

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Much went into the staging of the pilot edition of the Disney musical “Newsies.” Being among the first high schools to stage the show before it is officially released for production means the production team has to figure a lot out for themselves. There’s not a template to build on. The dress rehearsal staged for local senior citizens Wednesday was a testament to their hard work. That show also demonstrated that the most important element needed to pull the show off is collective energy, a cast that not only sings and dances together, but their hearts beat as one. “Newsies” was powered by more than 60 batteries… dancing, singing, playing, acting batteries on stage and in the orchestra pit, ably abetted by those in the wings. ”Newsies” has the emotional punch that leaves a catch in your throat at the end. That power comes from real ensemble interplay. These teens playing kids their own age capture the spirit of their peers from 120 years ago, and bring it to life on the stage. You believe these youngsters would take on the goons and police. Disney’s “Newsies: The Broadway Musical,” directed by Jo Beth Gonzalez, opens tonight (Feb. 1) at 7 p.m. in the Bowling Green Performing Arts Center. It continues with 7 p.m. shows Friday and Saturday and a 3 p.m. matinee Sunday. (Click for ticket information and full cast list http://bgindependentmedia.org/start-spreading-the-news-newsies-opens-feb-1-at-bghs/). The show is the product an esteemed Broadway team with music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Jack Feldman, and book by Harvey Fierstein. “Newsies” opens with two young men just waking up in the bleak morning hours on a New York City fire escape.   Crutchie (Ethan Brown) is, true to his nickname, hobbled, but still determined to hit the streets to sell the “papes,” Newsies’ slang for newspapers. His best friend encourages him but Jack (Hudson Pendleton) has dreams. He longs to move to Santa Fe where he can “split rails” and “tell tales around the fire.” Such a different world than the crowded, dirty one…