Theater

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) Humpty Dumpty: Aubrey Evans (u/s Rose Walters) King of Hearts: Bob Walters (u/s Lauren Peppers) Rook: Alexandra Roberts-Zibbel Pawns: Calan Amos, Amelia Mazzarella, Simon Baney, Aiden Thomas (u/s Jonah Truman) Knight: Amalia Cloeter Frog Footman: Reece Hall (u/s Emy Wilkins) Fish Footman: Gray Frishman (u/s Whitney Bechstein) 5 of Hearts: Rose Walters (u/s Anne Weaver) 7 of Hearts: Lauren Clifford (u/s Terra Sloane) Knave: Kaitlyn Valantine (u/s Liam Rogel) Dance Chorus / Playing Cards: Iris Jones, Whitney Bechstein, Lily Martin-Williams Dance Chorus / Chess Pieces: Riley Rader, Faeth Buchhop, Hope Wilson, Rose Walters Cards / Munchkins / Flowers: Isobel Roberts-Zibbel, Liam Rogel, Claire Nelson, Noah Edwards Ozians / Chess Pieces / Winkies: Jonah Truman, Neveah Martinez In what has become an HYT tradition, the understudies will have the opportunity to strut their stuff for an audience of over 1000 area children involved in the STARS program on Tuesday, June 19 at 1:00 pm at Otsego High School. Family members are also welcome to attend (donations…


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 ago, and Art in the Park was a way to connect with the community and feel at home, Phil Beskid said. Holli and Jeremy Luring and their children also moved here in the past year. Holi Luring said they came because of the art and music, and the activities for the kids was a bonus. A variety of art activities were provided by the parks department, the Montessori School of Bowling Green, and Jules Webster, owner of Art Supply Depo. They live nearby, she said. “These are beautiful gardens.” Jeremy Luring said the event with its small town feel was a good way to meet people. Flutist Hong-Da Chin returned to have a chance to improvise music with some friends before he moves out of Bowling Green.  He graduated with his doctorate in contemporary music in December and has a teaching position at Western Illinois University. “I just wanted to improvise with them one last time for a long time.” He was joined in the…


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 make sure the council can get their names on the ballot and has contact information should they win. Artists should contact Craig Blair at blair@surrealogic.com. Art Depo is also giving young artist a chance to do plein air painting just like their elders. That will be offered in the children’s garden. The Bowling Green Montessori School and BG Parks and Recreation will have children’s activities inside the Simpson Building. Arts council member Nancy Stonerock is busy baking cookies for the event. Alice Calderonello said that this year the council has trimmed Art in the Park down to two hours. Most people come after work and before supper, so the 5 to 7 time frame fits well. Prudence Brott of Sunset Bistro is offering 15 percent for the arts council that evening for those who want to catch supper after the event. Putting on such a festival takes many hands. Art in the Park involves a collaboration. Calderonello praised the help that Ivan Kovacevic and the…


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 she’s off seeking higher spiritual understanding at an ashram in India. Logainne SchwartzandGrubinere (Sarah Pettee) also has family issues. She is the child of two doting dads. Dan Dad (Brian Jones) is nurturing and protective and Carl Dad (Bob Marzola-Hughes) is hypercompetitive, to the point of cheating to give his girl a leg up. Pettee delivers with wonderful physical comedy as she navigates all this, expressed in “Woe Is Me.”. Yes, the script plays on stereotypes for laughs, but the cast members come through to give their characters comic individuality. This circus – aptly depicted in the number “Pandemonium” – is presided over by adults who themselves need supervision. Rona Lisa Peretti (Hannah Quinn) is the overbearing former winner who serves as host, providing inappropriate introductory comments for contestants. Also scoring high on the inappropriate scale is Douglas Pinch (Andrew Austin) a vice principal with anger management problems, who is allowed to return after unspoken misbehavior in his past. His sentences using the spelling words…


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 scrabble community in the midst of a downturn that’s as much social and psychological as well as financial, the musical is true to its documentary roots. In that way it evokes “Working,” or even “A Chorus Line.” As in that latter classic, the characters get to tell their life stories in a song. The lyrics are straightforward and blunt and lifted by melodies and rhythms that blend country and western and Broadway balladry. The score also includes powerful ensemble harmony that reverberates deep inside the listener, evoking a sense of community. The choreography by Clark Ausloos keeps the cast moving despite the inherently static nature of the action. The Perrysburg cast, directed by Ausloos and Michael Kadin Craig, is up to the task. They bring these characters to life. Central to the action is Benny (D. Ward Ensign). He won two years ago, and now he’s back because he is intent of being a winner. He’s aggressively competitive, even a bully, picking at other contestants’…


Simon sibs deliver new show to Cincy Fringe

Submitted by THE FUNCTIONAL SHOES Bowling Green siblings Genevieve Simon and Martin Simon are teaming up to produce “Delivery” at the Cincinnati Fringe Festival June 5, 6, 8, and 9. Genevieve Simon, a playwright and actor now based in New York City, wrote and performs in “Delivery,” a three-part surreal comedy with music presented by NYC theatre company The Functional Shoes. Her younger brother Martin Simon, specializing in Technical Design as a theater major at Bowling Green State University, acts as the technical operator for “Delivery” at the Cincinnati Fringe Festival. Both siblings are alumni of Horizon Youth Theatre and the Bowling Green High School Drama Club. “Delivery” serves up three strange worlds and asks you to find the connections among them. Three women fail to get the message across, plastic animals come to life, teenagers get left out of history books, and fresh new, original music is created and distorted in this funny, hyper-aware, and delightfully abstract hour-long triptych. “Delivery” received a workshop production at The Tank in New York City in May. This three-part, 60-minute adventure is a must-see at the Cincinnati Fringe Fstival The Functional Shoes www.sthefunctionalshoes.com is an award-winning pop-up theatre company based in New York City. Using live music and original plays, they bring people from the sidelines into the spotlight. The troupe was 2017 Producer’s Pick of the Fringe & CityBeat Critic’s Pick for last summer’s “Romeo + Juliet + Anybodys.” “Delivery” is performing in A103 Arts Academy Commons for the Cincinnati Fringe Festival on June 5 at 6:30 p.m., June 6 at 9 p.m., June 8 at 9 p.m., and June 9 at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are available at www.cincyfringe.com.


‘Dr. G.’ carries King’s message with edgy topics on stage

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Dr. JoBeth Gonzalez uses the stage to allow students to address touchy issues. It is there that they find a voice on difficult topics like human trafficking, suicide and racism. On Friday, Gonzalez was given the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Drum Major for Peace Award by the Bowling Green Human Relations Commission. The program, in the library atrium, reminded people through words and song that “the journey is not over, the struggle is not done.” In accepting the award, Gonzalez thanked the commission for being a microphone for such issues, and Bowling Green High School for allowing her to explore edgy topics. She also thanked her husband, Al Gonzalez, for challenging her to think with depth and breadth, and her drama students at BGHS. “Good leaders are good listeners, and I’ve learned to listen to my students on the topics that are important to them.” “I accept this award humbly on behalf of, and because of, my students,” said Gonzalez, who is known to students and fellow staff as Dr. G. The Drum Major for Peace Award is given annually to highlight significant efforts by people who further the betterment of human relations in the Bowling Green community by actively promoting justice, peace, and respect. The spirit of this award is captured in King’s “Drum Major” sermon, in which he encouraged his congregation to seek greatness, but to do so through service and love. Gonzalez is accustomed to accolades, having earned national and state recognition for her work with youth theater. In fact, she is recognized as a leader in her field, explained Jennifer Dever, a fellow BGHS teacher and a member of the human relations commission. Theater education has benefitted from Gonzalez’s contributions. However, closer to home, the community has benefited even more, Dever said. “Dr. G’s positive impact on our community has inspired our community’s students — students of all backgrounds and abilities — to honestly look at their world and have the difficult conversations necessary to affect positive change,” Dever said. Gonzalez has said, “Drama may be the most successful portal for creating a safe space for honest dialogue among young people.” Her work reflects this, Dever said. In each production and class, she encourages students to explore social issues and share their new-found awareness. “After all, how better can we create lasting empathy for all than to nurture it in our youngest citizens,” Dever said. One example of that encapsulates Gonzalez’s work is the Social Issues Theater class she began teaching 12 years ago, Dever explained. Each class selects a social issue that will be the focus of their research, writing, and performing. The success of this class spreads beyond the classroom into the community. One class chose to focus their research on the issue of human trafficking, later resulting in the creation of the Human Trafficking Awareness Troupe. Senior Elaine Hudson, a member of the Human Trafficking Awareness Troupe, said students gained valuable insight into the human trafficking that happens not only in foreign countries, but also right here in Northwest Ohio. Gonzalez promotes justice, peace and respect through the Drama Club, which has produced plays that explore other social issues, such as suicide, racism, the immigrant experience, and intersecting identities. Gonzalez was credited for creating…


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 Church. While grateful for the church’s generosity, the space has limitations, both physical and operationally. The troupe for example cannot sell 50-50 raffle tickets or alcohol. Those are ways of raising funds that other theater use. Hakel still believes for the troupe to reverse its decline in audience finding a new space is essential. “There are a couple intriguing possibilities that the new board is investigating for a permanent location.” One would involved sharing a space with a business. The 50 for 50 campaign, which was raise $50,000 in the Players’ 50th anniversary, has $23,000 in pledges and donations. Elections for officers and trustee will occur at the Players’ annual banquet and membership meeting. Also, the next season’s offerings will be announced. “Rather than a sad occasion,” Hakel stated, “our annual Swampy Banquet and General Membership Meeting to be held on Wednesday, May 16,  at Bowling Green Country Club will be a happy one. “


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 (The Dugout)” (2012, Senegal, 87 minutes, directed by Moussa Touré), with an introduction by Dr. Beatrice Guenther, International Studies program director. In this film, a group of African men leave Senegal in a pirogue captained by a local fisherman to undertake the treacherous crossing of the Atlantic to Spain where they believe better lives and prospects are waiting for them. The screening will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Gish Film Theatre, located in Hanna Hall. Free April 20 — The Concert Band and University Band will give a performance. 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 5 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 21 — Guest artist Brendan Ige will give a euphonium master class. Ige’s performance experiences range from performing orchestral music to playing the sousaphone in a roving “beach band” at Cedar Point. He has performed with the Toledo Symphony, the Perrysburg Symphony, and the University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra. The master class will begin at 9 a.m. in the Marjorie E. Conrad, M.D. Choral Room, located in…


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 is yet another commodity. But as Polly explains in “Barbara’s Song” she’s likely to go only so far with a respectable suitor, but will drop her panties for a poor, disreputable man. Her father, though, is intent on having Macheath arrested. The problem is the chief of police Tiger Brown (Jabri Johnson) is an old Army buddy of Macheath’s. They celebrate in “Soldier’s Song,” a caustic look at the military. Here as elsewhere the production plays up a homoerotic undertone. Johnson’s Brown watches out for Macheath, not just out of Army buddy loyalty. As much as Macheath pledges to be faithful to Polly, he’s a wandering dog and that leads to his downfall. He leaves a trail of jealousy in his wake especially between Jenny Driver and the police chief’s daughter Lucy Brown (Anne Koziara), who also claims to be married to Macheath. All this is played out in series of scathing musical numbers. Dunn’s Mrs. Peachum smugly dissects Macheath’s dilemma in “Ballad of the Prisoner of Sex.” As Polly, Parchem gets the choice set piece, “Pirate Jenny” about a hotel maid who gets her revenge on those who look down on her. Weill employs echoes of traditional ballads with modernistic harmonies that waver and…


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, she’d be estranged from her father. She was never the son he wanted, nor the daughter really. She never had children. Norman asks Ethel if she ever had that talk with her. Or maybe he should have had that talk with her ex-husband. Though when pressed, he can’t imagine much they’d do with a grandchild. This is the summer that Chelsea returns with her latest boyfriend, Bill Ray (Thomas Edge), a dentist. They arrive on their way to Europe with Bill’s son Billy Jr. (Gavin Miller) in tow. Edge has one big scene where he faces off with Norman, who is disinclined to engage in any kind of conversation. Having failed to establish rapport, Bill must awkwardly broach the subject of sleeping arrangements for him and Chelsea. Norman pounces on his uncertainly, pushing the conversation into queries about sex, and whether that’s appropriate. We never really know if Norman cares or not about whether they sleep together. But it is clear he cares about keeping Bill off-balance and at a distance. Bill stands up for himself in a monologue flecked with the psychobabble of the 1970s. His son Billy’s slang also smacks of the 1970s. Miller is convincing as a “Valley boy,” convincing in a…


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 also looking to studying education and theatre. “I love working with children. I love seeing things come together.” The scripts were written last fall as part of an HYT program. The 10 plays then were reviewed by Greenlee and a couple other adults for originality and how feasible they were to be staged. The young directors got the most say, though, said Greenlee.  They were given the scripts and asked to rank them in order of how interested they were in directing them. Sloane and Frishman each selected the same play, “Mountains” by Sophi Hachtel and Anne Weaver, as their top choice. “The thing we really liked about it,” Frishman said, “is the message is beautiful and something young kids need to hear. It deals with bullying and schools and anxiety. The main character Audrey has a physical representation of her anxiety on stage with her the whole time.” Selecting wasn’t easy, though. All the scripts were “fantastic,” she said, and they would have been happy to direct any of their top three choices. Sloane is also one of the playwrights. This festival will include her “Poppy Meadow,” written with Alexandra Roberts-Zibbel. This is the fourth script she has written. Roberts-Zibbel said the play was inspired by…


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 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.