Theater

Simpson Garden hosts open air arts celebration

From BOWLING GREEN ARTS COUNCIL The Bowling Green Arts Council and Bowling Green Parks and Recreation Department will host Art in the Park on the grounds of Simpson Garden Park, 1291 Conneaut Avenue, on Friday, June 9, from 4:30-7:30 p.m. Festive fun in a beautiful garden setting with live music, dance, and theatrical performances, artists painting on easels, interactive art activities for children and light refreshments. FREE and open to the public. As they stroll through beautiful Simpson Garden Park, attendees will have an opportunity to view and vote for their favorite artist at work. They will also enjoy local musicians, music by students of the BGSU College of Musical Arts and performances at the Amphitheater by Julie’s Dance Studio, the Black Swamp Players, and Horizon Youth Theatre. Julie’s Dance Studio will kick off the performances at the Amphitheater at 4:45 with a presentation of a mix of difference dance styles from ballet to musical theatre. The Black Swamp Players will present an excerpt from “Dixie Swim Club” by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope, and Jamie Wooten at 5:30 and at 6:30 in the Amphitheater. Horizon Youth Theatre will present two excerpts from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” at 6:15 and at 7:00. Strolling and stationary musicians throughout the grounds will include the Root Cellar String Band featuring Lucy Long, Dave Strickler, Steve O’Regan, and Tom Goodwin; Toraigh an Sonas featuring Mary Dennis, Kathy Moss, Bill Lake, and Bob Midden; the Grande Royale Ükulelists of the Black Swamp, a.k.a. GRÜBS, with Sheri Wells-Jensen, Jason Wells-Jensen, Anne Kidder and Geoff Howes; Fire Breathing…


Pemberville teen Isaac Douglass headed to Sumatra to commune with orangutans

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The fantastic worlds of Harry Potter, Percy Jackson and others fictional heroes weren’t enough for the Isaac Douglass. “I used to read a lot of fantasy books,” Douglass, 14, said. “I enjoyed having little adventures, and I wanted it to happen in real life.” Two years ago the Pemberville teen returned from a Winter Jam concert with a brochure and an idea. He wanted to take a 30-day trip to Australia. His parents, Shawn and Maria Douglass, weren’t ready for that, but as people who traveled themselves when they were young, they wanted their son to have the same opportunity. “We want him to see the world as much bigger than the microcosm of Wood County,” his father said. They found a shorter trip. So at 12 he ventured to Costa Rica where he helped build a road to a farm and painted the house the farmers lived in, and swam and hiked. That’s what he did at 12, now at 14, Isaac is ready to venture further, to Sumatra and Bali. Like the trip to Costa Rica, this trip, offered by ARCC Programs, is both a service trip and a recreational venture. The largest part of the 18-day trip will be working to restore orangutan habitat in Sumatra. The orangutan is the most endangered primate in the world, Shawn Douglass said. Afterward the teens will venture to Bali for some surfing. Isaac will be leaving in late June. Originally the family had looked at the trip, but decided it was financially prohibitive. Then…


Genevieve Simon’s Bowling Green roots inform work headed to Cincy Fringe Festival

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News When Genevieve Simon was a junior at Bowling Green High School she didn’t get the part she wanted in the school musical “West Side Story.” Instead of a role with a lot of singing and dancing, the director Jo Beth Gonzalez cast Simon as Anybodys, a tom boy who hangs out with the Jets, who ignore her. But she persists. “She was this strange girl who wanted to be a boy.” Simon ended up loving the role even though it has few lines. That didn’t mean it she wasn’t acting. “I started to learn how to be on stage when it’s not about you.” Simon learned to listen intently to the story. She fashioned a deep inner life for Anybodys, contemplating her role in the social structure, and projecting that even if she was in the shadows. “I was able to explore and learn how to be on stage and listen, how to be part of a group – who do I feel most loyal to, most scared of, and who do I hate?” “I look back at that and am so grateful she gave me that challenge,” Simon said in a recent telephone interview from her home in New York City. That experience not only has played into her development as a professional actor now working in New York, but it has inspired a new play, “Romeo + Juliet + Anybodys,” that will be performed at the Cincinnati Fringe Festival June 6, 8, and 10. For details visit: http://www.cincyfringe.com. The play brings Anybodys…


Perrysburg Musical Theatre to stage “The King and I”

From PERRYSBURG MUSICAL THEATRE Perrysburg Musical Theatre, in its last show of its seventh season, will present Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “The King and I” to the Perrysburg community this June 22 – 25.   “The King and I” is a timeless and ever-important reminder about overcoming cultural differences with understanding, respect, and love, while maintaining unique and personal traditions and values.  The story takes place in the early 1860’s in Bangkok, Siam (now Thailand), where the newly-widowed Anna Leonowens and her son, Louis, arrive from England, where Anna has taken a position as the schoolteacher for the children of the King of Siam. The King is determined to usher Siam into the modern world, and he thinks Western education can be a part of that – yet, Anna is horrified by many of the traditions that he holds dear.  They discover that they have a lot to learn from each other.  Music from the score includes “I Whistle a Happy Tune,” “Getting to Know You,””Hello Young Lovers,” and “Shall We Dance?” The cast is comprised of community members throughout northwest Ohio, featuring Jennifer Braun (Anna) and Matt Boggs (King of Siam), and supported by a cast of more than 70 members.  The show is a family affair for many of the cast members:  mothers-and-daughters sharing the stage are Angela Paprocki and Paige Paprocki (Royal Wives), Carrie Sanderson (Lady Thiang) and Lindsay Sanderson (Royal Child/dancer), Tania Schneider (Royal Wife) and Caity Schneider (Royal Child/Buddha), and Amanda Hubaker (Royal Wife) and Alex Hubaker (Royal Child); husband-and-wife cast members include Chuck Kiskaddon (Captain Orton)…


“The Fantasticks” gets fresh & lively staging at Valentine Theatre

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News A play so constructed of theatrical artifice should not be this moving. Yet when the wise rogue Gallo reprises the ballad “Try to Remember” at the end of “The Fantasticks,” it tugs at the heart. In the preceding two hours, the bandit-for-hire Gallo (Ryan Zarecki) has taken the audience into his confidence. “The Fantasticks” is being staged by the Valentine Theatre in Studio A, on the Adams side of the complex, directed by James M. Norman, for six shows starting Friday, May 12, at 8 p.m. continuing Saturday, May 13, Friday, May 19, and Saturday, May 20, all at 8 p.m. with Sunday matinees, May 14 and 21, at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20. Visit: http://www.valentinetheatre.com/events.html. “The Fantasticks” has a classic fairy tale set up with a girl, Luisa (Madison Zavitz), and a boy, Matt (Griffen Palmer), and they are in love in the most besotted way, made all the more acute by the fact that their fathers have built a wall to keep them apart. The fathers, Hucklebee and Bellomy, are feuding, or that’s what they like their children to suppose. It’s all a ruse to keep the lovebirds focused on each other and to bring about their marriage. They are also gardeners, which gives them more satisfaction than raising children, because as they sing “if you plant a turnip, you get a turnip.” Who knows what children will turn into? All this plays out as planned, more or less, in the first act with the assistance of Gallo and two, down-at-the-heels actors,…


Theater lovers should add “Every Brilliant Thing” to their to-do list

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Kendra Beitzel is alone on stage as “Every Brilliant Thing” starts. Her character is in many ways alone in her troubled life as the daughter of a chronically depressed mother. Beitzel relates the tale in an engaging tone that’s at once self-knowing and wryly objective. But Beitzel needs help telling  her story. It is a monologue that sometimes needs other bodies to fill out the story, so she will draw random audience members to stand in for her psychologist, her boyfriend, her father, even herself. Her character as well discovers over the course of her life that she needs help to cope with what life has handed her. Broken Spectacle Productions will present “Every Brilliant Thing” Wednesday, May 3 through Friday, May 5, at 7:30 each night at Grumpy Dave’s, 104 S. Main St., Bowling Green. Tickets are $12 from http://www.brokenspectacle.com/. There’s also a one drink minimum. The audience participation is part of what attracted director Sara Chambers to the script.  “Because the audience itself becomes a character,” Chambers said, “the implication is we’re part of a human community, and that’s part of what makes life good.” The play deals with “hard-wired depression,” yet “it is so hopeful.” “The show is not saying in any way you can choose not to be depressed,” Chambers said. Still there are choices. “I can still get help,” Chambers said. “I can continue to make choices about how I view the world. Things can get better, not always brilliant, but they can get better. “I think it’s important…


Players’ “Dixie Swim Club” offers comic, touching look at friendship over the years

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Even if you didn’t go to Pemberton College, you’ll probably know with the women from its championship swim squad. They are a familiar line up of southern female types – overachiever, perfectionist alpha woman, sex-obsessed diva, screwball redneck, and cheerful naif. These archetypes mean the writer, Jones Hope Wooten, doesn’t have to spend time establishing characters. You know, sometimes before the character enters, where they fit in this theatrical ecosystem. The fun is seeing what twists the script and the particular cast can put on them, so we see them a little fresh. The Black Swamp Players’ production of “The Dixie Swim Club” opens Friday, April 28, at 8 p.m. in the First United Methodist Church, 1526 E. Wooster St., Bowling Green. The play continues Saturday (April 28), Friday, May 5, and Saturday, May 6, all at 8 p.m. with Sunday matinees April 30 and May 7 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $12 and $10 for students and seniors at Grounds for Thought or at: https://www.blackswampplayers.org/. Directed by Aggie Alt, in her first effort for the Players, “The Dixie Swim Club” is set on a vacation house on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Members of the swim club have reunited here for more than 20 years when we first encounter them. Now 44 they are facing the various discontents and joys of middle age, and realizing those are sometimes hard to distinguish. One of the characters even shows up pregnant. That birth gives the play its circle-of-life feel. When the play ends 33 years after…


BG High’s musical “Shrek” delivers a message about acceptance on way to a fairy tale ending

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News A musical based on an animated film shouldn’t feel this timely. But you can’t escape the echoes of the news when a host of refugees flood onto the stage of the Bowling Green Performing Arts Center. Yes, the refugees are a motley assortment of your favorite fairy tale characters. Still one feels the very real pang of people displaced. These refugees end up in a swamp, the home of the misanthropic ogre, Shrek, who wants no part of them. “Shrek: The Musical” like its predecessors “Shrek” the movie and the original picture book by William Steig turns fairy tales on their heads. The show, directed by JoBeth Gonzalez, still delivers a happily-ever-after ending. Along the way there’s plenty of comic patter, tuneful melodies, dances, and a few heart-tugging moments. “Shrek, the Musical,” Bowling Green High’s all-school musical, opens tonight (April 20) at 7 p.m. continuing Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. in the PAC. The animated film really sets the bar for the cast and crew. Technical director Ryan Albrecht and his team capture the atmosphere and settings, and manage to make these shifts without interrupting the action. The dragon is a particularly nice piece of stage puppetry. Justin McKenzie does a good job as the gruff Shrek. He shows that a lot of that grouchy exterior is an affectation. He lets the ogre gradually open up emotionally. That process begins with his relationship with Donkey played with a sure sense of comic timing by Josh Coleman, who is…


BGSU’s “Twelfth Night” has Shakespeare doing Jazz Age shimmy

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News As the matches are made in “The Twelfth Night” the characters gather on stage for a Charleston inspired dance number to that 1920s hit “Masculine Women! Feminine Men!” I could well imagine that peppy song with its refrain “which is the rooster which is the hen” inspiring the BGSU Department of Theatre and Film’s production of the Shakespeare comedy. The confusion of gender lies at the heart of the comedy. Director Jonathan Chambers has set the play in the days of the flappers, 1929 in particular. He injects period touches such as mentions of accordions, Jack Dempsey and the shimmy, as well as having people playing golf, into the script. The sound design is packed with period hits that reflect on the action. In his notes he explains that just as in 1929 the world was poised on the brink of a new era, when Shakespeare wrote the play England was pondering what would come after the reign of Queen Elizabeth. In both cases there was much frivolity with an undertow of apprehension. This “Twelfth Night,” though, does not linger on the darker shades. It just wants to have fun and keep the audience laughing, and succeeds in grand fashion. The play opens Thursday (April 20) at 8 p.m. in the Donnell Theatre in the Wolfe Center for the Arts on the Bowling Green State University campus. It continues with shows Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. with matinees Saturday and Sunday. Advance tickets are $15 and $5 for students and children. Available at…


Crim Elementary stages musical to make learning fun

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The backstage was buzzing with nervous actors. The frog and toad were preparing for their big scenes. The snail was brushing up on her slow motion moves. The squirrels were getting ready to make a mess. And the understudies were standing by. In front of the stage, on the gymnasium floor, the eager audience sat with their legs criss-cross applesauce style. When the curtains opened, an excited “ooooooooohhhhh” filled the gym. That’s just the reaction second grade teacher Stacey Higgins was hoping for with the debut of the first musical Thursday at Crim Elementary School. A dress rehearsal was performed in the morning for fellow students, with the big show to occur in the afternoon for parents and other fans. The musical, “A Year with Frog and Toad Jr.” featured all the second grade students – an ambitious endeavor with such young students. “It ties in with our curriculum on the seasons,” Higgins was quick to say. But she added that the performance was also something more. “They need these types of experiences,” she said. “Too much time is spent testing and preparing for tests. We need to get back to making school meaningful and enjoyable for kids.” The musical got the kids singing, dancing, acting, reading narration and designing the colorful set. That is all learning, Higgins stressed. “We want them to have experiences other than just taking tests.” As the audience filed into the gym, and the second graders fidgeted back stage, Higgins admitted to being a little nervous herself….


BGSU arts events through April 28

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS April 13 – The International Film Series continues with the Swedish film “Force Majeure,” directed by Ruben Östlund. An award winner at the Cannes Film Festival, the Toronto Film Festival, and other internationally recognized venues, the film deftly explores the emotional dimensions of the legal term “force majeure,” an unexpected event (such as a hurricane) that releases both parties from the obligations of a contract. In this story, the ski vacation of a seemingly ideal family takes a sudden turn when an avalanche approaches them as they are having a pleasant lunch at the lodge. The screening will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Gish Film Theater located in Hanna Hall. Free April 13 – Prout Readings conclude with B.F.A. student readings at 7:30 p.m. in Prout Chapel. Free April 13 – Bowling Green Opera Theater presents a variety of opera scenes. The performance will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free April 14 – The University Choral Society and Early Music Ensemble present Bach’s “St. John Passion.” The moving and sacred oratorio of Johann Sebastian Bach is a dramatic representation of the Passion as told in the Gospel of John for the Good Friday Vespers of 1724. Revel in the extravagant, expressive music of the season. The performance will begin at 7 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church, East Wooster St., Bowling Green. Free April 14 – The Toledo Museum of Art and BGSU’s College of Musical Arts present EAR | EYE Listening…


BGSU arts events through April 18

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS April 7 – The Collegiate Chorale and University Women’s Chorus will perform at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Advance tickets are $3 for students and children and $7 for adults. All tickets are $10 the day of the performance. Tickets can be purchased at the box office in the Wolfe Center, by phone at 419-372-8171, or online at http://www.bgsu.edu/the-arts/. April 7 – The elsewhere theater season concludes with “Dying City,” written by Christopher Shin and directed by Tanner Lias. The performance begins at 8 p.m. in the Eva Marie Saint Theatre located in the Wolfe Center for the Arts. Additional performances will be at 8 p.m. on April 8 and 9. Free April 8 – The Dr. Marjorie Conrad Art Song Competition will take place in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Preliminaries will begin at noon, with finals following at 8 p.m. Free April 8 – An opening reception for the MFA I Thesis Exhibition will begin at 7 p.m. in the Dorothy Uber Bryan and Willard Wankelman Galleries in the Fine Arts Center. Free Through April 18 – The MFA I Thesis Exhibition will be on display in the Dorothy Uber Bryan and Willard Wankelman Galleries in the Fine Arts Center. Gallery hours are from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 6-9 p.m. Thursdays and 1-4 p.m. Sundays. Free April 9 – The Sunday Matinee Series continues with the 1925 film “The Lost World,” directed by Harry G. Hoyt. Sir…


Tickets on sale for BG High’s production of “Shrek”

From BGHS THEATRE The musical “Shrek”  is based on the beloved Dreamwork’s cartoon about an ogre, named Shrek, who along with several other fairy-tale creatures who are forced off their land by the evil Lord Farquaad.k the Musical” The show will be on stage at the Bowling Green Performing Arts Center, April 20-22  at 7 p.m. and April 23 at 3 p.m. Tickets are available at showtix4u.com until April 14. Then tickets can be purchased at the PAC box office April 17-19th from 3-6 pm. In an attempt to regain his land, Shrek decides to take Lord Farquaad’s challenge to rescue the “fair Princess Fiona” from a tower that happens to be guarded by a dragon. Shrek, with his “trusty steed” Donkey, and Fiona make the journey towards Lord Farquaad’s kingdom. Along the way, Shrek and Fiona discover that they are now friends who are also in love. The play teaches us to love our true natures which sometimes include “our warts and all.” Shrek is played by junior, Justin McKenzie. Fiona is played by junior Elaine Hudson. Donkey is played by senior Josh Coleman with the voice of “the dragon” sung by Olivia Strang. Lord Farquaad is performed by senior Micah McKanna. The cast includes  Rachel Amburgey, Stephanie Bell, Alex Bellavia, Sophia Bird, Hannah Bowlus, Abraham Brockway, Ethan Brown, Natalie Carty, Alyssa Clemens, Megan Clifford, Brian Condon, Nova Cullison, Kaitlyn Dorman, Fran Flores, Saralynn George, Sophi Hachtel, Devon Jackson, Moe Kellow, Sarah Kelly, Sarah Kerr, Darin Kirchner, Hailey Kirchner, Luke Kobylski, Dea Kukeli, Thomas Long, Jadyn Lundquest, Julie Maas, Michael Martin, Jessica…


BGSU Arts Events through April 12

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS March 31 – Jazz Week continues with a trombone performance from Jazz Lab Band I with Grammy-nominated guest artist Alan Ferber. The recital will begin at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Tickets can be purchased at the box office in the Wolfe Center, by phone at 419-372-8171, or online at www.bgsu.edu/the-arts/. Advance tickets are $3 for students and children and $7 for adults. All tickets are $10 the day of the performance. April 1 – Bravo! BGSU celebrates the very best of the arts. Experience a magical evening of vocal, instrumental and theatrical performances, plus exhibitions and demonstrations by student and faculty artists in glass, ceramics, metals and digital arts. Enjoy a festive atmosphere and an array of appetizers and tasty treats. The celebration will begin at 7 p.m. in the Wolfe Center for the Arts. To purchase tickets to the event, contact Lisa Mattiace in the President’s Office at 419-372-6780 or by email at lmattia@bgsu.edu April 1 – Students from BGSU’s College of Musical Arts will be featured in an afternoon chamber music concert at 1 p.m. at the Way Public Library, 101 E. Indiana Ave., Perrysburg. Hosted by Pro Musica, friends of music at the college, the program will feature students who have received travel grants from the organization. The concert is free and open to the public. April 2 – The Gish Sunday Matinee series kicks off with the 1945 film “And Then There Were None,” directed by René Clair. Agatha Christie’s celebrated who-done-it…


Horizon Youth Theatre presents 2017 Festival of Shorts

Submitted by Horizon Youth Theatre Horizon Youth Theatre is pleased to announce its 2017 Festival of Shorts. Three different shows will consist of one act plays written and acted by students; monologues by students from Cassie Greenlee’s Character Acting & Monologue workshop; and the emcee talents of Scarlet Frishman and Katie Partlow. Performances are at Otsego Elementary School, 18505 Tontogany Creek Road, on Friday March 31 and Saturday April 1 at 7:00 pm; and Sunday April 2 at 2:00 pm. Admission is by donation. The plays, with their performance days and cast lists, are as follows: Featherwary by The 2017 Devising Class, directed by Keith Guion Performing Friday and Sunday Cast: Firecloud, an elf-dragon thief – Alexandra Roberts-Zibbel Lainey, a mushroom fairy – Paige Suelzer Penny, a bewildered sudden visitor – Katie Partlow Tim Brown II, a squatter and housekeeper – Eli Marx Vanessa West, a spoiled, rich brat – Emma Kate Holbrook Dr. Cecilia Goldberg, a medical prodigy – Grace Holbrook Greenhouse by Bindi Hoskay, directed by Terra Sloane with mentor Brittany Albrecht Performing Friday and Saturday Cast: Gardener – Ethan Headley Daisy – Isobel Roberts-Zibbel Sunflower – Scarlett Strausbaugh Rose – Calista Wilkins Primrose – Alice Walters Shopper 1 – Noah Carpenter Shopper 2 – Lydia Korzeniewski Shopper 3 – Elise Allen Gwen – Izzy Douglass Home? by Alexandra Roberts-Zibbel & Rose Walters, directed by Alli Kulbago Performing Friday and Saturday Cast: Mom – Sasha Meade Karsyn – Lydia Mackiewicz Cassidy – Lauren Clifford Penny – Bindi Hoskay Peyton – Gray Frishman The Secret Alliance for Lonely Kids…