Theater

BGSU arts events through March 1

From BGSI OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Feb. 16—The Creative Writing Program’s Reading Series features graduate students Bridget Adams and Benji Katz. The reading will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Prout Chapel. Free Feb. 16—The Department of Theatre and Film’s production of “The Penelopiad” will open at 8 p.m. in the Eva Marie Saint Theatre at the Wolfe Center for the Arts. “The Penelopiad” is Margaret Atwood’s version of Homer’s “Odyssey” told through the voices of Penelope and her 12 hanged maids. Speaking from beyond the grave, Atwood’s characters explore this mythic tale of love, betrayal, responsibility and power. Additional performances are at 8 p.m. Feb. 16-18 and Feb. 23-25, with matinees at 2 p.m. on Feb. 18, 19 and 25. Advance tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the box office in the Wolfe Center, 419-372-8171 or online at www.bgsu.edu/arts. All seats the day of the performance are $20. (See story: http://bgindependentmedia.org/bgsus-the-penelopiad-shows-the-tragedy-on-the-ancient-greek-homefront/) Feb. 17—The Brown Bag Music Series will present a musical extravaganza in celebration of Black History Month. Students and faculty from the College of Musical Arts will perform starting at 11:45 a.m. at the Simpson Building, 1291 Conneaut Ave., Bowling Green. Free Feb. 17—The BGSU Wind Symphony will perform at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Advance tickets are $7 and can be purchased at the Wolfe Center for the Arts box office, 419-372-8171 or online at www.bgsu.edu/arts. All seats are $10 the day of the performance. Feb. 18—The University and Concert Bands will perform at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Advance tickets are $7 and can be…


BGSU’s “The Penelopiad” shows the tragedy on the ancient Greek homefront

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News “The Penelopiad” is a woman’s take on the testosterone-fueled tales told in “The Iliad” and “The Odyssey.” Given women’s place in the ancient societies that spawned these myths, we shouldn’t be surprised that Margaret Atwood should set her tale in hell, or the Greek version, Hades, more a place of internal torment than physical pain. “The Penelopiad” directed by Sara Lipinski Chambers, opens in the Eva Marie Saint Theatre on the Bowling Green State University campus tonight (Thursday, Feb. 16) and continues weekends through Saturday, Feb, 25. (See details below.) Through Penelope (Katya Dachik), the legendary faithful wife, we learn the other side of the story of  Odysseus and his return home after 20 years of war and wandering. We see his vengeance not as triumph but as tragedy. As with any Greek tragedy the plot is fueled by a central fault in our central character. Penelope believes she can somehow control the patriarchy that closes in on her life – her father, her husband, her in-laws, the controlling servant, and the suitors lusting for her body and more so her husband’s patrimony. But then that frail belief is all she has to cling to. Using the wiles her husband is famous for, she conspires to hold the unwelcomed suitors at bay only to bring death to those who aided her. But then Odysseus (Jarod Mariani) came home alone, his crew’s bodies strewn across the Aegean in a trail leading back to the bloody fields of Troy. “The Iliad” and “The Odyssey” are tales of war told by the victors. Though men so often use…


BGSU Arts Events through Feb. 21

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Feb. 9—The Elsewhere Season begins with “The Winter Barrel,” written and directed by film faculty member Dr. Eileen Cherry-Chandler. The staged reading will begin at 8 p.m. in the Marjorie Conrad M.D. Choral Room, located in the Wolfe Center for the Arts. Free Feb. 11—The David D. Dubois Piano Festival and Competition features guest artist Chu-Fang Huang. Winner of a 2011 Avery Fisher Career Grant, Huang debuted as a finalist in the 2005 Van Cliburn Piano Competition and as First Prize Winner of the Cleveland Piano Competition that same year. In 2006, she won a place on the Young Concert Artist roster. Her performance will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall located in the Moore Musical Arts Center. Tickets are $7 call 419-372-8171  or online at http://www.bgsu.edu/the-arts.html. Feb. 12—The David D. Dubois Piano Festival and Competition will start at 9 a.m. in Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. The annual event supports student pianists by providing scholarships for high school students to attend BGSU, encouraging undergraduate students to develop innovative programming ideas for outreach projects and supporting current piano students to participate in music festivals around the world. Free Feb. 14—Music at the Manor House features BGSU violin students. The performance will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Manor House in Wildwood Metropark, 5100 W. Central Ave., in Toledo. Free Feb. 14—Tuesdays at the Gish continue with the 1968 film “Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One,” directed by William Greaves. This film on the making of a film involves three camera crews capturing the process and personalities (director, actors, crew, bystanders) involved….


BG high students get in the act as directors in this weekend’s showcase

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Claire Wells-Jensen is trying to block a quartet of actors on the stage of the Bowling Green Performing Arts Center. The arrangement of actors just doesn’t seem to be coming together quite like she and co-director Lily Krueger envisioned. “This is the most stressful thing I’ve ever done,” she says. Maybe as frustrating as a mom trying to hustle a teenage daughter off to school. Maybe as frustrating as herding cats… on the internet. Wells-Jensen and Krueger are directing “The Internet is Distract – Oh Look A Kitten!” That’s one of four one-act plays on the bill Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday at 7 p.m. at the Bowling Green Performing Arts Center. The school’s Improv Troupe will also perform. Tickets are $8 and $6 for students and senior citizens. Seniors with a Bobcat Pass get in free. Jo Beth Gonzalez, the advisor for the Drama Club, said the program of one-act plays gives students a chance assume the director’s role. “Kids think directing is easy until they do it. They learn so much,” she said. Certainly that was the case for Krueger and Wells-Jensen. “It was not what I expected,” Krueger said.  “We’ve been in one acts directed by students, and you think you know what they’re going through, but it completely different.” The responsibility for the play from selection to staging falls on their shoulders. Wells-Jensen and Krueger realized their young cast needed a little more help concentrating so they did four focus exercises before each rehearsal. The other plays on the bill are: “Windmills and Millstones” by Louise Wade, directed by Meagan Worthy,…


BG foundation gives grants to community groups

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Community organizations were given grants earlier this week to bring music, sports, reading and more to Bowling Green. The grants, from the Bowling Green Community Foundation, are intended to help the very young to the very old, and everyone in between. The annual grant program began after the 1993 BG Leadership class started the foundation in order to help local groups serve the community, explained Cal Bowers, president of the foundation. “What you’re doing speaks to the vibrancy of our community. You’re at the core of it,” said Bowling Green Mayor Dick Edwards. This year’s grants total $29,000 for 14 different projects. “That’s an impact to this community,” Bowers said. Following is a list of all the projects awarded grants. BG Area Community Bands – $2,250 for a community band festival. “This is our 10th year as a community band. We feel we have become a staple in the community,” said Ardy Gonyer. “We’re very grateful for the support of Bowling Green.” Thom Headley explained the grant will help the band put on a concert with a guest conductor on May 6. BG City Schools – $1,000 for One Book BG literacy program. Two third grade teachers, Jeni Niekamp and Jonelle Semancik explained the grant will help the schools purchase books for every pre-kindergarten through fifth grade student. The reading program unites families and the community around one common book. “It’s created to promote a love of learning,” Semancik said. BG Parks and Recreation Department – $5,000 for the natural obstacle course. Ivan Kovacevic, of the parks and rec department, said the…


Debate over afterlife puts church through hell in “The Christians”

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Clearly Presbyterians don’t believe in bad karma. Otherwise the pastors and board of the First Presbyterian Church in Bowling Green would have thought thrice about hosting a production of “The Christians,” a drama about a church being ripped apart. The church lived up to its declaration on its sign outside as a welcoming congregation, and welcomed Broken Spectacle Productions into its sanctuary. Luke Hnath’s 2015 play “The Christians” is being presented Thursday and Friday at 7 p.m. in the church’s sanctuary. Tickets at the door are $20 and $15 for students. Tickets in advance are $15. Visit brokenspectacle.com. That’s a fortuitous setting for the play. After a small choir (William Cagle, Beth Felerski, and Lorna Patterson) directed by pianist Connor Long has offered a couple hymns, the pastor, Paul (Jim Trumm) steps out and greets the congregation. Given the stage is a sanctuary a moment of confusion ensues – is this a service or a performance? Trumm’s Paul is a warm, reassuring figure, glib but not quite unctuous. He’s certainly proud of what he’s built. As he details in the opening lines of his sermon, he built this church from a handful of worshippers in a storefront into a congregation of thousands with a church that has a bookstore, coffee shop and parking lot big enough to get lost in. This Sunday is one of celebration, he tells the congregation, because the mortgage on the church has finally been paid off. And the Sunday is notable as well because he is announcing a dramatic change in theology – he no longer believes in hell….


BGSU Arts Events, through Jan. 25

Jan. 11—The Faculty Artist Series begins the semester with a performance by cellist Brian Snow. Snow has earned a reputation as a gifted and versatile performer in chamber music, orchestral and solo settings after spending the past decade performing and teaching in the New York City area. His recital will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Jan. 12—The reading series hosted by the Creative Writing Program and the Mid-American Review begins with BGSU graduate students Nick Heeb and Roseanna Boswell. They will present their work at 7:30 p.m. in Prout Chapel. Free Jan. 18—The Faculty Artist Series features Conor Nelson on flute. Nelson has appeared as a soloist with the Minnesota Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Flint Symphony, among others. The recital will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Jan. 19—The 59th annual Honor Band and Directors Clinic will feature the BGSU Wind Symphony in performance at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall. Free Jan. 19—Poet Bruce Weigl will read from his work as part of the Creative Writing Program’s Visiting Writer Series. Weigl is the author of “The Circle of Hanh”and more than a dozen other books of poetry, including “The Abundance of Nothing”(2012) and “Song of Napalm”(1988), both of which were nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. The reading will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Prout Chapel. Free Jan. 20—The Brown Bag Music Series will feature a musical theatre extravaganza by students and faculty from the College of Musical Arts. The program will begin at 11:45 a.m. in the Simpson…


Broken Spectacle troupe brings “The Christians” to First Presbyterian

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Broken Spectacle Productions has staged plays in a bar, a lounge that served as a hookah lounge, and an empty storefront with one electrical outlet. The troupe makes it work. The company is peripatetic by design. Making it work is part Broken Spectacle’s mission statement. As Jonathan Chambers, who launched the theater company in 2014 with his wife Sara Lipinski Chambers, explains “It’s always about the plays and the spaces.” “We identify projects we want to do, then find spaces that are suitable,” he said. Chambers said Sara Chambers is always ordering and reading new plays. Last summer they came across “The Christians” by Lucas Hnath. He read it and knew immediately it was a play they should produce. “It ticks a lot of our boxes for us. It’s a new play that’s dealing with issues we’re interested in.” “The Christians,” which is structured around a sermon, “treats the issue of faith and people of faith with integrity, so it’s not making fun of belief,” he said. “In some respects the play is an argument that’s very old. If God is all loving, how can he send people to hell?” Chambers said they also realized “this is not a bar show.” Broken Spectacle will stage “The Christians” at First Presbyterian Church in Bowling Green, Thursday, Jan. 12 and Friday Jan 13 at 7 p.m. Tickets at the door are $20 and $15 for students. Tickets in advance are $15. Visit brokenspectacle.com. Knowing they wanted to stage the play set in a church in a church, they approached First Presbyterian. Chambers said they knew the…


Toledo Museum offers Great Art Escape over holidays

From TOLEDO MUSEUM OF ART The Great Art Escape, a week of free performances, art activities and after-hours flashlight tours, returns to the Toledo Museum of Art Dec. 27-Jan. 1. Sponsored in part by Taylor Cadillac, the week of special events has become a holiday tradition for bringing together family, friends and holiday guests. Explore the galleries with the debut of the Toledo Museum of Art’s new app. During the Great Art Escape visitors are invited to play a treasure hunt throughout the galleries. Three temporary exhibitions organized by the Museum’s curators are sure to delight visitors of all ages. Gabriel Dawe: Plexus no. 35, on view in the Great Gallery, is an ethereal indoor rainbow created especially for the space it occupies. Mexican-born artist Gabriel Dawe’s textile installations have been seen in galleries around the world, most recently as part of an exhibition at the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C. The installation in the Great Gallery is sponsored in part by the TMA Ambassadors, a group of volunteer fundraisers. The Libbey Dolls: Fashioning the Story in Gallery 18 features 78 fashion figures depicting French styles from 1493 to 1915. The Libbey Dolls, formerly known as the Doucet Dolls, were the product of the World War I aid effort. Purchased in 1917 by Toledo Museum of Art founder Edward Drummond Libbey, the dolls’ clothing was created by Jacques Doucet. Art by great French artists like Nicolas Lancret and Louis-Léopold Boilly, as well as drawings and engravings from late 19th-century fashion publications, inspired his creations. Shakespeare’s Characters: Playing the Part in Gallery 6 marks the 400-year anniversary of the great…


Arts X reaching for new heights

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Erin Garber-Pearson has performed several times at Arts X at Bowling Green State University. The former teacher in the School of Art feels right at home at the festival that brings all the arts on campus together. Her own work blends sculpture, video, storytelling and aerial acrobatics. That’s a perfect fit for Arts X with its mélange of art sales, exhibits, musical and theatrical performances, all colored by a certain level of tom foolery. When Garber-Pearson and Kathleen Livingston perform at Arts X as Violet and Fortuna on Saturday, Dec.3, the acrobatic storytellers will take the work to new heights. The work-in-progress “Laces” involves two solo and two duet pieces.  The duets require the performers to fly higher. Working as a solo aerialist is challenging enough but working together requires a heightened sense of communication and trust, Garber-Pearson said.  The duo has been working on the duets for three years. Arts X is “a good time to show” what they’ve been working on. The works fits right in to the theme of Arts X 2016:  “Volanti: Seeking Unknown Heights.” The event runs from 5 to 9 p.m. and is preceded at 4 p.m. by a holiday concert by the Bowling Green Philharmonia in Donnell Theatre in the Wolfe Center. Arts X is a free public event. Violet and Fortuna will perform two 20-minute shows, one at 7 p.m. and another at 8 p.m. in the Donnell Theatre. They will be joined by dancers from Auxwerks in Ann Arbor. Also BGSU faculty member Montana Miller will perform. According to the university, the former circus aerialist…


BGSU Lively Arts through Dec. 5

Nov. 29—Undergraduate and graduate piano students will perform at 7 p.m. at the Wood County District Public Library, 251 N. Main St., Bowling Green. Free Nov. 29—Percussion ensembles will perform at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall at the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Nov. 30—The Early Music Ensemble will perform at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Dec. 1—The International Film Series concludes with the 1977 film “Neokanchennaia P’esa Dlia Mekhanicheskogo Pianino (An Unfinished Piece for Mechanical Piano),” directed by Nikita Mikhalkov. From Russia’s most well-known contemporary filmmaker, an intriguing story of former lovers who meet at a pre-revolutionary country estate. Casual conversations on social issues and the music of Liszt, Rachmaninoff and Donizetti supply background to a Chekhovian treatment of returning past love. The screening begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Gish Film Theater located in Hanna Hall. Free Dec. 1—Creative writing students in the bachelor of fine arts program will present their work. The reading begins at 7:30 p.m. in Prout Chapel. Free Dec. 1—World Percussion Night features multiple styles including performances by the Taiko, Afro-Caribbean and Gamelan ensembles. The concert begins at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall at the Moore Musical Arts Center. Tickets can be purchased from the BGSU Arts Box Office at 419-372-8171. Advance tickets are $7 for adults and $3 for students and children. All tickets the day of the concert are $10. Dec. 3—Ensembles of the BGSU College of Musical Arts will perform a Holiday Concert as part of the 12th annual ArtsX events. The performance will begin at 4 p.m. in the Thomas B. and…


BGSU cast kicks up its heels in “Drowsy Chaperone”

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News “The Drowsy Chaperone” is a love song to musical theater, and our hero barely sings a note. Instead the Man in the Chair played by Nathan Wright, listens and revels and harrumphs, and in the end reveals himself. “The Drowsy Chaperone” opens in Bowling Green State University’s Donnell Theatre tonight (Nov. 17) at 8 p.m. and continues with shows Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. with matinees Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. Advance tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for students and children. All tickets the day of the performance are $20. 419-372-8171 or visit www.bgsu.edu. The show opens in the dark with Wright talking about that sense of anticipation before the lights go on in the theater. Then they do, and he informs us what he expects from a show: “A good story and a few good songs.” And the man, being something of a curmudgeon, tells us as well what he doesn’t like, including breaking through the fourth wall and interacting with the audience, which is exactly what he is doing. And that’s what he does throughout the show, which is billed as a musical within a comedy. He puts on an LP, a prized possession, though we don’t know just why until much later. It’s an original cast recording of a 1920s musical “The Drowsy Chaperone.” As the overture starts, the man begins a guided tour of the show, and we slowly find out why it is his favorite. Even he admits it’s hardly a classic. Rather it is a spectacle created by the scriptwriters Bob Martin and Don McKellar to…


First United Methodist spreads the Gospel with rousing “Godspell”

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News “Godspell” turns the good news into happy talk. The musical, directed by Janine Baughman, is on stage at the First United Methodist Church Thursday through Saturday. The 34th annual dinner theater is sold out, but there will be about 20 tickets for show and dessert only available each night. Tickets will be $15 at the door. This after dinner seating will be at 6:45 p.m. With a book by John-Michael Tebelak and most of the music by Stephen Schwartz, the musical’s take on the Gospel is very much in the spirit of  1971 when it was created, free-spirited, free-wheeling. The show opens with a gaggle of philosophers, each spouting fragments of their philosophy creating a cacophony of abstraction. As “Tower of Babble” proceeds, they each take turns climbing a tall ladder center stage. Then John the Baptist (Will Baughman) enters, carrying a water gun, skirting the audience as he approaches the stage. He sets about baptizing the cast who have now shed their personas as philosophers. Now they are just folks, wide-eyed and happy. Baughman brings a big goofy charm to John, and then to Judas. The last to arrive is Jesus (Michael Barlos). Barlos conveys a charisma that instantly captivates the crowd and the audience. He exudes a warmth and tolerance, like a favorite teacher. He loves the rambunctiousness of his disciples, but knows when to firmly but lovingly draw the line. The cast is a team of individuals. They all have their own way of smiling, and each gets a chance to shine in a song that reveals more personality. We feel we’re…


Horizon kids play out Aesop’s immortal lessons

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Horizon Youth Theatre’s production “The Fabulous Fables of Aesop” begins in chaos. We have 10 kids talking at once, as fast as they can. They are trying to tell all of Aesop’s fables, and this is the only way they think that they can accomplish the feat. That’s a hilariously real moment. Kids acting like kids. They do realize telling all the tales, about 600 at last count, even in that chaotic way would be impossible. What the Horizon Troupe does, using director Keith Guion’s script, is introduce us to the ancient fabulist’s world with a handful of those tales, little more than anecdotes, that continue to resonate to this day. Our language is spiked with phrases and lessons from the Greek storyteller’s fables, standing with Shakespeare and the Bible as a source for aphorisms and turns of phrase. Horizon Youth Theatre is staging “The Fabulous Fables of Aesop” tonight (Nov. 11) and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. in the auditorium for Otsego High School. Tickets are $5. Visit horizonyouththeatre.org. Beside its exploration of the tales of Aesop, the script offers a look into what it’s like to stage a youth theater production. Starting with chaos, the actors go through all the various chores they need to right on stage. The setting is simple a few blocks that the actors themselves mostly move into place from tale to tale. A table is located at the rear of the stage where they collect props and the costumes. The opening dialogue even talks about scripting, how Aesop’s large output of fables…


BGSU Arts Events through Nov. 23

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Through Nov. 21—“The Deathworks of May Elizabeth Kramner,” a mixed media installation by The Poyais Group, continues through Nov. 21 in the Dorothy Uber Bryan Gallery in the Fine Arts Center. The exhibit purports to be a re-creation by the Poyais Group of outsider artist Kramner’s (1867-1977) private lifework, a tent version of the town where she lived, with each tent representing someone who had died. Discovered by a team of anthropologists after her death but then lost in a fire, the installation was remade by the Poyais Group (Jesse Ball, Thordis Bjornsdottir, Olivia Robinson and Jesse Stiles) based on notes by one of the original anthropologists. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday–Saturday, 6-9 p.m. Thursdays, and 1-4 p.m. Sundays. Free Through Nov. 22—“Criminal Justice?” an exhibit by activist artists Carol Jacobson and Andrea Bowers, investigates the attitudes and biases embedded in the U.S. criminal justice system. Jacobson is an award-winning social documentary artist whose works in video and photography address issues of women’s criminalization and censorship. Bowers’ video “#sweetjane” and drawings explore the 2012 Steubenville, Ohio, rape case and the citizens whose activism resulted in two rape convictions. The drawings reproduce the text messages sent among the teenage witnesses to the assault on an underage young woman. “Criminal Justice?” is on view in the Willard Wankelman Gallery at the Fine Arts Center. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 6-9 p.m. Thursdays, and 1-4 p.m. Sundays. Free Nov. 9—The Faculty Artist Series continues with guitarist Ariel Kasler. Kasler has performed at venues and events as…