Horizon Youth Theatre’s ‘Kindergarten’ packed with lessons & laughter

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Horizon Youth Theatre’s “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten” opens with a story about a kindergarten production of Cinderella. That’s interesting given just last spring many of these same young actors were performing “Cinderella.” That Rodgers and Hammerstein “Cinderella,” however, did not have a pig. Productions of the classic fairy tale usually don’t have pigs. But in this Robert Fulghum story, a pig is just what the thoughtful young Norman (Bella Truman) wants to play. When told there’s no pig in Cinderella, the youngster replies: “There is now!” And the fairy godmother in this tale, the kindergarten teacher, makes sure Norman’s dream comes true. From this kindergarten scene through a lecture by a Greek philosopher (Daniel Cagle) who’s not afraid to answer a question about the meaning of life, Fulghum’s play offers life lessons and uplift leavened by lots of laughter. Horizon Youth Theatre is staging the play opening tonight (Thursday, Sept. 14) at 7 p.m., continuing Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets, $5, will be sold at the door. Seating is limited. The show is being presented with the audience in the round on the stage. That puts the audience in the middle of the action as the young actors hustle making entrances and exits and wrestling oversized alphabet blocks onstage. There’s no place for the young thespians to hide with eyes all around and large mirrors on the back wall reflecting the action. Director Cassie Greenlee said she’s a fan of the show. She directed one scene of it with another troupe and wanted to direct the entire play. Fulghum is, she said, “a wonderful storyteller and has a lot of important things to say. I feel like a lot of the messages in the show, exercising empathy and things like that, are particularly timely now given the state of the world.” The show lends itself to a teaching troupe. The 20 scenes give every one of the 22 members of the cast, age 12 to 17, a chance to shine. Greenlee said that all of them had a say in the production. The scenes are a series vignettes tied together by a narrative voice. While that voice represents one point of view, many people speak those lines. Other actors play out the action.  Each member of the cast gets a chance to play many roles. These are contemporary parables. Being true to yourself like the guy, played by Bob Walters, who takes flight in a lawn chair lifted by balloons, is a recurring theme. But just as important is learning get over yourself and see the world from different eyes. Sometimes characters are too full of themselves to to notice the world around them, like the woman (Grace Holbrook) who is in such…

Tickets for HYT’s “Kindergarten” now available

Submitted by HORIZON YOUTH THEATRE Horizon Youth Theatre is pleased to announce its 2017 fall production, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, written by Robert Fulghum and directed by Cassie Greenlee. Performances are at Otsego High School, 18505 Tontogany Creek Road, on Thursday, September 14 at 7:00 pm; Saturday, September 16 at 7:00 pm; and Sunday, September 17 at 2:00 pm. All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten brings life to several of Robert Fulghum’s wonderfully told stories from his collected writings. Composed of around twenty short, inter-connected scenes, the play explores important life lessons learned at every age, through stories that are funny, engaging, impactful, and thought-provoking. From a kindergarten class’s highly unusual production of Cinderella, to an over-the-top wedding gone horribly wrong, to a young girl going up against her father in the ultimate familial showdown, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten will keep you laughing and keep you thinking. HYT’s production is staged in the round, a style of performance that places the audience on all sides of the actors, creating an intimate atmosphere that invites the audience to more actively experience the power of these stories and lessons.  Due to the unique in the round seating which is directly on the stage, tickets are limited for each show and it is highly recommended that they purchased in advance at this link:  From Thursday (9/14) on, if tickets are not sold out they can be purchased at the door. Tickets are still just $5.00. Raffle prizes, tumblers, and t-shirts will also be available for purchase to show your support for HYT. The ensemble, appearing as themselves, is as follows: Maddox Brosius Daniel Cagle Megan Carmen Anjalie Coates John Colvin Megan Clifford Isaac Douglass Ligaya Edge Scarlet Frishman Sophi Hachtel Grace Holbrook Eli Marx Gavin Miller Katie Partlow Narnia Rieske Alexandra Roberts-Zibbel Terra Sloane Bella Truman Lola Truman Annie Valantine Bob Walters Rose Walters Anne Weaver The Production Team: Director – Cassie Greenlee Assistant Director – Alli Kulbago Stage Manager – Lynette Cooley Set Crew – Thomas Long As always HYT would like to thank Otsego Schools for generously hosting us for all of our productions. 

North Korean troupe lifts curtain on harsh life under Kim Il-sung’s regime

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The scene acted out by eight defectors from North Korea left some, including the director, wiping tears from their eyes. A younger brother knelt by his dead sister pleading for her not to leave him alone. Over and over, he cried out, until another character came and led him off. Maybe they would cross the Tumen River into China, and maybe from China finally reach South Korea. As emotionally wrenching as the 20-minute drama was, the reality is worse, said Taejoon Choi, one of the actors. The audience saw “just a glimpse” of a situation “more serious and severe.” The cast members are not professional actors. They are victims of the North Korean regime who have made that journey to refugee camps in China, where further hardship and abuse awaits them, and finally to South Korea. This was not fiction. This was their lives, and continues to be the reality for those who remain in North Korea. The mission of the troupe from NAUH International is to expose the harsh realities under which people live in North Korea. As part of that mission the troupe visited Bowling Green State University Wednesday night to present “Kotjebi: We Are Happy.” The play takes place in the market, Jangmadang, where the casual brutality of life under despot Kim Il-sung plays out. A mother played by Gunjn Ju, sells homemade tofu to feed her two children. She is joined by a schoolboy played by Taejoon Choi. His father has died because of the famine, now his mother is dying because of typhoid. He is selling his father’s clothes to fulfill his mother’s last wish – to have an apple. Around them swirl the kotjebi, children who beg and steal to stay alive, as well as a security officer and the son of a government leader, who mocks their poverty. One beggar steals some of the tofu, and shamelessly eats it. Played by Choonbeom Lee, the beggar is driven by desperation beyond the bounds of empathy. He even steals bread from a dying girl, someone no better off than him. When the policeman (Shiwoo Choi) rounds up the beggars and forces them to sing about how happy they are, and beats them when their singing lacks joy. This is what drove the eight actors from their homeland. But Gunjn Ju said, speaking as did the other actors through translator Soojung Hong, the conditions in China were horrible. “Human trafficking was prevalent,” she said. “I gave birth to my two sons in China.” Seongho Ji said that 10,000 North Koreans are victims of human trafficking. Choonbeom Lee said that as a child he saw many of his friends’ parents die from starvation leaving their children to beg to survive. When he was 14 the government launch the arduous march campaign….

Black Swamp Players launch fundraising drive for a new home as part of golden anniversary celebration

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Black Swamp Players celebrated 50 years of drama and comedy Saturday night at the Clazel. That’s 232 plays, noted Lane Hakel, the troupe’s president. Those plays were staged in 28 different venues. After an admittedly unscientific poll at the Ohio Community Theatre Association conference, Hakel confirmed, for himself at least, his assumption that having a community theater company survive that long without its own home is rare. As much pride as the Players may take in beating the odds – “it’s a testament to our fortitude” – they want that to change. Hakel announced that in honor of its 50th anniversary the troupe is launching a campaign to raise $50,000 – $1,000 for each year the troupe has been entertaining the public. That would be the start of the fund that would be intended to either acquire the troupe its own house, the dream outcome, Hakel said, or rent a space more suitable to their needs. Since 2000, the troupe has been more or less in residence at the church hall at the First United Methodist Church. Hakel said the Players owe a depth of gratitude to the church for letting them use its space. But the room has limitations. It’s not a great place to act because of the acoustics, and there’s no infrastructure for sets and staging. Also because the shows are presented in the church there are constraints to what kind of material can be presented. Anything with “adult language” either can’t be done or must be “sanitized” as was the case for last season’s “Sylvia.” The troupe also often must hit the road in late fall, when the church puts on its own annual dinner theater. Last November, the troupe, after rehearsing at the community room of Stadium View Apartments, staged Charles Durang’s “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” a play with adult themes, at the Clazel. The production was a hit. That was a further sign for the Players that their future may lie elsewhere. The venue, Hakel believes, is one reason the troupe is “withering,” with less audience and fewer people auditioning for shows. This despite an influx of younger talent in the past several years. The first show of the new season, Hakel said, did draw a number of Toledo actors, but they were attracted by the script, “Baskervilles,” by Ken Ludwig, a favorite among the Players and community theaters in general. The screwball take on a classic Sherlock Holmes tale will be staged at the church weekends Sept.22 through Oct. 1. Hakel said the board of directors hope raising $50,000 will get momentum going toward finding a place, though, he conceded, they’re not sure how much they will need. He was buoyed by the early donations. Two couples – Tom and Diane Klein and…

Stars align at BGSU as College of Music welcomes famed guest artists

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Bowling Green State University College of Musical Arts has some special acts in the wings. Lindsay Gross, the college’s manager of public-community relations, can’t help but show her own enthusiasm for what’s in store for the coming academic year – five internationally acclaimed artists who will share their gifts with the community. And all the events related to these residencies are open to public for free. Why wouldn’t Gross be excited? She’s a jazz bass trombonist, and the first guest in September is the American Brass Quintet, a pioneering ensemble that uses bass trombone, not tuba, as its lowest voice. And closing run of guest artists during Jazz Week in late March will be Maria Schneider, the most esteemed living composer for large jazz ensemble. Schneider has won Grammys not only for her jazz work but also for her arrangement on David Bowie’s song “Sue.” And for her collaboration with soprano Dawn Upshaw, who will visit BGSU a week before she arrives. Visits scheduled are: American Brass Quintet, residency Sept.20-22, with a concert Sept. 22 at 8 p.m. Jazz guitarist John Scofield, Sept. 30, a master class and concert at 8 p.m. as part of the two-day Orchard Guitar Festival that starts Sept.29. Opera composer Jake Heggie, keynote lecture at 8 p.m. on Oct. 22 and residency Oct. 23-24, as part of the Edwin H. Simmons Creative Mind Series. Vocal superstar Dawn Upshaw, recital March 18 at 8 p.m. and residency March 19-20, as the Helen McMaster Professorship in Vocal and Choral Arts. Maria Schneider, residency from March 28-30, with a concert March 30 of Schneider conducting the Jazz Lab I band performing her compositions. (All concerts and lectures in Kobacker Hall. More details will be forthcoming on BG Independent News closer to each event.) All the artists will interact with BGSU students, and as much as possible with the community as well. Gross said she is arranging a session with the American Brass to work with high school students on playing chamber music. The quintet members will also be working with university brass students. The quintet, which has been dedicated to performing new music since its founding on 1960, will also discuss its extensive commissioning of new works with student composers. In addition to working with music students including vocalists performing his songs, Heggie will talk with students in English and Creative Writing about setting literary works to music. Heggie wrote an opera based on “Moby Dick,” and has set the poetry of Walt Whitman, to music. Gross said she feels that these artists have something to offer all students. This constellation of musical stars came together through series that are already in place. The American Brass Quintet and Schneider’s visit is being funded by the Dorothy E. and DuWayne Hansen Musical…

Lionface back on the scene with set of Shakespeare shorts

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Local theater lovers have not gotten their annual serving of open-air Shakespeare this summer. Beautiful Kids, the 20-year-old campus-based troupe, is on, what we hope, is a one-year hiatus. Lionface Productions has also been quiet. Now that community troupe is ready to roar, though they are going to do so indoors at Trinity United Methodist instead of on the Needle Park stage. (As much as I love outdoor Shakespeare, given the number of mosquitos I had to dodge on the short walk from my car to the church, this may be a blessing.) Lionface is staging “Party Bard: A Lionface Productions Shakespeare Shorts Festival” Thursday, July 27, Friday, July 28, and Saturday, July 29, at 8 p.m. at the church at 200 N. Summit St., Bowling Green. Tickets are $7 and $5 for students. In introducing the dress rehearsal Wednesday, Ryan Halfhill said the show was a way for the troupe to signal a return to the basics, Shakespeare and other classic plays. The four scenes presented within the hour-long show cover a gamut of the Bard’s work with two scenes from tragedies, one scene from a comedy, and one scene from a history play. All involve drinking or eating. The party starts with Halfhill playing the porter from “Macbeth.” After a long night of drinking, the porter takes his sweet time answering the door at Macbeth’s castle, imagining himself the gatekeeper of hell – quite appropriate given the murder that’s just occurred – and wonders what manner of sinner may be banging to get in. Then Halfhill’s drunken porter regales Macduff about the toll of drinking. “Lechery, sir, it provokes and unprovokes. It provokes the desire, but it takes away the performance.” A scene from “Othello” comes next. Here the carousing and subsequent brawling plays into the hands of Iago (Heather Hill) who is plotting the downfall of Othello, now consummating his marriage to Desdemona (Lynette Cooley) offstage. Iago provokes a fight among Cassio (Allie Levine), Montano (Angelica Cooley), and Rodrigo (Kathryn Gonda). Hill’s Iago remains distant and observant during the fight. This scene gives us a glimpse of what had been planned as an all-female production of “Othello” for last fall. The longest and most complex scene comes from “Henry IV, Part 1.” Prince Hal (Rin Moran) has set up his would-be mentor in debauchery Falstaff by robbing him of ill-gotten treasure. He didn’t want the loot. He simply wanted to hear what tale Falstaff (Zach Robb) will spin about the incidence. Robb, dressed in a fat suit as befitting the character, does not disappoint as Falstaff goes to great dramatic lengths, full of colorful and contradictory detail,  to tell how they were set upon by a throng, rather than the two who easily accomplished the deed. Falstaff on being confronted with…

Horizon Youth Theatre marks 20 years of acting up at gala

By TESSA PHILLIPS BG Independent Contributor The excitement was palpable as community members of all ages began to fill the Simpson Garden Banquet Room last night for the Horizon Youth Theatre’s 20th anniversary gala. Kids sat at tables decorated with photos from past HYT performances and reminisced on favorite stage memories. Genevieve Simon, one of the guest speakers at the gala, spotted a scrapbook and sat down to look through it with her brother, Martin. “Martin was part of Horizon for about two years, maybe longer,” Genevieve said. “Our whole family was involved, and that’s kind of how I was roped into it,” Martin added, grinning at his sister. Martin, a senior in high school, has plans to study theater in college, like his sister before him. “Horizon definitely encouraged me to pursue theatre as a career. It inspired me,” he said. After an hour of hors d’oeuvres, HYT members began doing what they do best—entertaining the audience. Scott Regan took the stage with co-founder Jo Beth Gonzalez and spoke about the importance of history and storytelling. “These two things separate us from the animals,” Regan said. Regan became emotional as he shared a story about a child who had become ill and had been sent to the hospital around the time of an HYT production of “Winnie the Pooh.” Before a painful procedure, she had told her mom that she wished she was “back in the Hundred Acre Wood.” “What does this tell us? To me, it proves that theatre gives kids something to hold on to during hard times,” Regan said. “Horizon Youth Theatre came from a place of love,” Gonzalez said. Gonzalez, who has been a teacher at Bowling Green High School for the past 19 years and who also directs the school’s theater program, reflected on the impact theater has had on her students throughout the years. “Always know you have a voice—theater is a place you can find that voice,” she told audience members. On behalf of the HYT community, Vice President Keith Guion presented Regan and Gonzales with gifts to thank them for their years of service, custom-made plaques reading “20 years later, your vision remains our mission,” as well as framed artwork containing the thoughts of current HYT students made by Melissa Mintz and Anne Weaver. The night’s performances were varied, and included excerpts from performances such as “The Three Little Pigs” and “Southpaw” as well as heartfelt speeches from selected Horizon Youth Theatre alumni. Genevieve Simon, who had been with Horizon from its first production and now lives in New York and runs a workshop using Shakespeare to help kids with autism, shared with the audience some of the many lessons she learned during her time with Horizon. “Theatre taught me over time the power of saying yes to complexities, the power of…

BG native Genevieve Simon returns for HYT 20th anniversary

SUBMITTED BY HORIZON YOUTH THEATRE When HYT’s board of directors decided to ask a theatre professional alum to speak at the 20th Anniversary Gala and teach a master class, they ran into some brick walls. Sometimes, things work out exactly the way they are supposed to. Genevieve Simon, New York-based professional actor and playwright, and daughter of Wood County children’s librarian Maria Simon, turned out to be more than up to the task. This afternoon, she seemed almost giddy as she prepared to workshop with eleven students at the drama club master class held at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church. “It’s so amazing, being back here where it all began for me,” she said. Simon is involved in many projects, including leading workshops for kids on the autism spectrum using Shakespeare. The therapy, developed by a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, uses drama games and play; she also hosts other workshops in New York. Simon’s latest project was “Romeo + Juliet + Anybodys” which she authored, and was performed at the Cinci Fringe Festival in June. In his coverage of that event, David Dupont wrote of how much Simon was influenced by HYT. “She credits the troupe’s founder Scott Regan and Gonzalez, who was involved with HYT, with empowering the young actors. ‘It was so important to us having authority and some sort of control over the stories we were telling,’ Simon said. ‘Scott was so good about taking our ideas very seriously.’” Simon appeared to be passing those same techniques on to a new generation of actors today in activities that were filled with fun and laughter. Genevieve Simon will be speaking tonight at the 20th Anniversary Gala, as well as current HYT and Toledo School for the Arts student Scarlet Frishman, rounded out by teacher, stage manager and board member Brittany Albrecht. Dr. Scott Regan and Dr. JoBeth Gonzalez will be honored and plan to say a few words, Mayor Edwards will make a proclamation, and there will also be short skits and monologues by current HYT students. To add to the pomp of the Gala, which takes place tonight at Simpson Garden Park’s banquet room from 6-9 pm, there will be a red carpet, costume photo booth, finger foods and desserts as well as door prizes and a silent auction with all profits funding the future of the troupe. Being nomadic by necessity, they have no permanent home for rehearsals and performances, and rely on the generosity of Otsego Schools, the Woodland Mall, and churches such as St. Mark’s and First Presbyterian. HYT’s long term goal is to find a home of their own. Tickets for the gala may still be purchased at the door for a $15 suggested donation.

Horizon Youth Theatre marks 20th year with gala

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The seed for Horizon Youth theatre was planted in the dead of winter. One February night in 1997, Scott Regan, a Bowling Green State University professor of theatre and director of its Treehouse Troupe, gathered more than a dozen people involved in the arts to discuss a dream: the creation of a theater troupe for young people. The attendees didn’t need to be convinced of the value of theater for kids. The only question is whether such a troupe could take root in Bowling Green. Now more than 20 years later, Horizon Youth Theatre is blossoming. Approximately 1000 people attended the four performances of its recent musical “Cinderella.” Throughout the year it offers workshops for kids of all ages. Horizon Youth theatre will celebrate its 20th anniversary Saturday, July 15, 6-9 p.m. in the Simpson Building Banquet room. Tickets are $15. Visit The gala opens with a red carpet extravaganza with heavy hors d’oeuvres and music by the GRUBS. A program will follow at 7 featuring five short performances interspersed by testimonials by three alumni: Genevieve Simon, an actress now in New York; Grace Easterly; and Brittany Albrecht. (Simon will also present a workshop on Shakespeare and autism earlier in the day from 2 to 3:30p.m. at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church for actors 8-18. Cost $10.) The troupe will also honor its founders Scott Regan and Jo Beth Gonzales, the high school drama teacher. Regan said that the idea for the troupe came after a BGSU production of “A Christmas Carol,” which he had directed. The production used a lot of children, and once Scrooge took his final bow, the young thespians wanted to know, what can we do next? Gonzalez had just finished her doctoral studies and was ready for a new venture. The troupe started by offering summer workshops at the university. Its first production was “Charlotte’s Web.” In its first decade or so, the troupe had a connection with BGSU through Regan. When he retired in 2006, the troupe reorganized as an independent entity. In 2010 HYT linked up with the Black Swamp Players. As with other troupes in Bowling Green, HYT  finds itself bouncing from stage to stage – the Woodland Mall, St. Mark’s and the First United Presbyterian, the Wolfe Center on campus, and now Otsego High School. HYT has become an integral link in the local theatrical scene. They’ve sent actors and crew members onto the high school program and to the Toledo School for the Arts. They’ve shared their talents with other community theater companies. In addition to the troupe’s formal relationship with Black Swamp Players, they also have ties to Lionface Productions, with several of their directors and teachers connected to that troupe. HYT members have gone on to study theater in college at institutions…

Horizon Youth Theatre celebrating its 20th anniversary, July 15

From HORIZON YOUTH THEATRE Horizon Youth Theatre will celebrate at its 20th Anniversary Gala, Saturday, July 15,  6-9 p.m. at the Simpson Building Banquet Room 1291 Conneaut Ave., Bowling Green. Join past and present members of Horizon Youth Theatre as they celebrate the troupe’s 20th anniversary. The evening will include performances, food, door prizes, and special guests. Tickets are available online now at Purchase tickets before Saturday July 1 at only $10 apiece. Starting July 1, ticket prices increase to $15 per person. Only 180 are available and this event is expected to sell out. Schedule of events: 6 p.m. Red Carpet Extravaganza (Heavy hors d’ouevres will be served) 7 p.m. Entertainment and Awards 8 p.m. Post-Party (Dessert reception) Door prizes include 2017-2018 HYT season tickets and many other theater-related gifts. For information and tickets:

Dream comes true in Horizon Youth Theatre’s “Cinderella”

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Sky Frishman is an old hand at playing Cinderella. The 2017 graduate of the Toledo School for the Arts first played Cinderella when was 9 in the Horizon Youth Theatre’s “Cinderella, the World’s Favorite Fairy Tale.” “In My Own Little Corner” from the score of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” has even been her go-to song for showcases and auditions. Now Frishman gets to put that favorite tune in context as the lead in Horizon Youth Theatre’s production of “Cinderella.” The musical runs June 22, 23, and 24 at 7 p.m. at Otsego High School. “Cinderella has always been one of my dream roles,” she said. Director Cassie Greenlee said the familiarity of the story is part of the attraction. Everyone knows the tale. That allows room for interpretation. The tale has lessons to teach. The story is about choice, she said, about how people choose to act toward others, talk to others, “and what happens when the choice is taken away from them.” The show’s featured bullies are the stepmother and two stepsisters. As the stepmother, Narnia Rieske is comically haughty. But the script explains that she’s anxious to marry off one of her daughters to the prince because they are running through the money left by Cinderella’s father. Not that the stepsisters (Terra Sloane and Melissa Mintz) are concerned. They are too self-involved, two brats who are always bickering with each other when not joining forces to bully Cinderella. The pair do a great job on one of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s funniest songs “Stepsisters’ Lament,” a deliciously comic number. Thomas Long’s prince also gets fleshed out. Fairy tale princes tend to be handsome, suave without much to say. “The prince in this musical is different,” Long said. “He’s not suave. The prince here is a lot more of a dork. … There’s a lot more story given to this prince.” This includes his battles with his parents (Alex Evans and Anne Weaver) who are anxious for him to select a bride, so he can settle down, and there once again will be the patter of little feet on the marble floors. But reflecting on their own early love in “Boys and Girls Like You and Me,” they also express sympathy for their son’s romantic ideas of marriage. The prince, though, sneaks out in disguise to be among common people where he first meets Cinderella. “It’s really fun to go more in depth,” Long said. This is rooted in the script, Greenlee said. “The interpretation is there to be made.” Frishman said her Cinderella is not a passive heroine. “She’s determined to go the ball.” She just needs a little help and prodding from her fairy godmother, played by Olivia Strang, who recently showed off her amazing pipes as the voice of the dragon in BGHS’s “Shrek…

Tickets available now for HYT’s “Cinderella”

Submitted by HORIZON YOUTH THEATRE Horizon Youth Theatre, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, is proud to present Rodgers & Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA June 22, 23, and 24th at 7:00 pm at Otsego High School. The timeless enchantment of a magical fairy tale is reborn with the Rodgers & Hammerstein hallmarks of originality, charm and elegance. Originally presented on television in 1957 starring Julie Andrews, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA was the most widely viewed program in the history of the medium. It was recreated in 1965 starring Lesley Ann Warren, and again in 1997 with Brandy as Cinderella and Whitney Houston as her Fairy Godmother; both were no less successful in transporting a new generation to the miraculous kingdom of dreams-come-true. As adapted for the stage, with great warmth and more than a touch of hilarity, the hearts of children and adults alike still soar when the slipper fits. This Enchanted Edition is based on the 1997 teleplay. Songs include “The Prince Is Giving A Ball,” “My Little Corner,” and “Impossible.” Directed by Cassie Greenlee, the musical features 55 students age 8 – 18 from many area schools including Bowling Green. The rest of the production team: Brittany Albrecht, stage manager; Tim Barker, choreographer; Kelly Frailly, music director; Christina Hoekstra, costuming; and Scarlet Frishman, assistant director. Stars are Skylar Frishman in the title role and Thomas Long as Prince Christopher; Olivia Strang and Narnia Rieske play Fairy Godmother and Stepmother. Other cast: Stepsisters are Terra Sloane and Melissa Mintz; King and Queen are Alex Evans and Anne Weaver; Lionel and Leo (Royal Stewards) are Bob Walters and Bella Truman. Understudies for the principles are Annie Valantine, John Colvin, Kaitlyn Dorman, Sophi Hachtel, Anjali Coates, Mary Helen DeLisle, Manita Ojha, Daniel Cagle, Isaac Douglass, and Maddox Brosious. Mice are played by Emma Kate Holbrook, Isobel Roberts-Zibbel, Scarlett Strausbaugh, and Alice Walters; Charles the Cat is Ligaya Edge;  the Dove is Lola Truman. Fairy Godmother’s Magical Assistants: Rebekah Center, Lauren Clifford, Sophia Kelly, Annie Oberlander, Abbey Matthews, Alexandra Roberts-Zibbel, and Rose Walters. Merchants and Villagers: Quinn Layden (Butcher), Grace Holbrook (Cloth Merchant), Megan Clifford (Cheese Merchant), Gavin Miller (Baker), Ari Allen, Elise Allen, Daisy Brown, Amalia Cloeter, Izzie Douglass, Gray Frishman, Reece Hall, Sasha Meade, Katie Partlow, Anna Reid, Annie Urban, Kaitlyn Valantine, Aria Weaver, Calista Wilkins, Emy Wilkins, and Yelia Xu. Royal Trumpeters: Liam Rogel and Drew Thomas. Otsego High School is only seven minutes from downtown BG. Come enjoy the singing, dancing, humor, puppetry, magic, and of course the happy ending! Tickets available now on Horizon Youth Theatre’s website. Prices are $8.00 student / senior and $10.00 adult.

Art in the air at Simpson Garden

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Simpson Gardens Friday evening was lush with hosta greens, delphinium and coreopsis complemented by artists scattered about the grounds intent on capturing the images of plants, rocks and water. Along with the sounds of birds, mixed the trill of a Chinese bamboo flute, the rumble of a tuba, and young actors singing a show tune. The occasional plop of a drop of rain provided an accent to the thrum of hand drums. The third annual Art in the Park drew more visitors, as well as more artists, said Jacquie Nathan, of the Bowling Green Arts Council, which sponsors the event, hosted by the city’s Parks and Recreation Department. Artists took time from creating their art to chat with visitors. Landscape artist Barbara Houdeshell has been painting outside, or plein air, for 17 years. It’s a natural for her. “I like painting, and I like people.” Christie Moser, of Bowling Green, had stopped to chat with the painter. Moser moved to town about a year ago, and when she heard about Art in the Park, she knew she wanted to go. “I can really relate to this,” she said. “I’ve been a musician myself all my life,” Moser said. She plays flute and sings.  “I know the passion that swells within the soul that has to be expressed.” Houdeshell’s passion was emerging before her as she looked over a small pond. This is a study that she will bring back to her studio and may turn into a much larger oil painting. She grew up in Wood County, she said, but this is the first time she’d been in Simpson Garden. “The park is absolutely beautiful,” she said. Plein air painting gives the artist a connection to the place, she said. “I can see the real color in front of me and feel the spirit of the place.” Greg Justus, Maumee, got a lot of questions about his medium, alcohol ink. Working with a Q-Tip, he captures the shape of the rocks in front of him but depicted in other worldly shades. “I think it’s a lot of fun painting and answering people’s questions.” Nearby Rob Snyder, Bowling Green, was working with single sheets of mono-colored paper, folding them into intricate forms. He had made a frog. Now he was working out the patterns for a bear. He enjoyed sitting out in the garden, it gave him perspective on his work and time to think about the geometric problems it posed. Jennifer Sader, a graduate of Bowling Green State University, was back in town for her first ever open air painting event. “I have never done plein air before,” she said. An avocational artist, she draws and paints for fun. She found working from nature a challenge. When trying to frame the subject, she finds,…

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 Sloths From Mars featuring Henrique Battista, Hong-Da Chin, and Aaron Hynds; Aaron Hynds soloing on the tuba; and Hong-Da Chin playing the traditional Chinese flute. This event is sponsored by Bowling Green Arts Council and Bowling Green Parks & Recreation with additional support from Montessori School of Bowling Green, the Art Supply Depo of Bowling Green, the BGSU Fine Arts Galleries and BGSU School of Music. Biggby’s Coffee and BGAC members will provide refreshments.

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 the price was cut because they needed more teenage boys. It was still a lot of money, Maria Douglass told her husband. “But it’s a great opportunity,” he replied. The family has launched a GoFundMe campaign, to help cover the cost of the trip. ( Many of the young orangutans have been orphaned as the forest they live in are cut down. They are brought to a sanctuary where people try to save them. Isaac said he’s interested in interacting with them. They share a lot of DNA with humans, he said. That’s why he travels “to see all the different things going on outside our country.” He said many of his peers have fears about travel. They hear about terrorist attacks or problems in other countries. But the headlines are not all there is, he said. In Costa Rica, he and his compatriots lived without the conveniences they had back home, no washing machines or TVs. “When he came back he was very appreciative of everything he took granted before he went on the trip,” his father said. “Hot showers,” Isaac interjected. “And drinking water,” Shawn Douglass said, “just being able to drink it without worrying about getting sick.” “Whatever hardships there were,” Isaac said, “were outweighed by everything…