Theater

BGSU theater staging ‘The Language Archive’

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Bowling Green State University’s Department of Theatre and Film will present Julia Cho’s award-winning play, “The Language Archive” in the Eva Marie Saint Theatre at BGSU’s Wolfe Center for the Arts, Feb. 15-24. Performances are in the Eva Marie Saint Theatre at the Wolfe Center for the Arts on the BGSU campus, Feb. 15-17 and 22-24 at 8 p.m., and Feb. 17, 18, and 24 at 2 p.m.Tickets purchased in advanced are $5 for students, $10 for seniors, and $15 for adults. All tickets are $20 if purchased on the day of performance. Tickets can be purchased through the BGSU Arts Box Office in the Wolfe Center, online at bgsu.edu/arts, or by calling 419-372-8171. Winner of the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for women who have written distinguished works for the English-speaking theatre, “The Language Archive” tells the story of George, a brilliant linguist who has devoted himself to archiving dying languages. When George’s wife leaves him after he fails to decode a series of mysterious notes he receives from her, he struggles to learn the vocabulary of loss as he fights to preserve the Elloway language. Its last known speakers, a bickering elderly couple grappling with their own sense of loss, refuse to speak to each other in their native tongue, making George’s work nearly impossible. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to George, his assistant, Emma, finds herself unable speak in complete sentences as she tries to come to terms with her feelings for him. Inspired by the universal language of Esperanto, which was created with the hope of moving toward a more peaceful and unified world, “The Language Archive” offers a poignant and bittersweet exploration of the insufficiency of language to capture and communicate the human experience. Still, Cho’s play reminds us that language is sometimes an act of faith, and often our only hope for coming to terms with loss. As Cho’s characters discover, we sometimes have to venture further into sadness to find the endings we need – even if they’re not the endings we imagine. Introspective and lightly comic, “The Language Archive” offers a subtle examination of the challenges of communicating in an ever-changing world. BGSU faculty member Sara Lipinski Chambers directs the production, while collaborating with production personnel from the Department of Theatre and Film, as well as with Clayton Peterson of the BGSU School of Art. Peterson’s striking scene design is paired with contemporary costume design by Margaret…


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

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


Start spreading the news, “Newsies” opens Feb. 1 at BGHS

From BGHS ALL-SCHOOL MUSICAL The musical Newsies will be on stage at Bowling Green School’s Performing Arts Center February 1st, 2nd, and 3rd at 7 pm and February 4th at 3 pm. Newsies is based on the 1992 Disney film about the true newsboy strike of 1899 which was precipitated by a rise in cost from .50¢ to .60¢ per 100 papers for the already struggling newsies by owners of the two largest papers in New York William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer. The musical condenses the publishers down to just Pulitzer and his paper The World. Bowling Green High School is one of about six schools in the nation producing this pilot for Disney Theatricals. To pilot a show means that after producing the show, the musical’s directors send suggestions to the licensing agency in NYC for refining the production prior to the release of staging rights to all high school groups. BGHS has also piloted Disney’s Mary Poppins and Peter and the Starcatcher. The show is earlier this year because Disney wants the feedback earlier to make licensing available in the spring. Jack Kelly is play by junior Hudson Pendleton. Katherine Plumber is played by senior Sarah Kerr, Joseph Pulitzer is played by senior Justin McKenzie, Medda Larkin is played by junior Olivia Strang, and Davey is played by senior Joseph Kalmar. Sophomore Ethan Brown plays Crutchie and sophomore Kaitlyn Dorman plays Spot Collins. The cast includes other standout performances by Kelli Amburgey, Madison Barbour, Chloe Beeker, Stephanie Bell, Sophia Bird, Cole Boswell,  Abraham Brockway, Kathy Bui, Alyssa Clemens,  Megan Clifford, Leela Cromwell, Maddy Depinet, Gracen Dixon, Isaac Douglass, James Eddington, Sophi Hachtel, Sarah Kelly, Luke Kobylski, Anita Kukeli, Dea Kukeli, Thomas Long, Jadyn Lundquest, Brianna Marovich, Abbey Matthews, Breanna Matney, Emma Matney, Sasha Meade, Jessica Miller, Darryl Moorhead, Cole Nemeth, Allison Nonnemaker, Manita Ojha, Charlotte Perez, Natalia Pollock-O’Dorisio, Alexis Roehl, Liam Rogel, Mary Shilling, Terra Sloane, Jason Trimpey, Abigail Utz, Bob Walters, Anne Weaver, Nina Zhu, Ashlee Ziegler, Kaleigh Ziegler, Olivia Zmarzly The play is directed by JoBeth Gonzalez with vocal direction by Beth Vaughn, choreography by Bob Marzola, orchestral direction by Jeremy Sison, technical direction by Ryan Albrecht, and is produced by Sarah Caserta.  Tickets are on sale at the PAC box office from 3-6 p..m January 29-February 2nd and then one hour before the Saturday and Sunday shows  


BG high students breaking in ‘Newsies’ musical for school productions

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The young thespians and their adult mentors at Bowling Green High School are ready to set the pace for their peers across the country by piloting the Broadway musical, “Newsies.” Their mission, shared by about a half dozen other schools, is to stage the popular show. Director Jo Beth Gonzalez and the rest of the staff will then share their insights into what it takes to produce the musical with a high school cast. That could result in the production company, Musical Theater International, tweaking certain aspects that prove too difficult for young actors and crews. Their input will also be shared in production notes that will be included when other high schools rent the script. The Bowling Green High School theater is no stranger to this process. They did their first pilot production with “Mary Poppins” in 2014, followed by “Peter and the Starcatcher.” Those projects gave choreographer Bob Marzola an idea. He loved the musical “Newsies.” He became a fan of the original 1992 film starring Christian Bale when he saw it on television. Hat film was a flop at the time of its release, but became a cult classic when it was added to the Nickelodeon rotation and was released on video. Later as a fourth grade teacher at Conneaut Elementary, Marzola used the film and its story about a strike by young newspaper peddlers to talk about labor and the Industrial Revolution. “I got my students hooked on the movie,” he said. Disney turned the movie into a Broadway musical where it was a Tony Award-winning hit. Marzola wondered when Disney would release the performance rights for high schools and if Bowling Green could pilot it. He asked Gonzalez, and she asked MTI, the umbrella organization for Disney musicals. Not yet, she was told. He asked again. She asked again. Not yet. Then last spring, just as the musical theater team at the high school was starting to discuss what musical to stage in spring 2018, Gonzalez was offered the script. They jumped at the chance. MTI, though, said they wanted it staged in February “because they want to get licensing deals out in the spring,” Gonzalez said. The show will run in the Performing Arts Center, Feb. 1-3 at 7 p.m. and Feb. 4 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $12 and $10 for students and seniors, and available through…


HYT Presents Winter Workshops

Submitted by HORIZON YOUTH THEATRE Horizon Youth Theatre is pleased to announce our 2018 Winter Workshops. Registration is open for the following three classes, the first of which begins January 6. Cassie Greenlee’s Directing Workshop, which will guide high schoolers through directing the panel-chosen one act plays written by students and their mentors, is full. The Festival of Shorts will be performed at Otsego Elementary School April 13-15. DEVISING Cost: $75.00 Ages: 10-18 Years Old Dates and Times: Saturdays, January 6, 2018 to April 15, 2018,  9:00 – 11:00 a.m. Place: First Presbyterian Church, 126 S. Church Street, 2nd floor classroom Instructor: Keith Guion Description: Students will create their own characters and craft a one-act play from the original idea through performance in April with the guidance and direction of instructor Keith Guion. Participants in the devising workshop are guaranteed a spot in completed play which will be performed at HYT’s Festival of Shorts, April 13-15, 2018 at Otsego Elementary School.  The class will span 15 weeks and has two sections. The creating portion of the class will last approximately eight or nine weeks, meeting each Saturday. When the play is finished, the rehearsal portion of the class will meet more than once a week. This is a wonderful opportunity for students interested in multiple aspects of theatre, including writing. To register for the Devising Workshop, click here. INTRO TO THEATRE Cost: $40.00 Ages: 6-12 Years Old Dates and Times: Saturdays, January 13th through March 17th (nine weeks – no class March 3rd), 2:00 to 3:30 pm Place: St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, Bowling Green (2nd floor classroom) Instructor: Haven Bradam is a graduate of Bowling Green State University, where she received her Bachelors degree in Communications with a major in Theatre and a double specialization in Youth Theatre / Puppetry and Acting / Directing. She has extensive experience with youth theatre through the Toledo Repertoire, the Children’s Theatre Workshop, and the Treehouse Troupe. Through her work with the CTW, Haven tours area schools as a member of The Imaginators. Description: This workshop is perfect for newcomers to Horizon Youth Theatre or for young performers who want to further hone their skills. Participants will focus on a range of exercises to help them feel comfortable acting with others. Topics will include improvisation; stage directions and other technical terms; theatre games; and even auditioning for shows. Haven’s experience with kids and theatre education will provide a great all-around experience for any youngster. To…


Lionface Productions sets stage for a rebound in 2018

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Getting together with board members of Lionface Productions is a show in itself. The dialogue flows, scene-setting reminisces abound, and the talk is spiked with wit. The troupe officially launched with a production in City Park of Shakespeare’s “Titus Andronicus” in September, 2009 – Chase Greenlee nails down the date based on when he met his wife. Executive director Christina Hoekstra said 2017 is a “rebuilding year.” The troupe is poised for a rebound in 2018. Late in the year for a staged reading of “Much Ado About Nothing” at Grounds for Thought. Stage readings will be more a focus said Ryan Halfhill, a founding member and vice chair of the board. He along with Beth Rohrs, also a founder, are two of the voices behind the podcast, “Shakesbeer,” that’s recorded in Greenlee’s kitchen with his wife, Cassie, serving as “the voice of reason.” (Click here to listen.) The podcast captures the Lionface approach to the Bard, conversational, casual, and even irreverent. Many people are put off by how Shakespeare was taught in high school. “They put Shakespeare on a pedestal,” Halfhill said. “Hamlet is one of the greatest work in English literature,” teachers insist. “It is,” he said, “but there are also a lot of dick jokes.” Not that the Lionface only does Shakespeare. Its mission is three-pronged: Shakespeare and other classics such as Christopher Marlowe’s “Dr. Faustus,” local plays, and contemporary works with edge. Lionface sees part of its mission as sometimes making people squirm,” said Kat Moran, who chairs the board. The troupe will put out a call for scripts, either one-acts or full length, Halfhill said. “I know from my writing friends how hard it is for them to get something read after they’ve written it, let alone if they’ve written a play, to get someone to put it on.” “We’ve gotten a lot of great material that way,” Moran said. The troupe will also be looking for directors interested in presenting staged readings of Shakespeare, probably in Grounds. The troupe, like others on the scene, lacks a home. Having a theater of its own is always a dream, said Kat Moran, but “not our focus.”  That would probably take a rich benefactor or winning the lottery. In the meantime, they continue to stage plays where they can. Lionface has staged plays in the old auditorium in South Main School,…


Players and Horizon revive “Best Christmas Pageant Ever”

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News As an exasperated father observes early in “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” there’s never anything different in the church’s Christmas pageant. Just the usual shepherds in bathrobes, endearingly oblivious baby angels, and the usual characters playing Mary and Joseph. Staging Barbara Robinson’s “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” again may seem to risk lapsing into familiarity. The Black Swamp Players in collaboration with the Horizon Youth Theatre bring the holiday classic back after an absence of two years. But with a new director, Keith Guion, at the helm, and some new faces in the cast, and familiar faces in different roles, the audience doesn’t need to worry about being lulled into complacency. The show is on stage at the First United Methodist Church, 1526 E. Wooster, Bowling Green, Friday, Dec. 1 and Saturday, Dec. 2, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 3, at 2 p.m. Tickets are available at blackswampplayers.org and at the door. What’s intact is the play’s message – that the most unlikely people can teach the most profound lessons. There is something comforting in the ritual though. Just as the Christmas pageant opens with “In those days Caesar Augustus issued a degree,” “The Best Christmas Pageant,” opens with Beth Bradley (Calista Wilkins) declaring: “The Herdmans were the worst kids in the whole history of the world.” It’s the play’s “Marley was dead,” to cite another Christmas classic, nothing good can come from the fable unless that fact is believed and understood. The Herdmans are pint-sized arsonists, cigar chomping, doughnut stealing, bullys in what appears to be an otherwise tranquil, small town, maybe not so unlike Bowling Green. That makes this comic morality tale a perfect fit for our community troupes. We get to see folks we know take on these roles. Like the Christmas story, this centers on family. Beth Bradley is our guide. She’s observant and just questioning enough of the town’s mores to serve as the lens through which to see the story. Her brother Charlie (Eli Marx) gets to express much more boldly what Beth implies. We see where the kids get their sass when we meet their father (Thomas Edge), who cast a jaundiced eye on the whole church pageant hullabaloo. Grace Bradley (Cassie Greenlee) is the put-upon mom called in when the long-time director and church control freak Mrs. Armstrong (Linda Lee) is laid up and cannot…


The Kids and Families of BSP’s “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever”

By Elizabeth Roberts-Zibbel HYT Board Member BG Independent News contributor At a Horizon Youth Theatre board meeting over the summer, someone casually mentioned that Black Swamp Players would once again be producing the one act holiday play The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, based on the children’s novel of the same name by Barbara Robinson. There were excited gasps and clapping, and I believe I may have squealed. Full disclosure: yes, I am on the HYT Board. Yes, I am an occasional contributor and ad manager for BG Independent News. And yes, I did get a role in the play, along with the rest of my family. In 2013 and 2014, Guy and Janet Zimmerman directed the play, and the two productions had many repeat actors, though only Bob Walters kept the same role (Charlie) both years. Johanna Slembarski played the narrator and wise young protagonist Beth, and the next year played the antagonist, bossy cigar-smoking Imogene Herdman. Stephanie Truman had the role of adult protagonist Grace Bradley in 2013, and the next year played the antagonist Helen Armstrong. My entire family was in the 2014 production as well. For many of us, Pageant was our kids’ first theatre experience, a sort of “gateway play” to a happy, creative future of being thoroughly immersed in children’s theatre. The Players decided to take a break from Pageant for a few years, so as to not over saturate the Christmas play market which would surely cause attendance to dwindle. But three years have passed, so the time for this spirited family friendly comedy has come around again. This year it is being helmed by Keith Guion, who often directs and leads workshops for Horizon Youth Theatre. Stage Manager is Macey Bradam, Wendy Guion is Queen of Props, and Producer is BSP regular Melissa Kidder. Most of the adult actors happen to be HYT board members as well as parents of children who were cast (the exception being Linda Lee who has the role of Helen Armstrong). New HYT Board President Thomas Edge was given the role of Bob Bradley and his wife Trinidad Linares gets a line as Mrs. Clausing (their daughter Ligaya is in the Angel Choir). Everyone’s favorite director Cassie Greenlee, whose last HYT production was the wonderfully received All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, is playing overwhelmed first time Pageant director Grace Bradley (Cassie will also be…


Live radio production of “It’s a Wonderful Life” on stage at Pemberville Opera House

From THE PEMBERVILLE-FREEDOM AREA HISTORICAL SOCIETY The Live In The House Concert series presents a live radio play version of “It’s A Wonderful Life,” Friday, Dec. 1 and Saturday, Dec. 2, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, December 3 at  2 p.m. in the historic Pemberville Opera House While we don’t have Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed, we do have the Vintage Radio Players ready to take the stage, complete with a soundman and his ‘applause’ and ‘on the air’ signs to present The Lux Theatre radio version of the favorite Christmas movies  The show will include a few vintage commercials. The Vintage Radio Players, directed by Janet McClary, will perform “It’s a Wonderful Life” using the original Lux Radio Script that was broadcast in 1947, with live music and sound effects.  This show will be recorded, therefore, audience participation will be appreciated, and it will be broadcast at a later date on WBGU-FM  88.1. Tickets are $12 from Beeker’s General Store, at the door or by  contacting Carol Bailey at 419-287-4848, carol@pembervilleoperahouse.org, or   www.pembervilleoperahouse.org. “It’s a Wonderful Life” is a 1946 American Christmas film produced and directed by Frank Capra. The original story “The Greatest Gift” was written Philip Van Doren Stern in November 1939. After being unsuccessful in getting the story published, Stern decided to make it into a Christmas card, and mailed 200 copies to family and friends in December 1943. The story came to the attention of RKO producer David Hempstead, who showed it to Cary Grant’s Hollywood agent, and in April 1944, RKO Pictures bought the rights to the story for $10,000, hoping to turn the story into a vehicle for Grant.  After several screenwriters worked on adaptations, RKO sold the rights to the story in 1945 to Frank Capra’s production company for the same $10,000, which he adapted into “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Lux Radio Theatre a long-run classic radio anthology series.  Initially, the series adapted Broadway plays during its first two seasons before it began adapting films. These hour-long radio programs were performed live before studio audiences. The series became the most popular dramatic anthology series on radio, broadcast for more than 20 years and continued on television as the Lux Video Theatre through most of the 1950s. The primary sponsor of the show was Unilever through its Lux Soap brand.  


BGSU Arts Events through Dec. 3

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Nov. 26 – Praecepta, the student chapter of the Society of Composers Inc. at BGSU’s College of Musical Arts, will give a performance at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall, located in the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Nov. 27 – The Graduate String Quartet will perform at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall at Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Nov. 28 – The University Choral Society will perform a festive holiday program titled “Joyous Sounds: A Yuletide Celebration,” featuring the BGSU Graduate Brass Quintet and Michael Gartz, organist at First United Methodist Church. The performance will begin 7 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church of Bowling Green. Free Nov. 29 – Trombonist Brittany Lasch will give a Faculty Artist Series performance. Lasch was the winner of the 2015 National Collegiate Solo Competition hosted by the U.S. Army Band and the 2010 Eisenberg-Fried Brass Concerto Competition, and was the recipient of the Zulalian Foundation Award in 2014. Her trombone quartet Boston Based was just named the winner of the 2017 International Trombone Association’s Quartet Competition. Her performance will begin at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall, in the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Nov. 30 – The Concert Band will give a concert at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall, located in the Moore Musical Arts Center. Advance tickets are $7 for students and $10 for other adults; tickets the day of the concert are, respectively, $10 and $13. Tickets can also be purchased at bgsu.edu/arts. For more information, call the box office between noon and 6 p.m. weekdays at 419-372-8171. Dec. 1 – Celloist Deborah Pae will conduct a free master class at 3:30 p.m. in the Choral Rehearsal Hall and give a free performance at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall, both at at the Moore Musical Arts Center.  Pae’s 2017-2018 season highlights include concerto performances of “Rhapsodies for Cello and Strings” by Jeffrey Mumford and Haydn’s Concerto in C as well as chamber music and solo recital tours in New York, San Francisco, Toronto, London, Brussels, France, Indonesia and Taiwan. Dec. 1 – The Men’s and Women’s Chorus will be in concert at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall, located in the Moore Musical Arts Center. Advance tickets are $7 for students and $10 for other adults; tickets the day of the concert are, respectively, $10 and $13. Tickets can also be purchased at bgsu.edu/arts. For more information, call the box office between noon and 6 p.m. weekdays at 419-372-8171. Dec. 2 – The College of Musical Arts will hold a Music Audition Day…


Romantic comedy “Diana of Dobson’s” wears its age well

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Don’t be fooled by “Diana of Dobson’s.” The production of the 1908 play opens with some period song and dance. Dressed in turn of the previous century finery Anna Parchem and Geoff Stephenson invite us to go to the music hall. They deliver their invitation with a campy enthusiasm touched by cynicism. Something quite deeper and more satisfying awaits behind the curtain. “Diana of Dobson’s” by Cicely Hamilton will be presented by the Bowling Green State University Department of Theatre and Film opening tonight (Nov. 16) at 8 p.m. and running through Sunday in the Donnell Theatre in the Wolfe Center for the Arts. See details at end of story. Once the curtain rises, the glitter disappears. We find ourselves in the stark dorm of the shop girls who work at Dobson’s. As they disrobe for the night the young women played by Laura Holman, Lorna Jane Patterson, Hennessy Bevins, and Megan Kome talk about their lives and their troublesome co-worker Diana Massingberd (Camila Pinero). She’s a rebel who bristles at the petty rules and cruel economies of the company. She gets “five bob a week for my life,” and even then the company fines the employees for minor infractions. Diana has many of those. Diana wasn’t always in these straits. Her father was a country doctor, and she helped him until his death. He left her penniless. To her, even worse than being a fool “is being a pauper.” Her attitude not only grates on her employers but on her fellow workers, who take her complaints about their lives personally. Then Diana receives a letter informing her that she has received an inheritance from distant cousin of 300 pounds. This is not an inconsiderable amount. (The script does well to put this in perspective.) Despite the advice of the good-hearted Kitty (Patterson), Diana decides she will spend it all within a month, living as lavishly as she can so at least she knows what that feels like. Her first stop will be Paris to buy clothes. Pinero delivers her argument for taking this course with such conviction, doing justice to the nuance of Hamilton’s lines, that this seems like an expression of free will, not a frivolous whim. This is fluff, we see now, with a philosophical back bone. Back bone is what Diana has. We find her next at a Swiss mountain…


BGSU Theatre offers early 20th century romantic comedy

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Bowling Green State University’s Department of Theatre and Film will present “Diana of Dobson’s,” Cicely Hamilton’s Edwardian comedy of manners, in the Thomas B. and Kathleen M. Donnell Theatre at the Wolfe Center for the Arts for one weekend only, Nov.16-19. When London department store employee Diana comes into an unexpected sum of money, she fulfills her dream of vacationing abroad. Posing as a wealthy widow, she attracts the romantic attentions of Captain Bretherton, a fellow traveler she meets in Switzerland. Are his affections genuine, or are he and his aunt merely after Diana’s supposed fortune? “Diana of Dobson’s” explores this question, as well as ones regarding the limited options available to working-class women in the early 20th century, in a style that mixes the witty intelligence of George Bernard Shaw with elements of classic romantic comedy. BGSU faculty member Jonathan Chambers has directed the production of the 1908 play with traditional early 20th-century “music hall” embellishments, including live music provided by BGSU Lecturer Geoffrey Stephenson and theatre student Anna Parchem. Jarod Dorotiak is the accompanist. “Diana of Dobson’s” features Camila Piñero as Diana and Jarod Mariani as her suitor, Captain Bretherton. The cast also includes students Harmon R. Andrews, Hennessey Bevins, Kelly Dunn, Adam Hensley, Laura Hohman, Megan Kome, Lorna Jane Patterson, Fallon Smyl, and Gabriyel Thomas. BGSU Lecturer Kelly Wiegant Mangan has designed scenery and properties to capture the play’s 1908 charm, and Professor Margaret Cubbin provides costumes that showcase the period’s popular fashions. Lighting design is by Professor Steve Boone. The production team also includes Stage Manager Stephanie Vietor and Assistant Stage Manager Nora Long. Performances are in the Thomas B. and Kathleen M. Donnell Theatre at the Wolfe Center for the Arts on the BGSU campus, Nov. 16-18 at 8 p.m., and Nov. 18-19 at 2 p.m. Tickets purchased in advanced are $5 for students, $10 for seniors, and $15 for adults. All tickets are $20 if purchased on the day of performance. Tickets can be purchased through the BGSU Arts Box Office in the Wolfe Center, online at bgsu.edu/arts or by calling 419-372-8171. Guests with disabilities are requested to indicate if they need special services, assistance or appropriate modifications to fully participate in this event by contacting Accessibility Services, access@bgsu.edu, Theatre and Film, 419-372-8495, prior to the event.


BGHS Drama Club nominated for Liberator award for raising awareness of sex trafficking

The Bowling Green High School Drama Club has been nominated for a Ohio/Michigan Liberator Award for its work raising awareness of sex trafficking. The troupe is nominated in the Student/Student Group category. The award, named for the historic abolitionist newspaper The Liberator, is given out by the national organization Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution. The drama club has been working to raise awareness of the issue for five years. Recently the club presented “Lily’s Shadow,” a play written by Roxanne Schroeder-Arce in collaboration with students. The Social Issues Theatre Class had been working on raising social awareness for sex trafficking since 2012, presenting play the cast devised at more than a dozen conferences in the region. The BGHS club is one of nine nominees from the two states. To vote visit https://www.liberatorawards.com/#vote. Voting continues through the end of the month. (Read story on production)


Operatic double header bridges the centuries with laughter

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Comedy is timeless. The BGSU  Opera Theater’s double-bill of “How to Reform a Drunk” by Christoph Willibald Von Gluck from 1760 and “The Four Note Opera” by Tom Johnson from 1972  are as different in their approaches as you’d expect from works written 200 years apart. The reactions they provoke are the same – knowing chuckles and hearty guffaws. The operas will be performed tonight (Nov. 3) at 8 p.m. and Sunday (Nov. 5) at 3 p.m. in Kobacker Hall on the Bowling Green State University campus. Tickets are $20 at the door, and cheaper if purchased in advance by calling 419-372-8171 or online. https://www.bgsu.edu/the-arts.htmlfrom The Gluck is a classic comic send-up. A vintner Lukas (Tyler Strayer) conspires to get the drunken father Zipperlein (Aaron Meece) to let him marry his daughter Marie (Hannah Stroh). She, however, is in love with the actor Anton (Aaron Hill). Her mother (Eunice Ayodele), the victim of her husband’s drunken behavior, is caught betwixt. As much as Katharine despises Lukas, “actors,” as she tells her daughter, “are the worst.” Still Anton gets into her good graces by concocting a plan to reform Zipperlein. That leads to a wonderfully fantastic scene with the husband believing he and Lucas have died and gone to hell where they will face punishment for their drunkenness. Before then they get to sing robustly of the joys of wine. The English translation and adaptation from the French by Ellen Scholl, of the BGSU faculty, presents the plot in a clear and wonderful way. And director Geoff Stephenson makes sure the show has a crisp pace leading to happy resolution.  We know these characters from watching musicals and situation comedies. Hearing them give voice to their dilemmas and hopes in light, floating music is a treat. The stage orchestra, conducted by music director Emily Freeman Brown, buttresses the singers and paints the scene, including the comic hell. The characters, such as they are, in Johnson’s opera find themselves trapped in another kind of hell – an opera without a plot and only four notes. What is lacking in those departments is made up for by the cast of characters with an overabundance of ego. These are operatic archetypes, and some of the slightest gestures, or even costume changes will have opera aficionados hooting. But Stephenson and the singers make sure the comedy is broad enough…


Treehouse Troupe takes “New Kid” on the road to share lessons about tolerance

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Bullying is an international language. That’s a lesson Nic learns on her first day in an American school. She had moved with her family to the United States from Homeland, not speaking English, and now she must adjust to life among strangers. That’s the plot of “New Kid,” a play by Dennis Foon being staged in schools around the region by Bowling Green State University’s Treehouse Troupe. Recently the troupe staged “New Kid” in the atrium of the Wood County Public Library for home-schooled students and students from St. Aloysius. We meet Nic played by Shannan Bingham and her mother played by Kristyn Curnow as they discuss leaving their country Homeland. The backdrop is colorful and their costumes are an iridescent green. Though they say they don’t know English, their lines come out as English, and the audience knows what they are saying. Soon Nic is in her new school, shyly joining two other students, Mencha (Autumn Chisholm) and Mug (Harmon Andrews) at recess. Before she comes out the audience gets to listen in on Mencha and Mug’s conversation. Not that it will do them any good. They’re animated as they chat but the words frustrate comprehension. Clearly it’s a language, just not one we understand. Nor as it turns out any other language. The actors’ body gestures, make it clear that they are negotiating some sort of exchange. The language was made up by the playwright to give youngsters a sense of what it’s like to be in a place where you can’t understand what anyone else is saying. Nic has a rough time. Mug starts by teasing and then taunts her, even breaking the bowl her friends back in Homeland gave her as a going away present. She learns one word “Groc,” an ethnic slur. She flees school. Nic returns to school the next day intent of staying away from the others. But Mencha proves to be a good hearted sort who befriends her and helps her deal with Mug’s bullying. Emily Aguilar, who directs the troupe, said she was attracted to the script because it tackles the subject of bullying specifically as it relates to immigration in a way that appeals to a wide age range of students. The play has been staged for students from kindergarten to grade 8. Dealing with xenophobia is important “especially today in our current climate,” she…