Theater

3B to present “Little Mermaid” in Maumee, July 21-24

Submitted by 3B PRODUCTIONS 3B Productions will present “Disney’s The Little Mermaid, the Musical,” July 21 through July 24 at the Maumee Indoor Theatre. Performance schedule is: Thursday July 21 – 8 p.m. Friday, July 22 – 8 p.m. Saturday, July 23 – 2:30 p.m. . Saturday, July 23 – 8 p.m. Sunday, July 24 – 2:30 p.m. Conversations with the cast and crew immediately follow each performances. Tickets are $15 general seating. For tickets, visit www.3Bproductions.org, or stop in at The Maumee Indoor Theatre. Based on one of Hans Christian Andersen’s most beloved stories and the classic animated film, “Disney’s The Little Mermaid” is a  love story for the ages. With music by eight-time Academy Award winner Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater, and a book by Doug Wright, this fishy fable includes the songs “Under the Sea,” “Kiss the Girl,” and “Part of Your World.” Ariel, King Triton’s youngest daughter, wishes to pursue the human Prince Eric in the world above and bargains with the evil sea witch, Ursula, to trade her tail for legs. But the bargain is not what it seems and Ariel needs the help of her colorful friends Flounder the fish, Scuttle the seagull, and Sebastian the crab to restore order under the sea. Joe Barton will direct this Disney classic at the intimate Maumee Indoor Theatre He will be supported in bringing this vision to the Maumee Indoor stage by musical director Jennifer Bollinger, choreographer/assistant director Bob Marzola, and scenic designer Jesse Bernal. Maumee High School’s Joelle Stiles joins the cast of “Disney’s The Little Mermaid” as Ariel, having last been seen…


Perrysburg Musical Theatre lands “Big Fish” in impressive fashion

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Staging the musical “Big Fish” is not a small task, and the Perrysburg Musical Theatre is up to it. The story, first a novel, then Tim Burton-directed movie, then a musical, is a sprawling father-son tale that blends uplifting fantasy with real-life drama. At the very big heart of the musical is the hero Edward Bloom (D. Ward Ensign), a small town salesman given to telling grand stories about his life that may be true, at least in some fashion. As he faces death, the world of those stories collides with real life. “Big Fish,” which is making its Northwest Ohio premiere, is being presented Thursday, June 23, through Saturday, June 25, and Sunday, June 26, at 2 p.m. in the Perrysburg High School auditorium. Tickets are $13. Visit http://www.perrysburgmusicaltheatre.org/. “Big Fish” is a great fit for the Perrysburg summer troupe. The show calls for a cast of more than 40, many of them young people. It exudes a sense of community whether in Bloom’s hometown or the circus he works for. The play’s technical demands are a challenge. The plot cuts back and forth between present and past, from a kid’s bedroom and a bewitched forest. The production, led by the creative team of C. Jordan Benavente, Julie Bermudez, Ensign and Nicole Spadafore with set design by Dave Nelms, pulls this off seamlessly. The high point being the daffodil-infused climax of the first act. The show is more than a visual wonder. As well as a large ensemble it demands three strong singing actors for the central parts of the  fantasist Edward Bloom,…


Black Swamp Players taking late director’s dream play to state conference

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Dennis East had long wanted to stage “The Black Bonspiel of Wullie MacCrimmon,” a dark comedy about dealing with the devil and curling. Years ago he and his wife, Kathy, had seen the play in Canada, and he just felt would be a great show for The Black Swamp Players to perform back home in Bowling Green. East was a veteran of the troupe, having done everything from set construction to acting to serving as president. Finally “The Black Bonspiel,” with a few approved changes to make it more suitable for a local audience and provide more female roles, made it onto the Black Swamp Players’ schedule for fall, 2013. Then East was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The play was scrapped as East battled the disease. Finally last September, still in treatment, East brought Wullie MacCrimmon and his colorful cast of Canadian curlers to the First United Methodist stage. Kathy East remembers it was a strain on him. But he persisted.  “He was just determined he wanted to do it,” she said.  As was his practice he built the sets. “He would spend a lot of time in morning, and afternoons he was napping.” He complained, she said, that he used to be able to construct a set in two weeks. The devil-may-care comedy, in which a shoe repairman played by Lane Hakel bets his soul on the outcome of a curling match, or bonspiel, came off so well that the Players opted to submit it as their entry into the Northwest Region of the Ohio Community Theater Association conference. As the conference, held…


Horizon Youth Theatre’s “Honk!” delivers important message with smile

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Horizon Youth Theatre is ready to make some noise. This weekend the youth troupe will stage “Honk!” a contemporary musical retelling of Hans Christian Anderson’s story “The Ugly Duckling.” The musical will be performed at First United Methodist Church, 1526 E. Wooster St., Friday, June 17, and Saturday, June 18, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, June 19, at 2 p.m.  Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for children. Visit http://horizonyouththeatre.org/product/honk/. Director Cassie Greenlee said the musical is a perfect fit for the young troupe — a fun show with a message. The script was written for a cast of 12 with most actors playing multiple roles. Instead Horizon cast an actor for every part. That meant a role for all those who came out for auditions. That’s a cast of 37, and there’s plenty for them to do. “The secondary characters may be only in one scene but they have a big song or a big part, so we’re able to showcase the talent Horizon has,” Greenlee said. All the members of the cast “have a chance to shine.” That means they all “have a large chunk of responsibility.” Many are “stepping out of their comfort zone, maybe singing solo for first time.” “It’s important to push them out of those comfort zones a little bit and they’ve risen to the challenge,” Greenlee said. Sky Frishman, 16, auditioned for the show because of that wealth of parts. She wasn’t aiming for a particular role, she just wanted to be part of the show. “There were so many good roles,” she said. She’s…


Perrysburg Musical Theatre brings stage version of “Big Fish” to Northwest Ohio

From PERRYSBURG MUSICAL THEATRE Perrysburg Musical Theatre will be the first theatre company in Northwest Ohio to debut the funny, fanciful and heartwarming new musical “Big Fish” this summer. “Big Fish” will be staged  June 23, 24, & 25 at 7 p.m. and 26 at 2 p.m. at Perrysburg High School. “Big Fish” is based on Daniel Wallace’s 1998 novel, “Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions.” The story which features flashbacks and tall tales that come to life, quickly caught the attention of American Screenwriter John August who adapted the novel for the 2003 film “Big Fish.” In 2013, John August brought the story to Broadway with music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa. Variety called it “(A) wholly satisfying show: meaningful, emotional, tasteful, theatrically imaginative and engaging.” PMT’s Big Fish is cast with gifted and talented actors. D. Ward Ensign stars as the charming, charismatic storyteller and father, Edward Bloom. Ensign has been a part of numerous theatrical and musical productions, both on and off stage since being in his first musical, Godspell in 1988. Elizabeth Cottle plays Sandra Bloom, who is patient, calm – the perfect balance to Edward’s enthusiasm. Elizabeth is no stranger to the stage, but this is her 1st production with PMT. “When we had callbacks for the roles of Sandra and Edward, we paired Ward and Elizabeth together to duet the song, “Daffodils”. It was instant chemistry, they became Sandra and Edward,” said Julie Bermudez, Artistic Director for PMT. Also making his 1st time appearance with PMT is Garrett Leininger as Will Bloom. Garrett is the Choir Director for Perrysburg High School. His character, Will…


Sun sets the stage for Art in the Park

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News All kinds of artists turned out for Bowling Green’s second annual Art in the Park in Simpson Garden Park. Artists were drawing, painting, doing needle work. Adult and budding actors staged shows. Performer Nick Zoulek blew saxophone; Michiko Saiki blew bubbles. And, of course, there were those who expressed their artistic inclinations by snapping photos with their smart phones. Jacqueline Nathan, president of the Bowling Green Arts Council, said the Art in the Park was a success, drawing at least as many attendees as last year’s inaugural event. Sunny weather in the 80s certainly helped. Aaron Pickens, of Grand Rapids, was painting a line of arbor vitae. Painting outdoors is way of taking a break from his highly detailed and realistic paintings of toys. Those can take 500 hours to complete. But if painting outdoors is fun, it’s serious fun. Painting outdoors is a challenge. There’s so much detail, he said. “You have to learn what to leave out. The landscape taught me how to paint.” Denise Carter was working on a rag rug that will serve as a wall hanging. She pulled brightly colored fabric through the weave of a coffee bean sack. The fabric became flowers, but Carter wasn’t depicting the blossoms in front of her. For her working outside was enjoyable because the colors were so much brighter in the full sun. Nearby in the amphitheater the sun served as stage lighting for theater. The Black Swamp Players offered the all-too-topical political satire “The Spot” about the filming of a candidate’s television commercial. The one-act play cast light on a process…


Ohio Humanities Presents Ohio Chautauqua in Rossford

From ROSSFORD CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU   History comes to life  in Rossford June 28 through July 2 when Ohio Humanities brings its  Ohio Chautauqua 2016 tour to Rossford. The theme for 2016 is “The Natural World” featuring chemist Marie Curie, Iroquois leader Cornstalk, Frankenstein author Mary Shelley, President Theodore Roosevelt, and zoologist Dian Fossey. Building on the 19th-century tradition established on the shores of New York’s Chautauqua Lake, Ohio Chautauqua is a five-day community event that combines living history performances, music, education, and audience participation into a one-of-a-kind cultural event the entire community will enjoy. Daytime activities feature stimulating adult programs and hands-on workshops for youth hosted at the Rossford Library, 720 Dixie Highway. Each evening, family, friends and visitors gather as live music fills the air in Veterans Park at the Marina, 300 Hannum Avenue with convenient parking and buses from Rossford High School. Then, a talented performer appears on stage, bringing a historic figure to life through personal stories and historic detail. This enriching and delightfully entertaining experience is perfect for every generation. With its warm, nostalgic vibe, this truly unique experience is sure to open minds and start conversations. A daily schedule can be found online at www.VisitRossfordOhio.com or www.OhioHumanities.org. Sponsors of Ohio Chautauqua 2016 in Rossford, Ohio include Ohio Humanities, the Rossford Convention & Visitors Bureau, ProMedica Bay Park Hospital, Lake Erie Living Magazine, Welch Publishing, Wood County Cultural Arts Grant, TARTA, Northwestern Water & Sewer District, the Rossford Business Association, Meijer Rossford, Costco Perrysburg, Camping World, the City of Rossford and the Rossford Library. Daytime Programs Rossford Public Library 720 Dixie Highway, 
Rossford. Programs for youth begin…


Horizon Youth Theatre offers summer workshops

Horizon Youth Theatre is offering a full slate of summer workshops. Workshops offered week of July 11 from 9 a.m. to noon are: THE TORTOISE AND THE HARE In this Aesop-based script devising class, students have the opportunity to explore the classic fable and write their own spin. Ages: 2nd-5th grade Place: Wood County Library, BG MUSICAL THEATRE Do you love to sing? Dance? Act? Go for your Broadway dreams with this week-long course! All experience levels welcomed. Ages: 6th-12th grade Place: First Presbyterian Church, BG Workshops offered week of July 18 from 9 a.m. to noon are: MUSICAL THEATRE JR. Do you love to sing? Dance? Act? Go for your Broadway dreams with this week-long introductory course! All experience levels welcomed. Ages: 2nd-5th grade Place: St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, BG FOCUS ON FILM Explore filmmaking as a storytelling medium as you work in a team environment to craft a short film from concept to screening. Ages: 6th-12th grade Place: St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, BG Workshops offered week of July 25 from 9 a.m. to noon are: READER’S THEATRE Students will learn the basic fundamentals such as off stage focus and interpretation of text. Ages: 2nd-5th grade Place: Woodland Mall, BG SHAKESPEARE IN PERFORMANCE Students will gain a working knowledge of Shakespeare’s writing style and language through scene and monologue work. Ages: 6th-12th grade Place: Woodland Mall, BG Register online at: horizonyouththeatre.org


Simpson Garden site for open air celebration of the arts

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Bowling Green Arts Council is hoping to establish a new event on the city’s arts calendar. Friday, June 10, the council along with Bowling Green Parks and Recreation Department will host Art in the Park on the grounds of Simpson Garden Park, 1291 Conneaut Ave., from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. This is the event’s second year. Art in the Park is intended as a low key summer night’s excursion, said Jacqueline Nathan, president of the arts council. “The original thought was it’d be plein air (open air) painting and music in the park. “The arts council wanted to have some signature event and work with the community.” Paintings will set up their easels throughout the park, capturing the early summer beauty in paint. In its second year, the event has added elements. This year, thanks to the sponsorship of the Montessori School and the Parks and Recreation Department, there will be interactive activities for children organized by the Montessori staff. Adults will also have a chance to work on a community stain glass project with the guidance of noted stained glass artist Gail Christofferson. The finished work will be displayed at the community center. Theater will be presented in the amphitheater. The Black Swamp Players will present a short one-act play, “The Spot,” by Steven Dietz at 5 and 6 p.m. “The Spot” is a satirical look at how political campaign managers approach their candidates’ TV commercials. Horizon Youth Theatre will present an excerpt from its upcoming musical production “Honk!” at 5:30 and 6:30. The show is a modern adaptation by Anthony Drewe of the Hans Christian Andersen story…


Beautiful Kids’ “Midsummer Night’s Dream” is theater worth celebrating

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Summer’s here. School’s out. Couples are marrying. It’s a season for celebration. Beautiful Kids Independent Shakespeare adds to the festivities with “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” marking its 20th season. Director Abbey Casino noted in her introduction that the company is just a bit younger than she is. Like irises, Beautiful Kids blossoms in June to present a Shakespeare play for all to enjoy, free of charge, in the open air – if the weather cooperates. The play will be staged tonight (Wednesday), Thursday and Friday at 7 p.m. on the Needle Hall stage in Bowling Green’s City Park. (Moved inside in case the weather doesn’t cooperate.) The comedy is the perfect selection for the anniversary show. Weddings play a central part with all the suitable complications, and the play is, in its way, a tribute to theater. Those rude mechanicals, played with gusto by Jalesa Earby, Pat Mahood, Nathaniel Smith and Zachary Taylor Robb as Bottom, are the forbearers of community theater, though not certainly at its finest. And the mischievous sprite Puck (Dee BonAnno) manipulates humans – “What fools these mortals be,” she exclaims – and enjoys the drama as it unfolds, even bringing some popcorn to munch as lovers quarrel. All this makes for a lively, and very funny, production. Trimmed down to run two hours including intermission, the play has comic punch and narrative directness. Using an 11-member cast, Casino makes good use of double casting. Rachel Hetrick plays both the mortal queen Hippolyta and the queen of the fairies, Titania while Michael Portteus plays both Theseus, the king of Athens,…


Big Kids bring Bard’s beautiful works to BG stage

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Shakespeare’s plays and actual play collide when Beautiful Kids Independent Shakespeare Company brings the Bard’s works into Bowling Green’s City Park. Since 1997, the Beautiful Kids have localized Shakespeare’s observation that “all the world’s a stage,” and paraded Shakespeare’s panoply of characters across the Needle Hall stage. All within laughing and shouting distance of the swings, slides and picnic table. All within a wooded glade that can stand for parapets of a Danish castle, a battlefield at Agincourt, the Forest of Arden, or the wilds of Prospero’s island. The productions began in 1997 when a group of Bowling Green State University theater students decided to stage “As You Like It” at Needle Hall, and every year since students, graduates and the friends have returned to stage a Shakespeare play, sometimes two. The troupe marks its 20th year with “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” this week Wednesday, June 1, Thursday, June 2, and Friday, June 3,  at 7 p.m. The tradition has passed down from student to student with little formal structure. Tyler Ward, who was active with the troupe for five years starting in 2005, said because the plays are not done with the constraints of school or work, they have an element of freedom to them. “Beautiful Kids gave me the opportunity to explore Shakespeare on my terms,” he said. “We were doing it for the love of it. We were doing it because we wanted to do some freakin’ Shakespeare.” With the semester over, and the cast hanging on in town for a few weeks, “it became really celebratory. It became like a…


BGSU’s Jonathan Chambers honored for theatrical explorations

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News For Jonathan Chambers, theater is a venture into the unknown. “I’m interested in directing shows I don’t understand,” he said. “I see the creative endeavor of working on a show or writing an essay as the same. … It’s about my coming to a new understanding.” Chambers has taught at Bowling Green State University for 15 years, directing a show a year. They’ve ranged from “Quiet in the Land,” an intense drama about the Amish in World War I, to the giddy musical satire “Urinetown.” So when he started his most recent production “Middletown” in November, it was important for him to take the time to discuss the ideas embedded in the script with his young cast. Chambers doesn’t see a divide between the lecture hall and the stage. “I never found those two endeavors as separate,” he said in a recent interview. “I look for opportunities to spread that point of view to my students. … To me those two endeavors are more linked than separate. The idea of being a scholar artist is one I’ve tried to embrace in my career and, in turn, pass on to my students.” This mix of scholarship, teaching, and mentorship has been recognized by the American Theatre and Drama Society which has awarded Chambers its Betty Jean Jones Award. The award honors Chambers work over the span of a career. Chambers taught at St. Lawrence University in northern New York before coming to BGSU. He moved around when he was young as his father, a Church of Christ minister, moved from church to church. He sent…


Black Swamp Players will stage four shows in 2016-2017

Submitted by BLACK SWAMP PLAYERS The Black Swamp Players have announced their productions for the 2016-2017 season. On tap are: * “Sylvia” by A.R. Gurney presented at a venue to be determined from Sept. 16-18 and 23-25.  Directed by first time director, Wayne Weber. * “Vanya and Sasha and Masha and Spike” by Christopher Durang. One weekend only at the Clazel, November 3, 4, and 5.  Directed by Deb Weiser. * “Crazy for You,” Gershwin tunes with a Ken Ludwig book.  Feb. 17-19 and 24-26. at  First United Methodist Church and directed by Inge Klopping. * “Dixie Swim Club” by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope, Jamie Wooten at First United Methodist on April 28-30 and May 5-7 and directed by another first time BSP director, Paul Soska.


“Getting Sara Married” tells of match made in mayhem

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News “Getting Sara Married” has just about everything you’d want in a romantic comedy: two reluctant suitors, a meddling aunt, a bout of amnesia and some serious food allergies. All those get comically twisted into a plot that not surprisingly ends up with the male ready to move his recliner into the female’s apartment. The fun is in the way the characters are manipulated in ways unlikely and comic into reaching that conclusion. The Black Swamp Players’ production of “Getting Sara Married,” written by Sam Bobrick and directed by Willard Misfeldt, a 40-year community  theater veteran, opens tonight at 8 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, 1526 E. Wooster St., Bowling Green. The show continues Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. and April 22 and 23 at 8 p.m. and April 24 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 at the door or from Grounds for Thought or online at http://www.blackswampplayers.org/tickets/. Having a well-meaning, interfering aunt always benefits such a plot. In this case Aunt Martha (Fran Weith) fills the bill nicely. At once ditsy and single-minded, she’s concerned that her 30-something lawyer niece will “walk that long road of life alone.” “Left to your own devices,” she tells her niece in one of their hilarious telephone chats, “I’m afraid you’ll end up an old maid. By your age I had been married twice.” Isn’t that embezzler that Sara is representing single? But the niece, the Sara (Caris Cloyd) of the title, professes no interest in matrimony. She’s more concerned with preparing the defense for the embezzler. “Marriage,” Sara says at one point,…