BGSU Department of Theatre an Film

BGSU’s “Amazons” shows making art under the Nazis as darkly comic tragedy

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Frau in “Amazons and Their Men” is explicitly said not to be Leni Riefenstahl, the great German filmmaker who put her prodigious talents to the service of the Nazis. She is Riefenstahl’s moral doppelganger who allows us to view the filmmaker’s crisis of conscience between art and reality from another angle, one that puts her in even harsher light that reveals her self-deception. Art can never isolate itself from its context; reality has a way of infecting artifice. Jordan Harrison’s “Amazons and Their Men” opens tonight (Thursday, Oct. 19) at 8 p.m. in the Eva Marie Saint Theatre at Bowling Green State University, and continues with shows Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. Next weekend shows are Oct. 26 and 27 at 8 p.m. and Oct. 28 at 2 and 8 p.m. Advance tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for students and children; all tickets the day of the performance are $20. Tickets can be purchased at bgsu.edu/arts or the Wolfe Center box office. As the play opens, we find The Frau (Sarah Drummer ) filming what she perceives as her masterpiece “Penthesilea” a version of Greek myth in which and  the Greek hero and her enemy Achilles fall in love. It is clear what draws her to this story, Penthesilea, queen is a strong, dominant woman, not unlike how she sees The Frau sees herself. Yet the passions within the story are at odds with her controlling nature. Passion for her is a…


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

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


Young filmmaker Caroline Koziol’s dream has taken her to slums in Brazil, & Bowling Green

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News At 23, Caroline Koziol has already lived a well-traveled life. Born in Poland, she immigrated to England. She came to study theater and film at Bowling Green State University for semester and stayed to graduate. Now she’s back in London doing graduate studies in film. That’s just the outline. She’s hitchhiked along Route 66 and around Morocco. Her dreams have also taken her to the slums of Brazil where she found the subject for both a documentary and a book. Koziol’s ambitions to be a documentary filmmaker revolve around the Dream Catcher project, where she approaches strangers and explores with them what their dreams and fears are, and what they are doing to achieve them. She found people who dream of fame and a lottery jackpot. She found someone who wanted to have a cup of coffee with her, and a man who thought she should run for president. She probes and encourages and teases her subjects, justifying her intrusion in their daily life with a beaming smile and bubbly repartee. It’s an approach that works across cultures. Koziol tells those she meets the time to start pursuing their dreams is now. And she practices what she preaches. Koziol discussed her life’s journey in a series of e-mails from London. The idea for the Dream Catcher project was born in Grounds for Thought one weekend while she was a student here. “There was this enormous world map on one of the walls. I was staring at this map and an idea sprang to mind…


BGSU arts events through Nov. 16

Through Nov. 21 – “The Deathworks of May Elizabeth Kramer,” a mixed media installation by The Poyais Group, continues through Nov. 21 in the Dorothy Uber Bryan Gallery in the Fine Arts Center. The exhibit is a purported recreation by the Poyais Group of outsider artist Kranmer’s (1867-1977) private lifework, a tent version of the town where she lived, with each tent representing someone who had died. Discovered by a team of anthropologists after her death but then lost in a fire, the installation was remade by the Poyais Group (Jesse Ball, Thordis Bjornsdottir, Olivia Robinson and Jesse Stiles) based on notes by one of the original anthropologists. Gallery Hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday–Saturday, 6-9 p.m. Thursdays, and 1-4 p.m. Sundays. Free Through Nov. 22 – “Criminal Justice?” an exhibit by activist artists Carol Jacobson and Andrea Bowers, investigates the attitudes and biases embedded in the U.S. criminal justice system. Jacobson is an award-winning social documentary artist whose works in video and photography address issues of women’s criminalization and censorship. See story: http://bgindependentmedia.org/artist-documents-the-cycle-of-abuse-suffered-by-female-inmates/. Bowers’ video “#sweetjane” and drawings explore the 2012 Steubenville, Ohio rape case and the citizens whose activism resulted in two rape convictions. The drawings reproduce the text messages sent among the teenage witnesses to the assault on an underage young woman. “Criminal Justice?” is on view in the Willard Wankelman Gallery at the Fine Arts Center. Gallery Hours are 11 a.m. – 4p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 6-9 p.m. Thursdays, and 1-4 p.m. Sundays. Free Nov. 2 – The Faculty Artist Series features the BGSU woodwind…


BGSU cast delivers heavenly performance of “Evelyn in Purgatory”

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Nothing is as it seems in the “rubber room.” That’s a room, one of many actually in the New York Public School’s reassignment centers. If you are a teacher who runs afoul of authority, you are sent here while your case works its way through the twisted bowels of the city and union bureaucracy. That can take months. And during that time teachers sit, for work days on end, supervised by a proctor who reports if they are late or absent, left to their own devices, though still subject to the whims of the bureaucracy. That’s the purgatory that Evelyn Reid (Laura Hohman)  arrives in when a student, known to be a liar, reports that she saw the teacher making out with a track star. Evelyn joins the other disaffected denizens of the room. How this bright, young and ambitious teacher changes the dynamic of the room unfolds in “Evelyn in Purgatory.” The Topher Payne play, directed by Cynthia Stroud, opened Thursday  in the Eva Marie Saint Theatre in Bowling Green State University’s Wolfe Center for the Arts. The show continues with performances: Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.; Sunday, at 2 p.m.; Oct. 27 and 28 at 8 p.m.; and Oct. 29 at 2 and 8 p.m. Tickets are $15, available at:  http://www.bgsu.edu/arts-and-sciences/theatre-and-film.html. The script mixes sharp humor and close character observations with drama that darkens along the way. There’s an undertow of unease, not unlike a “Twilight Zone” episode. All this is presented on minimal stage and realized with vivid acting that brings…


BGSU Lively Arts Calendar, Sept. 28 – Oct. 12

From BGSU Office of Marketing & Communications  At the Galleries –“Face It: Reimagining Contemporary Portraits” continues in the Dorothy Uber Bryan Gallery in the Fine Arts Center. “Face It” explores an expanded definition of photographic portraiture. Curated by BGSU art faculty Lynn Whitney and Andrew Hershberger and BGSU Galleries Director Jacqueline Nathan, the exhibit features photos by 27 renowned artists. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 6 to 9 p.m. Thursdays, and 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays. Free. Sept. 29 – Award-winning author and book critic John Freeman will read from his works as a part of the Visiting Writer Series. The reading will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Prout Chapel. Free Sept. 29 – TheInternational Film Series continues with “Abrazos (Embraces),” directed by Luis Argueta. A group of children travel from Minnesota to Guatemala to meet their grandparents for the first time. The film documents their pilgrimage, exploring family, heritage and immigration. The screening begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Gish Film Theater located in Hanna Hall. Free Sept. 29 – BGSU composition students will present their works at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Sept. 30 – TheBGSU Wind Symphony will be in concert at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. On the program are “Skating on the Sheyenne,” by Ross Lee Finney; “Et Exspecto Resurrectionem Mortuorum,” by Olivier Messiaen, and “First Symphony for Band” by William Bolcom. Advance tickets are $7 for adults and $3 for students. All tickets the…


BGSU Lively Arts Calendar, Sept. 6- 21

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Sept. 6 – Tuesdays at the Gish kicks off with “Almost Famous” (2000), directed by Cameron Crowe. Set in the 1970s, this semi-autobiographical story based on the director’s experiences as a rock journalist for Rolling Stone continues to be a beloved coming-of-age and rock-n-roll film. The screening begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Gish Film Theater located in Hanna Hall. Free Sept. 7 – The Faculty Artist Series continues with Penny Thompson Kruse performing on violin presenting a recital on the theme of Farewell to Summer. The recital begins at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Sept. 8 – The Visiting Writer Series welcomes American fiction writer Alissa Nutting, author of “Tampa” and the short story collection “Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls.” The reading will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Prout Chapel. Free Sept. 8 – BGSU’s International Film Series commences with “Fordson: Faith, Fasting and Football,” directed by Rashid Ghazi. The 2016 documentary follows a predominantly Arab-American high school football team from Dearborn, Mich., during the last 10 days of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and unearths the story of a community desperately holding onto its Islamic faith while struggling to gain acceptance in post 9-11 America. The screening begins at 7:30 p.m. Free Sept. 10 – The Falcon Marching Band will perform during the BGSU vs North Dakota football game. Join in the festivities at 3 p.m. in the Doyt Perry Stadium. Tickets to the football game are available at bgsufalcons.com/buytickets or…


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…


BGSU’s “Noises Off” brings on roars of laughter

By DAVID DUPONT By BG Independent News The actress playing the housekeeper in “Nothing On” is struggling during the dress rehearsal. The play is about to open and she’s still trying to learn her lines. Some of what comes out of her mouth, allows the director, does have a ring of familiarity. The actress says, her brain is like a slot machine—she’s not sure what’s going to pop up, two oranges, a lemon or even bananas. “Nothing On” is a play within the play “Noises Off,” and by the time we get out final shout out to sardines, it’s all bananas. The classic theatrical farce “Noises Off`” opens tonight at 8 p.m. in the Donnell Theatre in the Bowling Green State University’s Wolfe Center for the Arts. It continues Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. Advance tickets are $15 and $5 for students. All tickets are $20 the day of the performance. Visit bgsu.edu/arts or call the box office at 419-372-8171. Directed by Geoff Stephenson, “Noises Off” is a well-oiled piece of comic chaos. The show is full of fainting, pratfalls, dropping trousers, stuck doors, and multiple servings of sardines that appear and disappear as if they had a will of their own. The play opens during the dress rehearsal of a touring company’s production of “Nothing On,” a British bedroom farce. Dotty Ortley (Ashli York) who plays the dithering maid is, well, dithering, speaking her lines and musing aloud on what she should do until interrupted by the director Lloyd Dallas (Jared…


BGSU Lively Arts Calendar, April 13-27

Through April 17—The MFA Thesis Exhibition continues through April 17 in the Dorothy Uber Bryan and Willard Wankelman galleries at the Fine Arts Center. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 6 to 9 p.m. Thursdays, and 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays. Free April 14—BGSU vocal students will perform works from various opera scenes. The recital begins at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free April 15—BGSU’s Wind Symphony will perform under the direction of Bruce Moss. The recital begins at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Advance tickets are $3 for students and children and $7 for adults. All tickets the day of the performance are $10. Music majors have free admission with ID. To purchase online, visit bgsu.edu/arts. Or call the box office at 419-372-8171. April 16—The College of Musical Arts’ A Capella Choir and University Men’s Chorus will perform in Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. The recital begins at 8 p.m. Advance tickets are $3 for students and children and $7 for adults. All tickets the day of the performance are $10. Musical majors have free admission with ID. To purchase online, visit bgsu.edu/arts, or call the box office at 419-372-8171. April 17—The College of Musical Arts’ Collegiate Chorale and University Women’s Chorus will perform in Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. The recital begins at 3 p.m. Advance tickets are $3 for students and children and $7 for adults. All tickets the day of the performance are…


BGSU Lively Arts Calendar, April 7–20

April 7­—“More Than War and Wine: Anxiety and Relief in Antiquity” is an exhibition by BGSU graphic design students of Todd Childers and graduate-level art history students of Dr. Sean Leatherbury in collaboration with the Toledo Museum of Art. The students will present an “Object Talk” about the artifacts, exploring the anxieties that may have influenced the creation of ancient works of art. The talk will begin at 1:30 p.m. in the Dorothy Uber Bryan Gallery lobby in the Fine Arts Center followed by a reception at 4:30 p.m. The exhibition remains on display through April 15. Free April 7—The College of Musical Arts’ Guitar Ensemble will perform at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free April 7—The Visiting Writer Series features prize-winning writer Amy Gustine. Her short fiction has appeared in The Chicago Tribune’s Printers Row Journal, The Kenyon Review and The Wisconsin Review, among others. Gustine’s book, “Pity Us Instead,” was released in February and has appeared on numerous featured lists including Publisher’s Weekly and The Millions. Her reading will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Prout Chapel. Free April 7—The International Film Series concludes with the 2013 Chinese film “Bei Jing yu shang Xi Ya Tu (Finding Mr. Right).” A city girl travels to Seattle to give birth to a child who will help her win a rich, married boyfriend. When she arrives in Seattle, nothing goes right; she’s stuck sharing a small house with two other pregnant women, she has trouble reaching her boyfriend on the phone and eventually, even his…


BGSU actors bring ‘Middletown’ to life

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Middletown, the setting and namesake for the new theater production on campus, doesn’t have much to recommend it. Even the indigenous people passed through leaving little mark. A statue of a horse is the only tourist attraction, unless you, like tour guide (Christa Federico), count the air. That air, she says, contains bits of people, dust and objects that went before. That seems pretty heavy philosophizing for a tour guide, but Middletown seems to do that to people. They say things that rise deep from their psyches, and those psyches are often troubled. Eavesdropping, the local car mechanic (Danny Miskell) hears Mary (Mackenzie Baumhower) say she and her husband are starting a family. Don’t have an only child, he blurts out. Whenever you hear childish noises, it’s always that same child. Even the librarian, the sane presence at the heart of this troubled town and the play, is given to disturbing observations. When Mary says she’d like to get a library card, the librarian played by Bessie D. Smith says: “Good for you. Most people think ‘I’m going to die anyway, so why bother.’” That sense of mortality, and the search for some kind of meaning in life pervades “Middletown.” The Will Eno play, directed by Jonathan Chambers, opens tonight at 8 and with shows Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. continuing Feb. 25, 26 and 27 at 8 p.m. and Feb. 27 at 2 p.m. Tickets $15 and $5 for students and children in advance from…