Black Swamp Players

Players’ female ‘Odd Couple’ opens Friday for two week run

From BLACK SWAMP PLAYERS The Black Swamp Players will close its fifty-first season with Neil Simon’s “The Odd Couple (Female Version),” which takes the stage beginning this Friday, April 26, at 7:30 p.m.  Additional performance dates are: Saturday, April 27, Friday, May 3, and Saturday, May 4, all at 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, April 28 and May 5 at 2 p.m. All performances will take place at the First United Methodist Church, 1526 E. Wooster St., Bowling Green.     First performed in 1985,” The Odd Couple (Female Version)” is a modern riff on Simon’s classic comedy from 1965 about the unlikely friendship between a clean freak and a slob. The female version is set in the apartment of slovenly Olive Madison (Hali Malecki) who, at the opening of the play, has invited a group of friends over for a weekly game of Trivial Pursuit. Late to arrive is Florence Unger (Alexandra Levine), who has just been separated from her husband. Fastidious, depressed, and hyper-tense, Florence seems suicidal, but as the action unfolds, Olive becomes the one with murder on her mind when the pair decide to room together and hilarious results ensue.  In addition to Malecki and Levine, the cast features: Ebere Okoro (Sylvie); Deb Weiser (Mickey); Kasandra Frasier (Renee); Colette Allred (Vera); Jared Murray (Manolo Costazuela); and Andrew Varney (Jesus Costazuela).   The production is directed by Heath A. Diehl.  The Odd Couple (Female Version) will open on Friday, April 26 at 7:30 PM.   Tickets for the production are $12/adults, $10/seniors and students, and can be purchased on the organization’s website or at the door.     Black Swamp Players is nonprofit corporation that exists to provide opportunities for area residents to experience quality, amateur, live theatre in all its many aspects. Founded in 1968, Black Swamp Players has been providing community theatre to the Bowling Green and surrounding areas for the past fifty years. Those interested in volunteering for the organization should send an e-mail query to president@blackswampplayers.org.


Black Swamp Players cast female ‘Odd Couple’

From BLACK SWAMP PLAYERS The Black Swamp Players has announced the cast for its final production of the 2018-2019 season, The Odd Couple (Female Version).  The cast includes: Hali Malecki (Olive Madison); Alexandra Levine (Florence Unger); Ebere Okoro (Sylvie); Deb Weiser (Mickey); Kasandra Frasier (Renee); Colette Allred (Vera); Jared Murray (Manolo Costazuela); and Andrew Varney (Jesus Costazuela).  First performed in 1985, The Odd Couple (Female Version) is a modern riff on Simon’s classic comedy from 1965 about the unlikely friendship between a clean freak and a slob. The female version is set in the apartment of slovenly Olive Madison who, at the opening of the play, has invited a group of friends over for a weekly game of Trivial Pursuit. Late to arrive is Florence Unger, who has just been separated from her husband. Fastidious, depressed, and hyper-tense, Florence seems suicidal, but as the action unfolds, Olive becomes the one with murder on her mind when the pair decide to room together and hilarious results ensue. The production will be directed by Heath A. Diehl. The Odd Couple (Female Version) will open on Friday, April 26 at 7:30 PM. Additional performance dates include: Saturday, April 27, Friday, May 3, and Saturday, May 4, all at 7:30 PM; and Sunday, April 28 and May 5 at 2:00 PM. All performances will take place at the First United Methodist Church on East Wooster Street in Bowling Green. Tickets for the production are $12/adults, $10/seniors and students, and can be purchased on the organization’s website or at the door.  Black Swamp Players is nonprofit corporation that exists to provide opportunities for area residents to experience quality, amateur, live theatre in all its many aspects. Founded in 1968, Black Swamp Players has been providing community theatre to the Bowling Green and surrounding areas for the past fifty years. Those interested in volunteering for the organization should send an e-mail query to president@blackswampplayers.org.


Black Swamp Players casting female version of ‘The Odd Couple’

From BLACK SWAMP PLAYERS The Black Swamp Players will hold auditions for the final production of its fifty-first season, Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple (Female Version), during the week of Feb. 25. Open auditions for the production will be held on the following dates: Monday, Feb. 25 and Tuesday, Feb. 26. Auditions will begin each evening at 7 and run to 9:00 PM. Callbacks will be held on Thursday, February 28 beginning at 7:00 PM. All auditions and callbacks will be held at the First United Methodist Church on East Wooster Street in Bowling Green. The script for The Odd Couple (Female Version) calls for a cast of six women and two men. Auditions are open to adults of all ages, races/ethnicities, orientations, sexes, and abilities. Those who want to audition should be prepared to cold read from the script. First performed in 1985, The Odd Couple (Female Version) is a modern riff on Simon’s classic comedy from 1965 about the unlikely friendship between a clean freak and a slob. The female version is set in the apartment of slovenly Olive Madison who, at the opening of the play, has invited a group of friends over for a weekly game of Trivial Pursuit. Late to arrive is Florence Unger, who has just been separated from her husband. Fastidious, depressed, and hyper-tense, Florence seems suicidal, but as the action unfolds, Olive becomes the one with murder on her mind when the pair decide to room together and hilarious results ensue. The production will be directed by Heath A. Diehl. The Odd Couple (Female Version) will open on Friday, April 26 at 7:30 p.m. Additional performance dates include: Saturday, April 27, Friday, May 3, and Saturday, May 4, all at 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, April 28 and May 5 at 2 p.m.. All performances will take place at the First United Methodist Church, 526 E. Wooster Street in Bowling Green. Tickets for the production are $12/adults, $10/seniors and students, and can be purchased on the organization’s website or at the door.


Black Swamp Players cast ‘The Music Man’

The Black Swamp Players has announced the cast for its second production of the 2018-2019 season, “The Music Man.” “The Music Man” follows fast-talking traveling salesman, Harold Hill (Bradley King), as he cons the people of River City, Iowa, into buying instruments and uniforms for a boys’ band that he vows to organize–this, despite the fact that he doesn’t know a trombone from a treble clef. Hill’s plans to skip town with the cash are foiled when he falls for Marian (Jennifer Braun), the librarian, who transforms him into a respectable citizen by curtain’s fall. The principal cast includes: King (Harold Hill); Braun (Marian Paroo); Liam Rogel (Winthrop Paroo); Alice Walters (Amaryllis); Andelus Elwazani (Zaneeta Shinn); Bobby Walters (Tommy Djilas); Perry Andre (Marcellus Washburn); Lane Hakel (Charlie Cowell); Keith Guion (Mayor Shinn); Sally Stemen (Eulalie Mackecknie Shinn); Deb Shaffer (Mrs. Paroo); Evie Van Vorhis (Gracie Shinn); and Matthew Crawford, Allen Rogel, and Andrew Varney as the school board members/quartet. Written by Meredith Willson and Franklin Lacey, The Music Man has been entertaining audiences since 1957, when it premiered on Broadway. The musical earned eight Tony-award nominations in 1958 and went on to win six Tonys, including nods for Best Musical, Best Performance by a Leading Actor, and Best Performance by a Leading Actress. The Black Swamp Players production of The Music Man will be directed by Amy Spaulding-Heuring. “The Music Man” will open on Friday, February 15 at 7:30 p.m. Additional performance dates include: Saturday, February 16 at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, February 17 at 2: p.m.; Friday, February 22 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, February 23 at 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, February 24 at 2:00 p.m. All performances will take place at the First United Methodist Church, Bowling Green. Tickets for all performances are $15/adults, $12/seniors and students. All tickets can be purchased on the organization’s website and at the door on the day of the performance. “The Music Man” is the second of three productions to be mounted by The Black Swamp Players for its 2018-2019 season. Black Swamp Players is nonprofit corporation that exists to provide opportunities for area residents to experience quality, amateur, live theatre in all its many aspects. Founded in 1968, Black Swamp Players has been providing community theatre to the Bowling Green and surrounding areas for the past fifty years. Those interested in volunteering for the organization should send an e-mail query to president@blackswampplayers.org.


Black Swamp Players casting ‘The Music Man’

From BLACK SWAMP PLAYERS The Black Swamp Players will hold auditions for the second production of its fifty-first season, “The Music Man,” during the week of Nov. 18. Open auditions for the production will be held on the following dates: Sunday, Nov.  18 and Monday, Nov. 19. Audition times for both dates will run from 6:30 until 9 p.m.. The script calls for a large cast of both children and adults of various ages. All auditions will be held at the First United Methodist Church on East Wooster Street in Bowling Green. Those who want to audition should prepare 16 bars of a Broadway showtune, and should bring copies of their music to the audition. Additionally, individuals who audition will be asked to cold read from the script and learn some dance/movement sequences. All who are interested in auditioning should dress comfortably for the audition. “The Music Man” follows fast-talking traveling salesman, Harold Hill, as he cons the people of River City, Iowa, into buying instruments and uniforms for a boys’ band that he vows to organize–this, despite the fact that he doesn’t know a trombone from a treble clef. Hill’s plans to skip town with the cash are foiled when he falls for Marian, the librarian, who transforms him into a respectable citizen by curtain’s fall. Written by Meredith Willson and Franklin Lacey, “The Music Man”  has been entertaining audiences since 1957, when it premiered on Broadway. The musical earned eight Tony-award nominations in 1958 and went on to win six Tonys, including nods for Best Musical, Best Performance by a Leading Actor, and Best Performance by a Leading Actress. The Black Swamp Players production of “The Music Man” will be directed by Amy Spaulding-Heuring. “The Music Man” will open on Friday, Feb. 16 15 at 7:30 p.m. Additional performance dates include: Saturday, Feb. 16 at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, February 17 at 2 p.m.; Friday, Feb. 16 22 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Feb. 16 23 at 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, Feb. 16 24 at 2 p.m.. All performances will take place at the First United Methodist Church, Bowling Green. Tickets for all performances are $15/adults, $12/seniors and students. All tickets can be purchased on the organization’s website and at the door on the day of the performance. “The Music Man” is the second of three productions to be mounted by The Black Swamp Players for its 2018-2019 season. The Players will close…


Comedy in the cards in Black Swamp Players’ ‘Clue: The Musical’

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Black Swamp Players has survived. With “Clue: The Musical” the Players start their 51st season, something that seemed in doubt earlier this year. What better way to start that season than killing a character off. And there’s never been a more congenial corpse than Mr. Boddy (Heath Diehl). He serves as master of ceremonies to his own murder, and even after he ends up dead at the end of the first act, he can’t help but return to join the chorus line. Silly? You betcha. And in the spirit of a musical based on a board game, the audience gets to play along. “Clue: The Musical” opens tonight (Friday, Nov. 9) at 7:30 p.m. and continues with shows this and next weekend at first United Methodist Church. Click for showtimes and details. Audience members get game cards and a pencil with their programs.  The goal is to guess who killed Mr. Boddy, where and with what weapon. The solution differs at every show.  At the start Mr. Boddy along with Prop Runner (Katie Partlow) takes a jaunt into the audience to have them select game cards determining each of those elements. The chosen cards are placed in an envelope on stage to await the  big reveal at the end. Then we get to meet the suspects. This being a play, just cardboard cut-out characters won’t do. No, these familiar figures emerge from the box in full two-dimensional glory, and not atallinclined to play by the rules. They are caricatures of the stock characters in murder mysteries. Mrs. Peacock (Karla Richardson) is the much married rich widow with a trail of husbands, all dead under mysterious circumstances. Colonel Mustard (Andrew Varney) is an old lover, who has survived. He was married to Boddy’s mother and lays claim to ownership of the mansion and the scene of the crime. Miss Scarlet (Annelise Mason) is a small time Vegas entertainer, who at one point gave Boddy an encore in his hotel room. Professor Plum (Matt Crawford) is a pretentious intellectual who is writing a book with Boddy and has been on the losing end of some business dealings with him. Mr. Green (Garett Hummel) has also had shady business dealings with Boddy, though he’s been more successful at it. And Mrs. White (Monica Hiris) is the much put-upon domestic, literally the chief cook and bottle washer…


Black Swamp Players presenting musical ‘Clue’

From BLACK SWAMP PLAYERS The Black Swamp Players will open its fifty-first season with Clue: The Musical, which takes the stage beginning this Friday, November 9, at 7:30 p.m.  Based on the 1949 board game of the same name, Clue: The Musical concerns the murder of Mr. Boddy (Heath A. Diehl), who also serves as the host of the evening’s performance. The first act of the musical introduces the colorful characters made famous by Parker Brothers and their motives for possibly murdering Mr. Boddy. There also is an interactive component in which audience members randomly select cards that will determine which suspect committed the murder, which weapon was used, and where the murder took place. The show has 216 possible endings. The second act introduces a new character, the Detective (Mac Ramsey), who along with the cast and audience, work to solve the murder of Mr. Boddy. In addition to Diehl and Ramsey, the cast also includes: Andrew Varney (Colonel Mustard); Garrett Hummell (Mr. Green); Karla Richardson (Mrs. Peacock); Matt Crawford (Professor Plum); Annelise Mason (Miss Scarlet); and Monica Hiris (Mrs. White). The production is directed by Melissa Shaffer and Anna Chowattanakul is the music director and accompanist. Clue: The Musical briefly ran Off-Broadway in 1997 and has since been a popular choice for community theater groups throughout the country. A contributor to Broadway World dubbed it “an entertaining, humorous, and interactive musical that is not to be missed.” Clue: The Musical will open on Friday, November 9 at 7:30 p.m. Additional performance dates include: Saturday, November 10 at 7:30 p.m. ; Friday, November 16 at 7:30 p.m. ; Saturday, November 17 at 7:30 p.m. ; Sunday, November 11 and 18 at 2 p.m. Both Saturday evening performances will be preceded by a dinner, beginning at 6 p.m. , that will benefit the First United Methodist Church. All performances will be held at the First United Methodist Church on East Wooster Street in Bowling Green. Tickets for the Friday and Sunday performances are $15/adults, $12/seniors and students. Tickets for the Saturday “Dinner and a Show” performances are $25/person and must be purchased one week or more prior to the show. All tickets can be purchased on the organization’s website. The Dinner and a Show performances, which are co-hosted by the First United Methodist Church, will feature either meatloaf or a vegetarian quiche and will also include potatoes, vegetables, applesauce, bread, and various…


Black Swamp Players get investor grant from Chamber

From BOWLING GREEN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE The Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce has selected the Black Swamp Players, Inc.  as the recipient of its Third Quarter Investor Grant of $1000.   The application for the grant was submitted by Deb Shaffer, Vice President.  The funds they receive will be used to purchase equipment to help them continue to present excellent productions.  The organization was in need of new wireless microphones, which are used in the musicals so the singers can be heard over the band.  Some of their current equipment is 15-20 years old.  The need is immediate for them for their very next production. The Black Swamp Players are starting their 51st season this fall with “Clue: The Musical.” They look forward to being able to use the new equipment for many years to come. The Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce offers this $1000 Investor Grant every quarter and the application process is very simple.  Investors can download an application from our website at bgchamber.net.   For additional information about the grant or membership, you can contact us at 419-353-7945. The mission of the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce shall be to support an environment for the development and success of business within the Bowling Green area.


Black Swamp Players announce cast for opening show, “Clue: The Musical”

From BLACK SWAMP PLAYERS The Black Swamp Players has announced the cast for its first production of the 2018-2019 season, “Clue: The Musical.” The cast includes: Heath A. Diehl (Mr. Boddy); Mac Ramsey (Detective); Bethany Mahl (Mrs. White); Andrew Varney (Colonel Mustard); Karla Richardson (Mrs. Peacock); Annelise Mason (Miss Scarlet); Garrett Hummel (Mr. Green); Matt Crawford (Mr. Plum); and Monica Hiris (Side-kick Character). Based on the 1949 board game of the same name, “Clue: The Musical” is an interactive theater experience that invites audience participation. Like the board game, “Clue: The Musical” concerns the murder of Mr. Boddy and features all of the colorful characters made famous by Parker Brothers, including Colonel Mustard, Miss Scarlet, Professor Plum, Mrs. Peacock, Mr. Green, and Mrs. White. But the musical also allows audience members to randomly select cards that will determine which suspect committed the murder, which weapon was used, and where the murder took place. The show has 216 possible endings. The production will be directed by Melissa Shaffer. “Clue: The Musical” will open on Friday, November 9 at 7:30 p.m Additional performance dates include: Saturday, November 10 at 7:30 p.m; Friday, November 16 at 7:30 p.m; Saturday, November 17 at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, November 11 and 18 at 2:00 p.m Both Saturday evening performances will be preceded by a dinner, beginning at 6 p.m., that will benefit the First United Methodist Church. Tickets for the Friday and Sunday performances are $15/adults, $12/seniors and students. Tickets for the Saturday “Dinner and a Show” performances are $25/person and must be purchased one week or more prior to the show. All tickets can be purchased on the organization’s website. “Clue: The Musical” is the first of three productions to be mounted by The Black Swamp Players for its 2018-2019 season. “Clue” will be followed by a production of Meredith Wilson’s 1957 Tony-Award-winning musical, “The Music Man,” which will be performed at the First United Methodist Church on February 15, 16, 22, and 23 at 7:30 P.M. and February 17 and 24 at 2:00 P.M. The Players will close their 51st season with the world premiere of an original play by local F. Scott Regan, titled “Peanuts and Crackerjacks.” Regan’s play will be performed in April-May 2019. Black Swamp Players is nonprofit corporation that exists to provide opportunities for area residents to experience quality, amateur, live theatre in all its many aspects. Founded in 1968, Black Swamp Players has been providing community…


Black Swamp Players casting ‘Clue: The Musical’

From BLACK SWAMP PLAYERS The Black Swamp Players will hold auditions for its fifty-first season opener, “Clue: The Musical,”  during the week of August 12. Open auditions for the production will be held on the following dates: Sunday, August 12 from 3-5 p.m.; Tuesday, August 14 from 7-9 p.m.; and Saturday August 18 from 10 AM – noon. The script calls for a cast of five men and three women of various ages. All auditions will be held at the First United Methodist Church on East Wooster Street in Bowling Green. Those who want to audition should prepare a two-minute song excerpt and should expect to cold read from the script. Based on the 1949 board game of the same name, “Clue: The Musical” is an interactive theater experience that invites audience participation. Like the board game,”Clue: The Musical” concerns the murder of Mr. Boddy and features all of the colorful characters made famous by Parker Brothers, including Colonel Mustard, Miss Scarlet, Professor Plum, Mrs. Peacock, Mr. Green, and Mrs. White. But the musical also allows audience members to randomly select cards that will determine which suspect committed the murder, which weapon was used, and where the murder took place. The show has 216 possible endings. The production will be directed by Melissa Shaffer. “Clue: The Musical” will open on Friday, November 9 at 7:30 p.m. Additional performance dates include: Saturday, November 10 at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, November 16 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, November 17 at 7:30 PM; Sunday, November 11 and 18 at 2 p.m. Both Saturday evening performances will be preceded by a dinner, beginning at 6 p.m., that will benefit the First United Methodist Church. Tickets for the Friday and Sunday performances are $15/adults, $12/seniors and students. Tickets for the Saturday “Dinner and a Show” performances are $25/person and must be purchased one week or more prior to the show. All tickets can be purchased on the organization’s website. “Clue: The Musical” is the first of three productions to be mounted by The Black Swamp Players for its 2018-2019 season. “Clue” will be followed by a production of Meredith Wilson’s 1957 Tony-Award-winning musical, “The Music Man,” which will be performed at the First United Methodist Church in February 2019. Auditions for “The Music Man” will be held in November. The Players will close their 51st season with the world premiere of an original play by local F. Scott Regan, titled “Peanuts and Crackerjacks.” Regan’s play…


Black Swamp Players get OCTA regional honors for ‘On Golden Pond’

From BLACK SWAMP PLAYERS Several members of the Black Swamp Players were recognized on Sunday at the Northwest Regional Ohio Community Theatre Association (OCTA) Festival. Those who participated in the competition performed an excerpt from the organization’s spring production of Ernest Thompson’s 1979 play “On Golden Pond.” Actors Stephanie Truman and Gavin Miller received Merit in Acting awards, while Bob Welly, Fran Martone, and Tom Edge received Excellence in Acting awards. The cast as a whole was honored with a Merit in Ensemble award and Director Wayne G. Weber received a merit award for directing. The 2018 OCTA Regional Festival was held on June 9-10 at the Owens Community College Performing Arts Center. Black Swamp Players was one of over twenty area community theatre groups that participated. Founded in 1953, The Ohio Community Theatre Association has, for over 60 years, provided support to community theatres through workshops, the annual regional OCTAFests showcasing community theatre productions, and its three-day annual conference each Labor Day Weekend. Black Swamp Players is nonprofit corporation that exists to provide opportunities for area residents to experience quality, amateur, live theatre in all its many aspects. Founded in 1968, Black Swamp Players has been providing community theatre to the Bowling Green and surrounding areas for the past fifty years. Those interested in volunteering for the organization should send an e-mail query to president@blackswampplayers.org.


Show will go on for Black Swamp Players

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Black Swamp Players Board of Trustees voted Wednesday night (April 25) to stage a 51st season, reversing an earlier decision to suspend operations.. Earlier this year, the Players announced it was suspending productions because of lack of personnel to help stage shows. Lane Hakel, president of the Players board stated the earlier decision “was reversed last night due to an influx of enthusiastic, energetic people who have stepped forward to join together to revitalize the Players.” Hakel said details of what shows will be produced next season are not settled. “We do know that they will likely be in November, February, and April.  We also have several experienced and talented directors that have offered to take on a show.” The directors will select the shows they wish to stage. In announcing the suspension in February, Hakel said that it was a lack of technical help that was really hindering its operations. But after press coverage, including a letter published by long time Player Bob Hastings, people began to step forward. “We are really excited by the infusion of talent and energy that we have received and hope to continue performing quality live theater for the residents of Bowling Green and Northwest Ohio for another 50 years,” Hakel said an e-mail Thursday morning. Later in an interview, he said two dozen people have stepped forward to help. The board he noted has been short a vice president and five board members. In the upcoming elections, there will be contested seats for the 14-member board. Hakel said he is running for another term as president. Many of those who have come forward are new to the troupe. A few former board members have also returned. That includes Tom Milbrodt, a stalwart who saw the troupe through rough patches in the past, and has continued to do lights and sound for productions. When it suspended productions, the board was also suspending its fundraising for a new home. Since 2000, the Players’ home has been in the fellowship hall at First United Methodist Church. While grateful for the church’s generosity, the space has limitations, both physical and operationally. The troupe for example cannot sell 50-50 raffle tickets or alcohol. Those are ways of raising funds that other theater use. Hakel still believes for the troupe to reverse its decline in audience finding a new space is essential. “There…


Black Swamp Players bask in the glow of ‘On Golden Pond’

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Please note: It is summer on Golden Pond. The loons are calling, and the black flies hatching. Norman and Ethel Thayer have returned for their 48th year to summer on this idyllic lake in rural Maine. Ethel is elated to be there. To spend another summer wiling way the time picking berries, lolling by the lake, and playing board games in the evening. Unfortunately Norman’s mood is far from sunny. It better matches the kind of weather we’ve been experiencing hereabouts lately. His idea for conversation is pondering self-cremation in the fireplace, albeit immolation with style as he does a back flip into the flames. The Black Swamp Players, who at 50 have been a going concern two years longer than the Thayers’ marriage, are staging Ernest Thompson’s “On Golden Pond,” to conclude their own golden anniversary season. The show opens Friday, April 20, and runs weekends through Sunday, April 29 at the First United Methodist Church, 1526 E. Wooster St., Bowling Green. Click for further details. http://www.blackswampplayers.org/ While Norman (Bob Welly) contemplates his demise, Ethel (Fran Martone) is in denial. She insists they are still middle-age, maybe “the far-edge of middle age.” This is the summer Norman turns 80. Ethel is 10 years younger. Welly and Martone make for a fine couple. They exude a bond even when they are bickering. Their relationship still has flickers of the young, romantic spark that refuses to be extinguished. Norman’s concerns are not imaginary. He suffers from memory loss and heart palpitations, the typical theatrical maladies of old age. These are played for laughs, and as someone just on the near edge of aging, there’s plenty of laughter from self-recognition. When he goes out, really sent out by a frustrated Ethel, to pick strawberries, he becomes confused. He returns, his bluster gone. He just wants to be back with Ethel, and the safety of her presence. Ethel would like the presence of their daughter Chelsea (Stephanie King Truman), who hasn’t been back to the pond for eight years. If not for her mother, she’d be estranged from her father. She was never the son he wanted, nor the daughter really. She never had children. Norman asks Ethel if she ever had that talk with her. Or maybe he should have had that talk with her ex-husband. Though when pressed, he can’t imagine much they’d do with a grandchild….


Bob Hastings: Keep Black Swamp Players afloat, & reconsider water tower theater

My name is Bob Hastings, and if my 76+ stage appearances have made you smile, I’m glad…but this isn’t about me. I’m 86 years old and over-the-theatre-hill. But what I have to say should…and might be of considerable importance to the Bowling Green area…singing, acting and dancing talent, community band, and theatre fans in all of Wood County. The Black Swamp Players announced recently to suspend operations for a lack of persons to produce, direct and particularly build, paint and design the sets…and fulfill back stage duties.. A more recent BSP meeting produced glimmers of hope in rescinding that suspension and announcing at least a partial season of shows for 2018/19. In my 36 years with the Players I have done it all…many times. Act, direct, board member, president, set designer/builder, paint, etc., etc. PLEASE…I am begging the Bowling Green Community to not allow this organization, celebrating their 50th year, to close its doors for even one year. We have produced our shows on as many as 11 local stages including 10 years at the Mall and 13 at the First United Methodist Church. I retired in 2014, my health and stamina no longer allowing me to be active. I’m retired, but it seems to me that the public and current actors and directors owe it to living charter members, Jim and Lee Forse…and hundreds of past actors, directors and workers, to keep the theatre lights burning for another 50 years. So, if there are those reading this letter, able and interested in working on or behind the stage…or those who would be interested in helping to build sets, or those willing to serve on our board to help make critical decisions about our organization…I beg of you to step up now and call our president, Lane Hakel! I do not have Lane’s permission to print his contact information…but you can reach me…by email at bobhastings@woh.rr.com, I’ll see that it gets to Lane and the board. However, if we are to continue beyond 2018/19, we may have another teeny tiny problem. It is possible we will need a new venue as the church’s availability diminishes due to scheduling of church activities. If it happens…BSP is resilient, we’ll find a way to put our shows on a stage, but if anyone out there will give, or reasonably rent, us a permanent venue, it is time for you to step up and…


Black Swamp Players facing its final curtain

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Black Swamp Players have announced to its members that the theater troupe is suspending operations after its production of “On Golden Pond” in April. The play is the last production of its 50th season. It may be the troupe’s last … or maybe not. President Lane Hakel said that his opinion of what the final outcome will be depends on the day. “We’re in a weird position for a non-profit,” Hakel said. “We have enough money to continue, but we don’t have enough people.” It takes people to build and paint sets, handle all the technical details, as well as administrative work to stage four shows a year – a musical and three “straight” plays. The troupe’s musical “The Secret Garden” ended is two weekend run on Sunday. “This used to be a labor of love, now it’s just a labor,” Hakel said. No there just are not enough to do the work needed to stage another season. Casting has not been a problem this season. “Secret Garden” drew a good turnout of newcomers to the Players. Hakel credited it to the popularity of the show, and to the good reputation of director, Cassie Greenlee. The board has been discussing the fate of the troupe “for years, not just months,” Hakel said. Whether this is intermission before a triumphant resolution in the second act or whether this is the final curtain will depend on response to the news of the suspension.  If other newcomers step forward, or former volunteers who’ve taken a hiatus return and bring “positive contributions” with them, then the Players can survive. A final decision will be made next January. The Players will hold its annual banquet, awards ceremony, and election of officers in May. “If we come back, it will be a new community theatre with an injection of cash that just happens to be called the Black Swamp Players,” Hakel said. The current structure of four productions – several years ago it as five – will have to change. Last August the troupe announced a Fifty for Fifty campaign, to raise $50,000 toward finding a new home. That campaign go off to a good start with two $10,000 donations. Now, that and any other money raised for the effort will be returned, Hakel said. The Players did look for new homes, but couldn’t find the right place at…