Owens Community College

BG High, Owens theater productions school audiences in teen drama

By DAVID DUPONT  BG Independent News Local theater companies seem intent on returning this aging writer to high school. In February Bowling Green State University staged  “The Wolves” about a teenagers on a female indoor soccer team. Now, on the same weekend, Bowling Green High is staging as its all-school music, “High School Musical: On Stage,” and the Owens Community College is producing the dramatic comedy “She Kills Monsters.” (See times and ticket information below.)  And, no, it doesn’t help that BGSU opened its season with the play “You Got Older.” The high school setting brings together the coming-off age story and clash of the individual against hierarchy, and high schools have those aplenty, with the bureaucratic administration and the  cliques based on popularity and spheres of interest. What’s a kid to do? Maddy Depinet performs during “Stick to the Status Quo.” “High School Musical” Well, in “High School Musical: On Stage,” one kid  Kelsi (Emma Matney) writes a show about those early models of teenage angst Romeo and Juliet. She reimagines the play as “Juliet and Romeo” with the title characters surviving. This imaginary script provides the conflict on which “High School Musical,” also loosely based on Shakespeare’s tragedy, will revolve. At East High home of the Wildcats, the twins Sharpay, drama club president, and Ryan Evans (Sarah Kelly and Ethan Brown) would be expected to assume the lead roles. But they have competition in the wings. Troy (Hudson Pendleton), the star and captain of the basketball team, discovers a knack for singing while on vacation when he is thrust into the karaoke spotlight with a total stranger Gabriella (Terra Sloane). They hit it off on the duet “Start of Something New,” and go their separate ways. For Gabriella, that’s East High.  So here she is, a bright young woman gifted at math and science, reunited with this hunk of a sensitive jock. She falls in with the nerdy crowd and finds a new best friend in Taylor (Olivia Strang) the head of the Brainiacs. Taylor enlists Gabriella to the competitive math team while Troy has the team, coached by his over-bearing father (Isaac Douglass), counting on him to win the championship. But can they do that and still find time to reignite their love of singing and being together? Sure, they can. They’re teenagers. They do this all the time. If they didn’t, there would be far fewer actors populating the stage at the Performing Arts Center. But this is Disney’s “High School Musical,” not the BG High all-school musical. So in the play, circumstances and their classmates conspire so they can’t do both. Their teammates go to great lengths to keep them from auditioning for the musical so they can win the big game for their respective teams, and then they go to great lengths to make the now unlikely audition happen. Meanwhile Sharpay moves through the corridors trying her best to sabotage them. The whole production is a wonderful swirl of energetic plotting.  Kelsi Nelson (Emma Matney) pleads with Ms. Darbus (Charlotte Perez) as Sharpay (Sarah Kelly) and Ryan (Ethan Brown) look on. As usual in these plays the adults are more objects of manipulation than guiding forces. Charlotte Perez as Ms. Darbus, the theater teacher, alternates from being excited to being exasperated as she struggles…


Owens exhibit casts light on teen years of celebrated NYC artist Basquiat

From CONTEMPORARY ART TOLEDO Contemporary Art Toledo and Owens Community College will present Zeitgeist: The Art Scene of Teenage Basquiat. This extraordinary exhibition focuses on the creative community Jean-Michel Basquiat helped galvanize in gritty, pre-AIDS, downtown New York—A time when decay and dissolution fueled a boom in creativity and where the definition of fame, success, and power was not based on money, Facebook likes, or self-promotion. Zeitgeist complements and amplifies the film by Sara Driver, BOOM FOR REAL The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat  released from Magnolia Pictures last May.  Driver teamed with culture critic Carlo McCormick and Mary-Ann Monforton associate publisher of BOMB Magazine, along with the New York gallery Howl! Happening to curate this expansive exhibition which features works and ephemera by Basquiat himself and more than 3o friends and contemporaries, including Nan Goldin, Kenny Scharf, Al Diaz, and Lee Quiñones. Zeitgiest runs from January 25 through March 22. A public reception for the exhibition will be held on Feb. 9 from 5-7 p.m. followed by a public screening of the film BOOM FOR REAL The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat.  Special guest for both the exhibition reception and the film will be curator Carlo McCormick.   Known today for his outsized role in the rise of Neo Expressionism and recent record breaking auction sales, the late Jean-Michel Basquiat was first recognized for his graffiti work in the Lower East Side of Manhattan in the late 1970s and early 1980s. In the emerging artistic circles there, the focus was not on creating content the established art market could readily digest and profit from, but on creating a community that stood in opposition –  fostering unfiltered, uninhibited expression. Basquiat’s work illuminated the contradictions of society – its opposing realities, inequalities, injustices – through a mix of disparate artistic traditions and unrefined, raw emotion fueled by the punk and hip-hop movements of the time. In only a few years, he went from supporting himself through panhandling and selling painted t shirts and postcards while homeless, to being one of the most celebrated artists in New York, bringing the street level politics of what was an underground counter-culture collective with him into the spotlight. Zeitgeist offers a unique opportunity to revisit the explosive, pre-fame period of Basquiat and his contemporaries. For these creators, to be a penniless published poet or a musician gigging at a local club was the height of success. In the rawness of the work, the focus on street art and graffiti, and the experimentation and cross-pollination of styles and disciplines, the era has become a flash point for younger generations seeking to learn about and understand the authenticity, closeness, and community expressed in the work of the artists in this truly unique exhibition. Featured artists and friends in both the film and exhibition include: Alexis Adler, Charlie Ahearn, Ted Barron, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Robert Carrithers, Henry Chalfant, Brett De Palma,  Al Diaz, Barbara Ess, Coleen Fitzgibbon, Fab 5 Freddy, Futura, Robert Goldman aka Bobby G, Godlis, Nan Goldin, Michael Holman, Becky Howland, Tessa Hughes-Freeland, Jim Jarmusch, Justen, Ladda, Ann Messner, Mary-Ann Monforton, James Nares, Glenn O’Brien, Franc Palaia, Lee Quiñones, Walter Robinson, Christy Rupp, Luc Sante, Kenny Scharf, Paul Tschinkel, Robin Winters, and Bob Gruen. Exhibition Dates: Friday, January 25 – Friday, March 22 Location: Terhune Gallery, Owens Community College Center for Fine and Performing Arts Address: 30335 Oregon Road, Perrysburg, Ohio 43551 Public Reception…