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The Van Wert County Courthouse

Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017

VW independent/submitted information

Off Stage Productions (OSP) announces the Fall 2017 dinner theatre production of The Queen of Bingo by Jeanne Michels and Phyllis Murphy will be opening this weekend at its new location at American Legion Post 178, 631 W. Main St. in Van Wert.

The cast of Off Stage Productions’ The Queen of Bingo. (photo submitted)

Show dates are as follows: Sunday brunch matinees begin at 1 p.m. October 15 and 22 (doors open at 12:30 p.m., meal at 1 p.m.); Friday and Saturday dinner shows begin at 7 p.m. (doors open at 6:30 p.m., meal at 7).

Those shows all include a buffet supper provided by Romer’s Catering of Celina. The ticket price is $28 per person, and tables of eight are available. Reservations (for any number desired) may be made by calling 419.605.6708. OSP’s goal is to provide quality entertainment and delicious food for a fun evening of theatre.

Off Stage will transform the main post room into a comfortable and intimate dinner theatre. The American Legion offers ample parking and special access for those with walkers, wheelchairs, or mobility issues via the first entrance door (closest to Main Street). All other dinner theatre patron should use the glass-enclosed main (center) door to the building. A volunteer will be posted in the parking lot to offer assistance and direction. Guests may also purchase soft drinks and alcoholic beverages at the post bar prior to dinner and at intermission.

In addition to the six dinner shows, Off Stage Productions will be introducing a “Popcorn Night” performance on Sunday evening, October 15, at 7 p.m. (doors open 6:30 that evening). This will be a non-dinner performance for a ticket price of $12, which includes fresh popcorn, lemonade, and water. Soft drinks will also be available for $1 each. Call 419.605.6708 for reservations and specify Popcorn Night, October 15.

POSTED: 10/11/17 at 7:34 am. FILED UNDER: Arts & Entertainment, News

VW independent/submitted information

Tickets for the second Christmas event of the 2017-18 season is on sale now at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center of Northwest Ohio. Join most people’s favorite reindeer for Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer — The Musical, at 7:30 p.m. Friday, December 1. The show is presented by Jeffery-Mohr Family Dentistry.

Hermey the Elf, Yukon Cornelius, and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer perform during a show slated for the Niswonger Performing Arts Center this December. (photo provided)

Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer soars off the screen and onto the stage this holiday season. Come see all of the favorite characters from the television special, including Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster, Clarice, Yukon Cornelius, and, of course, Rudolph, as they come to life in this classic Christmas tale.

It’s an adventure that teaches people that what makes you different can be what makes you special. Adapted for the stage by Robert Penola, the show faithfully follows Romeo Muller’s teleplay: Reindeer couple Donner and Mrs. Donner beget Rudolph, a spunky young reindeer with a curious birth defect: Instead of coal-black, his nose glows bright red like a lightbulb (the original TV airing was sponsored by General Electric).

Donner tries to help his son fit in by masking his nose in a black sock during the reindeer games, an annual event during which Santa scouts the young reindeer for their flying ability. Unfortunately, Rudolph’s sock falls off, leading all of the other reindeer to laugh and call him names. With no prospect of making Santa’s sleigh team, Rudolph and “dentist wannabe” elf Hermey flee Christmas town, eventually meeting prospector Yukon Cornelius and a whole island of misfit toys. But with a massive winter storm about to hit the North Pole, Santa might just find a use for Rudolph after all.


POSTED: 09/06/17 at 7:57 am. FILED UNDER: Arts & Entertainment, News

VW independent/submitted information

Wassenberg Art Center in Van Wert will be accepting entries for its 40th annual Wassenberg Art Center Photography Exhibit. Amateur, professional, and youth photographers are encouraged to submit their work for this photography tradition. This is a juried exhibit, so entry does not guarantee exhibition, while the show includes $1,300 in total cash prizes. Entry deadline is midnight Thursday, September 14.

Those interested in submitting entries may download the prospectus, which contains complete rules, entry forms, and instructions, by visiting: Those entering must pay a non-refundable fee of $25 for Wassenberg Art Center members, $30 for non-members, or $15 for photographers under 18. The fee entitles artists to enter up to 12 images. Those seeking to enter may also receive a prospectus via email at or by calling 419.238.6837.

The exhibit will open Friday, October 6, with an opening party from 6-9 p.m. Ezra Miller and Josh Liebhauser of Bryan will perform on acoustic guitar and cello. Free appetizers and a cash bar will be provided. The exhibit will be on view through October 27.

For more information on classes, exhibits, and events, call Wassenberg Art Center at 419.238.6837, email, or go to its website at

POSTED: 08/31/17 at 7:18 am. FILED UNDER: Arts & Entertainment, News

VW independent/submitted information

Summer vacation is drawing to a close, kids and parents are preparing for school to resume, and the Van Wert Civic Theatre is kicking off its annual membership drive.

Enthusiastic volunteers met recently to gather information and have begun the daunting task of contacting former season ticket holders, as well as recruiting prospective members, in an effort to invite folks to be a part of this year’s season at VWCT.

Though the theatre has been in existence for 58 years, it remains a hidden gem in the heart of Van Wert producing award-winning shows and entertaining audiences year after year. This season’s lineup includes the hit musical Gypsy, which has been cast and is set to open September 21.

VWCT’s Christmas offering, It’s a Wonderful Life, promises to bring hope and joy to the holiday season.  The theater group will warm up the winter blues with a haunting thriller, Death Trap, in January followed by a knee slapping feel good musical, The Great American Trailer Park Musical, in March. The season ends with a farcical comedy, Love, Sex and the IRS, in May.

The mission at VWCT is to provide quality live theatre at affordable prices. Cost for a musical is $15 and all other shows are just $13. In today’s world, area residents won’t find a better bargain for live theatre … unless they purchase a season membership. The total cost of one ticket per show for the season is $69 if purchased at the door. The total cost of one coupon per show using a season membership is $50 — a savings of $19.

And it gets better. VWCT coupons can be used in any combination, so season ticket holders can choose to use all five coupons for one show.

Those who have purchased a membership in the last two years should already have received information in the mail. If a brochure didn’t arrive, it’s been misplaced, or people want more information, give Jan Miller a call at 419.204.7246.

POSTED: 08/16/17 at 7:06 am. FILED UNDER: Arts & Entertainment, News

VW independent/submitted information

Due to an overwhelmingly positive response to the return of The Texas Tenors to the Niswonger Performing Arts Center of Northwest Ohio, tickets for the performance on Saturday, December 9, at 7:30 p.m., presented by Okuley Unverferth Dentistry and Roger and Kay Okuley, are sold out.

Because of the demand for tickets, the Niswonger is adding an additional matinee performance for The Texas Tenors that same day at 3 p.m. Because of this addition, tickets for The Texas Tenors will release ahead of schedule, starting at noon today.

The Texas Tenors perform during their 2015 concert at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center of Northwest Ohio. VW independent file photo

A truly unique vocal trio, The Texas Tenors showcase diverse musical styles, from country and pop to classical. Their theatrical live show and record-setting response to now two PBS specials has garnered them an enthusiastic fan base.

Appearing again on the Niswonger stage after selling out in 2015 with a record breaking number of standing ovations, fans come from near and far to hear The Texas Tenors. These gents take popularity to an entirely new level. Turn up the holiday season heat with these smokin’ hot cowboys!

The Enrich Community Concert Series is presented by Unverferth Family Dentistry and Roger and Kay Okuley, and made complete with the supporting sponsorship of Taylor Auto Sales, State Farm Insurance agent Tisha Fast, Van Wert County Hospital, Central Insurance Companies, Eaton Corporation, First Financial Bancorp, and E&R Trailer.

Tickets to The Texas Tenors can be purchased through the Box Office, noon-4 p.m. Tuesday-Friday at 419.238.6722, or online at NPACVW.ORG

The Niswonger Performing Arts Center is located at 10700 Ohio 118 on the southwest edge of Van Wert.

POSTED: 08/10/17 at 6:49 am. FILED UNDER: Arts & Entertainment, News

VW independent/submitted information

Off Stage Productions, a community theatre company providing quality and affordable dinner theatre, announces open auditions for its fall production The Queen of Bingo, a comedy written by Jeanne Michels and Phyllis Murphy. This full length play will be co-directed by Matt Kroll and Whitney Nihiser.

Open auditions are set for 7 p.m. Sunday, August 13, and Tuesday, August 15, in the St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church gymnasium, 611 Jennings Road in Van Wert (use the bell tower door when entering).

The cast requires a minimum of four adults (2-3 females, 1-2 males). No prior acting experience is necessary to audition. Scripts are available for review before auditions; call 419.238.9394 for details.

The show dates will be October 15, 20-22 22, and 27-28 at American Legion Post 178 in Van Wert, and a final performance on Sunday, October 29, at the Overdrive near Celina.

This play is an exploration of the world of sisterhood, weight issues, romance, winning, losing, and Bingo!  The sisters are very different individuals bound together by genetics, history, and love. Both a bit lonely at this stage in their lives, each has found a different balm.

Babe enjoys being the center of attention, but she also has a real issue about her size. She has a tendency to mood swings and her buttons are easily pushed. Sis is a quiet gal who enjoys involving herself in her activities and other people’s lives. And she knows just which buttons to push.

All of their best and worst qualities come out on this one night at church Bingo. They both need a change in their lives and routine — and tonight just might be their lucky night!


POSTED: 08/08/17 at 7:44 am. FILED UNDER: Arts & Entertainment, News

Submitted information

Lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my! Follow the Yellow Brick Road to  the Niswonger Performing Arts Center Box Office to purchase tickets for The Wizard of Oz, presented by Kevin M. Laing D.D.S. General Dentistry.

The Wizard of Oz is coming to The Niswonger for a special two-night run on October 30-31, beginning at 7 p.m. each day.

Tickets are now available for performances of The Wizard of Oz at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center of Northwest Ohio.

The Wizard of Oz is an enchanting adaptation of the all-time classic. Developed from the ever popular MGM screenplay that recently celebrated its 75th anniversary, this new production contains the beloved Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg songs from the Oscar-winning movie score, all the favorite characters and iconic moments, plus new songs by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Join Scarecrow, Tin Man, Lion, Dorothy, and her little dog, Toto, as they journey through the magical land of Oz to meet the Wizard and obtain their hearts’ desires. Watch out for the Wicked Witch of the West and her winged monkeys and rediscover the real story of Oz in the fantastic musical treat for the whole family.

Along with Presenting Sponsor Kevin M. Laing D.D.S. General Dentistry, The Wizard of Oz sponsors include Supporting Sponsor First Federal Savings & Loan, NPAC Kids Sponsor the Robideau family, and 2017-18 Season Sponsors Chuck and Karen Koch, StateWide Ford Lincoln, and Van Wert Federal Savings Bank.

Tickets to The Wizard of Oz can be purchased through the Box Office from noon-4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, at 419.238.6722, or online at NPACVW.ORG.

The Niswonger Performing Arts Center is located at 10700 Ohio on the southwest edge of Van Wert.

POSTED: 08/02/17 at 10:53 pm. FILED UNDER: Arts & Entertainment, News

Submitted information

WAPAKONETA — Riverside Art Center, 3 W. Auglaize St. in Wapakoneta, has issued a call for entries for the Greater Wapakoneta Community Art Exhibit. The exhibit is open to all artists age 18 and older from Auglaize County and any county that abuts Auglaize County.

A non-refundable entry fee of $20 entitles artists to enter up to three pieces. Fine Arts only: painting, pastels, drawing, photography, sculpture, or ceramics. Original work must have been completed within the last three years and not previously submitted to Riverside juried exhibit.

Artwork must be created by the person entering. This is a juried show, and entry does not guarantee all works will be exhibited. Original artwork means the concept, design, and execution originated in the mind of the artist; copies of other artists’ work or photos, work done from kits or books, or work done in a class will not be accepted. Artwork that has been exhibited at Riverside in the past juried show will not be accepted.

Two-dimensional artwork must be in a frame enclosed on all four sides, or mounted on a stretcher with neatly finished sides. It must have a sturdy wire hanger securely attached to the frame. Metal screw eyes and wire are required; sawtooth hangers or “one-hole hangers” are not acceptable. Wet paintings or wet frames will not be accepted. If special apparatus is needed for display, artists must provide such apparatus.

Entry forms must be submitted via U.S. mail postmarked by August 30.

Entries may be dropped off Sunday, September 10, from 1-4 p.m., and Monday, September 11, from 5-8 p.m. No artwork will be accepted before or after these dates.

POSTED: 07/30/17 at 10:48 pm. FILED UNDER: Arts & Entertainment

VW independent/submitted information

COLUMBUS — The Ohio Arts Council board has approved $12,067,366 in grants to support Ohio artists, organizations, students, educators, and public arts programming during its initial and major FY 2018 funding round.

The 15-member board approved 635 grants when it met publicly on July 19 for its summer board meeting. 

“Thanks to the Ohio governor and legislature’s prioritization of arts funding in the state budget, the Ohio Arts Council continues to invest in Ohio’s creative economy,” said OAC executive director Donna S. Collins. “With these awards, Ohio’s arts sector will engage our citizens, undertake innovative projects, and lead our state to a bright, shared future.”

This year, the OAC awarded 114 new applicants with funding. Among those grants was two grants totaling $22,451 for Van Wert County organizations. Those grant awards include $2,394 for Off Stage Productions Inc. and $20,057 for the Van Wert Area Performing Arts Foundation, which oversees operation of the Niswonger Performing Arts Center of Northwest Ohio.

POSTED: 07/26/17 at 12:00 am. FILED UNDER: Arts & Entertainment, News

VW independent/submitted information

Just a reminder that Select Season tickets go on sale at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center of Northwest Ohio this Friday, July 14.

The Niswonger’s upcoming 11th season is packed with 25 events that will keep patrons inspired, entertained, and educated throughout 2017-18. Starting this Friday, patrons can choose their own Select Series by bundling three or more events together for overall savings. This provides access to tickets before individual event release.

Because of high demand for shows, popular events can sell out prior to release. Advanced ticketing by bundling events as a Select Series ensures seats before events sell out. Early discounts of 10-20 percent save money for buyers of Select Series tickets. Selecting three or more events receives 10 percent off the purchase, selecting six or more receives a 15 percent discount, and purchasing the Grand Series is 20 percent off.

The lobby doors open at noon Friday or purchases can be made online at NPACVW.ORG. Entertainment seekers throughout the region have chosen the Niswonger Performing Arts Center as their entertainment destination. Season 11 is the perfect time to find out why.

The Niswonger Performing Arts Center is located at 10700 Ohio 118 on the southwest edge of Van Wert.

The Box Office is open noon-4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. For more information, go to the NPAC website above.

POSTED: 07/13/17 at 7:51 am. FILED UNDER: Arts & Entertainment, News