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The Van Wert County Courthouse

Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017

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

Submitted information

TOLEDO — WGTE Public Media will begin broadcasting a selection of new programs in July on WGTE FM 91.3 in Toledo, WGLE FM 90.7 in Lima, WGBE FM 90.9 in Bryan, and WGDE FM 91.9 in Defiance.

Those programs include the following:

Ask Me Another
Saturdays from 10 – 11 a.m. beginning July 1, 2017

“Ask Me Another” brings the lively spirit and healthy competition of a favorite trivia night right to listeners’ ears. With a rotating cast of funny people, puzzle writers, and VIP guests, it features the wit of host Ophira Eisenberg, the music of house musician Jonathan Coulton, and rambunctious trivia games, all played in front of a live audience.

Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street Radio
Saturdays from noon-1 p.m. beginning July 1

From street food in Thailand to a bakery in a Syrian refugee camp to how one scientist uses state of the art pollen analysis to track the origins of honey (and also to solve cold murder cases), “Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street Radio” goes anywhere and everywhere to ask questions and get answers about cooking, food, culture, wine, farming, restaurants, literature, and the lives and cultures of the people who grow, produce, and create the food we eat. With a four-star cast of contributors, including Sara Moulton (long-time public television host and cookbook author), Adam Gopnik (contributing writer for The New Yorker), Stephen Meuse (wine writer and expert), Dan Pashman (host of “The Sporkful” podcast), and host Christopher Kimball (founder of “Cook’s Magazine”, long-time public TV and radio host, and founder of “Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street”), “Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street Radio” is recorded in the studios of WGBH in Boston, Massachusetts.

Sunday Baroque
Sundays from 11 a.m.-noon beginning July 2

Fresh and inviting, upbeat and inspiring, Sunday Baroque is a weekly radio program featuring beloved and appealing music composed in the baroque era (1600-1750) and the years leading up to it. The music may be centuries-old, but it’s the perfect antidote for the stress and distractions of our modern lives, so you can relax and recharge for the week ahead. Host Suzanne Bona offers a huge variety of beloved and appealing music performed by the world’s finest musicians on a wide variety of instruments.

Conversations from the World Café
Sundays from 9-10 p.m. beginning July 2

A weekly one-hour show hosted by Talia Schlanger presenting interviews and performances of the daily show while exploring trends in contemporary music and culture and the artists who create it. Serving up a blend of blues, rock, world, folk, and alternative country, live performances and intimate interviews, the program is produced by WXPN-FM in Philadelphia.

Mondays from 10 p.m.-midnight beginning July 3

“Concierto” is a weekly program of classical music presented in Spanish and English. The program features classical music by Latin American and Spanish composers and musicians. Hosted by WDAV’s Frank Dominguez.

Collector’s Corner
Tuesdays from 10 p.m.-midnight beginning July 4

Collectors’ Corner is about discovering and rediscovering music that rocked the world in days gone by. Host Henry Fogel crafts an historical narrative out of his personal record collection, a treasury amassed from decades of jaunts to record stores and resale shops across the globe.

Wednesdays from 11 p.m.-midnight beginning July 5

Fiesta! is an original production devoted to Latino concert music, and brings artistically significant compositions from Latin America, Spain and Portugal to your listeners. The acclaimed composer, musician, performer, and professor Elbio Barilari is the host and creative force behind this series. He invites listeners to enjoy and learn about the lively and compelling sounds of Latin American classical music.

What’s New?
Thursdays from 10 p.m.-midnight beginning July 6, 2017

A two-hour weekly show of new music, and new releases, with an in-depth look at classical music. Host John Clare speaks with leading musicians, from Adams to Zwilich, and highlights incredible releases. Topics include instruments (the cello, the piano),

POSTED: 07/05/17 at 6:51 am. FILED UNDER: Arts & Entertainment

Submitted information

The Van Wert Area Boychoir needs a new director due to its current director moving.

The Board of Directors is seeking someone that is already an accomplished musician and someone able to work with boys in grades 1-8. The director should also have energy and enthusiasm for musical performance, understand the developing young male voice, and be able to perform all the duties of the position as set forth by the board.

Current Van Wert Area Boychoir Director Lindsay Newlove directs the boychoir. (photo submitted)

Current Van Wert Area Boychoir Director Lindsay Newlove directs the boychoir. (photo submitted)

Those duties include assisting in selecting singers for the Boychoir; selecting and locating music; planning and conducting rehearsals; working with an accompanist, with parents, and the board; and also generating interest in the group throughout the community.

Rehearsals run for 90 minutes weekly from August through the December concert, and January through a May concert. A mini-camp is held each summer and no more than two sing-out community concerts are scheduled.

Repertoire includes songs such as “On This Still, Silent Night” by Laura Farnell; “God Bless Us, Every One” by Sally Albrecht/Jay Althouse; “Firefly” by Andy Beck; and “Hush! Somebody’s Callin’ My Name” arranged by Brazeal W. Dennard.

The position is paid per rehearsal and performance. For more information or to apply, contact Van Wert Area Boychoir board member Romaine Whetstone at 419.238.1962 or Larry Taylor at 419.513.0554.

POSTED: 03/31/17 at 7:34 am. FILED UNDER: Arts & Entertainment, News

DSO String Trio concert 3-26-17

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra String Trio entertained a small audience at First Presbyterian Church on Sunday afternoon with a program of music from composers Josef Haydn, Ludwig Van Beethoven, and Hungarian Erno Dohnanyi. Trio members Yoonshin Song on violin, Eric Nowlin on viola, and Wei Yu on cello, all principal players with the DSO, played Haydn’s Divertimento for String Trio in G Major No. 2, Beethoven’s String Trio in D. Major No. 2, and Dohnanyi’s Serenade for String Trio in D. Major, Opus 10. The concert was sponsored by The Van Wert County Foundation (click here for video from the concert). Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent

POSTED: 03/27/17 at 7:10 am. FILED UNDER: Arts & Entertainment, News