Central Ohio Live Theatre Resources

Last fall I assumed the position of President of SRO Theatre Company, which has severely limited my ability to review local theatre (please hold the applause). I now receive many requests for information on local theatre, ranging from auditions, script submissions, unsolicited resumes – you name it. I have a list of website links on this blog to assist people in finding the answers to so many of these questions, but in this day and age it seems to “like” and “subscribe” to a company’s events on their Facebook page is the easiet and most efficient way of keeping on top of things. There are also several groups that are helpful to join as well, in addition to some performance and audition calendars.

Here I am posting links to many important resources; some are websites, but many more are Facebook pages or groups. This list is not complete (is any list ever?), and I aim to add to it in time. It doesn’t include the many fine high school theatre departments as I found that many either didn’t have websites and Facebook pages or that they weren’t always up-to-date. There is also no distinction between professional, semi-professional, and community theatre in this list. Still, this is a good starting point to add to your Facebook “likes” and bookmarks for the time being.

I believe that fans of theatre will see more theatre if they know of all the options available. I also don’t believe one theatre company has to do poorly for another to do well (I know several theatre companies appear to feel differently). Unless we are all doing the same shows at the same time, we aren’t in competition. At SRO, we now have a policy to display as many cards and flyers for other theatre companies as we receive at our performances. We don’t ask for or expect other companies to follow that practice; some are open to it while others are silent, and that’s fine. The bottom line is I want everyone to succeed and to help connect theatre with the community. While there may be individual people within certain organizations that I feel try to denigrate and dismiss other companies and their work, I find that, by and large, the artists, technicians, and audiences just want to come together and enjoy the experience of live performance.

Please help me add and correct this list by posting comments.


EVENT CALENDARS

Columbus Makes Art (GCAC events)

Columbus Theater Events

My Auditions Calendar (Columbus, OH)

My Performance Calendar (Columbus, OH)


GROUPS

Central Ohio Auditions

Grandview Carriage Place Players – Audition Page

I Support Local Live Theatre

Shameless Production Plugs of Central Ohio Theatre

Theatre Audition and Job Notices


COLUMBUS AREA THEATRE COMPANIES

Actors’ Theatre of Columbus

Adrenaline Theatre Group

Available Light Theatre

CATCO

CATCO is Kids!

Columbus Children’s Theatre (CCT)

Columbus Civic Theater

Curtain Players

Cyclodrama

DNGinc Productions

Eclipse Theatre Company

Ember Women’s Theatre

Evolution Theatre Company

Exit Left Productions

Gallery Players

Hilliard Arts Council

Imagine Productions

King Avenue Players

Little Theatre Off-Broadway (LTOB)

MadLab

Mine4God Productions

Ohio Musical Theatre Institute

Out of the Box Community Theatre (OOTBCT)

PAST Productions Columbus

Pickerington Community Theatre

Red Herring Productions

Shadowbox Live

Short North Stage

SRO Theatre Company

State of the Arts Productions (SoArtsPro)

Tantrum Theater

The Tipping Point Theatre Company

Warehouse Theatre

Westerville Parks & Recreation Civic Theatre

Worthington Community Theatre


UNIVERSITIES

Ashland University Theatre

Capital University

Denison University

Ohio State University Department of Dance

Ohio State University Department of Theatre

Ohio University Lancaster Theatre

Otterbein University Theatre and Dance

Theatre Columbus State


SURROUNDING THEATRE COMPANIES/GROUPS

Beavercreek Community Theatre (Beavercreek, OH)

Bespoke Theatre (Columbus, OH)

The Black Box Improv Theatre (Dayton, OH)

Dare to Defy (Dayton, OH)

Dayton Playhouse (Dayton, OH)

Dayton Theatre (Dayton, OH)

Dayton Theatre Co-op (Dayton, OH)

Dayton Theatre Guild (Dayton, OH)

Frontgate Theatre Troupe Productions (Dayton, OH)

Human Race Theatre Company (Dayton, OH)

Lancaster Playhouse (Lancaster, OH)

The Libby Art and Theatre Company (Dayton, OH)

Licking County Players (Newark, OH)

Magnolia Theatre Company (Dayton, OH)

The Musical Theatre Initiative (Dayton, OH)

On Stage Dayton (Dayton, OH)

The Playground (Dayton, OH)

Roundtown Players (Circleville, OH)

Sinclair Community College Theatre (Dayton, OH)

UD Studio Theatre (Dayton, OH)

University of Dayton Theatre, Dance, and Performance Technology Program (Dayton, OH)

Weathervane Playhouse (Newark, OH)

The Zoot Theatre Company (Dayton, OH)

Advertisements

Going to St. Ives (Eclipse Theatre Company – Worthington, OH)

goingmain

What’s it about?

Dr. Cora Gage is about to perform sight-saving surgery on May N’Kame, the mother of an African dictator known for genocide and torture. As the two women from very different worlds meet before the surgery, an unlikely friendship develops. Cora hopes she can convince May to speak to her son about releasing four British doctors his empire is keeping captive; little does she know that May has a request of her own, one with fatal consequences that will change both of their lives forever.

Photo: Chuck Pennington – (left to right) Nakia Deon (May) and Kathy Taylor (Cora)

Is it worth seeing?

It isn’t often that I contemplate my own beliefs and question how I would respond in a similar situation as a character while a play is still in progress. I may think about and discuss it later, but during Going to St. Ives I found myself evaluating and then reevaluating what is right or wrong when the life and death of many are taken into consideration, the role and responsibility of a mother in their child’s life and actions, and how guilt can manifest itself in various ways irrespective of logic to influence one’s actions. This is one of those deeply moving works (kudos playwright to Lee Blessing) that is entertaining on many levels, and is presented in a production by director Greg Smith and his Eclipse Theatre Company that surpasses the quality of most of the professional theatre I’ve seen this year.

Kathy Taylor as Dr. Cora Gage and Nakia Deon as May N’Kame both come across as genuine and fully invested in their roles; Ms. Taylor’s British accent brings to mind that of Deborah Kerr (quite proper and controlled), while Ms. Deon has a fiery, halting quality as May that helps her sound as if English is a second language to her. Both actors play off of each other extraordinarily well, their timing so natural and affecting that their struggles with issues of morality, love, and loss are relatable even if their specific situations may not be. There are real tears on display here, not the kind done for show but the misty, glimmering sort born of raw emotion and deep pain.

Photo: Chuck Pennington – (left to right) Kathy Taylor (Cora) and Nakia Deon (May)

Going to St. Ives is the kind of modern masterwork that inspires thought and debate from its audience, but it is free of any definite judgement on its flawed but very real characters. The words are only part of the magic of this production; Ms. Deon and Ms. Taylor emerge as true assests to the performing community, both capable of capturing their audience’s attention and inspiring them to feel and think. Take a chance on this one – you won’t regret it. Note that Eclipse’s evening performances begin at 7:30pm instead of the usual 8pm; you won’t want to miss a second of this one.

My rating: **** out of ****

Going to St. Ives continues through to September 25th at 670 Lakeview Plaza Blvd, Suite F, in Worthington, Ohio (less than 30 minutes from downtown Columbus), and more information can be found at http://eclipsetheatrecompany.org/

One Man, Two Guvnors (Weathervane Playhouse – Newark, OH)

The important thing to know before seeing One Man, Two Guvnors is that nearly everyone in it is an idiot. Once you know that, it’s easier to just enjoy what happens for all the silliness that it is. And depending on where you sit, you may end up being part of the action!

Written by Richard Bean and performed on the West End and on Broadway from 2011-2012 starring James Corden (he won a Tony Award), One Man, Two Guvnors tells the story of Francis Henshall and the mishaps that arise when he works for two employers and proceeds to mix up everyone’s letters and wishes, all while he is feverishly looking for a meal. There are gangsters, a ditzy debutante, and mistaken identity thrown into the mix, and there are even a few songs harkening back to the English music hall tradition, to which this show pays homage. The plot is secondary to the style and engagement of the production, which is designed to bring a few special members of the audience into the action, the results of which are quite funny. The audience rocked with laughter at the performance I attended, no question.

Ryan Metzger plays Francis Henshall, a powerhouse of a role as it requires Ryan to run about the stage and theatre for nearly three hours, improvise with the audience, and take plenty of pratfalls and abuse to his groin (some self inflicted). The show rises and falls with him, and luckily in this case it rises most of the time. The few moments where it seems to lag are when he isn’t on stage to propel the action.

The rest of the cast is mostly fine, some of their English accents better than others; honestly, the worse the accent, the funnier the play was to me. Two of the ensemble cast members stood out from the pack – Katrina Colletti and Kayla Walsh. Katrina Colletti (Pauline) plays bubbly and sweetly moronic with ease, and she and Kayla Walsh (Dolly) wear the ’60s hair and costumes like they are going to battle. Kayla is especially endearing as one of the few non-idiots in the play, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t a delight as she wriggles across the stage in her improbably tight skirt and high heels as a more intelligent Mrs. Wiggins from The Carol Burnett Show. Katrina and Kayla I hope to see more of in the future, perhaps teamed in a musical version of Cagney & Lacey or something.

This was my first visit to the Weathervane Playhouse in Newark, Ohio, and it was more than worth the effort on such a rainy Saturday afternoon. The complex has two buildings, one that appears to be for children’s programs and shows and the other for their main productions. The seats are comfortable and the sound surprisingly good, and this play brought the actors into the audience quite a bit, which everyone seemed to love; I admit that I even fell for some of the schtick, though the play is of the kind of slapstick comedy variety of which I’m not especially fond. I’m very excited to return to see what they do with The Pajama Game in a few weeks.

The Weathervane Playhouse production of One Man, Two Guvnors is an experience more than a literate play, and I doubt you could find anyone at the performance this past Saturday matinee that didn’t have a good time, myself included even if the style of the play wasn’t to my taste.

*** out of ****

One Man, Two Guvnors continues through to June 27th in Newark, OH (around 45 minutes outside Columbus), and more information can be found at http://weathervaneplayhouse.org/weathervane-playhouses-2015-summer-season/one-man-two-guvnors/

Photo: Chad DiBlasio (www.diblasiophoto.com) – Scenic Designer: Alyssa LeBlanc
 

Deyannira Tirado and I at the play.