Mahoning Valley Podcast Episode 22 Performing Arts Edition Transcript

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Performing Arts Edition. Wellness Wednesdays beginning at Salem Public Library. Valentines music with the Boardman Public Library. Artists of the Rust Belt Winter Market this Weekend.

Wednesdays at the Public Library in Salem can be the beginning of a healthier you. Starting tomorrow, The Wellness Wednesday monthly program series will feature a variety of topics related to better health and wellness.

Beginning at 6:30pm in the Quaker Meeting Room, the focus will be on “How to Build Your Healthiest Heart”. Included in the informal program to be presented by registered, licensed dietician/nutritionist Bridget Lackey, will be healthy tips, recipes and latest trends in heart health.

Online registration is required on the Library Website at www.salem.lib.oh.us , by calling the library at 330-332-0042, by emailing to library@salem.lib.oh.us or by stopping in at 821 E. State St., Salem, Ohio.

Ms. Lackey is Community Health Educator at Mercy Health in Youngstown, Ohio where she focuses on increasing the intake and availability of fresh, local fruits and vegetables especially within the food deserts of Youngstown and Warren. She is a Youngstown State University graduate.

Join the library for this Wellness Wednesday program that is open to the public and free of cost to attend. Include the programming, materials and services available at Salem Public Library to help you lead a healthier life.

Today we talk about many of the Performing Arts Organizations in the Mahoning Valley. Although I am not sure if such a thing exists, we are probably coming up on what may be called the Theater Season here in the Valley and these Organizations put in a lot of work to keep the Art of Performing live in front of an audience alive here in the valley.

We will talk about some that have been around for a while and who have a large following here in the Valley and shine the spotlight on some that you may not have heard of. I am guessing that the YSU College of Communications and the Creative Arts has a moderate following. Click on this link in the show notes to find out more.

I see from their site that starting on February 24th, they will be putting on a musical play by Ernst Toller called “No More Peace”. Briefly, it is a play about a bet between St Francis of Assisi and Napoleon that humans on Earth are so enamored with the drama and tragedy of war, that when the people of earth have no war, they will believe anything to start one. Apparently this is a comic satire that includes music and speaks to larger truths such as people will follow the loudest voice and the dangerous ways in which people define their enemies. Although it was written in 1935, it seems to be still relevant considering current events.

I am also thinking that there are some Opera buffs here in the Mahoning Valley as well. As we do actually have our own Opera Company. Opera Western Reserve. According to their website, Encouraged by the success of Madama Butterfly at Youngstown State University and a dinner theater production of La Traviata presented by the Youngstown Opera Guild in Stambaugh Auditorium’s Grand Ballroom, a dedicated group of opera lovers decided to create Youngstown’s own opera company. Invited by Stambaugh Auditorium to present their productions on the main stage, Opera Western Reserve made its debut with a fully-staged production of I Pagliacci on November 12, 2004. The fledgling company was fortunate enough to attract the talents of Susan Davenny Wyner, conductor of the Warren Philharmonic Orchestra and with a background that included singing with the Metropolitan Opera Company, to become its musical director. David Vosburgh, whose credits included both opera and Broadway musicals and was directing the spring operas at Youngstown State University, came on board as Production Director.

The mission of Opera Western Reserve was to create a professional company that was truly regional in its outreach. Singers residing in the Western Reserve area, which included Northeastern Ohio and Western Pennsylvania, were to be given priority in casting. Collaborations with other arts organizations such as Youngstown State University’s Dana School of Music, The Youngstown Connection, The Girard City Schools Youth Chorus, The Stambaugh Chorus, Ballet Western Reserve, and Salem Youth Chorus have been fostered. The artistic and support staff continues to be drawn from local theater artists and craftsmen. Most recently, we were delighted to have Youngstown native, Lawrence Brownlee, of the Metropolitan Opera as our guest artist for 2012’s production of The Barber of Seville. The cast included Randa Rouweyha, also a Youngstown native, and local singers Brian Keith Johnson, Jason Budd, Timothy Bruno, and former Young Artists Diana Farrell and Robert Pierce.

As Opera Western Reserve considers itself primarily an educational institution, the creation of a Young Artists Company has been very important. This troupe of six to eight singers and accompanists take their educational outreach program, Fun with Opera, to schools in the Tri-county area. This program has been completely underwritten and is offered at no charge. These singers also appear in concert for various local organizations and play supporting roles in our Main Stage productions.

If you figure you have the chops to sing Opera, Opera Western Reserve will be holding auditions for their 2017 production of Lucia di Lammermoor and their 2018 productions of Porgy & Bess and Madam Butterfly. Auditions will be held May 1st – 2nd, 2017 on the stage at Stambaugh Auditorium by appointment only.

Please send a headshot, cover letter, and resumé via U.S. Mail to: Opera Western Reserve, 1000 Fifth Ave. Youngstown, OH 44504. Once selected to audition you must submit a nonrefundable $15 accompanist fee as well as a list of your audition selections. Please prepare three arias in French, Italian, and English. The deadline to apply for an audition slot is April 17, 2017. For further information you may contact Marisa Zamary by calling (330)480-0693 or emailing admasst@operawesternreserve.org.

I can tell you that I will not be auditioning this year. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. Heck you may well be able to get a part.

Meals on Wheels PSA

If you are looking to get your romance on for Valentines Day, head on over to the Boardman Pulbic Library on February 9 at 7PM. There will be a Chamber Music performed free for your listening pleasure.

I have mentioned this on previous episodes, but it stands to mention again. Our Library here in Mahoning County is a fantastic resource that is constantly putting on events and offering classes and activities for all ages. And many of them are free. Click here and check out their calendar so you can find some things to do with your family or by yourself.

Lets get back to some performing arts organizations here in the Valley. Did you know that we have a world class Dance Academy that also puts on performances right here in the Mahoning Valley? Well we do. The Stage Left Theater Arts Academy. According to their website, Because they are a Performance Company and not just a comp team, dancers will be asked to perform at a variety of local events throughout the season as well as attend 4-5 regional/local dance competitions. They will be attending a National event in the summer of 2017.

Dancers are required to attend a weekly ballet class, a weekly jazz or lyrical class as well as a weekly technique/flexibility class. In addition, classes are then scheduled based on the routines they are selected to dance. Weekends are family times at SDLA, but we may have occasional rehearsals on a Saturday morning or Sunday evening, especially if your dancer wants to do a solo, duet, or trio for comp. We are ideally looking to have a 2-3 days per week dance schedule…depending on the number of routines you dancer dances. The minimum dance days per week is 2. (Wednesday night is a huge company rehearsal night with many classes). The minimum dance classes for performance company is 4. There is a cap for tuition and families get huge discounts for multiple dancers.

As part of a traditional comp team, dancers train for months before ever hitting the stage, and when they do lots of tricks they tend to score higher to win a trophy. As part of the Stage Left Performance Company, they are artists first. All of their choreographers have professional dance experience. Their mission is to serve our community through dance and prepare our dancers for life and a professional career in dance, should they want that. They are the only pre professional dance company in Trumbull and Mahoning County!

The dancers perform nearly every month of the calendar year! They receive an unmatched resume in this community to use on their college applications and future auditions. A performance company GIVES pre-professional EXPERIENCE and the dancers are expected to be of the highest level of self respect and maturity to handle the pressures of performing, not just for a competition win, but for people counting on you to entertain at their event. Dancers learn how to be professional.

They also compete 4-5 times locally at dance competitions and have won Most Entertaining of the Day and Highest Scores of the day, year after year. They are not perfect or better, do not have critical spirits or COMPETITION toward one another, anger outbursts, arguments, or gossip on our teams or with our parents. If and when pockets of this behavior arises, it is dealt with respectfully and in love, with the hope that the dance relationships are more important than our needs to be right. We get past things quickly. Our girls can say they are sorry, our moms do not hold grudges, no one bad mouths anyone else when angered or afterward. This is strictly enforced, and unfortunately people have learned this the hard way at Stage Left. We are NOT a reality show.

You can follow them on facebook here. Or instagram here.

Another Dance Studio located in downtown Youngstown is the Ballet Western Reserve. Offering many different styles as well, they are in the business of preparing students for professional experience.

You can click the link above or follow them on facebook here.

Our area also offers a number of Community Theaters who bring live theater to the masses. In Columbiana County, the Salem Community Theatre has been putting on productions for an entire season that started last autumn. Coming up in February and March are 2 productions that are sure to bring some pleasure to your life. If you want to see a show, make sure to follow them on Facebook with the link above. Here is a little on what you can expect when you see a show there.

If you are planning to see your first show at SCT, welcome! Salem Community Theatre is a proud supporter of the arts located in the center of historic downtown Salem, Ohio. They put on six main stage productions each season (Fall to Summer) as well as special events, revues, and receptions

Performances generally include a 7:30 p.m. show on Friday and Saturday as well as a Sunday matinee at 2:00 p.m. Guests are encouraged to arrive early in order to pick up tickets and find their seats. Volunteer ushers will be present to guide you to your seat as well as answer any questions you may have. There is no dress code for the shows, so whether you’re coming from work, school, or play, they encourage you to come on in!

Don’t forget to stop by the concession stand. They offer concessions at each show including candy, popcorn, and drinks at reasonable prices. They are available for purchase before the show begins as well as during intermission.

They would be glad you have interest in seeing an SCT production, and would like to extend the invitation to support Salem’s one and only live theatre organization. No matter your background, the arts can be an enriching experience, and we hope you will become part of our theatre family.

The Salem Community Theatre is among the efforts of the Salem Community Foundation. According to their website, the foundation is a public non-profit charitable trust with a mission to improve the quality of life in Salem, Ohio, and the immediate area. The Foundation, through special grants, supports charitable, educational, scientific, literary, artistic, and civic efforts, as well as public safety, welfare, and recreational programs in Salem. The mission of the Community Foundation is to assess and meet changing community needs and interests through financial awards, and to assist donors to build and preserve enduring assets for charitable purposes.

Trumbull County has the Trumbull New Theatre. According to their website, TNT originally was organized in January 1948 as an offshoot of a YWCA study group supervised by Mrs. Stephen (Dorothy) Gmucs. As the desire grew for a theatre group, Mrs. Thorn (Frances) Pendleton was contacted for assistance. She agreed but, unsure of the chances for survival of such a group in Warren, strict standards were established including the principle of being self-supporting. TNT is not and has never been subsidized, it has always been self-supporting.

Those early meetings and rehearsals required everyone to put a quarter in a kitty until enough was collected to finance an evening of one acts. In May 1948, with $60 TNT was underway with the first production – in the Pendleton living room! During the first 9 years the group wandered from private living room to church auditorium, to a Main Street loft, to school auditoriums. Then, in 1955, the land on Youngstown Road was purchased for $3,750.

Designed by member-architect Tom Schroth, construction of the Playhouse began in the fall of 1956, built by the members—a labor of love! It included the auditorium, stage, light bridge, inner lobby and restrooms, with an initial cost of a little over $25,000. Since the formal opening in the spring of 1957, additions and improvements have cost in excess of $250,000. These include retirement of the original mortgage, purchase of additional land, outer lobby, landscaping, new seats, the workshop (dressing room, bathrooms, wardrobe, prop storage, office and set construction area), a new auditorium roof and annual permanent set, lighting and sound equipment upgrades.

In the early 90’s the parking lot was paved and air conditioning was added, allowing the theatre to be used year-round. In November 2005 the wheelchair accessibility project was completed, at a cost of $35,000.

Income from ticket sales and contributions by patrons, members, friends and area businesses provide for all expenses incurred by the productions, general maintenance and improvement programs as they become necessary. Since 1975 TNT has annually provided scholarships to Trumbull County students.

The organization is run primarily on volunteerism. Only the cleaning staff is paid, along with stipends for the volunteer directors and musicians. Many of the directors and actors have received their training within TNT. The Women’s Committee lends major support to the patron drive and fund-raising activities.

TNT is a COMMUNITY Theatre that is open to everyone! Ever thought you would like to act, sing, direct, pound a nail, paint a set, sew a hem, usher or participate in any way? Contact them on facebook for more information.

To receive the company newsletter, Curtain Call, just leave your name and address at the Box Office. This publication keeps you informed of “what’s happening” with the group and when auditions and help are needed.

Of course, this area offers a tremendous variety of live music jut about every night of the week. One of our local resident maintain an exceptional website for more information about local musicians, venues and gigs here in the Mahoning Valley.

I have had a chance to peruse this site and it is comprehensive. Although I am not sure how long Steve Mahoning has been running this thing, it is an incredible compendium of local live music information that dates back to 2007. According to their website, In January of 2007 Steve searched for any websites listing shows by local bands.

He was surprised to find that none were online, and that the only existing sources were the limited schedules in the local newspapers. He decided to fill the void himself, and created an internet site he named Mahoning Valley Live Music and posted the pages to his personal Road Runner internet space.

Mahoning Valley Live Music was transferred to its current domain, http://mvlivemusic.com (and the web URL http://www.mvlivemusic.com) in early February 2007. His original intent was to create a site consolidating information on all musicians/bands in the Mahoning Valley, and all their scheduled performances. This primary purpose has not changed. Mahoning Valley Live Music supports local musicians performing live music. MVLiveMusic is the oldest existing site of its kind in the Valley, with the most complete and accurate listing of local nightclub musicians and their shows.

Reach out to Steve Mahoning on facebook if you like. To be fair, I am not sure if that is his real name, but if it is; then it must have been meant to be. And by all means, check out the website and find some live music to go out and support.

This small sampling of the Performing Arts Organizations here in the Mahoning Valley is not meant to be comprehensive. That is why we have Google. I do encourage you to check out the vibrant variety of Performing Arts that we have here in the Mahoning Valley and get out and support them. The Arts are what gives a community breath and life. So get out there and have some fun and be entertained.

And while you are at it, support some of our local artists this weekend at the Winter Market at B&O Station in downtown Youngstown on Saturday, February 11th 11-5pm. A great place to pick up some handmade gifts from your local artists right before Valentine’s Day. Art, food and beer…what more could you need for an excellent Saturday afternoon! Don’t miss it, support your local artists in 2017!

Click the link above for more information.

WWF PSA

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