Renowned Broadway and film composer Stephen Schwartz comes to town this week to interact with students at Wright State University. The two-day visit marks the initiation of a new annual Distinguished Visiting Artist Series.
While on campus, Schwartz and two of his collaborations — Tony Award winner Debbie Gravitte and multi-award winning vocalist Scott Coulter — will be giving master classes and workshops for College of Liberal Arts performing students. On Monday evening, the trio will give a performance featuring a sampling of music Schwartz has written — including songs from “Godspell” to “Wicked,” from “Pocahontas” to “Enchanted,” a sampling of the 20-plus Broadway and animated musicals Schwartz has written. The event is sold-out.
Following the performance, The Human Race Theatre Company will present this year’s Stephen Schwartz Musical Theater scholarship winners.
Glass exhibit at Wexner Center
If you’re fascinated by the work of glass artists such as Dale Chihuly or William Morris, you’ll want to check out the interesting new exhibit at the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus where Josiah McElheny’s “Towards A Light Club” is currently on view.
Though McElheny is a master glass artist, he’s experimenting with all kinds of new forms as well — combining glass with video, producing films, writing scripts.
“His idea is to make his art more than just a roomful of static objects but to enliven it,” exhibition curator Bill Horrigan said. “You see moving mirrors in motion, and you’re reflected in his other artwork as well.” “Walking Mirror” is the perfect example: at regularly scheduled times, dancers “wear” the mirrors and walk around.
Horrigan says over the past two decades McElheny has become increasingly interested in the history of glass, which led him to German expressionist writer Paul Scheerbart and a short story titled “The Light Club.”
“The story is a metaphor for the power of glass,” Horrigan explained. “It’s about socialites sitting around talking about light, and one makes a wager; and they are going to build a light spa at the bottom of an empty mine shaft where they can bathe in colored lights.”
When the story was translated into English, McElheny threw a themed party in celebration, and he’s now made a short film called “The Light Club of Vizcaya: A Women’s Picture.” Filmed in Florida, it’s part of the exhibition, and McElheny has even created the little theater in which the film is shown — with colored glass walls and door.
At 4 p.m. Monday, April 1, the Wexner will host “The Cave of Light: A Dark Synposium” that’s billed as an afternoon of “sights, sounds, a seance and a performance” — all inspired by McElheny. The event is free.
Vocal group places at regional competition
Phonic Uproar, an A Cappella group of eight local men, mostly students, took third place in the recent Chicago Regional Harmony Sweepstakes, a competition for groups throughout the Midwest.
University of Dayton senior Joey Saliba says competing groups included both amateurs and professionals. The ensemble incorporates various genres — Motown, R&B, Rock, Pop, Classical and Jazz.
The group will have a public performance at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 23, at the Murphy Theater in Wilmington. For more information, see www.facebook.com/PhonicUproar
Sinclair offers theater scholarships
Students interested in majoring in theater performance or technology at Sinclair Community College will want to know about the full and partial scholarships being offered at the college for fall semester 2013.
Auditions will be held beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 13, and participants are asked to prepare an audition of not more than four minutes. It should include either two contrasting monologues or one song and one monologue. They are also asked to bring a resume.
Theater technology majors should bring a portfolio and/or be prepared to discuss interest and experiences in theater technology and design.
All participants will receive complimentary tickets to a Sinclair Theatre performance of “Godspell,” April 5-13 in Blair Hall Theatre. You can register online at: www.sinclair.edu/theatreauditions. For more information email: email@example.com
Springfield Symphony Orchestra announces new executive director
Robyn Zimmann has been appointed executive director of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra and will assume her duties on June 1. A 30-year member of the orchestra, Zimmann also has served as the personnel manager, and has been the director of operations and education since 2004.
She is a graduate of Wittenberg University, the Leadership Academy of Clark County, and has been an active member of the Springfield Kiwanis Club for eight years. Ms. Zimmann will replace David Deitrick, who is leaving the Symphony after nine years as executive director.
Music and ice cream
If you haven’t been to one of the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra’s Symphony Sundaes, you’re missing both some good music and some yummy treats.
The concerts, held at the Dayton Masonic Center, 525 W. Riverview, offer a family-friendly concert minus intermission as well as an informal atmosphere. After the program, patrons are invited to enjoy a Graeter’s sundae.
The next concert, the third in the season, is slated for 3 p.m. Sunday, March 24, and features Music Director Neal Gittleman, principal pianist Joshua Nemith and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra.
Piano Masterpiece, the third concert of the season, will feature Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3.and represents the midway point of a Beethoven Festival. The program begins with the Overture to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s opera Abduction from the Seraglio and will conclude with Franz Joseph Haydn’s Symphony No. 100.
Tickets range from $14 to $24 and are available at Ticket Center Stage (937) 228-3630 or online at www.daytonperformingarts.org. Senior, teacher and student discounts are available at box office.
‘The Wizard of Oz’ at Carroll High School
Carroll High School Freedom Players is presenting its spring musical, “The Wizard of Oz” at the high school on March 22, 23 and 24.
Although the school has staged the play three times in the past, this year’s production includes flying effects for the first time.
Show times are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday night and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets at the door are $8 for adults and $6 for students and senior citizens. Children ages 5 and younger are free. For information, (937) 253-8188, ext. 329.
Don’t miss exhibit
If you haven’t been to Cincinnati to see “Dead Sea Scrolls: Life and Faith in Ancient Times,” your time is running out. The exhibit, at the Cincinnati Museum Center, will close April 14. You’ll save money on admission with a Kroger receipt.
On the Arts publishes arts news from our region. If you have news you’d like to share, please email Meredith Moss: MMoss@coxohio.com