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Acting forward in Dayton theatre scene

Autism Shakespeare Training

Educating with Shakespeare, plus Camelot By Jacqui Theobald Photo: Human Race Theatre teaching artists plus trainer Kevin McClatchy (center back) use Shakespeare’s rhythm to ease communication for children with autism  Experienced director, new tricks at Playhouse “What do the simple folks do?” King Arthur and Guenevere wonder. Since few among us hobnob with royalty, we can safely […]

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30 years of barbers and blood

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Sweeney Todd at Human Race Theatre By Jacqui Theobald Photo: Rebecca Watson as Mrs. Lovett and Jamie Cordes as Sweeney in the 2016 production It takes a village of superb technical designers and a crew to create the foggy town that was London in the 1830s. It takes a troop of energetic, multi-talented actor/singers to bring […]

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Truth & Dare

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Dare to Defy theatre proves its spirit By Jacqui Theobald Photo: Lisa Glover as Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors; photo: Laura Dell “What is Dare to Defy?” Daytonians are asking. It is a dreamer’s reality complete with costumes and music. It is hope looking for a full house. It’s a small group of innovators daring […]

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Ship and sinking stories

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‘The Last Lifeboat’ at Dayton Theatre Guild By Jacqui Theobald photo: (l-r) Heather Martin as Florence Ismay, Heather Atkinson in multiple female roles, and Matt Lindsay as J. Bruce Ismay in ‘The Last Lifeboat’ photos: Craig Roberts In one of the few times in Theatre Guild’s 72-year history, a contemporary playwright came to see his show. […]

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Jesters and demons (and grandmas)

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Theatre As You Like It By Jacqui Theobald Photo: Brian Ressler as Andre and Judy Shaw as Touchstone in ‘As You Like It’; photo: Jene Shaw Free Shakespeare in historic South Park  This early 1623 classic is full of well-known quotes such as “too much of a good thing,” wrong assumptions, gender reversals, love, and […]

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A look into the FutureFest

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Theatre at its best—and lots of it By Jacqui Theobald Photo: The cast of ‘The Griots,’ (from left to right) David Brandt, Judi Earley, Annie Pesch, questions ‘true history’ July 24; photo courtesy of Fran Pesch Theatre, at its best, tells us universal truths about the human condition—about ourselves. Situations and people differ, but we […]

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Tall tales and truth

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Equal one Big Fish By Jacqui Theobald Photo: Margo Russ as The Witch (back) and Brady Kress as Edward Bloom (front) in The Epiphany Players’ Big Fish; photo: Megan Wean Sears What happens when a dedicated group with a 26-year history presents just one musical each summer? Some 75 actors, a director/choreographer with a powerful […]

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Back to the future and a big reveal

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By Jacqui Theobald Photo: Director Robb Willoughby and cast in the first read-through of “Memories of the Game,” opening FutureFest July 22; photo: Doris Lockwoodleft to right (Andre Tomlinson, who plays the son, Michael; Nabachwa Ssensalo, who plays the daughter, Sharon; Marva Williams, who plays Karen, the mother; and Franklin Johnson, who plays Kenneth, the […]

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Master Class

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Human Race lives up to its name By Jacqui Theobald Maria Callas, a vaunted opera singer of the mid-20th century, had a life filled with turmoil and challenge. Terrence McNally, a prolific playwright, opera and musical theater lover, never created a play exactly like this one—part biographical, using recorded performances, and part introspective, imagined reflections. […]

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Into the spotlight

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A brief history of gay theatre By Jacqui Theobald Three years ago this column looked at a 500-year history of gay plays both subtle and bold, going back to the 19th century. It included Christopher Marlowe’s 1593 “Edward II” and its “homosexual implications,” and “A Florida Enchantment”—the first time two women kissed on a Broadway […]

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Getting back to happy

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Dayton Theatre Guild fills up for “Last Gas” By Jacqui Theobald “Last Gas” by John Cariani concerns a man who hopes to be happy, a teen son caught between his dad and his mom, and two women and a man who want him in both funny and serious moments. Director Debra Kent calls it “a […]

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On Stage

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Murder mysteries, wizards and new seasons By Jacqui Theobald “Black Coffee” at Xenia’s X*ACT The proud little community theater at 45 E. Second St. in Xenia concludes its present season, focused on murder mysteries, with one of Agatha Christie’s very first plays, “Black Coffee.” Tony Copper directs. Performances are May 27-29 and June 3-5. A […]

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Ogre the rainbow

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Shrek the Musical brings energy, talent and color to Miamisburg By Jacqui Theobald What makes a theatre lover? Exposure. It’s fun to see a good show and even more to be involved in being on stage or working backstage in a show that has quality music and a whimsical plot. Fifty-four kids ranging from fourth-grade […]

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Yeas vs nays

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History repeats itself with 1776 at the Dayton Playhouse By Jacqui Theobald That old cliché, “Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it,” may have instead a pleasurable re-acquaintance when The Dayton Playhouse brings the figures of the Declaration of Independence to life beginning May 6 running weekends through May 22. Anyone who may […]

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Where the magic happens

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Dayton’s off-stage theatre stars By Jacqui Theobald You have your ticket in hand and arrive at the theatre, eager with anticipation. There’s a contagious energy and excited chatter as the group that has become an entity—the audience—settles, clutching their Playbill. The lights dim. The theatre goes dark. There’s an instant when you almost hold your […]

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On stage

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Puppets, auditions and more By Jacqui Theobald Zoot News Autistic people of all ages often relate to puppets better than they do to real people. Whimsical puppet faces atop unusually clothed figures several feet tall, such as Zoot Theatre Artistic Director Tristan Cupp’s creations, are charmers for many. Cupp has the kind of vision that […]

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Plugged In

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The next sound you hear will be…well, I don’t know what it will be but I know what it won’t […]

Debate 6/12: A tweet too far

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Was anyone really surprised? Roseanne Barr has stepped in it again. Always a loose cannon, she managed to offend just […]

If you’ve seen one ‘Ocean’, you’ve seen ‘Ocean’s 8’

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Near the start of “Ocean’s 8,” we’re led to believe that Danny Ocean (George Clooney) is dead and his sister […]

Gin and Tonic on the Horizon

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On June 13, The Rose Music Center is the place to be to get your 90s nostalgia fix as Gin […]

Goodnight Goodnight’s new morning

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“We’ve known Larry for years,” says Gary Thornton of Goodnight Goodnight. He’s talking about the newest addition to their lineup, […]