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Published: Wednesday, 9/22/2010

Glacity opens with performance by founding artistic director

BY NANCIANN CHERRY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

It's a hot weekend for theater in Toledo and the region, with a range of plays on the schedule, from cult classics to shows not yet written.

Glacity Theatre Collective opens its season with the U.S. premiere of fig. 1 by Mark Evans Bryan, associate professor of theater at Denison University in Granville, Ohio.

The one-woman play about women and aging features Glacity's founding artistic director, Sue Ott Rowlands, who is now the dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech.

"I had been pondering the subject for awhile," she said in a telephone interview from her office in Blacksburg, Va.

Aging is such a contradiction for feminists, she said. "We don't want to get caught up in worrying about the toll age takes on the body, but, of course, you do care."

When Virginia Tech scheduled a conference on gender and bodies, Ott Rowlands said she "decided it was a good reason for me to get this on its feet," and she commissioned the work from Bryan, with whom she had collaborated in an earlier production.

A modern adaptation of Anton Chekhov's short story The Kiss, fig. 1 is the story of a professor of geology at a land-grant university, who believes she is aging gracefully. A spontaneous act of affection sparks a roller-coaster ride of fantasies, desires, and long dormant fears.

The play explores such questions as: What do we do with our youthful memories of love and lust, of physical pleasure and connection, when nature has its way with us? What happens when we let ourselves believe we are aging gracefully, yet we still hear a knock at our heart's door?

"Mark gets inside my head and he writes in my voice," Ott Rowlands said. "The play is really quite beautiful, a testament to the passage of time."

Presented as a reading during the gender conference earlier this year, it premiered as a full production at the Prague Fringe Theatre Festival in the Czech Republic in May and June.

"fig. 1" runs through Oct. 3 in the Valentine Theatre's Studio A, 410 Adams St., Friday and Saturday performances are at 8 p.m., Sunday shows are at 2 p.m. Doors open 30 minutes prior to curtain. Tickets are $20 and are available at the Valentine Theatre box office, at valentinetheatre.com, or by phone at 419-242-2787. Sundays will be "pay what you can" matinees, and tickets will be available at the door only. Information: glacity.org.

The Croswell Opera House in Adrian will explore the meaning of love and commitment as it presents Craig Lucas' Prelude to a Kiss.

The romantic fantasy is the tale of sweethearts Peter and Rita, whose wedding day becomes the start of a whole new life in a lot of different ways. When Rita is kissed by an elderly man after the ceremony, her soul and his exchange bodies, which Peter comes to realize over the first days of his marriage. Distraught at no longer living with the woman he loves, Peter decides to find the old man and try to keep his love for Rita alive, even though her personality is in an unattractive shell.

James Swendsen of Adrian plays Peter, Lindsay Denham of Toledo is Rita, and Peter Mackey of Adrian is the old man. The cast also includes Joyce Cameron, Steve Cameron, Drew Carter, James Hanley, Johanna Hanley, Jean MacNaughton, Angela Richardson, Darius Savage, Barb Vaught, and Rick Vaught of Adrian, Steve Hillard and Jay Hillard of Northville, Cindy Farnham of Palmyra.

John MacNaughton of Adrian directs.

"Prelude to a Kiss" is scheduled at 8 p.m. tomorrow and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday in the historic theater at 129 East Maumee St., Adrian. Tickets are $25 for adults, $22 for seniors and students, and $15 for children 12 and younger. Information: 517-264-7469.

•Owens Community College is gearing up for its annual autumn Theater Express event. Starting tomorrow afternoon, students, faculty, and community members will have 24 hours to write, cast, and rehearse seven different plays. Participants will present their work at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in Studio Theatre of the college's Center for Fine and Performing Arts, 30335 Oregon Rd., Perrysburg. The performances are free and open to the public. Information: 567-661-2798.

w Archbold Community Theatre opens its theater season with Anne of Green Gables, based on Lucy Maud Montgomery's much-loved novel set on Prince Edward Island in the early 1900s. It starts when a stern spinster, Marilla Cuthbert, and her shy brother, Matthew, decide to adopt a boy from an orphan asylum to help with the farm work. But waiting for them at the train station is Anne Shirley, a precocious, imaginative 11-year-old girl with fire-engine red hair who is curious about the world and eager to please. An unlikely family is born. Anne of Green Gables is scheduled at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow, Saturday, and Oct. 1 and 2, with a matinee at 2:30 p.m. Oct. 3 in Giffey Hall in Ridgeville Corners, Ohio. Advance tickets are $8 for adults and $7 for seniors and students; at the door will be $9. Information: 419-267-5717.

•The River Raisin Centre for the Arts presents The Rocky Horror Show, at 8 p.m. tomorrow and 8 p.m. and midnight Saturday in the center at 114 South Monroe St., Monroe. The cult classic, which is a rock musical, a spoof of science fiction movies, and a tale of seduction and sexual confusion, is for mature audiences. Tickets are $15. Information: 734-242-7722.

Contact Nanciann Cherry

at ncherry@theblade.com

or 419-724-6130.



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