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Published: Thursday, 10/14/2010

Owens conference, plays salute Shakespeare

BY NANCIANN CHERRY
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Ashley Campos, left, as Margo and Kelly Klein as Ann in 'The Diary of Anne Frank,' opening Saturday at the Valentine Theater. Julie Schroll will play Margot in the Toledo production. Ashley Campos, left, as Margo and Kelly Klein as Ann in 'The Diary of Anne Frank,' opening Saturday at the Valentine Theater. Julie Schroll will play Margot in the Toledo production.
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The focus is on the Bard as Owens Community College presents two productions as part of the three-day Ohio Valley Shakespeare Conference, which runs Thursday -Saturday on the OCC campus at 30335 Oregon Rd., Perrysburg.

The conference features seminars and workshops that are open to the public. A schedule and registration information are available by calling Owens at 567-661-7524 or on the conference Web site at marietta.edu/departments/English/OVSC/index.html.

The first production is A Merry Regiment of Women at 7:30 Thursday night in the Center for Fine and Performing Arts.

Presented by the Toledo Repertoire Theatre, the play by J. Rae Shirley revolves around six of Shakespeare's female characters, who are meeting to discuss the availability and quality of women's roles in the Bard's plays. During the meeting, three of Shakespeare's men arrive, bringing their own perspective to the proceedings.

Directed by Barbara Barkan, the cast comprises Elizabeth Cottle as Juliet, Madge Levinson as Juliet's nurse, Susan McCann as Desdemona, Cindy Bilby as Cleopatra, Thea Grabiec as Kate from The Taming of the Shrew, Amy Heuring as Lady MacBeth, Jeffrey Albright as Henry V, Maurice Price as Petruchio, and Judson Lohman as Romeo.

A Merry Regiment of Women opens the Rep's EdgyRep Readings season. The readings are minimalist productions, with few props or costumes. The works are outside the mainstream, unlikely to attract major audiences but still worthy of being presented.

Tickets are $5 at the door.

At 7:30 p.m. Friday, the National Players, a professional troupe based in Olney, Md., presents A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Formed in 1949 to present great works of classic literature, the troupe will put a modern spin on Shakespeare's comedy about the wedding of Theseus, the duke of Athens, to Hippolyta, queen of the Amazons. In the days before the elaborate ceremony, Egeus, an Athenian nobleman, beseeches Theseus to order Egeus' daughter, Hermia, to marry Demetrius, but Hermia is in love with Lysander. Theseus gives Hermia several days to obey her father, but the young lovers plot an elopement.

Waiting to complicate things are a band of fairies, led by Oberon and his queen, Titania, who are having marital problems, and a troupe of actors, rehearsing a play they hope to present as part of Theseus' wedding entertainment.

Tickets for A Midsummer Night's Dream are $15; all seats are general admission.

Both productions will be presented in the MainStage Theatre of the Center for Fine and Performing Arts. Information: 567-661-2787.

The Valentine Theatre opens its 2010-11 season Saturday with The Diary of Anne Frank.

The drama, based on the writings of a Jewish girl whose family hid from the Nazis in Amsterdam during the Holocaust, is being presented by Barter Theatre, an Abingdon, Va., professional troupe founded during the Depression. Alumni of the troupe include Gregory Peck, Ned Beatty, Hume Cronyn, Robert Redford, Patricia Neal, and Wayne Knight.

The production features Kelly Klein in the title role. Klein appeared in the Ang Lee film Taking Woodstock and has had television roles in Gilmore Girls and The Jake Effect.

Danny Vaccaro and Tricia Matthews play Anne's parents, Otto and Edith, and Julie Schroll is her sister, Margot. Rebecca Reinhardt plays Miep Gies, an employee of Otto Frank who aided them during their confinement.

Also in the cast are Robin Bloodworth, Hann Ingram, Gregory Mach, Gannon McHale, and Greg Pragel.

"The Diary of Anne Frank" is scheduled at 8 p.m. Saturday in the Valentine Theatre, 400 North Superior St. Tickets range from $35 to $51. Information: 419-242-2787.

The 26th season of Lourdes College's Theater Vision program gets under way Thursday with The Adventures of Harold & the Purple Crayon.

Presented by Enchantment Theatre, a Philadelphia-based company, the production is based on the character created in 1955 by Crockett Johnson. The story features young Harold, who decides to go for a walk in the moonlight. As he sets out, Harold realizes there is no moon in the night sky or a path to walk on. With the help of a magic crayon, Harold draws not only the moon and path, but the world in which he wants to explore, which includes Mars and a circus.

The Theater Vision program is aimed at school field trips, but the public is invited to attend if space is available. Harold is geared toward students in grades 1-4.

"The Adventures of Harold & the Purple Crayon" is scheduled at 10 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. Thursday in the Franciscan Theatre & Conference Center of Lourdes College, 6832 Convent Blvd., Sylvania. Tickets are $8. Information: 419-824-3986.

Contact Nanciann Cherry at: ncherry@theblade.com

or 419-724-6130.



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