‘Jason and the Argonauts’ challenges youngsters

8/1/2013
BY JULIE NJAIM
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Marie Weisenberger, Larissa Barman, and Solomon Carr perform a scene from ‘Jason and the Argonauts.' Performances are set for this weekend in Pemberville.
Marie Weisenberger, Larissa Barman, and Solomon Carr perform a scene from ‘Jason and the Argonauts.' Performances are set for this weekend in Pemberville.

PEMBERVILLE — Greek mythology, a Rubik’s Cube, and the 1950s intertwine when the Pemberville Children’s Theatre Workshop presents The Adventures of Jason and the Argonauts this weekend at the Pemberville Opera House.

“I like to throw the audience for a loop; if they expect to see Greek costumes and hear older style instrumental music, those are not the type of things they get with my show,” director Angie Patchett said.

This summer workshop production is challenging the young actors to be bigger than life as they retell the mythological story of Jason, played by Solomon Carr, and his team of Argonauts who scheme to obtain the Golden Fleece, overthrow the king, and win back the kingdom from Jason’s evil uncle King Pelias, played by Lydia Patchett.

“I’m stretching them this year. I don’t want them using realistic acting; I want them to be bigger, comedic, over-the-top, a little more unexpected,” the director said.

Phil Willmott’s adaptation provides room for creative license. “It’s actually written in such a way it gives the actors and the director a lot of leeway. The playwright wrote a forward to the play that basically says, ‘I’ve written into it where you can use music or you can use dance,’” Patchett said.

An old-fashioned ice cream social will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday before the matinee performance on the Pemberville Town Hall Lawn at Brick Street. Several of the 26-member cast and their families will be in attendance. Proceeds from the social will benefit Pemberville-Freedom Area Historical Society.

“The Adventures of Jason and the Argonauts” will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday with a matinee performance at 2 p.m. Sunday in the Pemberville Opera House, 115 Main St.., Pemberville. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for children ages 15 and younger. Details: 419-287-4848 or pembervilleoperahouse.org.

Hillenbrand
Hillenbrand

Eric Hillenbrand recently started his duties as artistic director for the Toledo Repertoire Theatre.

“It was really a fortuitous set of circumstances. After 20 years at the 20 North Gallery we decided to close the gallery and move on to new ventures. The position opened up and I thought this would be an interesting step. It’s an opportunity for me to pursue one of my passions in arts, that is theater,” Hillenbrand said.

He has nearly a 30-year history with the Toledo Repertoire performing in every production of the time-honored tradition A Christmas Carol. Through the years he’s worked with three generations of families on stage. “That’s an incredible legacy; that’s the kind of legacy I want to help nurture.”

Hillenbrand plans to combine his passion for the arts with a savvy business sense from his considerable career as a real estate developer, gallery owner, and executive committee member.

“I think my goals are two-fold: to add a sense of stability and continuity both from the business side and financially. I'm looking to establish a solid relationship with sponsors and benefactors. To me adding that kind of stability allows the Rep, truly one of the venerable theaters in Ohio, the ability to perform at a very high level, and financial stability can afford them the opportunity to express themselves artistically.”

Hillenbrand replaces Steve Burnette who submitted his resignation in the spring and finished his duties June 24. He held the position since 2011 and is moving east with his family.

CLYDE, Ohio — Erika McGrath is returning to her roots to direct and produce her narrative film Half Life.

This coming-of-age story is set in rural Ohio, summer 1980.

It follows Gary, a dredge welder, on his way to a party after work when he encounters a series of strangers that change the course of his life. Gary begins to question his past and his future as he deals with his own memories.

Shooting begins Monday and is expected to take about two weeks. Scenes will be shot in Clyde Fremont, and Sandusky. It is expected to premiere sometime this fall at Paramount Cinema in Fremont.

McGrath, who now resides in New York, received a bachelor of arts degree in film studies and production from Hofstra University in Long Island, N.Y., in 2008.

She has done postproduction work for editor Hank Corwin’s Lost Planet Editorial and has worked on the sets of NBC’s Smash, independent film My Friend Vijay, and Sleepwalk with Me, and the upcoming film The Family starring Robert DeNiro opening in the fall.

Please send theater items at least two weeks in advance to jnjaim@theblade.com.