Mid-Day Arts Cafe kicks off this week

Mid-Day Arts Cafe, the popular lunchtime series presented by the Victoria Theatre Association (VTA) kicks off its fifth season at noon this Tuesday, Sept. 9.

The lively and informal lunchtime previews of upcoming arts events are held in the Mathile Theatre, located inside the Schuster Performing Arts Center. The hour typically includes a Q&A with the speakers of the day.

The opening luncheon always previews the VTA’s upcoming season and showcases Wright State University Department of Theatre, Dance and Motion Picture students. Students performing this year are: Ian Benjamin (Performer/Accompanist), Sean Jones, Cassi Mikat, Kelsey Pohl, Liz Romey, Tyler Simms and Abby Murray Vachon. The speaker will be Gary Minyard, VTA’s vice president of education and engagement.

A variety of new menu options from Citlites is being introduced this year: turkey on ciabatta; ham and cheese on croissant; chicken curry on croissant; Mediterranean wrap; vegan wrap; chicken Caesar salad; and gluten-free chicken Caesar salad.

Doors open at 11:30 a.m., the event starts at noon. Tickets are $15 each or $12 for current VTA Season Ticket Holders and must be ordered in advance. The ticket includes a box lunch and discounted parking in The Arts Garage. Order online at www.TicketCenterStage.com or call Ticket Center Stage at 937-228-3630.

Culture Works hosts community events

Tom Schorgl, who served as president and CEO of Culture Works in Dayton from 1994 to 1997, will return to town for a community conversation from 5:30-6:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 15 at the Loft Theatre.

Schorgl, who has been actively involved in the cultural scene in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County since 1997 as President and CEO of the Community Partnership for Arts & Culture (CPAC), and was central to the passing of the county-wide cigarette tax that now provides about $15 million annually to arts and cultural organizations in Cuyahoga County.

At the Dayton meeting, he’ll discuss the role that cultural planning plays in building a stronger cultural sector and more vibrant community. He will also touch on highlights of the lessons he learned in the 10-year struggle to pass the “sin tax.”

From 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. the next evening — Tuesday, Sept. 16 — a community information gathering meeting will be held at the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery and will feature Marc Goldring from WolfBrown in Boston.

He will join researchers Richard Stock of the University of Dayton, and Jane Dockery of Wright State University in facilitating a community meeting that provides insights from surveys of artists and cultural organizations and utilizes previous meeting information to begin to develop consensus on the themes and priorities that are emerging as being most important for the future of the region’s cultural sector.

You can RSVP for either of these meetings at: info@cultureworks.org

Human Race play a delight

“Delightful” is the best word to describe the new play that opened this weekend at the Human Race Loft Theater.

I don’t want to give anything away but “Miracle on South Division Street” has lots of twists and turns that will keep you entertained throughout the entire 80 minutes. (No intermission)

Every aspect of this comedy is terrific — the 1950’s set, the impeccable direction, the lovable cast of characters and the hilarious script by Tom Dudzick, best known for his “Over the Tavern” trilogy. The current show is inspired by the playwright’s growing-up days in a Buffalo neighborhood.

It’s a pleasant way to spend an afternoon or evening in the next few weeks. The show runs through Sept. 21. Tickets range from $17.50 (for students) up to $45 at (937) 228-3630.

Little Art featured in Bognar documentary

“Last Reel,” a short documentary chronicling the final days of movie projection on 35mm film at the Little Art Theatre, premiered at the Telluride Film Festival, in Telluride, Colorado, last week.

Filmed in 2013 and completed in recent weeks, Bognar says the movie “is an elegy to celluloid and the whirring rattle of film curling across gears and sprockets.”

The film “stars” Jenny Cowperthwaite, executive director of the Little Art, and Andy Holyoke, head projectionist, both of whom have worked at the Yellow Springs movie theater since the 1970s.

A survey of critics and filmmakers in 2010 listed Telluride as one of the top 10 film festivals in the world, along with Cannes, Sundance and others.

Bognar, who teaches advanced film production at Wright State, traveled to the festival with the film’s producer/cinematographer and his longtime partner, Julia Reichert.

Plays announced for UD’s White Box Theatre Festival

Brian DeLuca, director of the University of Dayton’s ArtStreet, has just announced the following 14 short plays that will be in repertory for the school’s inaugural festival premiering Nov. 4-6. Submissions were open to anyone interested in applying.

Those plays selected include “Unnoticed” by Kwyn Townsend Riley; “Untitled Three Act Play” by Rebecca Hale; “WUDU” by Rabiah Gul; “What We Have Been” by Joshua Chamberlain; “Making Contact” by Karen Righter; “The Culmination of the Inevitable Conclusion” by Edward T. Larkin; “The Fifth” by Jenna Gomes; “Jackrabbit” by Grace Poppe; “Superstitious” by Brennan Paulin; “Serendipity at Shandy’s” by Michelle Bowling; “Revelations” by Scott Peterson; “The Book of Job” by Krista Morford and “The Four Noble Truths” by Martin Piszkiewicz.

DeLuca has sent out a call looking for interested “student, faculty, staff and city creatives” who are interested in directing one of the plays. No play is longer than 25 minutes with the shortest being close to three minutes. ArtStreet and Studio Theatre will work together to pair plays with interested directors.

If you are interested write to: whiteboxtheatrefestival@gmail.com

Dayton Opera featured in airline magazine

US Airways Magazine has included Dayton Opera as one of 27 opera companies featured in its August issue. In its first-ever feature focusing exclusively on one art form, the magazine Magazine highlights the scope of the opera industry in a 35-page feature titled “The Future of Opera.”

Dayton Opera and the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance are highlighted as a success story of a merger of three art forms – Dayton Opera, Dayton Ballet, and Dayton Philharmonic – into one entity that is thriving as it models European performing arts organizations.

If you’d like to see the article, visit http://www.usairwaysmag.com.

“Celebrate the Arts Calendar” n ow available

The 10th annual edition of the “Celebrate the Arts” magazine is now available and includes an arts calendar as well as fashion and style pages.

The cover of this year’s edition features Oscar-winning actress Cate Blanchett, who filmed the film “Carol” in Cincinnati earlier this year. Among the arts organizations featured are the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, the Dayton Art Institute, the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

The 56-page publication includes exhibitions, theater, concerts and more. The free publication is available at James Free Jewelers stores in Cincinnati and Dayton.

For more information, visit www.jamesfree.com or stop by James Free locations at 3100 Far Hills Ave. in Kettering or 9555 Main St. in Cincinnati.

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