This photo was taken at the 1956 Antioch Shakespeare Festival production of “Much Ado about Nothing.” CONTRIBUTED BY ANTIOCHIANA, ANTIOCH COLLEGE.

Shakespeare lovers? Head to Richmond

Many of us have fond memories of lovely summer evenings spent at Antioch’s famous Shakespeare Under the Stars festival. In the mid-1950s, under the direction of Arthur Lithgow and Meredith Dallas, the company undertook the incredible task of producing all 38 of Shakespeare’s plays in repertory. Theater-lovers and critics from around the country flocked to Yellow Springs to see the shows.

So it’s great news to learn that a group of folks in Richmond, Ind., got together and decided to form a board and create a new Shakespeare Festival for our region. Two years ago they hired Patrick Flick as producing artistic director. Flick, who says there are hundreds of Shakespeare festivals throughout the world, also serves as executive director of the international Shakespeare Theatre Association.

“We are trying to become a destination theater like Utah Shakespeare Festival, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and even the Stratford Festival,” Flick says. “Shakespeare is universal and speaks to all of us.” He says a case in point is the recent controversy surrounding New York’s Public Theatre presentation of “Julius Caesar” that portrayed Caesar as Donald Trump. “You don’t have to look far in history to find out that Caesar has been portrayed as many politicians throughout history,” Flick says. “The plays reflect universal themes common to all of us.”

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Currently on stage at The Richmond Shakespeare Festival are the comedy “The Merry Wives of Windsor” and the romance, “Cymbeline.” The Festival runs on weekends through July 1 and includes both matinees and evening shows. It performs in the Starr-Gennett Pavilion at Whitewater Gorge Park, 201 S. First St. in Richmond. The plays feature poisonous queens, mischievous letters, jealous lovers and mysterious identities. Presented in rotating repertory, the productions are created by a mix of Actor’s Equity and non-Equity professionals and also includes college interns and volunteers.

Tickets range in price from $20 to $30. Limited discounted tickets ($15) are available for high school and college students who show up 30 minutes before the show and dinner theater packages are also available. Tickets can also be purchased at the door. For a complete schedule or to order tickets to the shows, check out www.richmondshakes.org, or calling (765) 373-9022.

Three free exhibits at UD

Summer is a great time to visit the University of Dayton Roesch Library, where three free exhibits are open to the public.

“Ex Oriente Lux: Marian Art in Asia” explores how the Virgin Mary is perceived and represented in some Asian countries. It runs June 26 to Sept. 8 in the Marian Library Gallery on the library’s seventh floor and is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday.

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With the exception of famous artists such as Japan’s Sadao Watanabe and China’s He Qi, the variety and originality of Asian religious art isn’t well-known in the Western world, according to Rev. Johann Roten, director of research, art and special projects for the Marian Library which houses the largest collection in the world of printed materials and artifacts on Mary, mother of Christ.

“The exhibit is an attempt to open our horizons to the originality of Asian Marian paintings and statuary,” says Roten. “The Asian continent is not only immense but immensely diverse. It is our intention to give initial impressions on how Mary is received, to show some traits of cultural and religious originality, and so to prepare a deeper and more specific understanding of the rich contribution the many countries of Asia are making to religious art in general and to Marian art in particular.”

“Fatima: 100 Years” commemorates the anniversary of the Virgin Mary appearing to three shepherd children in the village of Fatima, Portugal.

The exhibit features a variety of materials drawn from the Marian Library collection, including rosaries, books, films, medals and even a glow in the dark statue of Virgin Mary as she appeared in Fatima. It’s on display through Aug. 20.

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“The Fatima apparition of Mary caught the attention of many in the Catholic church because of its timing, at the end of World War I and the start of the Russian Revolution, says Brother Andrew Kosmowski, who helped curate the exhibit. “Church groups used Fatima as part of the anti-communist fervor during the Cold War, and the exhibit includes some materials from that time in Dayton.”

“Then & Now — A Retrospective” features calligraphic art spanning the 38-year career of Dayton native and University alumnae Patti Trick Paulus. It runs through July 31. Paulus focuses on hand lettered artwork and has recently expanded into rendering landscapes in charcoal. A closing reception will be held 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, July 30.

The retrospective and Fatima exhibits are open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday; and noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. All exhibits will be closed July 4 and Sept. 4. Complimentary visitor parking passes can be obtained at the visitor parking information center. For more information on the exhibits, visit udayton.edu/libraries.

Bicycle playing cards feature Cinci Zoo’s Fiona

Card decks featuring Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s famous baby hippo, Fiona, are now on sale in Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky and Dayton-area Kroger stores. Each deck costs $5.99 and a portion of the proceeds benefits #TeamFiona.

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“Like many others, we were captivated by Fiona’s story and being neighbors of the zoo, we wanted to help,” said Carol Rouillard, Director of Brand Development at The U.S. Playing Card Co. “The images on the Fiona deck allow people to revisit some of the key moments of her journey. ” Money raised will be used for Fiona’s care.

Each card is different and some feature members of Fiona’s care team. The Zoo has been selling the cards in its gift shops for a couple of weeks.

“Dear Evan Hansen” published

If you watched the Tony Awards, you can’t help but recognize the name Evan Hansen. The original Broadway musical — “Dear Evan Hansen” — was nominated for nine awards and won in six categories including Best Musical. Ben Platt won the award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a musical and Rachel Bay Jones, who played his mother, won for Best Performance by an Actress in a featured role.

The musical has a book by Steven Levenson and music and lyrics by Benj Pasek & Justin Paul. All of them took home Tonys as well.

The plot focuses on a teenager with social anxiety disorder whose life is dramatically altered after a classmate commits suicide and his need for acceptance leads him to become involved in a terrible lie. It’s the first Broadway show to use social media as one of the characters. For those who want to learn more, the script of the show has just been published by Theatre Communications Group (TCG books).

In the foreward to the just-published paperback, James Lapine writes that the musical is set in our current world of fake news, alternative facts and faceless and unaccountable Internet/Twitter chatter. “With laser focus and simplicity, the authors bring clarity to the basic human impulse to be heard and seen, to be understood, and, ultimately to love and be loved,” Lapine writes. The book sells for $15.95.

Antioch College students strut their stuff

Performances, presentations, salons, posters, screenings and an art exhibition are all part of Antioch College’s “Colloquia 2017,” its inaugural annual public showcase of senior Capstone projects that’s now under way on the campus.

The senior art exhibition runs through June 24 at the Herndon Gallery, South Hall. Hours are noon to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1-4 p.m. on Saturdays. A public reception gala is slated for 7-10 p.m. on June 15.

A senior film and animation festival will take place from 3-5 p.m. on June 22 in the Arts and Sciences Building and there will be a salon presentation and reception in the same building from 5-7 p.m. From 7-10 p.m. that evening, there will be an exhibition, screening and performance gala in the Herndon Gallery. All of these showcase events are free and open to the public.

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