STAGE NOTES: John Falkenbach, member of Dayton Theatre Hall of Fame, dies



John A. Falkenbach, a 2018 Dayton Theatre Hall of Fame inductee whose specific contributions as a lighting designer accented numerous community theater productions across the Dayton area, died Nov. 23. He was 65.

Falkenbach was born July 23, 1958 in Mansfield. He was involved in community, educational and professional theatre for almost 50 years. In addition to his outstanding lighting expertise, he served as director, producer, actor and technician.

His local associations included Beavercreek Community Theatre, Dayton Playhouse, Dayton Theatre Guild, Troy Civic Theatre, Xenia Area Community Theater and Springfield Civic Theatre. He also served on the board of Beavercreek Community Theatre as treasurer. Furthermore he was active in the Ohio Community Theatre Association for over 35 years and was an alumnus of Ohio Northern University.

Falkenbach was a 54-time DayTony Award winner, including 43 awards for lighting design and four for set design. One of my personal favorites was his beautiful lighting of Dayton Theatre Guild’s intimate, imaginative 2022 production of “The Old Man and the Old Moon.” His final credit was lighting Beavercreek Community Theatre’s production of “The Gingerbread Lady,” which was held Nov. 3-12.

“BCT is devastated at John’s passing,” said BCT President Doug Lloyd. “He was such a key member of what we call the BCT family. He was a director for us, appeared on stage, was our resident lighting designer, our OCTA representative, and on top of that, he was an amazing treasurer for our board that kept impeccable books for us. But above all, John was a wonderful friend to all with the biggest heart. He always had a smile and warm greeting. I’m not sure of anyone that knew John that didn’t love him. It is not only a huge loss for us at BCT but the Dayton theatre community in general.”

A gathering of family and friends along with a service was held Dec. 1 at the Littleton & Rue Funeral Home in Springfield.

Dayton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra Winter Concert

Dayton Performing Arts Alliance presents the Dayton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra Winter Concert at 2:30 p.m. today at the Schuster Center, 1 W. Second St., Dayton.

DPO Associate Conductor and DPYO Conductor Patrick Reynolds will lead the 81-piece orchestra comprised of high school students from in and around the Miami Valley.

Our DPYO musicians are excited to take the Schuster stage for our December 3 concert,” says Reynolds, in a news release. “Our Winter Concert balances high-energy music with moments of deep reflection. Opening the concert is Jean Sibelius’s popular nationalistic tone poem, “Finlandia,” followed by Edward Elgar’s moving “Nimrod” from the ‘Enigma Variations.’”

The concert will also highlight Oakwood High School student Catie Brenner.

“DPYO’s Principal Harp, Catie Brenner, is showcased at this performance in Jennifer Bellor’s dreamlike composition, ‘High Resolution’ for string orchestra and harp,” added Reynolds. “FollowingHigh Resolution’ is Eric Whitacre’s lovely work ‘October.’ The concert concludes with the exciting suite from the ballet ‘Estancia’ by Alberto Ginastera.”

Tickets are priced at $6-$33.50. For tickets or more information, call 937-228-3630 or visit

‘9 to 5′ Muse Machine fundraiser

A special fundraising screening of the 1980 comedy “9 to 5″ starring Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 13 at The Neon, 130 E. Fifth St., Dayton.

The fundraiser is in support of the Muse Machine’s production of “9 to 5″ slated for Jan. 11-14, 2024 at the Victoria Theatre. Over 100 students will participate in the arts education organization’s presentation of the musical comedy featuring Parton’s Tony Award-nominated score.

Organizers state your movie ticket will enter you into a drawing for two free tickets to the Muse musical, which tells the story of three colleagues pushed to a boiling point by their egotistical boss. Tickets are $10 each.

For more information, visit

Update on Oakwood writer Jonathan Etter

Oakwood writer Jonathan Etter, author of an assortment of television histories and numerous articles on the television talents and productions of the 1960s and ‘70s, is the first of 201 listees profiled in Volume 1 of the “Marquis Who’s Who in America” reference work, “A Lifetime of Achievement.”

In addition, he’s working on the combined celebrity biography/TV-movie history, “Through the Looking Glass with Lynda Day George: A History of the 1969 TV-movie, ‘Fear No Evil’ and its Leading Lady.” His newest book will reference Oakwood, Kettering, Marion’s Piazza, Dayton’s Memorial Hall, former Dayton Daily News television editor Tom Hopkins, and WHIO-TV among other local notables.

Etter notes the “exhaustively researched and detailed book” will tell readers such things as: what size shoe Lynda Day George wears; what nickname Unit Production Manager George Lollier acquired during the shooting of “Fear No Evil”; what new and amusing definitions Peter Falk and his “The Trials of O’Brien” co-stars created for such legal terms as “extradite” and “probation”; and to what degree “Fear No Evil” director Paul Wendkos was involved with the 1951 musical play, “Anthracite.” The play, set in the year 1902, concerned Pennsylvania coal miners.

Etter expects to complete the book for BearManor Media by early 2024. It is the first of many Lynda Day George-themed works planned by the author. Says Etter, “I have so much information from her, and about her, that to put all of that into one book would overwhelm the reader.”

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