2018 Seabury Quinn Jr. Playwrights’ Festival Continues Through April 28

April 26th, 2018 by

The 24th Annual Seabury Quinn Jr. Playwrights’ Festival will kick off on Friday, April 27. Every year the festival brings impressive productions of MFA playwriting student’s thesis plays to the Elizabeth Baker Theater and the Forum Theater on Ohio University’s campus. Check out information on the featured thesis productions, as well as mentor bios, below. 

Tickets for the Featured Productions are $5 general admission or FREE for OU Students (with valid student ID) through Arts for Ohio; available at the Templeton–Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium box office. 

The Defiance of Dandelions 
by Philana Imade Omorotionmwan, directed by Jeanette L. Buck
8 p.m. – April 27, Elizabeth Baker Theater, Kantner Hall
Do not speak too loudly or too little or too much.
 Do not get out of the place you’ve been assigned.
 Do not give birth to a meadow of dandelions.
For as long as they can remember, The Strongness, The Queerness, The Boisterousness, The Brazenness, The Thickness, and The Softness have been trapped in the In-School Shading Room. While they wait for a release that seems like it may never come, a bouquet is born and they begin to remember the selves and the world that they forgot.

La Mujer Barbuda
by Cristina Luzárraga, directed by Jonathan Helter
8 p.m. – April 25 & 28, Elizabeth Baker Theater, Kantner Hall
Two women. Four breasts. One beard.
Maggie is an American airline pilot and new mother. When she tries to pump breast milk in the cockpit, she almost perishes in a plane crash––and that’s not even the worst of it.
Magdalena is a 17th century Italian weaver and new mother. When she suddenly grows a beard and nurses a baby at age 52, she sets off a domestic and civil crisis– and that, too, is not even the worst of it.
La Mujer Barbuda explores the intersecting lives of two women, separated by time and space and united in the struggle to thrive as a mother in a man’s world.

by Natasha Renee Smith, directed by Anne McAlexander
2 p.m. – April 28, Elizabeth Baker Theater, Kantner Hall
8 p.m. – April 26, Elizabeth Baker Theater, Kantner Hall
Metronomes are controlled by magnets. Magnets are controlled by the Earth. The Earth is controlled by the sun. Who—or what—controls Tiana? The MIT sophomore enters into dual orbit with Luke, a professor of chaos theory. This darkly romantic play explores mental illness, power dynamics, and the poetry of visceral pain.

Staged readings are free and open to the public.

How to Bake a Genoise Sponge Without Breaking Any Eggs
by Jean Egdorf
1 p.m., Thursday April 26, Forum Theater, RTV Building
Hello, bakers! Thank you for joining me for this very special episode of Melissa B’s Genoise. Today we’re making the trickiest cake there is: the genoise sponge. I better be able to perfect this recipe if I’m going to make it studying pastry at Le Cordon Bleu! My mom and my therapist think I’ll crumble under the stress, but I’m sure with help of my friends, Ms. J and Sylvie, neither me or my cake will fall apart.

Exodus of Dreams 
by Inna Tsyrlin
4 p.m., Thursday April 26, Forum Theater, RTV Building
Can a kosher child live with a non-kosher heart? While Avram struggles to integrate himself and his family into American society, and meets constant obstacles in keeping his faith, his daughter befriends a pig. This pig may be the answer to the family’s heart transplant predicament, but if Avram accepts a pig’s heart for his sick daughter, will he still be a good Jew?

She Moves In Her Own Way 
by Liv Matthews
1:30 p.m., Friday April 27, Forum Theater, RTV Building
Three seconds on the clock. Rolling Hills Middle School is down by two. All eyes are on point guard Alex Williams. She dribbles, pliés, and shoots the ball. It pirouettes in the rim and Alex’s mind leaps across time to her coach and former Atlanta Hawks player Anthony Prince. As the athletes wait for the ball to land, Alex’s journey through basketball and dance begins a duet with Anthony’s distant rise to NBA stardom.

by Katherine Varga, directed by Olivia Rocco
4 p.m., Friday April 27, Forum Theater, RTV Building
A young photojournalist travels overseas to document war crimes. But first, she must agree to leave her heart behind. Fortunately, her news corporation has state-of-the-art technology to ensure the hearts are protected and thoroughly entertained. Cora explores how a digital culture that connects us to the world can separate us from ourselves.

A Driving Beat 
by Jordan Ramirez Puckett
1 p.m., Saturday April 28, Forum Theater, RTV Building
2,000 miles, a cross-country car ride
adopted son and mother travel side by side
white woman, brown son in the same space
Nine states to the hospital, the teen’s birthplace
Four days, if all goes according to plan
Five nights, of doing all that they can
to find his birth mom, identity, or home
but by the end of their journey
will any answers be known?

The Water Baby 
by Trip Venturella, directed by Ernesto Ponce
4 p.m., Saturday April 28, Forum Theater, RTV Building
The year is 1930, and Theofanis Tombras has returned from his tour of duty in the Marines with an unnamed baby in tow. He finds a country bruised by economic crisis; Alexandra, his arranged fiancée, stranded across the ocean; and an unlikely opportunity offered by an old friend. As a better life beckons, it becomes clear to his young family that Theo will sacrifice nearly anything to sustain his growing ambition, and contain the specters of his past.

Each April, three nationally recognized, industry professional guest artists are invited to be in residence for the Seabury Quinn Jr Playwrights Festival to respond to the MFA plays and work with the MFA playwrights.

We are pleased to announce the guest artists joining us for the 2018 Seabury Quinn Jr Playwrights Festival:

Deborah Brevoort is a playwright and librettist from Alaska who now lives in the New York City area. She is an alumna of New Dramatists, an original company member with Alaska’s Perseverance Theatre and a co-founder of Theatre Without Borders. She is best known for her play The Women of Lockerbie, which won the Kennedy Center’s Fund for New American Plays Award and the silver medal in the Onassis International Playwriting Competition. The play is produced all over the US and internationally. It is published by DPS and by No Passport Press in a volume with The Comfort TeamThe Comfort Team, about military wives during the surge of Iraq, was written with a commission from the Virginia Stage Company, where it premiered in 2012. My Lord What a Night, a one-act play about Marian Anderson and Albert Einstein, premiered in 2016 at Premiere Stages. She has since turned it into a full length play. The Blue-Sky Boys, a comedy about NASA’s Apollo program, was written with a commission from the EST/ Sloan Foundation. It was produced at the Barter Theatre and Capital Rep where it was the #1 critics pick for 2016. The Poetry of Pizza, a cross cultural comedy about love, was produced at Purple Rose Theatre,Virginia Stage, Mixed Blood Theatre, California Rep, Centenary Stage, and others. The Velvet Weapon, a back stage farce, won the national playwriting contest at Trustus Theatre. It is published with The Poetry of Pizza by No Passport Press. Blue Moon Over Memphis, her Noh Drama about Elvis Presley, is published by Applause Books in “The Best American Short Plays.” It is produced by Theatre Nohgaku who is touring it internationally. Into the Fire won the Weissberger Award. Signs of Life won the Jane Chambers Award, a Rockefeller Foundation grant, and the gold medal in the Pinter Review Prize for Drama. Both are published by Samuel French.

Deborah has also written the librettos, books and lyrics for numerous musicals and operas. She holds MFA’s in playwriting from Brown University and in musical theatre writing from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Her website is: www.DeborahBrevoort.com.

Beth Blickers is currently an agent at APA, where she represents artists who work in theatre, opera, television and film. Before joining APA, she was an agent at Abrams Artists Agency, Helen Merrill Ltd. and the William Morris Agency, where she began work after graduating from New York University.

Beth has served on the jury panel for the Weissberger Award, the Ed Kleban Award, the Lark’s PONY Fellowship and Playwrights Week, participated in the Non-Traditional Casting Project, Inc.’s roundtable on inclusion and diversity in the theatre and has presented workshops and sessions on agenting, playwriting, directors and choreographers and related topics for organizations such as the Society of Directors and Choreographers Foundation, the Dramatists Guild, League of Professional Theatre Women, the Lark, New York University, the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, the Texas Educational Theatre Association and the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival.

She is a member of the Association of Authors’ Representatives, Inc. where she served on the board for 15 years; the President of Literary Managers & Dramaturgs of the Americas; and is the Board Chair Emeritus of Theatre Breaking Through Barriers, a New York company that works with artists with disabilities.

Doug Wright was most recently represented on Broadway by the musical War Paint, which played at the Nederlander Theater.  His earlier plays include I Am My Own Wife (Tony Award, Pulitzer Prize), Posterity, and Quills (Obie Award), as well as books for the musicals Grey Gardens (Tony Nomination), The Little Mermaid and Hands on A Hardbody. (Drama Desk Nomination). Films include the screen adaptation of Quills (Paul Selvin Award, WGA) and production rewrites for director Rob Marshall, Steven Spielberg and others. Acting credits include two appearances on Law and Order: Criminal Intent, and the films Little Manhattan and Two Lovers. He is president of The Dramatists Guild and on the Board of The New York Theater Workshop. He has received grants from United States Artists and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and is a graduate of Yale University (BA) and New York University (MFA). He has been a frequent guest at Yaddo and the MacDowell Art Colonies, and has taught or guest lectured at the Yale Drama School, Princeton University, Julliard and NYU.  He lives in New York with his husband, singer-songwriter David Clement and cats Glynis and Murray.

Chef Hari Nayak of Bobby Flay Fame to Bring Cooking Demonstration to OU April 27

April 24th, 2018 by

For over two decades Chef Hari Nayak has been exploring the gastronomic possibilities of modern Indian cuisine. More than just a chef, Nayak is also a restauranteur with critically acclaimed restaurants around the country, as well as an author of six bestselling cookbooks. He has also made numerous appearances on Food Network’s Beat Bobby Flay.

On Friday, April 27 at 3 p.m., Nayak will be returning to the Jefferson Marketplace on the Ohio University Athens campus for a cooking demonstration which will show students how to create everything from tasty chickpea snacks to sweet and soothing mango lassi. Nayak is the Culinary Director for Café Spice and the demonstration will focus on Café Spice’s samples and Nayak’s recipes.

WOUB’s Emily Votaw spoke to Nayak about his epicurean journey to culinary stardom, a few of his favorite dishes to prepare for those with limited cooking means (i.e. college students), and what Ohio University can expect from his upcoming demonstration.

Percussion Music From Around the World With the Ohio University Percussion Ensemble

April 13th, 2018 by

The School of Music and the Ohio University Percussion Ensemble present a free concert of music for percussion from around the world, in the Glidden Recital Hall at Ohio University on Thursday, April 19 at 7:30 p.m.

Directed by Professor Roger Braun and graduate teaching assistants Forrest Yankey and Ryan Swanson, the concert will feature a diverse program featuring music from Uganda, Brazil, Japan, and China, plus music inspired by musical traditions from India, Ghana, Indonesia, and the Middle East. The concert includes three pieces for the Embaire Xylophone, a giant 21 key instrument constructed for Ohio University by the Nakibembe Group of the Basoga region of Uganda. Soloists appearing in the concert include graduate student Jack Barry performing a concerto for darabukka and the Ohio University saxophone quartet, The fOUr, performing Roger Braun’s piece, Independent Streams.

Percussion Ensemble: Seth Alexander, Jack Barry, Josh Cleland, Jake Evans, Ryan Garrett, Garrett Greene, Ryan Harrison, Alex Johnstone, Adam Jones, Sean Lally, Reuben Miller, Mason Oaks, Savannah Schuring, Morgan Sieg, Ryan Swanson, Kyle Turner, Austin Walsh, and Forrest Yankey.

The Ohio University Percussion Ensemble performs a wide variety of innovative and influential music composed for percussion instruments. Performances by the ensemble have been featured at national and international conventions as well as schools and universities throughout the region. The ensemble also received excellent international reviews for its performances of Tan Dun’s “Elegy: Snow in June” and Lou Harrison’s “Concerto for Violin and Percussion Orchestra” recorded on the CD Sticks and Stones: Music for Percussion and Strings, released on Equilibrium Records.

Women of Appalachia Project’s Annual “Women Speak Gala” Set For April 21

April 12th, 2018 by

The Women of Appalachia Project (WOAP), Ohio University Multicultural Center and Women’s Center is pleased to announce the 9th Annual Women of Appalachia Project (WOAP) “Women Speak Gala” a fine art exhibition and juried presentation of poetry, story and song, showcasing women artists from throughout eight Appalachian states, and featuring special guest musicians Carow, Kraus, Martin and Pahl. Honey for the Heart and Passion Works Puppeteers will also perform throughout the evening.

The event will be held in Ohio University’s Baker Center Theater on April 21, 2018 at 6 p.m. Donations for Women in Recovery Housing, an organization located in southeast Ohio that works to provide a safe and supportive home environment for women who have the earnest desire and willingness to become accountable for their future, without dependence on drugs and alcohol, will be collected throughout the evening in Baker Theater as well at the Multicultural Center Art Gallery directly across from the theater where the WOAP fine art exhibition is currently on display. A reception will follow immediately after the event. Refreshments will be served.

Another highlight of the evening will be the presentation of the 2018 WOAP Appalachian Advocate Award which is presented yearly to an outstanding Appalachian woman who has dedicated herself to enhancing the wellbeing of Appalachian culture, Appalachian women’s health, Appalachian families or Appalachian land issues. This year’s recipient is author and archivist, Phyllis Wilson Moore. A Greene County Pennsylvania native, Wilson Moore’s connection to Appalachia runs deep. She has spent the past forty years researching, disseminating, and celebrating the multi-cultural literary history of Appalachia, in particular, her adopted home, West Virginia. She has passionately sustained an effort to rectify the image people outside of Appalachia have of the region, to refute the stereotype of the PIWASH, her invented acronym for “poor, illiterate, white, anglo-shoeless, hillbillies,” an image still too prevalent among those who know little about Appalachia.
The mission of WOAP is to showcase the way in which female artists respond to the Appalachian region as a source of inspiration, bringing together women from diverse backgrounds, ages and experiences to embrace the stereotype – to show the whole woman; beyond the superficial factors that people use to judge her.

When asked how living in Appalachia has influenced her life and therefore her art, Kentucky poet Tina Parker says. “I grew up in the Appalachian South (Bristol, VA) and in the Southern Baptist church. The places I have lived, with all their richness and complexity, are ingrained in my identity and in my work. When I write narrative poems about my childhood, I am asserting myself and forcing my story to be heard. I consider it my act of feminism to write poems based on the stories of women who have been hesitant to—or unable to—speak for themselves.”

“It wasn’t until I was an adult at a diversity training seminar that I learned I was part of a community of Urban Appalachians,” storyteller Tonja Reynolds shares. Without asking one question of me, the facilitator wrote “Urban Appalachian” on a “Hello My Name Is” sticker and made me wear it. I argued with him, insisting that where my parents came from had absolutely nothing to do with me. It turns out he was right; it had everything to do with who I was and how I related to the world. Now, two decades later, I spend much of my time writing historical fiction set in 1930s Appalachian coal towns as a way to connect with my Appalachian heritage.”

The presentation and fine art events are free to the public, though donations in support of Women in Health Recovery Housing will be gratefully accepted. During the time of reception immediately following the performance in the Multicultural Center Art Gallery, WOAP artists will be available for comment and discussion.

For more information go to www.womenofappalachia.com or visit WOAP on Facebook at @WomenofAppalachiaProject. For questions, email womenofappalachia@gmail.com


Confronting Birth, Death, and Growth: Speaking With Director Amy Jenkins

April 11th, 2018 by


Filmmaker and artist Amy Jenkins. (Submitted)

Instructions On Parting is a sprawling example of cinéma vérité as told from behind the camera of director Amy Jenkins over the course of a 10-year period. The film is a pragmatic yet elegiac ode to the essential and achingly human conundrum of death and birth, and their powerful capacity to put into motion necessary transformation. The film documents the birth of Jenkin’s first child, as well as the cancer diagnoses that her mother, sister, and brother all received within months of the child’s birth.

The film was put together over the course of many years, with some of the earliest footage dating back to around 2000, when Jenkins met the man she would eventually marry. Although Jenkins did not work with the footage for quite a while following the events that it documents, she found herself with a box full of those tapes while she was staying at the Yaddo artist community in Saratoga Springs, New York. She decided that she needed to work with them, and over the course of the following years, she did just that, premiering the film at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City in February 2018.

WOUB’s Emily Votaw spoke with Jenkins about the making of the film, her personal confrontation of some pretty stark human fears, and what film can do as a medium to preserve memory.

‘Instructions on Parting’ will be screened at the Athena Cinema (20 South Court Street, Athens) as a part of the Athens International Film and Video Festival on Thursday, April 12 at 5:30 p.m. 

(Amy Jenkins)


Stuart’s Opera House Hosts Bob Boilen Presenting Valerie June, Julie Byrne, and River Whyless

April 10th, 2018 by

Stuart’s Opera House welcomes NPR Music’s Bob Boilen for a special showcase of music featuring Valerie June, Julie Byrne, and River Whyless on Friday, April 13 at 8 p.m. This show is presented in collaboration with The Ohio University Scripps College of Communication, in partnership with the Ohio University Performing Arts & Concert Series, the School of Media Arts & Studies, the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, WOUB Public Media, and Arts for OHIO.

Boilen, host of NPR’s “All Songs Considered” and the creator and host of NPR’s “Tiny Desk Concerts,” will curate the evening, which will feature short interview segments with each performer. Doors will open at 6 p.m., for a happy hour before the show, with music starting at 8 p.m. Tickets are on sale now at 740-753-1924 or www.stuartsoperahouse.org and a limited number of free tickets are available for Ohio University students by contacting mediaschool@ohio.edu for more info.

Valerie June knows a thing or two about turning hopes and dreams into realities. With Pushin’ Against A Stone, she went from self-releasing her music as Tennessee’s best kept secret to being hailed by the New York Times as one of America’s “most intriguing, fully formed new talents.” The New Yorker was captivated by her “unique, stunning voice,” while Rolling Stone dubbed her “unstoppable,” and NPR called her “an elemental talent born with the ability to rearrange the clouds themselves.” She astonished TV audiences from coast-to-coast with spellbinding performances on The Tonight Show, The Late Show, Austin City Limits, Rachael Ray, and CBS Saturday Morning, and graced some of the world’s most prestigious stages, from Carnegie Hall to the Kennedy Center. First Lady Michelle Obama invited June to The White House, and she toured with artists like Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, Sturgill Simpson, Norah Jones, and Jake Bugg in addition to flooring festival crowds at Bonnaroo, Outside Lands, Newport Folk, Hangout, ACL, Pickathon, Mountain Jam and more. In the UK, the reaction was similarly ecstatic. June performed on Later…with Jools Holland, joined a bill with the Rolling Stones in Hyde Park, and took the press by storm. Uncut praised her “remarkably careworn vocals,” MOJO swooned for her “glorious sound,” and The Independent’s Andy Gill wrote, “June has the most strikingly individual delivery I’ve heard in ages.”

Julie Byrne’s second album, Not Even Happiness, has evolved at its own pace. It spans recollections of bustling roadside diners, the stars over the high desert, the aching weariness of change, the wildflowers of the California coast, and the irresolvable mysteries of love. Her new album vividly archives what would have otherwise been lost to the road, and in doing so, Byrne exhibits her extraordinarily innate musicality. Some of the songs on Not Even Happiness took years of fine-tuning to reach their fruition. Her last album was released in January 2014, on Chicago based DIY label Orindal after first existing as two separate cassette releases. Rooms With Walls and Windows went on to become a true modern-day word of mouth success story (it would have to be for an artist who shuns all forms of social media). By the end of the year, it was voted number 7 in Mojo Magazine’s Best Albums, with the Huffington Post calling it, “2014’s Great American Album.” A collection of hushed intimate front porch psych-folk songs, recalling the greats, but strongly emanating the essence of timeliness. Her journey to follow was captured in two summers through Europe, playing the Green Man Festival and End of the Road, as well as lesser-trodden tour paths around Italy.

Asheville, North Carolina’s River Whyless is a band much like that titular body of water – a mingling of currents, a flow of time and physical space, all brought together in a murmuring sense of purpose. It is the expression of a group of musicians, three of which are songwriters, who have played together in various forms since their college days in the North Carolina mountains. Their forthcoming EP, their first release since their 2012 debut album, is the next evolution of the band’s collective voice. Composed of Ryan O’Keefe (guitars, vocals), Halli Anderson (violin, vocals), Alex McWalters (drums, percussion) and Daniel Shearin (bass, vocals, harmonium, cello, banjo), the band found themselves at a bit of a crossroads when preparing music for a new release. “Sometimes each songwriter really differs quite a bit from the other,” said O’Keefe. “We had to figure out how to incorporate everyone’s writing style into a cohesive idea. These were the five songs where we could find that common thread.”

“Bob is a master curator and a devoted fan of music discovery,” said Josh Antonuccio, a lecturer in the School of Media Arts & Studies. “From his role in creating and hosting ‘Tiny Desk Concerts’ at NPR and his work with of ‘All Songs Considered’ at NPR Music, Bob remains a national treasure in the music industry. We are excited to welcome him back for a 2nd year.” Antonuccio will interview Boilen at Glidden Music Hall at Ohio University on Friday, April 13, from 10:30 a.m. to noon. The event will be live-streamed at mediaschool.ohio.edu. The two will be joined by acclaimed Memphis soul/folk artist Valerie June and singer/songwriter Julie Byrne.

The event is part of the Scripps Visiting Artist Series and is free and open to the public. Online viewers will be able to ask questions of guests via Twitter by tweeting their question with the hashtag #askoumdia.

This show is presented in collaboration with The Ohio University Scripps College of Communication, in partnership with the OU Performing Arts & Concert Series, Ohio University School of Media Arts & Studies, the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, WOUB Public Media, and Arts for Ohio.

Stuart’s Opera House welcomes NPR Music’s Bob Boilen for a special showcase of music featuring Valerie June, Julie Byrne, and River Whyless on Friday, April 13 at 8 p.m.

General Admission tickets are $15 and a limited number of free tickets are available for Ohio University students by contacting mediaschool@ohio.edu for more info. For more information call (740) 753-1924 or visit our website at www.stuartsoperahouse.org.

Third Annual Ampersand Festival Slated for April 9 at 7:30 p.m.

April 9th, 2018 by
The Ohio University School of Music is pleased to announce the Ampersand Festival 2018, a concert presented by the Wind Symphony on Monday, April 9 at 7:30 p.m. at Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium. This concert will feature four world premieres written by current students and alumni composers, including collaborative performances with local and regional rock bands and dancers. Admission to this concert is free and open to the public.
The Ampersand Festival, founded by Andrew Trachsel, associate professor of conducting and director of bands, explores new opportunities for creative collaboration across multiple musical genres and arts disciplines. The innovative and experimental programming of Ampersand breaks down traditional barriers to create new and authentic art to reach a wide audience. This is the third official year of the festival, and is a complementary event to the Athens International Film + Video Festival held April 9-15.
Two guest ensembles will be featured with the Wind Symphony. Wolfmen, founded in Athens and now active throughout the state, is comprised of four current and/or alumni musicians Seth Alexander, Bobby Lucas, Alex Shinn, and Daniel Spencer, who play progressive rock and have released two albums. Members of this group composed “In A Quiet Place” for this particular concert, which combines Wolfmen with the Wind Symphony.
The experimental rock trio Triangulus, also alumni, will perform a world premiere called “monsters like me” by D. Turner Matthews. Matthews graduated from Ohio University in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in composition and percussion performance and in 2017 from Rutgers University with a master’s degree in composition, has composed the piece specifically for the combination of Wind Symphony and Triangulus. The instruments that Triangulus plays are invented by Matthews and performed by him and two other percussion alumni: Eli Chambers and Seth Alexander.
Alexander wrote “The Paths Between” for this concert, which features the Wind Symphony and dancers Caroline Ciferno and Lily Gelfand, seniors in the Division of Dance who collaborated with Alexander on the piece. The “Paths” in the title refer to the choreography that takes place between the dancers, who are set apart between rows of the Wind Symphony.
The final piece that will be premiered is Aaron Butler’s “10 Breaths for Wind Ensemble,” an experimental exploration of slow sound transformation with structured silences built between. The piece is performed by the full Wind Symphony and entirely without a conductor.
Patrons are encouraged to transition from this concert to that evening’s Athens International Film + Video Festival After-Party, hosted at Jackie O’s at 9 p.m. and featuring music by Daniel Bachman, primitive guitar and dobro.
This event is free and open to the public. For more information about this and other School of Music Events, please visit www.ohio.edu/finearts/music/

PHOTOS: World Music and Dance Diversity Concert

April 7th, 2018 by

Friday, April 6 marked the 2018 edition of the World Music and Dance Diversity concert at Ohio University’s Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium. Check out these photos by WOUB’s Zane Wilson, 

(WOUB Public Media/Zane Wilson)
(WOUB Public Media/Jordan Kelley)
(WOUB Public Media/Wangyuxuan Xu)
(WOUB Public Media/Zane Wilson)
(WOUB Public Media/Zane Wilson)
(WOUB Public Media/Wangyuxuan Xu)
(WOUB Public Media/Wangyuxuan Xu)


OU Theatre Department Presents The Skin of Our Teeth April 7, 11-14

April 7th, 2018 by

Ohio University’s Theatre Division will be presenting its fourth production of the 2017-18 school year with The Skin of Our Teeth. The show will take place in the Forum Theatre in the RTVC building on campus April 7 and 11-14. General admission is $10, OU student admission is free with a valid ID, and non-OU students and senior admission is $7.

(WOUB Public Media/Zane Wilson)

The Skin of Our Teeth was written as a surrealist comedy in 1942 by American playwright Thornton Wilder. Through a series of three wildly different comedic acts, the play explores themes of family life and society at large.

(WOUB Public Media/Zane Wilson)

The central focus of the play revolves around an Eternal family who encounter a variety of challenges such as an Ice Age, flood, and war. Through each act the family is able to escape extreme situations just “by the skin of their teeth,” providing the play with both comedic and thoughtful material.

(WOUB Public Media/Zane Wilson)

“I think people will like it because it’s hilarious. It’s amazing to me that this play was written in 1942 which predates television sitcoms, because it really has that feel… if you are in a family you will identify with some of the things that happen in this play, because it uses the family as a symbol of society and humanity,” says third year MFA Director Ben Stockman.

(WOUB Public Media/Zane Wilson)

The Skin of Our Teeth is Stockman’s thesis project and final assignment in culmination of his degree with the Professional Director Training Program at Ohio University.

In addition to the comedic elements of the play, Stockman explains that there are many elements of The Skin of Our Teeth that are applicable to today’s social and political climate.

(WOUB Public Media/Zane Wilson)

“Even after I chose it, it started to become a lot more relevant in terms of what’s going on in America today. Part of The Skin of Our Teeth is about the human race and how it recovers from crises, and how it deals with impending crises…without even meaning to I’ve found that there are really interesting parallels between this play and things that have been going on in current events.”

The play uses a variety of theatrical techniques, such as a community theatre inspired set design, and the use of meta-theatrical performing, where the actors will break character and talk directly to the audience.

“Things happen during the course of the production that you barely see in theatre, but everything that happens in the script happens every night,” said Stockman.

(WOUB Public Media/Zane Wilson)

The show is comprised of 19 actors, three of which are graduate students, and the rest undergraduate.

Annie Ganousis, third year MFA graduate acting student describes her final Ohio University play performance in The Skin of Our Teeth as a fun and wild experience.

“It’s just so funny because it’s so aware of itself. I don’t think people laugh at themselves enough. We need to have a better sense of humor because we’re all so uptight about stuff. That’s why I love this play, we’re all just laughing… people should come see it and not be afraid to laugh.”

45th Annual Athens International Film and Video Festival Set for April 9-15

March 30th, 2018 by

The 45th annual Athens International Film and Video Festival (AIFVF) will take place April 9-15, with the dozens upon dozens of screenings taking place at the Athena Cinema on Court Street, and a number of affiliated celebratory events taking place throughout the city of Athens.

The festival is a little bit like a major holiday for movie buffs. Literally hundreds of movies, all of them selected by festival executive director David Colagiovanni and his hordes of undergraduate and graduate film students over the course of the year, are shown in blocks at the Athena Cinema. Student admission is free, and the festival is an Oscar qualifying film competition.

Artist Laurie Anderson.

Every year the festival brings impressive guest artists to the Ohio University campus, and this year is no different, featuring the likes of artistic pioneer and musician Laurie Anderson, avant-garde interdisciplinary artist Joseph Keckler, and experimental non-fiction filmmaker Laura Kraning.

“I am really excited to see Laurie (Anderson),” said Katey Jo Henry, a junior screenwriting producer major and one of the students in Colagiovanni’s Film 4440 Film Festival Practicum class. It’s early afternoon, and several students from Colagiovanni’s undergraduate classes are gathered in the Central Classroom building on Union Street in Athens on the outskirts of the academic Athens campus. Henry said that she had never heard of Anderson before taking the class, but that the lead up to the festival only increases her excitement for meeting the artist in person.

The festival itself is intended to expose audiences to a variety of films that come from a wealth of vantage points; the event has long been heralded for its spotlight on artwork made by marginalized groups.

A huge portion of the Film Festival Practicum class is made up of screening the many submissions the festival receives, allowing for students to chime in on how they feel about each work.

“Watching the films that are submitted really gives you a better feel for what the film community is doing right now, about the consciousness of the film community,” said Tanner Bidish, another junior enrolled in the class. “You can feel what is happening in the film community better through the short, small independent works that we screen than you do just by keeping up with the Oscars.”

Bidish said that he is particularly excited for The Cinema Travelers, a Cannes Film Festival award-winning documentary that chronicles the travelling film lorries of India, which bring films to rural villages. It should be noted that the feature is in competition at AIFVF.

“It’s a movie about movies, and it is a foreign film and a documentary, two types of film that I don’t get to see enough,” he said.

Another one of Colgiovanni’s undergraduate students, Madison Eblin, a senior in Journalism and Spanish, said that she is looking forward to the screening of RBG, a documentary about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

“This is my third semester helping out (with the film festival),” said Eblin. “It’s really cool seeing behind the scenes at a film festival. In the fall semester you watch a lot of movies, and in the spring semester you help out with the festival, so you get to see the two sides of producing the event.”

Carrie Love is a third-year graduate student in Ohio University’s MFA in Film program, and her experimental work Swimming will debut at the festival on Saturday, April 14 at 9 p.m. as a part of the “Moon in Pisces” block of short films in competition. Colagiovanni’s MFA students also work the film festival tirelessly throughout the duration of the event, oftentimes being allowed to miss class in order to participate in the festival.

Love said that since it is her final year in the program she plans to spend as much time at the festival as possible.

“I see some strong similarities between the Nelsonville Music Festival and the (AIFVF),” said Evan Hamilton, another undergraduate senior and one of Colagiovanni’s students. “If you go to a music festival, you may have never heard of more than half the acts, but when you go to the festival, you discover music that is new to you, and it’s the same way with the film festival, you are exposed to media that you wouldn’t have been exposed to otherwise.”

The festival is all at once one that highlights films from outside of the mainstream and that makes those works accessible to those who may not typically be exposed to any media from outside of the mainstream. For example, on the opening night of the festival, Farmsteaders, a documentary about regional dairy farm Laurel Valley Creamery, will be shown.

“We try to feature movies that are about where we are, and Farmsteaders is a beautiful example of that,” said Colagiovanni. “It’s showing at the festival will be the documentary’s world premiere, and it’s a movie that tells a story about people who live here in Appalachia in a fantastic way.”

Other films that are being screened at the festival that tie directly into the region include a historical documentary about the 1930 Millfield mine disaster that took the lives of 82 men, The Mothman of Point Pleasant, which chronicles the legend of nearby Point Pleasant, WV’s most fascinating monster, and The Devil We Know, a documentary about the Parkersburg, WV-based DuPont corporation’s knowing use of the chemical C8 to poison the population near their plant while making Teflon products.

“I’m from Gallipolis, which has a similar socioeconomic standing to Athens in terms of poverty, and as someone who was a kid in this area, I know that a lot of my peers did not get to see different kinds of film while we were growing up,” said Hamilton. “And they didn’t get to see how easily film can be made, there are a lot of low-fi pieces in the festival. So just the fact that the festival is accessible to kids in this area is huge, it’s something that broadens their horizons in terms of their understanding of what the potential for their lives are.”

One of the festival’s free events, which is entirely open to the public and easy to access on the Ohio University Athens campus, is Laurie Anderson’s VR exhibition, entitled Chalkroom. The exhibition is located in the GRID Lab, E.W. Scripps Hall Room 216-230. The work is by Anderson and Hsin-Chien Huang, and it utilizes virtual reality technology to allow words to literally soar through the air and fall to the ground to dissolve to dust.

“The school of theater is working to design a set for the exhibition, and it will be set up pretty much exactly how you would ordinarily experience it in a museum,” said Colagiovanni. “The exhibition is closed on Thursday, but other than that it is open regular hours and is free and open to the public throughout the festival. This is our first time doing a virtual reality piece, and it seems appropriate that it is Laurie Anderson’s.”

There will also be a number of afterparties throughout the week, each of them organized by Brian Koscho, marketing director for the upcoming Nelsonville Music Festival, and sponsored by the festival.

“We had worked with David (Colagiovanni) in the past to help out with little things throughout the film festival, just as any arts organization would, but this year he approached me and asked if we, as the Nelsonville Music Festival, could book and present the afterparties, and I jumped at the opportunity,” said Koscho. “Just personally I have always listened to lots of different kinds of music, but I have been interested in experimental music for years and years, and this seemed like a cool opportunity to push the envelope a little bit and present some different sorts of events.”

Some of the unconventional uses of performance and space include a 78 rpm listening party at the West End Ciderhouse on Wednesday, April 11 at 9 p.m., a mid-week evening of regional music in Ohio University’s Galbraith Chapel on Thursday, April 12 at 9:30 p.m., an Athens noise show reunion at ARTS/West on Sunday, April 15 at 7:30 p.m., and more.

“At the risk of being too general, I would say that something that there is something special Athens International Film and Video Festival and the Nelsonville Music Festival, although obviously one is about film and the other is about music. Both take place in a county of 60,000 that is sort of tucked away in the foothills, and both bring the unexpected,” said Koscho. “There is a lot of commonality, and my only guideline in booking and arranging the afterparties for the film festival was to make sure that I didn’t do anything that was too normal — nothing that was just a rock band playing or a singer-songwriter playing. We still have those things taking place, but they take place in unusual spaces in the middle of the week, I worked to make sure that everything was framed in an interesting, different sort of way.”

For a full listing of AIFVF events, check out the festival’s website. WOUB Culture will be covering the festival all week long, so keep tabs on us at @WOUBCulture and on Facebook

8th Annual World Music and Dance Diversity Concert Set for April 6

March 30th, 2018 by

For the past eight years the annual World Music and Dance Festival has been bringing international culture to Ohio University’s Athens campus. The event, which takes place in spring semester towards the end of March, is organized by Zelma Badu-Younge (professor of African, modern, and jazz dance techniques, choreography, dance ethnography, and world culture) and Paschal Yao Younge (professor of multicultural musical education) of the Ohio University College of Fine Arts.

This year the festival started on Monday, March 26 and will continue through Friday, April 6, culminating with the Diversity Concert scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at the Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium the final Friday of the festival. The concert will feature special guests Keith Moone, Eric Paton, Samba Diallo, Caph Guei, Tom Berich, Azaguno, Piscataway Indian Nation Singers and Dancers, and the Alexander High School Percussion Ensemble. The show will also include performances from the following Ohio University ensembles: Steel Band Ensemble, African Ensemble, Taiko Ensemble, New Chords on the Block, and the Largemouth Brass Band.

All festival long cultural expressions in the form of dance and music have been explored by various workshops around campus. These include African dance, steel band, taiko ensemble, and much more.

Guest artist Samba Diallo teaches students during an African dance workshop. (WOUB Public Media/Zane Wilson)

“Music and dance are a cultural phenomena,” said Paschal. “Every culture has them, and every ethnic group has their individual approaches to them. This festival and the concert are our way of getting students, at a very young age, exposed to other cultures.”

For the first time Alexander High School will be participating in the concert in the form of an African Percussion Ensemble, a collaboration that came to be because the director of the Alexander High School band happened to be taking one of Paschal’s Ohio University classes.

“As we were planning the festival this year, I was thinking to myself, how can we involve the larger Athens community, how can we get young people involved?” said Paschal. “This collaboration was like manna from heaven, the high school was very interested, and right now they have all of our African drums. I go every Tuesday and Thursday to rehearse with the students. They were a bit shy at first, but now they are very proud of what they will be doing in the concert. This is our way of exposing them to something different about Africa than what they may hear on the news, like ‘oh, Africa is impoverished, oh, Africa has serious problems with disease,’ we want them to learn about Africa through the arts.”

Guest artist Samba Diallo teaches students during an African dance workshop. (WOUB Public Media/Zane Wilson)

Zelma has been a faculty member at Ohio University for 15 years, and Paschal for 13, and throughout their careers they have worked diligently to broaden cultural horizons for Ohio University students.

“Most people in this area just grow up with western music – with the marching band, with The Beatles, with xylophone and piano – and some cultures have not even seen a piano before. There are so many different types of music, and they come from all these different cultures, and we just didn’t see that being represented in any way,” said Paschal. “Our new university president wants to emphasize globalization and diversity, and this festival is our way, from the College of Fine Arts, to diversify what we offer to our students. We (Zelma and Paschal) travel all over the world teaching, and if you go to a place like Asia, they are teaching all types of music in schools. So a student who grew up in Asia may come over to the United States and enroll in Ohio University and then they get here and all that representation is gone. In other places they teach hip-hop, they have different types of music integrated into the curriculum. Students from other places come here and they see that not even jazz is represented in the classroom, rock ‘n’ roll is not taught.”

“What we have realized, in our time teaching here, is that many of the students here may have never even been outside of Ohio,” said Zelma. “Although we are a part of programs that allow students to travel to Africa, to Ghana, all over the world, we see that there is little diversity in what is being taught here in the classroom. The issue is that oftentimes there is a tendency to look at other cultures, like African culture, and to see it as somehow not sophisticated, while in reality it is very sophisticated. For example, I was working with my dance students and I showed them a video of an African dance, and initially they said that they thought it would be very easy to do, but once they started to try, they realized that it was incredibly difficult and complex. We want to showcase the fact that cultures other than western ones are equally sophisticated and valuable. We give students an opportunity to learn about other cultures by traveling around the globe, but we also provide it right here on campus. I guess you could say we are dedicated.”

OU Welcomes Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist Elizabeth Kolbert April 3

March 28th, 2018 by

On Tuesday April 3, 2018 in Memorial Auditorium at 7:30 p.m., Ohio University’s Frontiers in Science Lecture Series welcomes Elizabeth Kolbert. She is an American journalist and author, who won a Pulitzer Prize for her book  The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History . She won the 2006 National Magazine Award for Public Interest, the 2005 American Association for the Advancement of Science Journalism Award and the 2010 National Magazine Award for Reviews and Criticism, as well as many other awards. Kolbert is a writer and commentator on environmentalism for The New Yorker Magazine.

OHIO’s Frontiers in Science lecture series was established in 1991 by a gift from Jeanette Grasselli Brown, an OHIO alumna and former University trustee, and her husband, Glenn R. Brown. The series features scientists who have been recognized for their commitment to share their scientific knowledge with individuals of all ages.

Elizabeth Kolbert
The Sixth Extinction
Tuesday, April 3, 2018
7:30 p.m. in Memorial Auditorium
Admission is free, doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Kolbert’s books will be on sale with book signing at lecture’s end

OU to Host Annual Spring Literary Festival April 11-13

March 28th, 2018 by

Ohio University will be hosting its 33rd annual Spring Literary Festival April 11-13, providing the Athens community an opportunity to engage with five distinguished writers in poetry, non-fiction, and fiction. The festival is sponsored by Ohio University’s creative writing program and the College of Arts and Sciences, and will take place on OU’s main campus as a free and open event for the public.

The Spring Literary Festival has been a celebrated part of Ohio University since 1986, and has continuously featured prominent writers from around the world. The three-day festival includes readings and lectures from each of the five featured writers, as well as an opportunity for students and community members to purchase published works by each writer.

This year’s writers include Mary Gaitskill (fiction), Geoff Dyer (nonfiction), Aisha Sabatini Sloan (nonfiction), Alan Shapiro (poetry), and Rosanna Warren (poetry).

“This year’s writers are some of the favorites of our creative writing program—faculty and students. We are absolutely thrilled to have this award-winning lineup, and, as always, we’re looking forward to the best three days in literature anywhere in the country,” said Spring Literary Festival Coordinator, David Wanczyk.

The festival will feature 10 different events, and each year attracts about 1,500 total visitors. The lectures and readings can range from a number of different topics, providing guests an opportunity to engage in unique discussions with a variety of writers.

“One of my favorite things about Lit Fest is that seemingly disparate presentations end up in conversation with one another, and so the writers will reference each other, and have conversations throughout the week that we’re privileged to witness,” said Wanczyk.

Additionally, this year the Spring Literary Festival teamed up with the Athens County Public Library to create a sort of book club, where participants will be reading The Mare by visiting writer Mary Gaitskill.

“This is a great way for us to get the community excited for Lit Fest,” said Wanczyk.

This year’s Literary Festival schedule is as follows:
Wednesday, April 11 (Walter Hall Rotunda)
7:30 p.m. Geoff Dyer lecture
8:30 p.m. Alan Shapiro reading

Thursday, April 12 (Walter Hall Rotunda)
11 a.m. Rosanna Warren lecture
12 p.m. Alan Shapiro lecture
7:30 p.m. Aisha Sabatini Sloan reading
8:30 p.m. Mary Gaitskill reading

Friday, April 13 (morning lectures, Alden 4; evening readings, Baker Theater)
11 a.m. Mary Gaitskill lecture
12 p.m. Aisha Sabatini Sloan lecture
7:30 p.m. Geoff Dyer reading
8:30 p.m. Rosanna Warren reading
Closing reception in 1804 Room (Baker 5)

One Man, 3,000 Pounds of Clay, and Five Screens: Speaking With Artist Erik Zohn

March 28th, 2018 by

Erik Zohn is a third year Ohio University School of Art and Design MFA Ceramics candidate. For his thesis project, he chose to expand on a peculiar brand of isolation performance that he crafted on a small scale last year. This time around, he descended into a 3,000 pound clay pod of his own making, located on the third floor of the very quiet Building 19 of The Ridges, on the evening of Monday, March 19. He made it clear that he would not come out until he reached an unspecified amount of social media attention. That goal ended up being 1,500 likes, comments, and shares, a goal he met on the evening of Friday, March 23.

WOUB’s Emily Votaw spoke to Zohn about his interesting thesis project, his inspirations for the piece, and what it was like to feel alone even with the world at his fingertips in the form of five digital media screens. Zohn’s thesis exhibition will open in the Trisolini Gallery in Baker Center on Thursday, April 5 at 6 p.m.

Artist Erik Zohn outside of his 3,000 pound clay isolation pod on Friday, March 23, when he released himself from his imprisonment. (Facebook.com)


PHOTOS: Kenny G at Ohio University

March 26th, 2018 by

On Friday, March 23, the stage of the Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium was graced by none other than Kenny G. The audiences enjoyed the soothing sounds of G’s sax, as well as his strategically placed saxophone jokes. Take a gander of the photos of the performer, taken by WOUB’s Austin Janning. 

(Austin Janning/WOUB)
(Austin Janning/WOUB)
(Austin Janning/WOUB)
(Austin Janning/WOUB)
(Austin Janning/WOUB)
(Austin Janning/WOUB)
(Austin Janning/WOUB)

PHOTOS: Screening ‘Our Town: Athens’

March 25th, 2018 by

Sunday, March 25, 2018 marked the screening of WOUB’s “Our Town: Athens,” a documentary by Emmy Award-winning producer Evan Shaw that chronicles the long and winding history of Athens through the lens of a myriad of interviews with regional history experts. The documentary will be shown again at 8 p.m. on Monday, March 26. Check out the photos from the screening below. 

A special cake with the “Our Town: Athens” emblem was enjoyed by guests to the VIP reception of the screening. (WOUB Public Media/Emily Votaw)
WOUB’s Yvonne Morman and Sue Cyran welcome the crowds coming into Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium for the showing of “Our Town: Athens.” (WOUB Public Media/Emily Votaw)
The auditorium was brimming with an audience for the screening of “Our Town: Athens.” (WOUB Public Media/Emily Votaw)
WOUB’s general manager, Mark Brewer, delivers some words before the screening. (WOUB Public Media/Emily Votaw)
The Local Girls perform before the screening. (WOUB Public Media/Emily Votaw)
Athens Mayor Steve Patterson speaks to the crowd assembled for the viewing. (WOUB Public Media/Emily Votaw)
Director Evan Shaw looks to the crowd assembled on the balcony for the screening. (WOUB Public Media/Emily Votaw)


Ohio University Lancaster Theatre’s ‘Next to Normal’ Opens April 4

March 13th, 2018 by

Ohio University Lancaster Theatre continues its 2017-2018 season with the modern musical, next to normal. The show opens Wednesday, April 4 at 7 p.m. and runs through April 8, 2018. Tickets are available now at right here.

Acclaimed as “the best musical of the 21st century” by Rolling Stone magazine, next to normal tells the story of a suburban family coping with their troubled mother. Christina Bernthold, a junior Communications major, plays the role of Diana Goodman, the troubled mother. She says about the role, “Diana has many different sides to her and I am excited to be able to show her troubles and her triumphs; she is a complex character.”

Brenton LeuVoy, a junior Theatre major, who plays the role of Dan Goodman, Diana’s husband, and father of the family, echoes that idea. When asked why the role interested him, he said “Dan is in such a complicated position that brings out so many conflicting emotions and his songs bring out those deep feelings in such a beautiful way.” Both LeuVoy and Bernthold agree that this show is one of a kind and should not be missed. Bernthold says, “the show is real and shows a family with hardships that anyone can identify with” while LeuVoy says, “there is something in this story that people from all walks of life can relate to.”

With a score by Tom Kitt and book/lyrics by Brian Yorkey, next to normal boasts a modern sound not typically heard in musicals. The music has a pop rock sound that contains familiar elements such as drums, bass, and electric guitar. Bernthold loves the music, saying, “it’s a new era of theatre” and wants “anyone, from any generation, to experience just how heartfelt this musical is.”
The musical, which won a Pulitzer Prize for Drama and three Tony Awards in 2009, was acclaimed by critics such as The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, and The New York Times. It is an unflinching look at grieving, loss, and life. LeuVoy encourages everyone to see the show, saying that it is “one of those once-in-a-lifetime moments that no one wants to miss. I think that the OUL Theatre program is doing something very special and I encourage anyone to see this show, because it will change you.”

Ohio University Lancaster Theatre’s box office is staffed Monday through Friday, 12 p.m. – 4 p.m., beginning Wednesday, March 14, 2018, as well as one hour before shows. To order tickets, call 740-681-3353 or visit the box office in front of the Wagner Theatre at 1570 Granville Pike. OUL Theatre is partnering with Fairfield County ADAMH and Artistic Sign Language services on the special production. ASL Interpreters will be provided at the Sunday, April 8, 2 PM matinee. For more information, visit the theatre program website at this link or contact Theatre Director A. Victor Jones at jonesv2@ohio.edu.

‘Our Town: Athens’ Debuts on WOUB-TV, Monday, March 26 at 8

March 6th, 2018 by

Our Town: Athens explores the long, rich history of Athens, as told through the lens of numerous interviews and tons of fascinating historic photographs and footage. The production is crafted by Evan Shaw, WOUB’s award-winning producer responsible for the four prior installments to the “Our Town” series.

In this interview, WOUB’s Emily Votaw spoke to Shaw about the making of the feature, how he goes about a project as wide-ranging as this one, and what viewers can expect from the program.

“Our Town: Athens” will debut at the Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium on Ohio University’s Athens campus on Sunday, March 25 at 3 p.m. The program will be broadcast on WOUB-HD on Monday, March 26 starting at 8 p.m. 

Bob Boilen, Valerie June, Julie Byrne, River Whyless to Visit OU April 13

March 1st, 2018 by

The Ohio University Scripps College of Communication, in partnership with the Ohio University Performing Arts & Concert Series, the School of Media Arts & Studies, the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, WOUB Public Media, and Arts for OHIO, will welcome NPR Music’s Bob Boilen to the main campus of Ohio University in Athens on Friday, April 13, during the college’s 2018 Communication Week.

Boilen, host of NPR’s “All Songs Considered” and the creator and host of NPR’s “Tiny Desk Concerts,” will take part in a live on-campus interview event in the morning, moderate an afternoon industry panel, and then will host a music showcase in the evening at Stuart’s Opera House. Boilen will be joined by a collection of acclaimed artists, including Valerie June, Julie Byrne, and River Whyless.

“Bob is a master curator and a devoted fan of music discovery,” said Josh Antonuccio, a lecturer in the School of Media Arts & Studies. “From his role in creating and hosting ‘Tiny Desk Concerts’ at NPR to his work with of ‘All Songs Considered’ at NPR Music, Bob remains a national treasure in the music industry. We are excited to welcome him back for a second year.”

Antonuccio will interview Boilen at Glidden Music Hall on Friday, April 13, from 10:30 a.m. to noon. The event will be livestreamed at mediaschool.ohio.edu. The two will be joined by Memphis soul/folk artist Valerie June and singer/songwriter Julie Byrne. Both released albums in 2017 that graced many music critics’ top albums lists for the year.

The interview event is part of the Scripps Visiting Artist Series and is free and open to the public. Online viewers will be able to ask questions of guests via Twitter with the hashtag #askoumdia.
In the afternoon, Boilen will be moderating a panel of Scripps alumni in the field of music journalism titled: “Breaking Out, Breaking In.” The panel includes such industry leaders as Jill Mapes, of Pitchfork Media; Chris Deville, of Stereogum; Marah Aiken, of The A.V. Club/The Onion; and Rob Harvilla, of The Ringer. The panel is at 2 p.m. in Schoonover Center 145 and is open to the public.

That evening, Boilen will present a music showcase at the historic Stuart’s Opera House in Nelsonville, Ohio, at 8 p.m. The concert will feature sets by Valerie June, Julie Byrne, and Asheville, N.C. band River Whyless. Boilen will curate the evening, which will feature short interview segments with each performer.

General admission tickets are $15 and will be made available through stuartsoperahouse.org starting Feb. 27th, at 1 p.m. Admission for Ohio University students is free with a valid student ID, contingent on availability. Student tickets can be obtained in advance by e-mailing mediaschool@ohio.edu. Bus service from the Ohio University campus to Stuart’s Opera House will be made available for Ohio University students on the night of the show. Bus pickup will be in front of Schoonover Center at 7 p.m. and will return to Schoonover Center for drop off after the performance.

OU Division of Theater Presents ‘The Government Inspector’ Opening March 1

March 1st, 2018 by

Ohio University’s Theater Division in the school of dance, film, and theatre will be presenting its third production of the 2017-18 school year with The Government Inspector. The show will take place in the Elizabeth Evans Baker Theatre in Kantner Hall on March 1-3, and March 6-9. General admission is $10, OU student admission is free with a valid ID, and non-OU students and senior admission is $7.

The Government Inspector was written as a dark satire in 1836 by Russian playwright Nikolai Gogol and adapted in English by the modern American playwright Jeffery Hatcher.

(WOUB Public Media/Zane Wilson)

The play explores themes of power, corruption, and greed in a small Russian village as word gets out that the government has sent an inspector to report on the citizen’s bad-behavior. Falsely believing one man to be the government inspector, the citizen’s quickly expose their most selfish sides in order to advance their positions in society.

“It’s a very corrupt town populated by very corrupt people… most of them lie, cheat, steal, and do what they need to do to get what’s theirs,” said Brian Epperson, a third year MFA acting student playing the role of Hlestekov.

(WOUB Public Media/Zane Wilson)

Through the use of comedy and satire, The Government Inspector highlights many depraved aspects of society and humanity at large.

“I would call it an equal-opportunity offender,” said Director Dennis Delaney, Associate Professor of Theater and Directing in the College of Fine Arts. “Basically the whole argument is that people are either already corrupt or they are imminently corruptible.”

(WOUB Public Media/Zane Wilson)

The Government Inspector was originally written in part to comment on the age of Imperialism in 17th century Russia, but the subject matter and presentation can be applicable to modern issues.

“Considering the political climate right now this is the perfect play to put on, to poke fun at the whole process,” said Delaney.

(WOUB Public Media/Zane Wilson)

Though the play may not contain a classic hero, or even many likeable characters, the use of satire allows the message of The Government Inspector to keep audiences introspective.

“Our job as theater artists in the 21st century is to illuminate some corner of societal life and to ask you as an audience to investigate how you’re living your life and why,” said Delaney. “This play in particular uses satire in that effect. It holds up magnifying glasses to power, corruption, greed, bureaucracy, etc.”

(WOUB Public Media/Zane Wilson)

The 16-person cast includes Brian Epperson, Shon Middlebrooks, Kristin Conrad, Evie Weir, Tim Ashby, Taylor Neely, Damian George, Morgan Parsons, Blake Dava, Carlie Meyers, Nick Wilson, Camila Benencia, Jack Benken, Daisy Bentley, Sophia Vangessel and Abby McNulty.

WOUB-HD to Broadcast ‘Bee Gees One For All Tour’ March 3

February 28th, 2018 by

The Bee Gees might be one of the most polarizing names in pop music. To music nerd, they are a British/Australian trio who managed to write, record, and produce some of the most unique earworms of the 20th century. To just about everyone else, they’re the guys with the big hair and comically high-pitched voices responsible for the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack.

On Saturday, March 3, WOUB-HD will broadcast Bee Gees One For All Tour – Live Australia 1989 at 8:30 p.m. The program documents the group’s third to final stop during their 1989 global All For One Tour in Melbourne’s National Tennis Centre, about a decade after their disco stardom and over three decades after the group’s 1958 formation. Check out this link to keep up to date about encore presentations of the program.

“That tour would have been before time starting taking the brothers Gibb away from us one by one,” said Eddie Ashworth, a professor in Ohio University’s School of Media Arts and Studies. Ashworth is a seasoned recording industry professional and an expert in the fields of music production, song and lyric composition, and analog audio assessment, among many other things. “By 1989, the Bee Gees were a major force in pop music – there is a great argument to be made for them being the main group to popularize disco. Love it or hate it, it can’t be denied that the songs on Saturday Night Fever are consummately well-crafted.”

The special features many of the Bee Gee songs that are commonly associated with the outfit, like “Stayin’ Alive,” “Jive Talkin’,” “How Deep Is Your Love,” and “Nights on Broadway,” as well as a smattering of deeper material – such as “New York Mining Disaster 1941” (the single that introduced them to American audiences in 1967,) and “Spicks and Specks,” the group’s first Australian hit from 1966.

“Although by that point in the Bee Gees’ career I was not paying too much attention to them, it was a period wherein they could pull out all of their songs for appreciative audiences, sell out arenas and make a ton of loot,” said Ashworth. “By then they were past the peak in their career, but they were still formidable singers with a great stage presence, doing what they do best: sing together.”

“By 1989, the Bee Gees were a major force in pop music – there is a great argument to be made for them being the main group to popularize disco, and love it or hate it, it can’t be denied that the songs on Saturday Night Fever are consummately well-crafted.” – Eddie Ashworth

Ashworth said the Bee Gees are responsible for one of his top 20 favorite albums of all time, 1969’s red-velvet covered Odessa.

“The Bee Gees are a fascinating band, I love them. I guess my least favorite period of their work is also their most popular, when they reinvented themselves as disco maestros for a new audience. But I’m a big fan of their beautiful early pop hits, like “I Started a Joke” and “New York Mining Disaster 1941,” he said. “But it is their middle era, after their string of early hits, that I like best. They were experiencing a dip in their popularity, and so they did what so many bands of the period did: they released a double album.”

The release of the Beatles’ White Album in 1968 proved that double albums could be commercially successful, which led to many other groups releasing indulgent records with ostentatious artwork and over-the-top themes.

Perhaps the album’s lavish nature could be best summarized by examining the series of title changes that the work underwent over the course of its production: first An American Opera, then the showy Masterpiece, and finally Odessa. It is also worth noting that the red flocked cover with the simple gold lettering, (with an absence of any photographs of the group or mention of them other than a note that all the songs were written by B, R & M Gibb,) is incredibly rare, as it was discontinued due to the high cost of production and allergic reactions among the assembly line workers producing the album.

Odessa is one of those great, underappreciated classics. It is an example of record you just could not make today, theoretically there just isn’t a market for it. It’s amazing to me to look back on the time period in which it was released, when such a willfully uncommercial record could be made,” said Ashworth. “But even though it’s very indulgent, and heavily orchestrated, the song-smithery is certainly still there. It’s one of the craziest yet most accessible records ever made, and the Bee Gees are totally behind it. Everything about the Bee Gees is all over this album; this crazy, overblown, indulgent, yet oddly affecting two-record set with a velvet red cover.”

When quizzed on his theory for the sort of collective dismissal of the Bee Gees as a serious rock act, Ashworth said that it has more to do with the listeners than the brothers Gibb.

“A lot of people just worry too much about what is considered cool and not cool. The Bee Gees, like the Moody Blues and The Monkees, kind of exist in their own space,” he said. “People often take for granted writing good, catchy, memorable songs – a lot of people think that it’s easy to do. But it is not easy. It is much easier to pick up an acoustic guitar and sing some ‘poor me’ lyrics – but to be able to communicate universal truths through memorable melodies and lyrics that are carefully chosen and chiseled is a true art form.”

Todd Burge Headed to the Front Room Feb. 28

February 27th, 2018 by

West Virginia’s Todd Burge will be performing at the Front Room Coffeehouse in the Baker Center on Ohio University’s Athens campus Wednesday, February 28 at 8:30 p.m.

Burge might be most widely known for his frequent appearances on West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s Mountain Stage. Larry Groce, the longtime host of Mountain Stage, has referred to Burge as “West Virginia’s premier songwriter.”

Lisa Buch Examines Aftermath of Sexual Assault in ‘Simple Math’

February 26th, 2018 by

Sexual assault is never a simple liaison. Memory, time, and neurobiology work together to ensure the event’s ugly, extensive stain.

Ohio University College of Fine Arts Division of Theater MFA Acting candidate Lisa Buch examines the complex emotional aftermath faced by a survivor of sexual assault in her one-woman play-in-progress Simple Math. WOUB’s Emily Votaw spoke with Buch about the writing of the show, what timely elements played a part in it’s creation, and what she hopes audiences will leave her performances with.

“(In Simple Math) I use this example of a tree being cut down — it doesn’t know it’s dead and still sprouts leaves in the spring. There is a tenacity to life, and despite an awful, violent event, and we are strong and can go on,” said Buch. “It doesn’t mean you never get triggered again or don’t have bad days or moments. It means you’ve been through something, and you’re still here.”

Simple Math will be performed in CREATE Space in Putnam Hall on Ohio University’s Athens campus (227 Putnam Hall, 98 East Union Street, Athens) on Saturday, March 3 at 8:30 p.m. and Sunday, March 4 at 2 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Tickets are free, and can be reserved by emailing director Olivia Rocco at or957715@ohio.edu. Both monetary donations and goods for My Sister’s Place will be accepted at all performances. A list of goods requested by the shelter is available here.

Lisa Buch in rehearsal for “Simple Math.” (Photo by Michaela Chilenski)

PHOTOS: CMT Next Women of Country Tour

February 26th, 2018 by

On Friday, February 23, 2018, the CMT Next women of Country tour stopped by Ohio University’s Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium for an evening of exciting contemporary country music by some of the most promising rising female stars of modern day country music. The performance featured RaeLynn, Kalie Shorr, and Sara Evans. WOUB’s Zane Wilson snapped some photos of the enjoyable evening, and you can check them out below.

Kalie Shorr performs on Ohio University’s Athens campus. (WOUB Public Media/Zane Wilson)
Kalie Shorr performs on Ohio University’s campus. (WOUB Public Media/Zane Wilson)
RaeLynn performs on Ohio University’s Athens campus. (WOUB Public Media/Zane Wilson)
RaeLynn performs on Friday, February 23, 2018. (WOUB Public Media/Zane Wilson)
RaeLynn performs on Ohio University’s Athens campus. (WOUB Public Media/Zane Wilson)
Sara Evans performs son Friday, February 23, 2018. (WOUB Public Media/Zane Wilson)
Sara Evans performs on Ohio University’s campus. (WOUB Public Media/Zane Wilson)

Mister Rogers, Doo Wop, and More: a Program Guide for March 2018

February 23rd, 2018 by

March is finally here, and even though it looks like things aren’t going to get much warmer for a while, the programming on WOUB-HD is just heating up! Check out this program-by-program guide to some of the most exciting shows coming to WOUB-HD throughout the month. If you happen to miss a broadcast, you need not worry. Keep up with https://woub.org/woubtvschedules/ for information on encore presentations of all your favorite programs. 

Episodes of “Mister Roger’s Neighborhood” that mirror more contemporary episodes of “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” will air on WOUB-HD Feb. 26 through March 2. (pbs.org)

Mister Roger’s Neighborhood/Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: Monday, February 26 through Friday, March 2, 9:30 a.m.

Mister Rogers: It’s You That I Like: Tuesday, March 6 at 8 p.m. 

2018 marks a big year for Mister Fred Rogers, a man who brought the universal virtues of kindness, understanding, and patience to thousands upon thousands of television screens starting in the mid-’60s. There are numerous film homages to Rogers in the works — including one that will feature America’s sweetheart, Tom Hanks, as the beloved PBS star, and an in-depth documentary, Mister Rogers: It’s You That I Likethat will air on WOUB-HD on Tuesday, March 6 at 8 p.m. Rogers will even be featured on a United States Postal Service stamp this year. Watch woub.org/culture for an interview with John Butler, an Ohio University professor who also worked on Roger’s show for years, and managed to make a couple cameo appearances on screen, as well. That feature will debut on Friday, March 2.

Catch up on all the Mister Rogers you miss during WOUB-HD’s partner programming of the classic show alongside contemporary animated homage to Mister Rogers, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, at 9:30 a.m. every day Monday, February 26 through Friday, March 2. Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood takes more than just a page from Mister Rogers, as some of the characters from our old favorite neighborhood manage to pop up in interesting ways in Daniel Tiger’s new one; including Prince Wednesday, the child of King Friday XIII, and Katerina Kittycat, the daughter of Henrietta Pussycat. For this week only, each broadcast of Daniel Tiger will be followed up with the episode of Mister Rogers that inspired it.

Musical Programming

Whether you’ve got love for the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, the Bee Gees, George Harrison, or Jimmy Buffett, WOUB-HD has something right up your alley in the coming weeks. 

He Touched Me: The Gospel Music of Elvis Presley: Saturday, March 3 at 7 p.m. 

The tale of Elvis Presley is a melancholy, truly American, and never untuneful story of an outrageously talented poor boy from Tupelo, Mississippi that was catapulted to cultural icon status during the hectic mid-century. Although he might be best known for his hip thrusts and contribution to the American institution of rock ‘n’ roll, Presley was at heart a deeply religious man, something that spurred from his rural American roots. He Touched Me: The Gospel Music of Elvis Presley is a documentation of Presley’s unwavering devotion to gospel music, a passion that was again and again tossed off by record label executives and producers. The documentary is narrated by Cleveland’s own veteran newscaster, Sander Vanocur, and features rare footage and photos of the king of rock ‘n’ roll’s rarely documented impromptu offstage gospel performances, as well as interviews and commentary you won’t find too many other places.

Bee Gees One For All Tour — Live Australia 1989: Saturday, March 3 at 8:30 p.m. 

Riddle me this: what does it mean to be a Bee Gees fan? This question and much more is explored by an in-depth interview with self-professed Bee Gees fan Ohio University School of Media Arts and Studies professor Eddie Ashworth that will run on woub.org/culture on Wednesday, February 28. That particular piece is intended to promote this program, which features the Bee Gees on their third to final stop during their 1989 One For All World Tour in Melbourne’s National Tennis Centre in Melbourne Park. Everyone’s favorite harmonizing brothers run through everything from crowd delighting chart-toppers, like “Jive Talkin’,” to deep cut fan favorites, like “New York Mining Disaster 1941.”

Jimmy Buffett: Buried Treasure: Saturday, March 3 at 10:30 p.m. 

Jimmy Buffett wasn’t always the patron saint of day-drinking, island escapism, and tacky, overpriced souvenir shop wares, he was once just a musician from Mobile, Alabama with some serious hopes and an unstoppable drive to craft his unique brand of music. Jimmy Buffett: Buried Treasure features a pre-beach Buffett and his stripped down tunes, and tells the tale of man who perfected a craft that would make him a whole lot of money through brute touring and determination.

Roy Orbison: Black & White Night 30: Sunday March 4 at 9:30 p.m. 

Last year Roy Orbison’s legendary 1988 performance in the Ambassador Hotel’s Coconut Grove nightclub in Los Angeles was re-packaged for a special 30th year celebration of the monumental concert. The show features Orbison (who had, at the time, been freshly reintroduced to the public largely thanks to the popularity of David Lynch’s bizarre 1986 film Blue Velvet and it’s show-stopping use of Orbison’s 1954 tune “In Dreams,”) alongside the likes of some of his most devoted fans, such as k.d. lang, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Waits, Jackson Browne, and many more. This program features the entire performance plus some extra material that was not included in the original 1988 release.

Queen: Rock the World: Monday, March 5 at 10 p.m. 

Regardless of what you think of Queen, this documentary is an interesting behind-the-scenes examination of the band’s recording of their sixth album, News of the World, and embark on a career-changing 1977 North American tour. As a sort of perfect circling, this documentary features footage of the band’s 2017 performances with American Idol’s Adam Lambert as their vocalist, with the group coming back to some of the same cities they visited some 40 years previous.

Rolling Stones: Sticky Fingers at the Fonda Theater: Friday, March 9 at 9:30 p.m. 

The Rolling Stones have been putting on some of the most electrifying shows in the history of rock ‘n’ roll for the duration of their stunning 50-year-plus career. This program chronicles the band’s 2015 performance of the entirety of their 1971 classic album Sticky Fingers at Los Angeles’ Fonda Theater as an installment of the group’s From the Vault series, which has been releasing a number of otherwise hard to obtain live footage of the beloved group. Check out an in-depth feature on the documentary, as well as the cultural significance of the first Rolling Stones album to be released without founding member Brian Jones, on woub.org/culture on March 7. The editorial piece will include interviews with Kyle Siegrist of Columbus’ Lost Weekend Records, and Ohio University’s Eddie Ashworth.

Doo Wop Generations (My Music): Saturday, March 10 at 3 p.m. 

Doo Wop is one of the crucial genres that lies between true roots music — blues, jazz, and before that, West African music — and the contemporary pop music monster. Check woub.org/culture on Friday, March 9 for a feature that examines the cultural significance of doo wop, featuring interviews with Ohio University’s School of Fine Arts Division of Dance’s Tom Berich and local self-professed music nerd Kate Renner. This special features performances by the likes of Frankie Lyman’s Teenagers, The Skyliners, The Duprees, The Belmonts, and more — putting the spotlight on the elder statesmen of the nobel genre passing the torch to the new generation of musicians who will carry it’s traditions on.

Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, and Ray Price: Last of the Breed: Thursday, March 15 at 8 p.m. 

The 2007 The Last of the Breed tour was an astounding feat completed by three of the most impressive acts in the history of modern country western music: Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, and Ray Price. Since that time, Haggard and Price have both passed away, leaving only Willie Nelson out of the trio of incredible performers. This special marks an encore presentation of the incredible final performance of that tour, taped in March 2007.

Celtic Thunder X: Friday, March 16 at 8:30 p.m. 

Sometime around 2008, Celtic Thunder found fame in the hearts and minds of all of those who claim even a smidgen of Irish heritage — or those who just feel Irish at heart. The group is known for their striking, theatrical and eclectic live show, and this special features the group performing 27 new songs, as well as some traditional favorites.


Concert for George: Saturday, March 17 at 10 p.m. 

George Harrison was not only a part of the most important foursome in the history of rock ‘n’ roll — The Beatles — but also an important voice on all matters spiritual, comedic, and musical in his own right. This special is an encore presentation of the November 29, 2002 tribute performance at Royal Albert Hall in London organized one year after Harrison’s death by Olivia Harrison and Eric Clapton. Look for a special editorial feature on Harrison featuring regional Beatles nuts Bryan Gibson (WOUB Public Media) and Chris Pyle (Donkey Coffee) that will run on woub.org/culture Thursday, March 15.

Dailey & Vincent – Alive!: Thursday, March 22 at 8 p.m. 

Dailey & Vincent have been nominated for multiple Grammys, and for good reason. This special showcases the duo’s spectacular talent, backed by their 10-person band and a full orchestra, performing a selection of their favorite patriotic tunes, Statler Brother hits, and their own originals in the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas, Virginia.


Health and Wellness Programming 

Sure, maybe it’s almost three months into the new year and your New Year’s resolutions are probably in the trash. Worry not! WOUB-HD has a wealth of programming that will help you reset your metabolism, age more gracefully, and examine the confines of your own psyche. 

On the Psychiatrist’s Couch with Daniel Amen, M.D.: Saturday, March 3 at 1 p.m. 

According to the Washington Post, Dr. Daniel Amen is America’s favorite psychiatrist. He’s had numerous American Public Television specials, and on this particular one focuses on the many lessons that he’s learned throughout his decades of work in the field of psychiatry. Dr. Amen takes a pretty strictly neurobiological stance on psychological ills, especially the common woes of generalized anxiety, contemporary ennui, and the good ‘ol blues. After decades of studying brain scans, Dr. Amen has formulated a number of “brain prescriptions” that don’t come in orange plastic pill vials; instead they come in the form of simple lifestyle changes, most of them being nutritionally, behaviorally, or activity-based.

3 Steps to Incredible Health! With Joel Furhman, M.D.: Saturday, March 3 at 4:30 p.m. 

Dr. Joel Furhman is a former competitive figure skater turned celebrity doctor who petitions for the importance of a micronutrient-rich diet. He advocates a simple and almost entirely nutrition-based approach to weight loss and preventing disease. This program boils down some of the most important lessons of Dr. Furhman’s general approach into three, easy-to-consume steps.

Food: What The Heck Should I Eat? With Mark Hyman, M.D.: Sunday, March 4 at 12 p.m.

 Dr. Mark Hyman is a best-selling author and a columnist for the Huffington Post, who focuses his research and work on the many common misconceptions that have formed around food. He penned a New York Times best-selling book that bears the same name as this special, and in that volume he delves deep into some of the misguided ideas that even the most well-intended wellness-minded people maintain. This program will dispel certain ideas about food, such as the belief that oatmeal is the ultimate best way to start the day and other such general conceptions about our favorite chow.


Incredible Aging: Adding Life to Your Years: Sunday, March 4 at 3:30 p.m. 

Television personality Meredith Vieira serves as the host for this informative special, which examines the complex biology behind the aging process. The focus of the program is how one might take simple steps to limit the extent of which one may be impacted by aging.

Survival Guide for Pain-Free Living with Peggy Cappy: Sunday, March 4 at 5 p.m. 

Peggy Cappy might be best known for her PBS series Yoga For the Rest of Us DVD series, which boils down the complex nature of a regular yoga practice into a format that even the busiest and least physically inclined of us. In this special she joins forces with neuromuscular therapist Lee Albert to learn how simple stretches and held body positions can alleviate chronic pain, something that impacts more Americans than cancer, heart disease, or diabetes.

Forever Painless With Miranda Esmonde-White: Tuesday, March 6 at 9:30 p.m. 

Miranda Esmonde-White is the author of the bestseller Aging Backwards, and in this special for American Public Television, the health guru exposes the common causes of chronic pain, and the simple things that one might do to alleviate it. The program includes interviews with numerous other health experts, and reveals a groundbreaking approach to pain management that does not involve chronic use of opioid drugs.

The Brain Body Mind Connection with Dr. Rudy Tanzi & Dr. Deepak Chopra: Thursday, March 8 at 9:30 p.m. 

Rudolph Tanzi is the Director of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital and the Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Neurology at Harvard University, so you might say that the man knows a thing or two about brains. Deepak Chopra is a prominent figure in the alternative medicine community, as well as the New Age wellness movement. In this special, the two examine what it takes to maintain brain health, keep up a healthy sleep schedule, and prevent the development of dementia.

Haylie Pomroy Metabolism Revolution: Saturday, March 10 at 11 p.m. 

Haylie Pomroy is a nutritional counselor who has penned a number of books about revving up one’s metabolism. Pomroy is an advocate for a style of eating that allows for frequent, nutritionally dense meals, and in this special she lets viewers in on some of the key strategies she gives her clients to speed up their metabolism and get them back on track after overindulging in sugary foods.

Hot Flash Havoc: Thursday, March 22 at 9:30 p.m. 

Menopause happens to every woman, typically towards the end of her mid-age, when her ovaries stop producing progesterone and estrogen. At that time a tumult of physical and emotional phenomena take place, and that is just what this feature-length documentary examines. Hosted by the beloved Goldie Hawn, (who must have been pretty amused when her agent approached her with this opportunity) the program is equal parts educational, humorous, entertaining, and profound.

BrainFit: 50 Ways to Grow Your Brain: Tuesday, March 20 at 9:30 p.m. 

Hosted by Dr. Amen, a bestselling author and incredibly successful psychiatrist and his wife, nurse Tana Amen (also a bestselling author,) this special delves deep into the steps you can take to literally make your brain bigger, stronger, and more efficient. All of them are simple, and some of them are even enjoyable, like indulging in dark chocolate — which has been shown to ward of dementia in seniors who regularly consumed it.


Travel Programming 

If you’ve been feeling a sense of wanderlust recently, make sure to check out the wealth of travel programming that WOUB-HD has to offer in March. Regardless of whether you area a seasoned nomad looking for your next adventure or a homebody who just likes to take trips within the confines of their own skull, WOUB-HD has some features for you that you doubtlessly enjoy. 

Pasquale Esposito Celebrates Italian Piazzas: Saturday, March 3 at 6 p.m. 

Italian piazzas are something akin to town squares, although they are certainly more grand than that. In this program, which marks Italian tenor Pasquale Esposito’s second special for American Public Television, explores some of the grandest piazzas and performs some of the gorgeous music that they have inspired. Part live concert, part travel documentary, Esposito takes viewers all around Italy to some particularly stunning portions of the country. Esposito’s primary performance takes place  in the historic Piazza del Plebiscito in Naples, Italy with the Orchestra Talenti Napoletani conducted by Maestro Adriano Pennino. Some of his guests include Grammy nominated Mayssa Karaa, actress and singer Lina Shastri, and 12-year-old Victoria McDowell.

National Park Symphony – The Mighty Five: Sunday, March 11 at 7 p.m. 

Last year the National Park Service celebrated their centennial, and in accordance with that the University of Utah’s KUED Public Media produced a stirring visual portrait of Utah’s Mighty Five National Parks. The portrait is accompanied by a score by the Utah Symphony, under the direction of Thierry Fischer. Musical selections include “Szene am Bach (Andante molto mosso)” from Symphony No. 6, Op. 68 “Pastorale” by Ludwig van Beethoven, “Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune” by Claude Debussy, Largo from Symphony No. 9, Op. 95 “From the New World” by Antonin Dvořák, “Majesté du Christ demandant sa gloire à son Père” from L’Ascension by Olivier Messiaen (With the permission of Alphonse Leduc and G. Schirmer Inc.), “Bryce Canyon et les rochers rouge-orange,” “La Grive des bois,” and “Zion Park et la Cité Céleste” from Des Canyons aux étoiles… by Olivier Messiaen (With the permission of Alphonse Leduc and G. Schirmer Inc.), Adagio from Symphony No. 2 by Sergei Rachmaninoff, “Danse religeuse” and “Lever du jour” from Daphnis et Chloé by Maurice Ravel, and “Dreams and Memories” from EOS by Augusta Read Thomas (with the permission of G. Schirmer Inc., a Utah Symphony commission).

Rick Steves’ Dynamic Europe: Amsterdam, Prague, Berlin: Sunday, March 11 at 3 p.m. 

Rick Steves is more than an experienced traveller, he’s also an expert on art, literature, architecture, and cuisine. Join your favorite nomad as he journey though the lively cities of Amsterdam, Prague, and Berlin, sampling the culture of each as he makes his way through them.

Ireland’s Wild Coast: Wednesday, March 14 at 8 p.m. 

In this visually stunning special, critically acclaimed wildlife photographer Colin Stafford-Johnson takes viewers on a narrated odyssey along Ireland’s Atlantic coast. Ireland hangs off of Europe like a bedazzled jagged tooth and it’s rugged west coast is the final stretch of rock before the glistening, unknowable stretches of the Atlantic Ocean. Stafford-Johnson, who has allowed his profession to take him all over the world, ultimately chose to live on this coast, which he knows intimately.

A stunning image captured by Rick Steves’ crew during his exploration of what makes a European Easter so spectacular. (aptonline.com)

Rick Steves’ Special European Easter: Monday, March 19 at 9:30 p.m. 

Although Easter throughout North America may consist mainly of pastel bunny plush animals, sugary, chick shaped treats colored like toxic waste, and eggs from factory farms dyed with overpriced food coloring bought in supermarkets, Easter in Europe is quite another animal altogether. Join veteran nomad Rick Steves as he explores Italy, Greece, Slovenia, and Spain during one of the most festive times of the year in this hour-long special.