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Porthouse Theatre Closes Summer Season with Fiddler on the Roof

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George Roth and Tracee Patterson play
Tevye and Golde in the classic musical,
Fiddler on the Roof, playing at Porthouse
Theatre through Aug. 11.

Porthouse Theatre, Kent State University’s outdoor summer theater on the grounds of Blossom Music Center, will close its 2013 season with Fiddler on the Roof, running through Aug. 11.

Eric van Baars, assistant artistic director for Porthouse Theatre, will direct this production, and John Crawford, dean of the College of the Arts at Kent State, will provide the choreography. The show also features design work by two Kent State alumni – costume design by Sarah Russell, and set design by Nolan O’Dell. Musical direction is by Jennifer Korecki.

Fiddler on the Roof has touched audiences around the world with its humor, warmth and honesty. The universal theme of tradition cuts across barriers of race, class, nationality and religion.

“This life-affirming musical will illuminate the powers of tradition, both in the theatrical sense of the rituals which draw us to musical theatre and the powers of communal values to support our tough decisions in life,” van Baars says.

Van Baars says this production of Fiddler on the Roof will respect the tradition of the show while also including some new creative interpretations.

“There is such value placed on the traditions of mounting a production of Fiddler on the Roof, from the use of the iconic Jerome Robbins choreography to the religious observations of the Hebrew faith. Just as Tevye is tested to accept change, our production will play with some of the traditional elements, promising to be not-your-Bubbe’s ‘Fiddler,’” van Baars says.

Fiddler on the Roof features five members of the Actor’s Equity Association among a cast of 32 actors.
George Roth will play patriarch Tevye, and Tracee Patterson will star opposite as Golde. As the three eldest daughters in the family, Danielle Dorfman will play Tzeitel, Maddi Drees will play Chava and Jessica Benson will play Hodel. Lissy Gulick will play Yente, and Greg Violand will play the Constable. Frank Jackman will play Lazar, and Larry Nehring will play Avrham.

Roth, Patterson, Violand, Jackman and Nehring are members of the Actors' Equity Association.

The show’s celebrated score by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick features songs loved the world over: "Sunrise, Sunset," "If I Were A Rich Man" and "Matchmaker," among many others.

Fiddler on the Roof will run Aug. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, at 8 p.m. and Aug. 10 and 11 at 2 p.m. Porthouse Theatre is located on the grounds of Blossom Music Center at 1145 W. Steels Corners Rd. in Cuyahoga Falls.

In Porthouse tradition, the Green Show will be performed on the lawn before each production of Fiddler. The Green Show cast is made up of student members of the Porthouse Theatre Academy, who are soon-to-be college students entering the Kent State musical theatre program.

Single tickets are $32-38 for adults, $26-35 for seniors, and $17-21 for students. For more information and to purchase tickets, call 330-672-3884 or visit

Porthouse Theatre features free parking and allows patrons to bring in picnics (including alcohol) to its grounds to enjoy the beautiful surroundings of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, which is located next to the theatre grounds. A covered picnic pavilion is available for reservation at $2 per person or free for subscribers and is based on availability. There also is a concession stand of light snacks and beverages. Many picnic tables are available for everyone’s enjoyment at no cost.

Posted Aug. 5, 2013

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Kent State University School of Art Gallery Presents A Timeless Community: Photographs by Richard Sweet

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The Kent State University School of Art Gallery presents
A Timeless Community: Photographs by Richard Sweet

through Aug. 9.

The Kent State University School of Art Gallery presents A Timeless Community: Photographs by Richard Sweet now through Aug. 9 in the School of Art Gallery. The gallery is located on the second floor of the School of Art building.

This exhibition is the first of two exhibits about Richard Sweet that the School of Art Galleries will host this summer. The second exhibit Time & Town: A Sweet History of Kent is open now through Aug. 24 at the School of Art Downtown Gallery located at 141 East Main St. in Kent. Both exhibitions have been curated by Brenton Pahl, assistant to the director of the School of Art Galleries.

“As a photographer for the Record-Courier, Richard Sweet was able to chronicle numerous events in the history of Kent and Portage County,” says curator Brenton Pahl. “While active during the second half of the 20th century, Sweet was able to capture times of change in the town. Changes that include the burning down of the department stores on Main Street next to the mill, facelifts to the Pufferbelly LTD Restaurant and Ray’s Place and the installation of the river’s fountain.

“The vision for these two exhibitions on Sweet was to inform the rotating young adults who call Kent home, and to remind Portage County residents, of how far we have come in the past 40 years,” Pahl continues. “The images of this exhibition exemplify how the region is a living and breathing area with a mindset of its own. In order to find these images, the School of Art Galleries combed through half a dozen boxes filled to the brim of 35mm and 120mm negatives, as well as slides. After retiring in 2004 and passing away the following year, Sweet left behind an unprecedented record of Kent and Portage County.”

For more information, contact Anderson Turner, director of galleries, at or visit

Posted Aug. 5, 2013

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