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Have a “Thoroughly” good time at Otterbein Theatre’s newest production

614now Staff

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[su_testimonial]By Elizabeth Saltzgiver, Otterbein University[/su_testimonial]

The Otterbein Theatre & Dance spring musical is always a big, splashy ending to the academic year, but this year, the addition of Director Thom Christopher Warren is creating an even bigger sensation.

The newest member of the Otterbein Musical Theatre Faculty spent 25 years working on and off Broadway. Fifteen of those years were spent with Disney’s The Lion King in which he played Scar, Zazu, Timon, Pumbaa and Ed over the course of his time with the show in addition to serving as Resident Director of the 2nd National Tour

“I’m exactly where I want and need to be: in an environment which fosters not only kindness, but a love and appreciation for the arts and the craft of musical theatre story-telling in particular.” Warren said of his recent relocation.

He hasn’t just directed “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” he has thoroughly immersed the department into the world of the production.

“As soon as Thom arrived, he picked up the phone and arranged for ‘Millie’s’ author/lyricist, Dick Scanlan, to visit campus. Thom doesn’t dip his toes in the water, he dives into the deep end, urging the rest of us to jump right in,” said Christina Kirk, Chair of the Department of Theatre & Dance.

Join the fun with the cast and crew of Otterbein’s “Thoroughly Modern Millie” April 5-8 and 12-14 in the Fritsche Theatre at Cowan Hall on the Otterbein Campus, 30 S. Grove St. To purchase tickets or to obtain additional information go to www.otterbein.edu/drama or call 614-823-1109.

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Columbus Museum of Art opens June 23 for members; June 30 to the public

Julian Foglietti

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The Columbus Museum of Art (CMA)  has announced plans to reopen in the coming week after closing in mid-March due to COVID restrictions. Though museums were allowed to open on June 10, CMA chose to hold off reopening and will instead see it’s first visitors tomorrow,  June 23, as they reopen for museum members, and to the general public next week on June 30..

To coincide with the reopening, CMA has announced multiple measures to combat the spread of COVID-19, such as significantly reduced capacity, and the introduction of timed tickets, and special hours for at-risk populations.

Tickets for the following week will be made available for sale online each Friday, and an extremely limited number of tickets will be available for day-of admission. While there isn’t a time limit to how long visitors can stay in the museum, there is a one hour entrance window assigned to each ticket. 

Visitors will be asked to socially distance while in the space, and face coverings are strongly recommended. 

Learn more here.

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Art Unites Cbus creates online gallery for keeps

Julian Foglietti

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Today CAPA and the Greater Columbus Arts Council partnered to launch an Art Unites Cbus online gallery to document the works produced during the #ArtUnitesCbus initiative launched on June 1, 2020. 

The initiative worked to commision Columbus-based visual artists to decorate the plywood installed over the broken windows at the Ohio Theater and Arts Council office. 

Since its launch, many other businesses in Columbus, most notably in the Short North and Huntington Center worked with local artists to cover the boards with murals in response to the Black Lives Matter protest movement. 

With many businesses removing their boards, and repairing broken windows, the Arts Council and CAPA are working with Hines Company, and the Short North Alliance to document and preserve the murals as they are removed so they can exist to inspire future generations. 

Photos of the murals are available at www.artunitescbus.com, and the site will be regularly updated as more murals are documented in Columbus.

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Pride Movie Month: Tangerine

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Shooting an entire movie with three iPhone 5S’ sounds like an undertaking that only a seasoned director might take on, not for someone making their directorial debut.

From a financial standpoint, it may make sense; most people have these cameras at their everyday disposal so why not utilize a device to its maximum potential if you’re spending thousands of dollars on it already? But with using a camera that fits into the palm of your hand, any auteur is going to be met with limitations.

Knowing this information going into my first viewing of Tangerine a few months ago, I thought that a movie told through this lens would sell the transgender experience short. However, I think it provided the perfect lens for those without a transgender point-of-view.

The movie begins at a donut shop, and immediately director Sean Baker throws you into the animated lives of transgender sex workers Alexandra and Sin-Dee. After serving a 28-day prison sentence, Alexandra fills Sin-Dee in on her boyfriend, and pimp, Chester, who has been disloyal during her time away.

Upon finding out that Chester has been hooking up with a cisgender female, Sin-Dee is livid; she’s not going to let the fact that it’s Christmas Eve prevent her from giving Chester and his new girl a piece of her mind. From this point forward, you’re trying to play catch up with Alexandra as Sin-Dee stalks her Hollywood neighborhood. The journey is an introductory transgender slice-of-life.

Tangerine was released in 2015. That same year, the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey found that 45 percent of transgender people with unsupportive families experienced homelessness. There are a few subtle moments throughout the movie that bring to light to this sad betrayal.

One of them comes in the opening scene after Sin-Dee asks to use Alexandra’s phone in order to call Chester. Alexandra then explains how her phone had been shut off in order to cover Sin-Dee’s rent while she was locked up. We all like to think that we have good friends, but the way the transgender community looks after each other sheds new light on what it means to be a good friend in the modern age. With no family to look after her, Alexandra knows she’s one of Sin-Dee’s only lines of support.

It’s highlighted once again when Alexandra gets in a fight with a male who refuses to pay her after a sex act. After a police officer approaches them fighting over money in the street, the cop mentions how it’d be unfortunate to have to call both of their families on Christmas Eve to fill them in. Alexandra, without hesitation, quips back, “What family?”

Tangerine is able to use the lens of a phone to bring us closer to  Sin-Dee and Alexandra as they walk the streets to highlight transgender hardships like prostitution, drug use, and homelessness. The use of the cell phone as the storyteller creates a personal, immediate connection to the characters and gives the viewer a bird’s eye perspective you couldn’t get through a standard camera lens.

Tangerine by no means captures the entire transgender experience, but it’s been one that I think does a powerful job at getting people to discuss injustice and socio-economic hardships of this specific LGBTQ community.

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