Stage Left- Mansfield Ohio
You don’t need to make a trip to the Big Apple to enjoy a great night at the theatre. Mansfield is blessed to have a strong arts community of exceptionally gifted individuals and outstanding venues to showcase all of this talent. Best of all, the price is right.
The Renaissance Theatre, in downtown Mansfield, is an awe- inspiring performing arts facility. Expanded in 2008 to compliment and maintain the integrity of the design of the original theatre space, the theatre itself is reminiscent of old Hollywood luxury with its marble floors, grand staircase, crystal chandeliers, and gilt ornamentation. In addition to its stage productions, the Mansfield Symphony, and world class NEOS dance troupe are part of the Renaissance family and perform on the Renaissance stage as well. The Renaissance stage holds memorable performances from legends like Jerry Lee Lewis to Brian Regan. In addition, national Broadway Tours grace the state each season bringing the best shows close to home. On staff at The Ren is Mansfield native Michael Thomas, acclaimed screenwriter, playwright and musical director, dividing his time between New York, Los Angeles, London and his childhood home in the area, Michael’s credentials read like a Who’s-Who in theatre, live performance, television and film. Average ticket price for most productions at The Renaissance Theatre run approximately $20.00- $30.00 and every seat in the house is a great one. Check their website at www.mansfieldtickets.com for upcoming productions and performances.
The Mansfield Playhouse, downtown as well, is housed in an historic old church. It holds the distinction of being the second oldest continuously producing community theatre in the state of Ohio. Formed in 1929, this theater was privileged to receive a script by renowned author Louis Bromfield, entitled, Here Today, Gone Tomorrow. The theatre itself is cozy and personal and loaded with talent. With 8-10 productions a year, it’s easy to find something to suit every theatrical taste. The Playhouse also has a several Youth Theatre productions a year. Young thespians will enjoy an upcoming production of Guys and Dolls, Jr. Admission for children under 18 is $5.00. Productions vary from musicals, to dramas, to comedies. Ticket prices vary with discounts for students as well as seniors. The Season schedule can be found on their website at www.MansfieldPlayhouse.com.
Tucked inside the Pearl Conard Building, at Ohio State University Mansfield campus is a modern theatre which showcases students and young talent. The theatre itself is state of the art, with the best in lighting and sound. Productions are often classics, with some timely, controversial and engaging plays in the mix each Season. The Winter Shorts Festival, a series of short comedies, dramas and thought provoking screenplays, runs February 9-12th and then John Steinbeck’s Nobel Peace Prize winning “Of Mice and Men” hits the stage in May. There is a student discount available here as well.
You don’t even have to be a theatre buff to enjoy the Trilogy, a series of three different plays about some of the fascinating, and controversial residents of Malabar Farm and the Pleasant Valley area. These three historical dramas, written by award winning writer and playwright, Mark Sebastian Jordan, unveil the personalities of Louis Bromfield, Ceely Rose, and Phoebe Wise. Based on their individual lives, these colorful characters will take you by the hand for a walk into their past. The trilogies are rotated from year to year and are performed in the Main Barn on the Malabar Property adding to the realism and mystery. Mark your calendars for this coming fall when Ceely will be performed on October 12-14 and October 19-21, 2012. This event is a great night out with tours of the Big House at Malabar and a dinner before the play, all affordably priced at $30.00 per person.
A night at any one of these theatres is a perfect way to relax, let the entertainment ease you out of the daily grind, into the land of make-believe. What a great place to visit while we’re waiting for winter to turn to spring. Check the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau calendar of events for upcoming productions at all of these locations. www.mansfieldtourism.com.