Tuscarawas performing arts center unveils season lineup

Meghan Caprez

After dinner, a trivia game and acrobatic entertainment, attendees of the second annual unveiling event for the Performing Arts Center at Kent State Tuscarawas were introduced to the venue’s 2012-2013 season.

The July 21 event’s purpose was to announce the season in an exciting way while allowing patrons to purchase tickets for the upcoming season before anyone else, according to Mike Morelli, general manager of the Performing Arts Center.

“It’s a lot of fun, and if you don’t come, you miss out on a lot of stuff,” Traci Fawcett, a Performing Arts Center patron, said. “It’s a good time.”

The guests arrived at the event around 5:30 p.m., walking up a red carpet into a full lobby of patrons. A catered dinner of meatballs, wraps, pasta salad and other hors d’oeuvres was served until 6:30 p.m., when patrons were ushered to the theater for the unveiling.

As soon as the patrons were seated, a trivia game appeared on the theater’s projector screen. Each slide featured several clues leading to what the shows for the season might be. Guests were given sheets to fill out with their guesses. The patron with the most correct guesses won two tickets to every show in the season.

Lisa Fockler, season ticket holder and Kent State alumna, won the trivia game with 12 of the season’s 19 shows guessed correctly.

“It’s very exciting that we get to see everything,” Fockler said. “We don’t have to pick and choose based on how much money we have to spend. We get to see all different kinds of things.”

The promise of a variety of shows was upheld through the season’s unveiling. The shows coming to the Performing Arts Center hail from a variety of genres including touring Broadway shows, music, comedy and family shows.

Morelli introduced each show with enthusiasm and humor, earning chuckles from the audience each time he walked onstage. At several points, he even donned costumes related to the shows, appearing in a wig while jumping around the stage with a guitar during the introduction of “Rock of Ages.”

Gregg Andrews, dean of the Kent State University Tuscarawas Campus, said patrons should expect more shows to be unveiled as the season continues, as they could only announce the shows that had contracts that were already signed.

After the ceremony was complete, patrons returned to the lobby to enjoy desserts and purchase tickets.

“I think they’re improving year by year with their entertainment,” said patron Deana Grasselli. “There were a couple things last year that I went to that were alright, but there’s a lot more this year that appeals to me. There’s already half a dozen shows I plan on seeing.”

Improvement is the Performing Arts Center’s goal. The center is not only improving its entertainment but also cultural awareness, Andrews noted.

“We’ve enhanced our cultural opportunities for the community, not only in sheer numbers, but by bringing well-known performers and world-class shows that many of our residents wouldn’t have had the opportunity to see if the performances hadn’t been presented locally,” Andrews said.

Season packages, or the purchase of tickets to four or more season shows, go on sale July 25. Single event ticket sales begin August 1. Tickets can be purchased by mail, in person at the Performing Arts Center Box Office, by calling 330-308-6400 or online.

Contact Meghan Caprez at [email protected].

Upcoming performances:

  • Mentalist Christopher Carter – August 26
  • Red Wanting Blue – September 6
  • Colin Mochrie & Brad Sherwood: Two Man Group – September 15
  • Veggie Tales Live! God Made You Special – September 23
  • Trout Fishing in America – September 27
  • Blue Man Group – October 1 & 2
  • Aquila Theatre Company in Edmond Rostand’s “Cyrano de Bergerac” – October 12
  • The Capitol Steps – October 24
  • “Fiddler on the Roof” – November 3
  • The Oak Ridge Boys Christmas Time’s a Comin’ – November 24
  • Tap Dogs – November 29
  • Mannheim Steamroller Christmas – December 19
  • State Ballet Theatre of Russia: Cinderella – January 29
  • An Evening with Jim Brickman – February 9
  • “Rock of Ages” – February 19
  • “A Chorus Line” – March 6
  • Frank Ferrante in An Evening with Groucho – March 9
  • Popovich Comedy Pet Theater – March 20
  • Baby Wants Candy: The Completely Improvised Musical – April 11
  • “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast” – May 15 & 16