Monday, January 23, 2006


Open Stage 2006 Dates

The OPEN STAGE VARIETY SHOW is back in 2006!

There's just one wee change... instead of just Vanessa the Curator, Jill Summerville will help to produce the evenings, making it an official Pathological Upstagers-run series! (And for all those Upstagers fans out there: Yes, we will once again be performing our special blend of comedy at every Open Stage.)

Come and check us out on the following nights:

February 3 (at the Theatre)
February 17 (at Birch Commons)
March 3 (at the Theatre)
March 17 (at the Theatre)

All Fridays, at 8p

920 Corry St, Yellow Springs [mapquest]

Want to get involved?
Contact Jill Summerville: (937) 307-3599 or Tworpp[at]


press releases:

Open Stage Nights Return To The Antioch Area Theatre

Antioch College will be hosting four Open Stage Nights, on February 3, February 17, March 3, and March 17 at 8:00 P.M. These Friday night events are open to singers, actors, dancers, and all stage worthy people. If you want to be onstage, Antioch has a spotlight for you! No auditions are required. Call Jill Summerville at (937) 307-3599 to reserve a time slot. Those who are interested can also sign up for time slots at the door on the night of the performance. All performers are expected to arrive by 7:30 P.M. (Time slots will not be held for performers who do not arrive by 7:30 P.M. on performance nights, even if they have called ahead to reserve them).

The performances for February 3, March 3, and March 17 will be held in the Antioch Area Theatre on the Experimental Stage. The performance for February 17 will be held in the Birch Space at Antioch College. All performances will begin at 8:00 P.M.

For more information, contact Jill Summerville at (937) 307-3599 or e-mail TWorpp[at]

Antioch College Will Host A Special Open Stage Night In Birch Space

A special Open Stage Variety Show will be held in Birch Space on Friday, February 17 at 8:00 P.M. Singers, actors, dancers, and all stage worthy people are welcome to perform. If you are not sure whether you are stage worthy or not, the Open Stage is the perfect place to find out!

This Open Stage Night is a chem-free, and the entire community is welcome to attend. Refreshments will be provided. (If you do not come to perform, at least come for the brownies!) The Pathological Upstagers, a cordially satirical comedy duo based in Yellow Springs, will be hosting the event.

People who wish to perform are expected to arrive by 7:30 P.M. Performers may call ahead to reserve a time slot, but they are not required to do so. For more information, contact Jill Summerville at (937) 307-3599 or e-mail TWorpp[at]

Saturday, December 03, 2005


The Last Open Stage (December 2)

December 2 was the last Open Stage of the year. The fate of the Variety Show is, at this moment, unknown. It may start up again after the holidays; it may not. If you have a preference I urge you to contact Vanessa the Curator.

The line-up:

  • Antioch student Michael Carroll showed a video.
  • Yellow Springs resident Seth Ratliff played guitar and sang.
  • Antioch student Alex Kesman sang.
  • Yellow Springs resident and dance student Erin performed a dance choreographed by Katrina Molnar.
  • Antioch student Emma Woodruff played guitar and sang.
  • Post-alternative comedy duo The Pathological Upstagers performed "Two Sides Of The Same Bullshit".

  • Monday, November 28, 2005


    November 21's Open Stage

    The turn-out was smaller than in the past, due to Antioch's Thanksgiving break. But still it was a lively crowd, being more like active participants than spectators. In a good way. A nice diverse mix of students, faculty, and local residents. Pre-show music was provided by Vanessa the Curator (Looper's "Geometrid"- I recommend).

    The line-up:

  • Columbus-based storytellers Michelle Cornell and Yiling Tien performed two family/children-oriented folk tales. Cornell is a storyteller who travels around Ohio telling stories in schools, libraries, and community centers. Tien is a musician and storyteller, composing and performing original music with stories. The two urged anyone interested in utilizing their talents locally to contact them. If you'd like to do so, contact me, Vanessa the Curator (contact info below), and I'll arrange it!
  • Antioch student Evan Cary performed improvisational flamenco music on guitar.
  • Antioch students Lizard Walker-Keegan and Josh Hershfield performed a song, respectively singing and on guitar.
  • On guitar and vocals, Antioch student Emma Woodruff performed two unfinished original songs.
  • Also on guitar and vocals, Yellow Springs resident Katrina Molnar performed three original songs.
  • Also on guitar and vocals, Antioch student Josh Hershfield played a song.
  • Joining Josh was Antioch student Carlin Esslinger- together they improvised, Josh on guitar and Carlin on violin.
  • Post-alternative comedy duo The Pathological Upstagers performed "Three Minutes".

    After the show, as proposed by Carlin, there was a jam session with all the musicians. Post-show music and talk offered a nice alternative to the usual Antioch social scene.

    Many thanks to Antioch student Mike Carroll for running the tech while our stage-manager, Alex Kesman, was out of town. Also thanks to the audience and the performers, particularly to Michelle and Yiling for making the trek from Columbus!

    There's one more Open Stage Variety Show this year: Friday, December 2, 8pm, Antioch Theatre. There's also a special event planned for the last week of classes. Stay tuned!

    Want to get involved? Contact me, Vanessa the Curator, at (937) 769-1030 or visit the web site.

  • Tuesday, November 22, 2005


    some appreciation...

    from Thank Yous in Antioch's online community forums:

    vanessa is a robust amazingotron!
    Thank you vanessa for organizing open stage, i went and it was really awesome, and i think everyone that was there would agree
    -charlie (10/24)

    i would like to extend a huge, astonished, blown away, impressed, and beautified thank you to Vanessa for last night's Antioch Open Mic Variety Show in the theater (October 21st..). It was BY FAR one of the most magical and amazing things that i have ever seen and you are doing one hell of a good job.
    carrie (10/22)

    I just wanted to thank all of the performers at the show on Friday night. I had a great time, and I'm really excited about going to the next one.
    Thanks again, and thanks to Vee for organizing this!
    Carolyn (10/9)

    Sunday, November 06, 2005


    What You Missed (Or Didn't) On November 4

    It was a beautiful day and a beautiful night. The chips and Tootsie rolls were plentiful, as was the crowd. A lot of local residents were in attendance, as both performers and viewers, a nice increase from the first two shows.

    The line-up:

  • Yellow Springers Marie and Bill Slattery presented an original video, "Kitty Dreams".
  • Antioch student duo The Pathological Upstagers performed "Confessions Of A Fantasexual".
  • Yellow Springer and Antioch alum/former professor Rachel Moulton read a short story.
  • Antioch student Kelsy Waggaman performed an excerpt from her upcoming Autoperformance.
  • Antioch students Dylan and Vanessa did improv with the help of Fae and Jill.
  • Antioch student Fae Kievman performed a spoken word piece.
  • Several singer/guitarrists: Yellow Springers Karl and J.D. and Antioch students Fae Kievman and Emma Woodruff.

    Many thanks to Alex the stage-manager, John and Louise for photography and support (former coming soon!), the performers, and particularly those audience members who stuck it out and stayed for the entirety of a long and rewarding evening.

    Next time will be even awesomer. Come and see.

    There are two more Open Stage Variety Shows this year: November 18 and December 2. All Fridays, all 8pm, all at the Antioch Theatre. Want to get involved? Contact me, Vanessa the Curator, at (937) 769-1030 or visit the web site.

  • Saturday, October 22, 2005


    Open Stage Variety Show - October 21, 2005

    The second Open Stage Variety Show, held on October 21, 2005, was amazing. There is, however, already some lore. We're cursed. The weather was crappy- cold and rainy- and the last time it rained was the night of the first Open Stage, and that was the first time it had rained in a long time. And for students and people without cars, the campus theatre is not the most convenient place to get to. And even with cars, there's that whole stretch of Corry Street that's not got one streetlight (or sidewalk!). What's with that, anyway?

    Anyway. A group from Xenia- the Athletes In Action Players- came out and dominated the audience. Pre-show music was once again provided by DJ Earthdog. Our donations bucket was much more plentiful.

  • Doug Adams read four short poems.
  • Rachel Moulton read half of a short story, "Joints And Connectors", which she will finish next time round.
  • On guitar and vocals, Emma Woodruff played two original songs and one by Janis Joplin.
  • Also on guitar and vocals, Josh Hershfield played two original songs and one by Bob Dylan
  • Also on guitar and vocals, Fae Kievman played three original songs.
  • The Athletes In Action Players, a women's basketball team from a Christian organization based in of Xenia, were a veritable show-within-a-show. Shauna Stone emceed their acts which included poems (two by men they'd brought along), songs, and a sketch.
  • Wrapping up the night were myself, Vanessa Burkhart and Jill Summerville as The Pathological Upstagers, performing "Bus Stop", slightly modified from last time. At the end we opened it up for audience participation, which involved me going into the trenches (audience), talk-show style, and asking directly for people's opinions and ideas. This turned into a Q&A session for Jill, who took the opportunity to give frank answers to earnest questions about her life. "Any more questions? No? Does anyone have questions for anyone else?"

    What followed was a post-show discussion that lasted about an hour, one of the most amazing dialogues I have ever experienced at Antioch. Addressed were how (and why) Jill and I developed the sketch, the stereotypes of Antioch students outside of Yellow Springs, and finally, a heart-felt exchange about the difficulties many of us have had with Christianity or, more specifically, Christians who are unaccepting of non-Christians. Conflicts with issues about queerness and other alternative lifestyles and belief systems were raised in a constructive and non-threatening manner.

    The talk concluded on its own and was followed by a post-show-discussion reception/dance-party, with more music provided by our stage manager, Alex Kesman.

    I can only hope that news of this amazing night will spread throughout the college and the town, and that more people will come to future shows, and that the open, intimate, and accepting spirit will grow.

    There are three more Open Stages this year: November 4 and 18, and December 2. All Fridays, all 8pm, all at the Antioch Theatre. Want to get involved? Contact me, Vanessa the Curator, at (937) 769-1030 or visit the web site.

  • Monday, October 17, 2005


    "Open Stage Variety Show opens"

    "Open Stage Variety Show opens"
    by Rob Calvert
    Antioch Record, October 14, 2005

    The Open Stage Variety Show, brainchild of student Vanessa the Curator, opened for its first show Friday night. Essentially a talent show in which any form of written, visual, or performance art is free to take the stage, the Open Stage Variety Show was created to include more kinds of art than similar events at Antioch.

    "I like to think of it as a kind of open mic night, only better, because with an open mic you just have literature or poetry and maybe some music. But this is music, dance- which is why we want it in the theatre, more open space for dance- we're probably going to have video showings, theatre, improv, anything that can happen on stage," Vanessa said.

    The Variety Show began low key with people conversing in the aisles, occasionally getting up for a drink or snack at the entrance. A resident DJ known as Earthdog provided music. Everything was very relaxed in preparation for the show.

    Once the show got started it included poetry readings, singing, as well as skits and live theatre from Antioch students as well as faculty and visitors.

    Katie McDermott read two poems, "That Marilyn Appeal" and "Aurelin and Thalo". Josh Amses read an untitled prose piece. Theatre professor Louise Smith sang two original songs and read a prose piece she wrote to a song by Laurie Anderson. Emma Woodruff played two unfinished songs. Vee Levene and Jill Summerville did a structured improv sketch, "Bus Stop", which they will also do at the next show to include audience participation due to the sketch's controversial nature. Katrina Molnar did a modern dance about codependency.

    "This is the first in the series so it's going to be pretty casual, there's not a lot of performers. It's been advertised, but not as much as it could be. I wanted to start it out small to see how it works because this is a new thing in this community. Cabaret Horace has been kind of a big thing in the past but this is a little bit different. Tonight [was] really just to test out the format of it and respond to it," Vanessa said.

    Vanessa says she was inspired to start the Open Stage after co-opping at Dixon Place, a non-profit performance space in downtown Manhattan. There she ran the stage and house for many shows, sometimes single-handedly, learning what it takes to run nights of shows in a theatre.

    "[It was] an idea I've had for years. But before, I didn't know where to start, I couldn't visualize it," Vanessa said.

    "Previously my theatre experience and education has focused either on the creative- writing, performing, directing- or on tech and stage [management] for individual shows. But with Dixon Place I gained more experience setting up shows, dealing with the audience, things like that," Vanessa said.

    If the variety show successfully takes shape into the Antioch community, Vanessa says, it will provide artists of all kinds a chance to express and perform their work for a live audience as well as a good Friday night's entertainment.

    The Open Stage Variety Show has four more performances: October 21, November 4 and 18, and December 12. Each show is on a Friday at 8pm at the Antioch Theatre's Experimental Stage.

    the full online half of the interview

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