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Ohio Northern University to present 20th annual Holiday Spectacular

Nov 11, 2014

Ohio Northern University’s Freed Center for the Performing Arts presents the 20th annual ONU Holiday Spectacular from Thursday, Nov. 20, to Saturday, Nov. 22, at 7:30 p.m. There will be a matinee performance on Saturday, Nov. 22, at 2 p.m.

In addition, there will be performances at the Civic and Convention Center in Lima, Ohio, on Friday, Dec. 5, at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 6, at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 7, at 2 p.m.

The show is underwritten in part by the DeBow and Catherine Freed Endowment for the Arts and Kewpee Hamburger. Marking two decades of sponsorship, Harry and Myrna Shutt, the owners of Kewpee Hamburgers, have underwritten the ONU Holiday Spectacular since its inception in 1994. They also have funded the expense of moving the performance from Ada to Lima. The Shutts have always believed that the holiday show should be affordable for all families and have kept the price at $5 for the Lima performances.

Start off the holiday season with festive carols, lavish sets, ballerinas, the ever-popular toy soldiers, the man in red himself, Santa Claus, and a few surprises at this year’s Holiday Spectacular. The holiday mystery centers on the misadventures of Trixel, a trouble-making elf who steals Santa’s magic compass prior to Christmas Eve. This sends Mrs. Claus and Pixel the elf on a journey to find the invaluable tool so that Santa can deliver his gifts. There is plenty of song, dance and humor along the way.

This year, the cast consists of more than 40 students and 16 area children. Santa Claus is played by Jaired Birks, a senior education major from Cleveland, Ohio. Mrs. Claus will be played by Sarah Kuene, a junior musical theatre major from Perrysburg, Ohio. Pixel will be played by Meredith Bergwell, a freshman musical theatre major from Fairview, Texas, and Trixel will be played by Kayla Burress, a senior musical theatre major from Cincinnati, Ohio. The Angel will be played Jennifer Barnaba, a senior musical theatre major from Bellbrook, Ohio. Frosty is Tim Swaim, a junior musical theatre major from Oregon, Ohio.

The performance is under the direction of Kirsten Osbun-Manley, resident artist in music and co-director of the musical theatre program at ONU. Gina Wiley, artistic director and owner of The Dancer By Gina in Delphos, Ohio, will serve as choreographer, and Michael Jordan will serve as ONU’s musical director.

All tickets for the Lima performances are for general-admission seating and are available for $5 at allKewpee locations and at the Freed Center.

Tickets for the Freed Center performances are $15 for general admission, $12 for seniors, $5 for children 12 and under, $10 for ONU faculty and staff and $5 for students. The Freed Center box office is open Monday through Friday from noon to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Phone orders are accepted with American Express, MasterCard, VISA or Discover by calling 419-772-1900. Tickets also are available online at

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