ADA, Ohio - The School of Visual and Performing Arts at Ohio Northern University will celebrate the Swing Jazz era with two performances of Swing! on Saturday, Oct. 22 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 23 at 2 p.m. at the Freed Center for the Performing Arts. Underwritten by Liberty National Bank, this enthralling Broadway song-and-dance show shattered ethnic and cultural barriers through styles such as Jive, Swing, Lindy Hop, West Coast Swing, and Hip-Hop Swing.
Tickets can be purchased online at www.FreedCenter.com, by phone at 419-772-1900 or in person at the Freed Center Box Office, Monday through Friday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Adult tickets are $20 with discounts for ONU faculty and staff ($15), senior citizens and ONU alumni ($10), and $5 tickets for ONU students and children. Additional discounts ranging from 10-20% are available through the Freed Center's subscription packages.
The show is directed and choreographed by guest artist Alison Solomon who comes to ONU straight from London where she was choreographing the workshop of a new West End/Broadway bound musical. She saw Swing! on Broadway when it opened in 1999 and "was mesmerized and inspired, to say the least." She was cast in the National Tour of Swing! and performed the Lindy Hop feature over 500 times at theatres around the country. Her hope now is to "share the rich history of the dance, which was born in the African American communities of Harlem in the late 1920s." Describing it as "an art form that has continually challenged me and inspired me throughout my entire artistic career," Solomon hopes to transport us "to that moment in history where music poured out of their souls, and communities integrated for the first time, to share in the joy and freedom of moving with such abandon and celebration."
Other guest artists in this production include Elijah Dillehay as associate choreographer as he joins fellow professional dancers James Little and Francis Isaí Rivera-Pacheco. ONU student performers in the ensemble include Kennedy Aikey (Newark), Jacob Bassitt (Ada), Chloe Chiapelli (Clarkston, Mich.), Hailey Brooke Elswick (Woodstock, Ga.), Isabelle Fisher (Columbus), Madeline Fisher (Columbus), Julie McConnell (Indian Trail, N.C.), Carina Milano (Chicago, Ill.), Katja Roberts (St. Petersburg, Fla.), Zachary Ryan (Westerville) and Emily Signor (Reisterstown, Md.). Jacqueline Fisher (Upper Arlington) and Miranda Keller (Columbia Station) are cast as swings.
Featured instrumentalists in the band are the conductor and keyboardist Michael Jordan; A. Lewis Jones on drums; Joel Hazard, bass; Andrew Liebermann and Jason Yost, reeds; Dave Kosmyna, trumpet; Dan Saygers, trombone; and Scott Parnel, guitar.
Guest designers who help transport us back in time are Brian Ruggaber as scenic designer and Melanie Mortimore, costumer designer.
ONU staff members on the production team consist of Brian Sage as producer; costume shop manager Ameera Ansari; Kathleen E. DeVault, lighting designer and production manager; Brian Phillips, technical director; Elynmarie Kazle, stage manager mentor; and Joe Gozdowski, sound designer.
ONU students on the production staff include Rachel Boyle (Morrow) as assistant scenic designer; Ben Schneider (Wapakoneta), assistant sound designer; stage manager Olivia Gierke (Oregon) assisted by Adalyna Mislevy (Detroit, Mich.) and Armani Ponder-Keith (Macomb, Mich.); Juliana Tate Kelly (Cleveland) as light board operator; sound board operators Alex Hare (Granville) and Johannah Thacker (Arlington); and follow spot operators Josh Honaker (Defiance) and Dakota Stude (Lewistown).
For more information about the Swing! performances or other events in the Freed Center's 2022-2023 Season, visit www.FreedCenter.com or call the Box Office at 419-772-1900 to receive a season brochure.