Festival of the Arts
The 33rd annual Warren Festival of the Arts will take place Friday, Aug. 2, at 7:30 p.m. at the Library Theatre. This year’s festival will be titled “You’re On the Air” and will feature the “dueling Daves” – David Blank, DJ for the classical radio station WQLM, and David Engstrom, DJ for the popular music station WJAZ.
Executive directors are Paula Roney (Miss Merriweather) for WQLM, and Stacey Ludwig (Miss Primrose) for WJAZ. Between the two stations and an exuberant fan club president, the audience will be treated to a great evening of entertainment:
Both Paula Roney and Sarah Roney, her daughter, are familiar faces to the Warren Festival of the Arts. Paula has performed many roles with Warren Players including “Carousel,” “Annie Get Your Gun,” etc. She is part of the Temple Grey band, often heard on the Music in the Park series, at the Crossing, Docksiders and various other venues. Sarah is following in her mother’s footsteps on the stage, as well as behind the scenes. She has done makeup for both ARTE and Warren Players. Both Sarah and Paula sang for the 4th of July Parade in Warren, and Sarah frequently sings the “Star Spangled Banner” for sports events. She just recently performed several songs for a flag-raising ceremony for Targeted Pet Treats. Paula and Sarah will sing “A Couple of Swells.”
Dance Express will perform “Dance Floor,” “Never Gonna Turn You Loose,” and “You Raise Me Up” as the group numbers and Adam Flagella will dance to “Truth” (notice his leg extension in the pic. Wow!) The Dance Express Company, now under the direction of Molly Dies, is entering it’s 22nd year in the competition, performance world. Most recently, 11 of the company’s members performed in Toronto, Canada, at Casa Loma and Medieval Times. The dancers can be found all around Warren County dancing in parades, nursing homes and their ever favorite – Warren Festival of the Arts.
Carla Kayes will be performing in the quartet “Painless Opera.” Carla has been connected to the Little Theatre in Jamestown for many years, having service several times as president. She is currently serving as vice president, and showed her singing talent in “Forbidden Broadway” this past spring. She played Elsa Schrader in “Sound of Music” and has appeared in numerous other production in the NY area and has been seen and heard on previous Warren Festival of the Arts.
Scott Dixon, contemporary Christian artist, earned a master’s degree in communication studies from Ohio University. Before that, while at Judson College, he was a member of the choir, chamber singers and Seraphim (contemporary Christian musical group). He also performed Lt. Cable in “South Pacific” and Capt. Von Trapp in “Sound of Music.” Scott shares his love of Jesus at churches, benefits, concerts, and other venues. He appeared previously on the Warren Festival of the Arts and this year will be singing “I Surrender” (made famous by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir).
The band Egypt Hollow features Kenny Anderson, guitar and vocals; Addison Gee, electric bass guitar; Phoebe Nelson, vocals; and Ciara Whipp, vocals and piano. This young group has performed in the area at various venues including the Crossing. They have also made a recording of their works.
Logan Beard will appear in a quartet composed of Carla Kayes, Carolyn Worley and John Beard called “Painless Opera.” Logan has graced the stage here in “Phantom,” “Secret Garden,” “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change.” He’s also performed in Jamestown as Jesus in “Godspell” and Emmett Forrest in “Legally Blonde.” He will be directing a play called “Chemical Imbalance: a Jekyll and Hyde Play” in the Library Theatre this fall.
John Beard will sing in “Painless Opera” along with Carolyn Worley, Carla Kayes and Logan Beard. John is the senior vice president and manager of retail investment services of Northwest Savings Bank and is one of the organizers of the annual Allegheny River Clean-up event, and a SCUBA instructor for the Warren community. He enjoys cooking for outdoor events, performs magic tricks, and can be found on the stage quite frequently at the Struthers Library Theatre.
Erin Wagner, flutist, will perform the Scherzo from “Andante e Scherzo” by Louis Ganne. She will be accompanied by Julie Baughman on “You’re on the Air.” Erin graduated from Eisenhower High School where she was a four-year member of the Eisenhower Knights Marching Band, and has since earned her bachelor of arts degree in music and government from the College of William and Mary. She has studied flute with Ann Mead and Jennifer Lawson and has performed in Europe with the Sound of America Honor Band and Chorus and was selected as a flutist for the 2009 Pennsylvania State Concert Band. Erin’s interests go beyond music, as she is passionate about the Italian language. She completed an internship at a newspaper in Florence, Italy and wrote a paper on the causes and effects of musical style in early 20th Century Italy. She is currently interning with the Pittsburgh Foundation and this fall she will attend Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Bologna, Italy.
Devon Meddock will graduate from Mercyhurst University with a bachelor of arts degree in music next year with minors in English and theater. She performed in “Little Shop of Horrors” with Warren Players this July, sang the role of Susanna in “Marriage of Figaro” at the D’Angelo Performing Arts Center this past spring, and the role of Monica in “The Medium” at the Erie Art Museum. Devon’s credits are too numerous to mention. For this year’s festival, she will sing a duet from Gounod’s “Romeo and Juliet” and will perform a musical comedy number.
Drummer Jack Dolinger, 12, comes from Kansas City, Mo., and has lived in Warren the past five years with his parents, Mr. & Mrs. J. C. Dolinger. The drum he will be playing is called a “djembe” and originated in Western Africa.
Jeremy Earnheardt, a Warren resident, is a classical guitarist with 18 years of experience. Jeremy has a lifetime of musical influence, growing up in a talented musical family. Jeremy, self-taught, began playing at the age of 18. He has played at various events, such as weddings and has volunteered at several nursing homes and churches in Warren, Forest and Clarion Counties. Jeremy will be playing Prelude (Cello Suite #1 in D Major) by Bach in Act 1. He will follow in Act 2 with “Musing the Fire,” an original composition.
Leah McCluskey, who will be acting the part of the president of the fan club for “You’re on the Air,” is in ninth grade at Youngsville High School and has appeared in many shows in the Warren area, including Wizard of Oz, Aladdin, Our Town, multiple ARTE productions, Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Titanic, Willy Wonka, Velveteen Rabbit, Cinderella, and the leading role in Mulan.
Abby Koebley, who will sing the popular song “Titanium: on “You’re on the Air,” is a ninth-grade student at Warren Area High School and has been involved in performing and the theater her whole life. She has appeared in many musicals with Warren Players, the Jack-in-the-Box Players and has been in four different all-county musicals. Most recently she played the lead in “Cinderella” with the Warren Players.
Adam Ferrari, tenor, will sing the balcony scene duet from “Romeo and Juliet” with Devon Meddock. Adam is a 2013 music education voice graduate of Mercyhurst University, where he studied with Louisa Jonason. This past year he played Toby in Menotti’s “The Medium” and Basilio in Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro.” Adam will attend DePaul University’s prestigious vocal performance program in the fall.
David Engstrom was an on-air personality for 17 years at WNAE, WRRN. He has performed various stand-up comedy routines in the area. He will portray a DJ on WPOP, a popular radio station vying for the title of “Best Show” with another Dave on a rival station on the Warren Festival of the Arts.
Master of ceremonies will be Pastor David Blank, the senior pastor at First Lutheran Church. He received a bachelor of arts degree from Thiel College and a master of divinity degree from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg. David was active in theater in high school and college, performing in “Our Town,” “Enter Laughing,” “Once Upon a Mattress,” “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” and “Look Homeward, Angel.” He served as news director and disc jockey for WTGP-FM and an announcer for WGFT AM & FM, Gettysburg.
Stacey Ludwig is a teacher at Eisenhower High School, where, she says, she is honing her comedy chops. She and her husband, Robert, have three grown children, a dog and a kitten. She has opened for a comedy act at Junior’s Comedy Club in Erie, and they did not throw her out after the first show. “My mother keeps telling me that I am funny and that I should do stand up to enable her to have the lifestyle she envisions,” Ludwig explained. This is her second year at Warren Festival of the Arts. She will place the executive director to Dave Engstrom, DJ for WJAZ.
Carolyn Worley, soprano, will sing Mozart’s “Beloved, Don’t Delay” from The Marriage of Figaro. Carolyn is a member of the Chautauqua Chamber Singers and a performing member of the Philomel Club. She facilitates three Prayer Shawl groups where she teaches contemplative knitting. Carolyn is in the quartet “Painless Opera.”
Behind the scenes are Jan Peterson, stage manager; Ellen Paquette, assistant stage manager; Kyndyl Yarzabek and Scott Shriner, lighting; Don Worley, sound; Marty Meddock and Mike Roney, crew; Gene Lang, videographer; Charmaine Check and Roz Hupp, costumes and props; Susan Wolfe, box office; and Georgi Rice, head usher.
“Each year we try to use talent you have enjoyed in the past as well as new talent,” said director Rosalind Hupp. “I’m always amazed to find new and varied talent in this small city in western Pennsylvania. Here’s to another evening of family-oriented entertainment”
Tickets are on sale at the Library Theatre office and one hour before the show at the box office. Cost is $12 for adults and $10 for children younger than 12.