Posts filed under ‘Arts’
On the mirrors ( at least the last time I looked) in the outer lobby of the Palace Theatre Lorain is a list of donors. Among those that donated significantly is the mention of “Palace Players“
The Palace Players, an intrepid band of actors and actresses from the local community. At the core were Jean Schaeffer, Dave Cotton, Casey Wolnowski, Karen Kelley and yours truly. The “company” got together to specifically raise funds for the Palace.
The kick off , as described in the history of the Palace on their website mentions what happened, in 1974 and my introduction to Lorain and a great bunch of people. Yes! I served the lunches along with Barb MacGregor, Ruth Calta, Mary Lou Connone
This immigrant to Lorain- made the soups and generally helped those great bunch of people – thanks to my introduction to Lorain via Jean Schaeffer and was involved in the “speakeasy” segment of the gala night.
The Palace was and is still a major “player” in determining Lorain’s downtown -http://lorainpalace.com
In 1974, “Civic Center Madness”, a major fund raising project, took place in the urban renewal area of north Broadway. Forty civic groups participated in this week long street fair, Stores soon to be torn down were converted as if by magic into an old fashioned ice cream parlor, a “Second-Hand Rose” shop, a casino, a book and plant store, an open air barbecue, international shops, etc. The Saturday night “Great Gatsby Party” at the Palace climaxed the week’s activities.
Theatre was all important to the culture of the area. Most of us didn’t have a lot of money , those band of thespians, but what they did have was a love of theatre and the Palace – so the Palace Players formed.
One production – loosely based on a Dinner with Henry the VIII- took place on the Palace stage
We had to be creative , in order to raise money for the building, we couldn’t interfere with the daily running of the Palace. Creative , especially as to performance space we were given. One criteria was that no “set” set – everything had to be put up an hour before the show ( each performance night) and the set had to be struck each night.
Educating Rita- we did that in a mini proscenium set up in the area behind the seats, using one of the archways with the drinking fountain as the dressing rooms and off stage. I was Rita and it was an education !
Two shows were performed in the inner lobby in front of the bar – The Fantasticks -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fantasticks A young Mike Skimmin, Melissa Driscoll and Billy the Clown were part of that “company”. Imagine a musical in the lobby- however did we manage the music????- but we did.
The other show No Exit- a depiction of the afterlife in which three deceased characters are punished by being locked into a room together for eternity ( done as theatre in the round). Memorable to me about those performances was we had to share the theatre for a few performances with an action movie playing on the” big screen” – the louder sounds such as crashes, screams and gunfire bled through into our performance area . Our audience was told to ignore as that was just another room in hell.
“Hell is other people”,a reference to Sartre’s ideas about the look and the perpetual ontological struggle of being caused to see oneself as an object in the world of another consciousness.”
We were involved , that group participated and performed with such productions as the Follies and – Lorain Community Music Theatre -
when it was “truly Lorain” and performed their musicals every year on the Palace stage. Organizations benefitted greatly from the talent. Just a few come to mind-
South Pacific 1985 ( Dave directing)
Casey and I directing and producing King and I -1991 and Brigadoon 1990 - we sold out the Palace with those performances.
Yes! and the same people gave of their time and talent freely to put together an extravaganza to promote the newly formed Lorain Arts Council under the auspices of MainstreetLorain throughout the whole Palace venue even utilizing the “boxes”. The audience was lined up to come and view the talent who call Lorain County home.
We would call on our fellow thespians for help and they always showed up and came through, whether to stage manage, produce , perform, organize, publicize , play an instrument – whatever was needed if they were available they were there. Those were good days.
No Exit – and the statement “hell is other people” – well I have had my share of living that particular line in the “play that is Lorain”.
I am saddened by what has transpired in recent years the demise of Broadway to the extent it has . We need more of those ladies who lunched- they brought a “touch of class” – in my opinion decidedly lacking of late- but that era has too passed us by –
– I have become old , jaded and cynical- Lorain and life has done that and I know I am not alone in wondering what was the point in all those efforts and hard work but then there is the Palace…
and am thankful to say still is the house of “light on Broadway” .
Please visit the Palace website for all the latest information
As regular readers are aware, the volunteers of Charleston Village, with the help of the City of Lorain have started to take down the carvings off the tree lawn at Settlers’ Watch.
These carvings have to be refurbished and refinished before they can be replaced in and around Settlers’ Watch and Eric Barnes Heroes Walk.
The first carving- The Anchor- was taken down on a very cold day in February-
taken to a warehouse
and we waited for spring and enough warmth to use the chemicals needed and also for the volunteers ( spearheaded by Frank Sipkovsky) to be able to work.
There is more to this than one might think, stabilizing rods, filler and sanding galore needs to be done.
If anyone would like to donate some time and talent helping to get these 4 carvings refurbished and finished- we could use the help. email firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help or call 440-246-6046
We have to move The Heron – donated by Oster Homes, The Portside Lorain sign ( grant)- The Anchor in progress ( also a grant) and the Lorain Lighthouse – donated by Port of Lorain Foundation- Lakeland Healthcare Corp.
It was rough, very rough we had a lot to deal with in those first months but the carving and the work continued: The full pictorial can be found here from start to the dedication.
The volunteers and those that donated so much time, effort, plants and hardscape got the area ready for the dedication August 1st 2009.
The summers and winters passed and The Captain suffered:
October 2013 found us up a ladder again
The Captain was being eaten alive from the inside out and losing the battle of the seagull guano.
Unfortunately, just last week I noticed the stanchion on the ground -the wood had rotted, in fact his whole ship’s wheel, was hanging on by a thread he was sounding decidedly hollow. We checked the other carvings they seem to be fine except the root bases of the ones on the tree lawns which is to be expected.
After searching on the internet we found http://conservepoxy.com/ Paul of Conservepoxy spent a great deal of time with me on how the process works and what we need to do. Also Andy from Sherwin Williams came to the site and is also looking for ways to help us for which I am eternally grateful http://www.sherwin-williams.com/
The “crew” filled him with chemicals and had to plug the holes with corks until spring arrives. The chemicals have definitely changed his complexion –
we added a hat to try to keep the sea birds and their bathroom habits away- but the hat decided it liked travelling a little better than being a guano inhibitor- felt it might have a worthier purpose…..
The Then and Now
Dan Brady ‘s Blog
As part of the celebration surrounding this book, my blog this week will focus entirely on Willis Leiter – his life, his work and even his former home on East Erie in Lorain. Plus, more about the book!
Click on images to enlarge:
The cover and back cover of the book depicting Lorain in its heyday
A new book about Lorain will be going on sale Monday January 27th 2014, published by Arcadia Publishing
Lorain: The Real Photo Postcards of Wilis Leiter, $21.99 will be available at local retailers, online bookstores, or through Arcadia Publishing at www. arcadiapublishing.com or (888) 313-2665. I believe locally you will be able to purchase the book through what was Black River Historical Society – now Lorain Historical Society-(440)245-2563 – they will also be holding a book signing in March
This is a collaborative effort by authors Albert Doane, Bill Jackson Paula Shorf, Bruce Waterhouse Jr., and Mathew Weisman-
“Bill Jackson and Paula Shorf are longtime collectors of Leiter real photos postcards. They joined forces with Lorain historians Albert Doane, Mathew Weisman, and Bruce Leiter Waterhouse Jr. – a great-grandson of the photographer” …..
“Between the years of 1908-1915, Willis Leiter carefully composed and skillfully developed images of life in early Lorain. The authors explain ” This is Lorain in its heyday- business booming, citizens marching in parades, streetcars traveling up and down Broadway and Willis Leiter was there capturing it all through his photographs.“
ED NOTE:For those who “remember” and care for Lorain and her history or wish to get to know this old town, her people and places this is a terrific publication – 128 pages of a time gone by and yet still captured in the pages and in the hearts of the authors and hopefully the readers .
Ed: Note all information is derived from the publishers Arcadia Publishing and Mary Margaret Schley- Publishing Editor
Tuesday the 1st of October, found your sister , nephews and I at Black River Landing for the “falling of the electrical towers”. Gavin loves construction and de construction I am sure he dreams of “diggers, excavators, dump trucks and all things “hard hat”.
Since the officials were having a press conference and a 4 year old and a 20 month olds patience can wear thin, we excused ourselves started to walk down to the site of the falling tower to be –
Coverage can be found here
Gavin and his dad are looking to build a shed ,for all the boys ( vehicles) their Chris- Miss presents
Once again you were there and the flash back to the day you painted the signage on that little shed for what was then Mainstreet Lorain- ( Lorain Growth Corporation). I could see you as if you were standing there once again.
The shed and the welcome sign has graced many a festival, stored many an object, had any number of photos taken as found on searching for “Lorain”
As Nikki explained to Gavin and Braedyn this too, was one of Uncle Chris’s signs just like the street signs in Nog’s neighborhood of Charleston Village .
Another month – so many memories – and as the tower came down – a hat tip to the future a bridge between the past and future was captured once again in the lens of the camera …..
Please note I couldn’t find the source for the photos taken from the internet – but one ( Art Light- the winter photo) Mark Teleha
Gavin’s advice – as we “sit floor- Nog”- (Gavin’s new shortened version of my “monika”) watching the Car’s movie ( over and over and over again) and there is a “sad part“ we must run’d away- is Gavin’s order of the moment- until the happy part comes on. Should a scary part happen, Gavin will change the disc or turn it off.I have yet to find out ( after watching the movie at least 10 times) what happens to Tinkerbell at the Troll bridge, but mostly we have to “hide” under the cushions until the nice happy part returns to the screen.
The other day as I was holding Braedyn in one arm and Gavin was cuddled up under the other watching “Cars” yet again, I felt the softness of a baby’s cheek and the silkiness of Gavin’s tousled hair. I was taken back and reminded once more of another little boy’s cheek and hair as soft as silk .
Try as I might , despite shaking my head to get the picture from my mind, swallowing hard and holding my breath. fat tears splashed from my eyes onto Gavin’s little hand ,so like his Uncle Chris’s . I bit my lip and forced a smile as Gavin turned his concerned little face to mine .
Sad???? – run’d away- hide – Nog
There are so many times I would like to run’d away and hide but there isn’t a sanctuary where one can escape- the sad part is always with me .
Friday, May 4th, we were invited to Cleveland Institute of Art’s Honors Awards and Scholarship Announcements.
Since Chris died we have remembered him with two scholarships Cleveland Institute of Art and Lorain County Community College
The recipient of Chris’ scholarship for this year would be announced. I knew it was going to be hard- I put on my “armour” and my sunglasses. Nikki went with me , we took Braedyn – Gavin spent the day with Poo Bah.
I had been to the Aiken auditorium twice during Chris’s time at CIA- the day of his orientation and then the day he graduated. The day of his graduation the large screen – a backdrop on the stage, as his name was announced to the audience, showed two slides the example of a project of which he was most proud
and WHO HE WAS
I sat, during the awards announcement on Friday, not daring to move incase what ever thin thread that was holding me together broke. I could see Chris once more on his graduation day happy, smiling, full of excitement , giving the thumbs up as he crossed the stage with his work behind him, ready to take on the “design world” with an air of confidence. We were so proud and happy at that moment- looking forward to accomplishment.
I daren’t look at Nikki, I knew her eyes were filling with tears, I could see peripherally her fingers stroking Braedyn’s warm soft cheek, drawing comfort from his presence. I so wanted to “run’d away- hide”- I didn’t want to face the trolls of the bridge of death and the price they claimed. But there is nowhere to run.
As the announcement of the recipient was read I scanned the audience filled with youth , talent, excitement, their eagerness, joy adding to the ambience of life in that auditorium and just being young written on those faces and I drew a margin of comfort that once more my son’s name was included in a “happy part” . And hopefully a gift in his name would, in a small way, help another to make a difference through their talent.
Thank you so much to those of you that help make this gift in Christopher’s name possible.
This year’s $1,500 scholarship recipient follows
Year One – Jessica Obando https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2011/06/02/cleveland-institute-of-art-a-journey-continues-christopher-d-ritchey/
Year Two – Andrew Frank -https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2011/11/09/cleveland-institute-of-art-chris-ritchey-scholarship-year-two/
Year Three- Emily Good.
If you would like to contribute to the Christopher Ritchey Memorial Scholarship at CIA please do so by sending the check to :
Attn M. Kinsella
Cleveland Institute of Art,
11141 East Boulevard,
Cleveland, OH 44106
mark Chris Ritchey Memorial Scholarship