Press Release

Ohio Wesleyan to Perform 'Androcles and the Lion'

January 25, 2017 – by Cole Hatcher

Ohio Wesleyan University’s production of ‘Androcles and the Lion’ features, from left, Josh Martin as Lelio, Doris Ottman as Isabella, Jack Riter as Pantalone, and Charlie Lennon as Androcles. OWU will present five performances of the play in February. (Photo by D. Glen Vanderbilt Jr.)

Five Presentations of Award-Winning Play Set for Feb. 16-19 

DELAWARE, Ohio – Ohio Wesleyan University’s Department of Theatre & Dance will present five performances Feb. 16-19 of “Androcles and the Lion,” an adaptation of the classic Aesop’s fable telling the story of a servant in ancient Rome who befriends an animal in need and makes a friend for life.

Adapted by award-winning playwright Aurand Harris, “Androcles and the Lion” is directed and designed by Ohio Wesleyan professor D. Glen Vanderbilt Jr.

Critics have said Harris’ script “skyrockets with zany comedy [and] glows with the warmth of friendship,” and Vanderbilt said the show is perfect family fun.

“The play suggests commedia dell’arte style,” Vanderbilt said, “bringing the colorful and boisterous comedy to life with selected scenes, music, and slapstick.”

“Androcles and the Lion” will be presented in three evening and two matinee performances. It will be performed in one act, lasting approximately 75 minutes, Vanderbilt said.

The cast is comprised of a dozen Ohio Wesleyan students and features Charlie Lennon as Androcles the servant; Hannah Wargo as the Lion; Doris Ottman and Josh Martin as young lovers Isabella and Lelio; Jack Riter as Pantalone, Isabella’s miserly guardian; Nash Bonnema as El Capitano; and Rachel Scherrer as the manager/prolog.

Zanni (commedia servants) are portrayed by students Victor Peddicord and Erin Fannin. Music is provided by students Jake Simpson and Audrey Castañeda Walker, and the play features period costume designs by Jacqueline Shelly and lighting design by Chadwyn Knutson.

“Androcles and the Lion” will be performed at 8 p.m. Feb. 16, 17, and 18 and at 2 p.m. Feb. 18 and 19 in the Studio Theatre inside OWU’s Chappelear Drama Center, 45 Rowland Ave., Delaware.

Tickets are $10 for general admission; $3 for school-age children; and $5 for senior citizens, Ohio Wesleyan employees, and non-OWU college students. (Admission is free for OWU students with a valid university ID.) Seating is limited, and all seating is general seating.

To reserve tickets, call the OWU box office at (740) 368-3855. For more information, including other upcoming performances, visit

Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers nearly 90 undergraduate majors and competes in 23 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Through Ohio Wesleyan’s signature OWU Connection program, students integrate knowledge across disciplines, build a diverse and global perspective, and apply their knowledge in real-world settings. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” listed on the latest President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction, and included in the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “best colleges” lists. Learn more at