Ohio Wesleyan’s spring musical theatre revue features students (clockwise from bottom left) Daniel Smith, Hunter Coon, Andrew Staley, Noelle Weaver, Baylin Bell, and Emily Clausing. (Photo by Paul Vernon)

UPDATE: ‘Journeys of Love’ – April 1-2 Performances Canceled

Ohio Wesleyan to Present Five Performances of Musical Theatre Revue April 1-10

By Cole Hatcher

Updated March 31, 2022

Ohio Wesleyan University’s Department of Performing Arts is canceling its April 1 and April 2 performances of “Journeys of Love: A Festival of New Musical Theatre, Written by Professional Composers, Lyricists, and Book Writers.” The three remaining performances will continue.

The cancelation follows COVID testing of the cast and crew to prepare for the show’s debut and a subsequent request by the students to keep the full show intact. Ohio Wesleyan mandates COVID vaccination or an approved exemption. Approximately 99.5% of eligible OWU students are vaccinated.

While Ohio Wesleyan currently does not have a mask mandate, anyone should feel free to wear a facial covering.

Original Story Published on March 16, 2022

DELAWARE, Ohio – Ohio Wesleyan University’s Department of Performing Arts will present a showcase in April of eight new musical theatre works, all themed around moving toward (or away from) things we love.

“Journeys of Love: A Festival of New Musical Theatre, Written by Professional Composers, Lyricists, and Book Writers” features songs and scenes from many of the most talented theatre-makers working in the industry right now. 

“This showcase allows OWU to announce itself as a space welcoming of exciting, contemporary voices, while also bringing those new visions in musical theatre to Ohio Wesleyan and the Delaware/Central Ohio community,” said Brian Granger, Ph.D., assistant professor of theatre, who is directing the production. “This event is a must for all musical theatre lovers and a perfect way to celebrate spring.”

Granger said all of the works are Ohio premieres and a number are world premieres, noting that many have never been staged for an audience beyond workshop readings.

“All of these original and professionally crafted songs and scene moments reveal characters in the midst of some struggle around a desire for movement, for some kind of travel,” said Granger, who joined the Ohio Wesleyan faculty in August.

“This yearning for travel might be to move deeper into a connection with someone else, or to break off a relationship that has been troubling, or to explore a new geography or new situation beyond what one has been used to,” he said. “I think the desire for a new situation is resonant for all of us, heading into this warmer weather.”

The revue features musical direction by Jennifer Whitehead, D.M.A., associate professor of music, and will include “There is Life Beyond Verona” by Michael Cooper, “How Are You Katie?” by Alanya Bridge, and “The Sky Is The Limit” by Sonya Hayden, Matthew Lowy, and Rachel Sklar.

“It’s been fun to work with students on new music,” said Whitehead, who joined Ohio Wesleyan in 2014.  “I think Brian had a great idea here. I’ve enjoyed being a part of it, and I’m looking forward to seeing the finished product.”

Eleven Ohio Wesleyan students are performing in “Journeys of Love.” The students, and their hometowns, are:

  • Daniel Smith of Columbus, Ohio
  • Oliver Losey of Columbus, Ohio
  • Baylin Bell of Chicago, Illinois
  • Rachel Madore of Galion, Ohio
  • Hunter Coon of Vinton, Ohio
  • Noelle Weaver of Dublin, Ohio
  • Emily Clausing of Portsmouth, Ohio
  • Eric Burns of Pine Hill, New Jersey
  • Payton Andisman of Akron, Ohio
  • Elizabeth Sumoza of Chicago, Illinois
  • Andrew Staley of Columbus, Ohio

Seven OWU students are taking on production duties in “Journeys of Love.” These students, their hometowns, and their responsibilities are:

  • Olivia Anderson of Toledo, Ohio, costume head.
  • Alex Dolph of Middletown, Ohio, costume crew.
  • Isabelle Tinti-Kane of Marblehead, Massachusetts, costume crew.
  • Ami Hartshorne of Columbus, Ohio, light board operator/light crew.
  • Elizabeth Rohrs of South Glastonbury, Connecticut, assistant stage manager-props.
  • Joseph Warner of Towson, Maryland, run crew. 
  • Sam Marshall of Evanston, Illinois, run crew.

The OWU Department of Performing Arts will present five performances of “Journeys of Love” at 7:30 p.m. April 1, 2, 8, and 9, and 2 p.m. April 10 on the Main Stage of Chappelear Drama Center, 45 Rowland Ave., Delaware. The revue includes mature themes and may not be suitable for those under 13.

To reserve tickets (and then purchase them cash-only at the door), visit owu.edu/JourneysofLove. Cost is $10 for general admission, $5 for senior citizens and non-OWU students, and free for OWU students with a valid university ID.

Walk-in tickets will be sold at the door, if available. While Ohio Wesleyan currently does not have a mask mandate, anyone should feel free to wear a facial covering. For questions, contact the OWU box office at (740) 368-3855.

For information about the Ohio Wesleyan Department of Performing Arts and about studying music, theatre, or dance at the university, visit owu.edu/PerformingArts.

Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers more than 70 undergraduate majors and competes in 24 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Through its signature program, The OWU Connection, Ohio Wesleyan teaches students to integrate knowledge across disciplines, build a diverse and global perspective, and apply knowledge in real-world settings. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives” and included on the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “Best Colleges” lists. Connect with OWU expert interview sources at owu.edu/experts or learn more at owu.edu.