Jim Stoner

Jim Stoner, writer and director of The Black Cyclone, will portray Woody Hayes in the upcoming show at Ohio State-Mansfield.

COLUMBUS — The Ohio State University at Mansfield welcomes audiences to its next virtual theatre performance, Separate Together, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 12.

While titled Separate Together, just like the October performance, this second rendition will entertain with several new pieces. The collection of short performances will include a piece by local Pulitzer Prize-winning author and playwright Louis Bromfield and a living history character portrayal of Coach Woody Hayes.

Although he travelled the world, Bromfield set Here Today, Gone Tomorrow in his home state of Ohio. Nearly 90 years since its original release, the excerpt is a light-hearted piece set in a small restaurant in Bucyrus. The down-on-their luck characters from a traveling circus will offer the audience a chance to step back in time and join a life of adventure on the road.

The second presentation is a solo performance by actor, singer, screenwriter, playwright and Ohio State graduate Jim Stoner. He will amuse those who tune-in with his interpretation of one of Ohio State football Coach Woody Hayes’ halftime pep talks. Stoner has brought more than 40 historical characters to life on stage, both inspirational individuals and those experiencing and overcoming challenges.

Throughout the 2020-21 season, the Ohio State Mansfield Theatre program has needed to be creative in overcoming its own challenges in finding a way to keep performing live while keeping patrons safe and healthy. With a “show must go on” mindset, the Theatre program has met these obstacles head-on continuing to offer students a high-quality theatre engagement and learning experience, while bringing the arts to the campus and Mansfield area community.

The Theatre Program has successfully traversed this new path through creative show selections, navigating virtual performance platforms, and thinking outside the box regarding casting and production – these fall productions have included a mix of student and community artists. All with the hope that audiences will be inspired to find new ways to still nurture their creative sides.

What fall semester performers are saying

Upon transferring to Ohio State Mansfield this fall semester, Gabriella DeYoe, an English major and Goodman Scholarship recipient, was thrilled to hear that performances were still planned despite the pandemic.

“Theatre is essential, and I hope our audiences enjoy the new form of performing and feel hopeful at the prospect of new technology making theatre accessible,” DeYoe said. “I’m grateful for opportunities the Goodman Scholarship has given me.

"The scholarship allowed me to participate in theatre this fall and was largely one of the reasons I chose to attend Ohio State Mansfield.”

The S. Wynn and Marion B. Goodman Scholarship is awarded to students like DeYoe who are attending college full time and have an interest in engaging in visual art, theatre, creative writing and interdisciplinary arts on the Ohio State Mansfield campus. It is the support of scholarships like this that enable students to become engaged in campus programs.

Another student who credits the Goodman Scholarship for her ability to participate in theatre productions is Jersey Heffley, an early childhood education major and Mansfield native.

“Receiving this scholarship was a blessing because it gave me a way to participate in the productions and allowed me to have a connection to everyone while not being on campus this fall,” Heffley shared. “With COVID-19, theatre has given me something to do and look forward to. My experience has been amazing. Being in theatre opened me to new opportunities and new people.”

With a desire to include more individuals in this unique theatre season, alumnus Jeremy Barr was cast in the October Separate Together performance. Like many people, Barr, who earned his Bachelor of Arts in English in 2012, didn’t want to hear about the things he cannot do. So, when he heard about the Zoom theatre process, he thought it was a perfect way to participate in theatre and still follow recommended health and safe guidelines.

“In the Zoom format, you have to bring the energy with you and these student actors really refilled my cup with creativity,” Barr said. “It’s this outside-the-box thinking that will see the Theatre Program come out the other side of 2020 a stronger much more versatile program. Support the arts and join the performances.”

Visit www.mansfield.osu.edu/theatre for details on how to join this virtual performance. Separate Together performs Thursday, Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. All performances are free and open to everyone, and the total performance time is under one hour.

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Note: The Coach Woody Hayes presentation, which will be presented as the second piece of the evening, contains strong language which may be offensive to some viewers.

Accessibility: The Ohio State University is committed to the full inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of campus life. We will be providing live closed caption services during our event. If you are unable join us and wish to request accommodations for our future performances please email fahey.9@osu.edu. Typically, a 4-day notice will allow us to provide access.

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