Special to 1812Blockhouse

Experiences for Everyone remains true as the Renaissance Performing Arts Association announces the upcoming 2023-2024 Season complete with new and exciting productions, concerts, and educational opportunities for all to enjoy.

Over the last four weeks, the Renaissance has released their season lineup one series at a time. Now that the lineup is fully released, and following an exciting 95th Anniversary Celebration, the Renaissance team is buzzing with excitement as they invite the community once again to come and enjoy the variety this season holds.

First to be announced was the Avita Health System Concert Series, kicking off with The Beat Goes On, a Cher tribute performance, followed by country music favorite Collin Raye in January. In February, contemporary pianist Jim Brickman will take the stage with a Valentine’s-themed performance. Spring of 2024 will feature Australian soft-rock legends Air Supply in March followed by the Kings of Queen, paying tribute to the rock favorite Queen, in April.

The Spotlight Series will mark the return of the Artistic Jazz Orchestra, performing three concerts this season, including the 2022 crowd favorite “We Wish You A Jazzy Christmas” in December. The Film Series kicks off with a showing of the 1925 black and white film Phantom of the Opera, accompanied by the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ housed within the Rand Smith Auditorium in the Renaissance Theatre, followed by cult favorite The Rocky Horror Picture Show, where audiences can plan to dress up and participate. At Christmastime, families can look forward to Elf along with a number of fun holiday activities to suit the season.

The Mechanics Bank Education Series is filled to the brim beginning with the first of two MY Theatre productions, Spongebob the Musical, in the Fall. The spring production is the “Enchanted Version” of Rogers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, which is a perfect opportunity for patrons of all ages to break out their princess dresses. This season includes three Teddy Bear Concerts, created by the team at the Renaissance, which allow children to participate in the dramatic retelling of their favorite stories with support from MY Theatre performers and members of the Mansfield Symphony Orchestra. These concerts include The Spooky Old House, Peter and the Wolf, and The Emperor’s New Clothes. The Mansfield Symphony Youth Orchestra returns for their annual Holiday Prelude and Spring Concert performances under the direction of Director/Conductor Stephen Domka. The Renaissance Youth Opera Theatre workshop joins the lineup directed by Lori Turner, and is a great way for students to hone their singing and acting skills. The Improv Underground workshop allows students to practice their comedy and acting over the course of several weeks culminating in a public performance. For the non-stage perfomers, the MindSprouts Creative Writing Program invites area students to submit stories with finalist works being translated to staged performances in the MindSprouts Showcase. Rounding out the Education Season, Broadway Camp and Broadway Camp Showz take place in June 2024.

A new Family Series has been named as part of the Renaissance season, which will include the much anticipated return of the Richland Academy performance of The Nutcracker Ballet. Laughs will abound as the Popovich Pet Comedy Tour visits the theatre in February 2024, and in April, America’s Got Talent favorite iLuminate will take the Ren stage to perform hit songs in their signature LED dance suits.

The Ohio Health Symphony Series begins with Classical Mansfield: A Free Community Concert, providing the community with an opportunity to see the 55+ piece Mansfield Symphony Orchestra at no cost thanks to the generous support of the Gorman Fund of the Richland County Foundation. Continuing to focus on the community, the Mansfield Symphony: Local Artist Showcase returns and will feature local musicians Narrow/Arrow, Ricky Mitchell, and Jimi Vincent as they play their original works with exclusive, never-before-heard arrangements by Mansfield Symphony Music Director Octavio Más-Orocas. The Holiday Pops concert tradition returns in December as part of Christmas at the Ren and will include a visit from Santa that you do not want to miss! In the new year, the Mansfield Symphony Orchestra welcomes the Youth Orchestra in their annual Side by Side concert: Massive Classics. In the spring, the Symphony will perform Singing, Dancing, and Horns! a showcase of classical works featuring familiar waltzes and pieces that showcase the best of the brass. Now entering its 4th year, the Symphony and Renaissance Broadway team will again collaborate on an in-concert performance of An American in Paris.

The Park National Bank Broadway Series starts with a bang with the Ren’s most-requested Summer Musical, Grease!, followed by the fall musical Hello, Dolly and rounding out in the spring with West Side Story, which will feature choreography provided by the talented Sarah Horrigan-Ramos and Marden Ramos of the Richland Academy. These self-produced productions will be brought to life by the Renaissance team and feature the many talented actors of our community along with several guest stars.

The Cypress Hill Winery and Hudson & Essex Black Box Series returns again, kicking off the season with RENT performed Stage on Stage (limited seating available). A new addition to the Christmas at the Ren lineup, the BlackBox will present A Christmas Carol—One Woman: A Whole Host of Characters in partnership with The Contemporary Theatre of Ohio (formerly CATCO), starring Follies leading lady Angela Ianonne playing all of the roles in a can’t-miss performance. Spring 2024 will feature a production of Caroline, Or Change, a moving work that will feature guest direction by DeMone Lewis of Chicago and Musical Direction by Alice Bond, Mansfield Native, current member of Conne and formerly of the Temptations and The Four Tops. The Emerging Artists Festival returns to the Blac kBox with three original, never-before-seen plays, workshopped over the course of one week before a public reading where audiences participate by providing feedback to equip playwrights in the furthering of their works.

As a pillar of arts and culture in the Mansfield community, each season is painstakingly and carefully curated to be a reflection of the kind of entertainment residents are seeking to enjoy. Throughout the season, the Ren team has worked to create opportunities for everyone to experience these productions whether it be through free performances, discounted tickets for students and veterans, free tickets for seniors over 60 to select performances through support from the Area Agency on Aging, or complimentary tickets available to anyone without the financial means to attend a performance through the support of the Richland County Foundation. The arts serve as an outlet for everyone and the Ren aims to be an open door to its community to experience the exceptional entertainment and creativity this season has in store. For more information on these ticket options, please call the box office.

Tickets for the 2023-2024 season are currently on sale for members only. Tickets will be released to the public on June 6th. To become a member and get early access to tickets along with a variety of other benefits, call 419-522-2726 ext. 200 or email Development Manager, at [email protected].

The Renaissance Theatre is a non-profit performing arts theater located at 138 Park Avenue West, Mansfield, Ohio. For tickets and information, visit rentickets.org or call the Renaissance Box Office 419.522.2726.

Source, Graphic: Renaissance Performing Arts Association

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