Monthly Archives: April 2020

This cast photo is a true testament to the brilliance of Michael Thomas' staging and Aaron Nicolas' lighting.

10 Reasons to Support the Arts this Year

The pandemic has taken a toll on arts organizations and performers around the world. Content has gone online, which is great to continue valuable missions, but not so great when most organizations utilize over 60% of ticket revenue for operating budgets and performers have lost their salaries.

As stated in ArtsBlog from Americans for the Arts, “The arts are fundamental to our humanity. They ennoble and inspire us—fostering creativity, goodness, and beauty. The arts bring us joy, help us express our values, and build bridges between cultures. The arts also are a fundamental component of a healthy community—strengthening them socially, educationally, and economically—benefits that persist even in difficult social and economic times.”

In 2020, please consider supporting the arts as much as you can. And, if you need a reason why, here are 10 of them.

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Pictures Say A 1,000 Words: Demolition of the Rainbow Mortgage Building

In our last blog, October 2019 was noted as an intense month for the Renaissance – tons of events and productions. One event… a monumental event…will never be forgotten – the demolition of the Rainbow Mortgage building.


This once majestic building was taken down on October 30, 2019 to a crowd of Renaissance Performing Arts and Little Buckeye Children’s Museum supporters in camaraderie for the future of The Imagination District.

The Imagination District is the brainchild of Mike Miller, CEO of the Renaissance Performing Arts Association, and Fred Boll, Executive Director of Little Buckeye Children’s Museum. The collaboration of the two organizations will create the area known as The Imagination District. In September 2018, The Renaissance opened the Black Box Theatre (Theatre 166.) This venue is located directly next to the future home of Little Buckeye Children’s Museum on Park Avenue. The future is bright for this alliance – one of the many plans for Theatre 166 is to hold educational activities and performances specific to children from the museum.

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Pictures Say A 1,000 Words: The Last Five Years

October 2019 at the Renaissance was intense. We had the very popular Sweeney Todd, the Mayoral Debate, the Mansfield Symphony Orchestra’s “Family Pops,” and the Family Film: The Nightmare Before Christmas. Rounding it all out was the intensely personal and intimate production, The Last Five Years, in Theatre 166.


For those who may not know The Last Five Years, this musical has only two cast members: Cathy (portrayed by Matti-Lynn Chrisman) telling her story backward while Jamie (portrayed by Ryan Shreve) tells his story chronologically. These two 20-something New Yorkers fall in and out of love over the course of five years, and the characters only meet once throughout the musical (at their wedding in the middle of the show.) This emotionally powerful and intimate musical was a great triumph for both actors, as well as for Director Ryan Shealy.

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Pictures Say A 1,000 Words: Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street was our first production of the season in Theatre 166, and it sure brought the house down! The initial showings were so popular that we had to add extra to accommodate the many people who desperately wanted to see it!


This production was an amazing vision from Artistic Director, Michael Thomas. And, it ended up being one of the most photogenic of the year’s productions.

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Pictures Say A 1,000 Words: Bohemian Souls

The Mansfield Symphony Orchestra is a very important part of the Renaissance Performing Arts Association. Founded in 1930, the Mansfield Symphony is deeply rooted in our community. It was the merging of the Mansfield Symphony Orchestra with the Renaissance Theatre in 1997 that created the association we have today – Renaissance Performing Arts.

Each season, the Mansfield Symphony Orchestra holds six concerts. Three concerts are called “Masterworks” which highlight famous and classic symphonic repertoire, and three concerts are called “Pops” which honors more popular compositions.


The first concert in the 2019-20 Season was titled “Bohemian Souls” for the compositions performed on the concert – Missy Mazzoli’s Sinfonia (for orbiting spheres), the beautiful Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto with Spanish virtuoso, Francisco Fullanaand Dvořák’s Symphony No. 8, which was composed in honor of his election into the Bohemian Academy of Science, Literature and Arts.

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