Category Archives: Theatre

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: Honoring Joe Diffie

This third installment of our blog series, “Pictures Say A 1,000 Words,” is diverting from its course of highlighting the 2019-20 Season at the Renaissance.


This past weekend, country music legend, Joe Diffie passed away from COVID-19. The Renaissance was fortunate enough to have him grace our stage just a season ago. As was his trademark style, the show had the theatre rockin’ and near a thousand of his fans had the time of their lives. The following photographs are a way to pay our respects to this extraordinary artist.

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Pictures Say A 1,000 Words: Matilda

The Renaissance first opened in 1928. It has seen the Great Depression of 1929, the Great Recession of 2008, and It weathered the storm of becoming an X-rated movie house in 1979 resulting in closure due to public outcry.

The Renaissance Theatre originally open as the Ohio Theatre.

The Renaissance Theatre originally opened as the Ohio Theatre.

The Renaissance (like ALL not-for-profit performing arts organizations) is now facing its greatest challenge in the history of its existence with COVID-19. Over 60% of our operational budget comes from ticket revenue, and with doors closed we are currently at zero. However, all of us here at the Renaissance have hope. We have hope that soon this pandemic will be under control and our doors will once again be open to provide our community first-rate performances. No matter what genre of the performing arts you love, we have it – Broadway, Symphony, Country through Rock, Comedy –  we will bring it back to you!!

This blog is the first of many called “Pictures Say A 1,000 Words.” We are releasing these twice a week with pictures from this season’s performances with hope they will remind you of the wonderful experiences of the past, and hope for more in the near future.

First up is our 2019 summer musical, Roald Dahl’s Matilda. We can’t thank Jeff Sprang of Jeff Sprang Photography enough for these pictures, and all of the photography from our shows!

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Matilda’s Bookshelf: Top Ten Children’s Books to Enjoy

Coffy Creations Photography

Coffy Creations Photography

Reading is a valuable part of everyone’s life, but more importantly, the effect of reading with your children is something that will nurture them the rest of their life. Research has proven time and time again that reading positively develops one’s health across the board – physically, mentally, emotionally, academically… all the -ly’s! In Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical, books are a way of escape for Matilda – travel, friends, education, etc. So, here’s Matilda’s “must haves” for your child’s bookshelf!

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Photo Credit: Jeff Sprang Photography

Photo Credit: Jeff Sprang Photography

Ah! The english language – the first subject that I was involved with in school that I excelled at… but also probably one of the worst subjects I was involved with.  Unlike many other languages that have a basic format that can be used time and time again and make perfect sense, English continues to confuse people and students alike.  In many circumstances, there are different spellings for the same place or thing (grey vs gray, disc vs. disk, ax vs. axe, etc.).  For theater (or is it theatre), there are two spellings, but what are the rules when using them? Continue reading