With their just-announced 2018-19 season, Darke County Center for the Arts will celebrate its 40th year of presenting high-quality professional performing artists in our community. This Ruby Anniversary season sparkles with dazzling presentations, plus a few glittering enticements.
DCCA sprang into being during the summer of 1978 with a stalwart group of arts-loving activists quickly identifying Henry St. Clair Memorial Hall as an ideal venue for presenting the arts and embarking on a successful effort to restore the historic building to its former grandeur while mounting a wide variety of artistic presentations in the majestic space. During the intervening years, in addition to introducing programs focused on youngsters and their families, DCCA added the socially appealing and artistically sparkling Coffeehouse Series in 2006.
DCCA’s treasure trove of presentations continues to shine next season! Prime among the upcoming jewels will be The Texas Tenors return to Memorial Hall, presenting “Deep in the Heart of Christmas” on Sunday, Dec. 9. Versatile classically-trained vocalist J. C. Fisher, gifted pop singer Marcus Collins and John Hagen, who has sung with opera companies across the U.S., formed the genre-boundary-busting act with country roots and a classical sound in 2009; the radiant career of this crowd-pleasing trio continues to soar since they earned fourth place on America’s Got Talent during the popular show’s fourth season. Tickets are $40 and will go quickly, but this popular act is only one of the gems DCCA has on its 2018-19 schedule.
Opening DCCA’s Artists Series at St. Clair Memorial Hall on Saturday, Sept. 22 will be brilliant pianist Alpin Hong, whose stunning talents have twice before thrilled local audiences. Then, former Seinfeld writer Pat Hazell will bring his nostalgic and hilarious The Wonder Bread Years to the stage on Saturday, Oct. 13, merging stand-up and theater in a delightful one-man show that treasures the past with all of its faults and wonders.
“Piano Men” brings Craig A. Meyer and Donnie Kehr plus backup singers and The Rocket Band to the Memorial Hall stage on Saturday, March 30 to perform the glistening hits of Billy Joel and Elton John. Toledo Symphony Orchestra will present the grand finale of DCCA’s Ruby Season with “A Ruby Celebration,” featuring Joan Ellison performing classic American songs including some popularized by Judy Garland, whose ruby red shoes transported her over the rainbow when she played Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz. And the crowning jewel for this array of wonders—$80 will purchase the entire Artists Series Ruby Season when you buy tickets for all four shows. If you add The Texas Tenors to your purchase, you’ll save an additional $5 off that ticket price as well!
DCCA’s Coffeehouse Series provides a shining example of the abundant amazing talents among us; these jewels include Kathakaar—The Spinning Storyteller performing at Union City’s Arts Depot on Thursday, Nov. 1, multi-faceted singer/songwriter Jonathan Kingham at Montage Cafe on Thursday, Nov. 15, nearly-local gem Lisa Biales performing with her trio at The Bistro Off Broadway on Feb. 28, troubadour extraordinaire Lee Murdock spinning his tales of the sea and more at Arcanum Historical Society’s Wayne Trail House on Thursday, March 7, and elegant singer/songwriter/guitarist Diana Chittester displaying her multiple talents at The Coffee Pot on Thursday, April 25. Tickets for these lustrous shows cost just $10 each, making possible a gold-plated evening out at a readily obtainable cost.
Space does not permit expounding on more wonders from DCCA’s upcoming season, but rest assured that this lack will be addressed in upcoming columns. However, please note that tickets for all DCCA presentations are now on sale for season ticket subscribers; single ticket sales begin July 1. Artists Series subscribers will, of course, have first dibs on the best seats for the special event starring The Texas Tenors, providing a sparkling opportunity for DCCA to attract new patrons to their stellar lineup. Ruby giveaways throughout the season provide further beguiling lures to celebrate with DCCA. For more information or to place your season ticket order, contact DCCA at 937-547-0908, [email protected] or visit them online at www.centerforarts.org or at their office located within Greenville Public Library.