Sunday, March 9, 2003

Showbiz play to represent Ohio at contest

By Jackie Demaline
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Showbiz Players continues its winning ways. The community theater's production of The Civil War was chosen in late February by the Ohio Community Theatre Association to represent the state in regional competition in Wisconsin in April.

Showbiz was the first U.S. community theater to win rights to Frank Wildhorn's musical that focuses on soldiers, slaves and statesmen in the War Between the States. A true community effort, an epic-sized cast and crew (26 actors, five musicians and 10 tech crew) came together from throughout the Tristate.

Their efforts paid off in two standing ovations and a dozen awards in the state competition, including performance awards to Amber Browning (Loveland), Tom Cartwright (West Chester Township), Kenneth Early (Newport), musical director Gene Ostenkamp (Glendale) and director Bunny Arszman (Monfort Heights).

Arszman is devoting her time to raising the $8,000 for the next round of competition as Showbiz pursues its dream of the crown as Best Community Theatre Production in the nation.

"We're hoping to rent a bus so we can go together," she says as the company puts in for vacation days.

No matter what happens next, it's been a great run, she says. "To represent the state of Ohio is a phenomenal thing for us," she says.

Any individuals or companies interested in helping sponsor the Showbiz dream for national glory can contact Arszman at 325-7842.

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