The Bicentennial Project

by Arwen Mitchell

Take an authentic walk into 200 years of life in Stark County as portrayed through the powerful lens of the media. In collaboration with The Canton Repository, this tapestry play is the narrative of our community. Experience living excerpts of history that reveal where we came from, how we got here and where we are going.

Read The Repository article by Dan Kane: Play celebrates 200 years of Stark County history published February 25, 2016.

Ohio arts logo
This production was partially funded by a grant from the Ohio Arts Council.

2016 Performance Dates

February 26, 27, March 4 & 5 at 8 p.m.
February 28 & March 6 (ASL interpreted) at 2:30 p.m.

Ticket Information

Adults - $10
Seniors (55 and over) - $7
Non-KSU Students (17 and under) - $7
KSU Students - Free with current ID

  • Tickets go on sale February 15.
  • Purchase tickets online, by phone or in person at the Box Office.
  • Visa, MasterCard and Discover accepted. Checks and cash accepted in person at the Box Office.
  • Tickets purchased online or by phone will be available at Will Call.
  • Will Call opens one hour prior to curtain time and closes when the performance begins.
  • Kent State Students: Free admission with current Kent State ID. Seats must be reserved in person at the Box Office.
  • No refunds for purchased tickets. Exchanges for the same production can be made by contacting the Box Office prior to the reserved performance date.
  • Tickets held at Will Call will be forfeited if not picked up by curtain time.

Ticket sales begin February 15 at 8 a.m.


Bonny Banas
Bonny's first theatre experience was at age 15 with Akron's Weathervane Playhouse. Growing up, she did a little theatre throughout the area. She was fortunate to have a father willing to drive her all over. Dad was the founder and director of Goodyear's Winged Foot Players. She graduated from Kent State in 1955, as a speech major with an emphasis in theatre. She is blessed with two daughters and sons-in-law, and four grandkids. Never in a million years did she think that at the age of 84, she would once again have the opportunity to be on a Kent State stage. To each one involved in The Bicentennial Project, a resounding thank you. 

Faith Carpenter
Faith has been acting on and off since she was little. She was in two plays and two musicals in high school. she played Mrs. Webb in Our Town, Linus in You're a Good Man Charlie Brown, Rat in The Wind in the Willows, and Violet Beauregard in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. She assistant directed five productions, including Miss Nelson is MissingThe Little Mermaid, And a Child Shall Lead, Charming, and Gran's Guide to Defeat an Ogre. This is her first production at Kent State Stark Theatre.
Robert Cobb
Serena Fronimo

Serena is majoring in musical theatre at Kent State University. She most recently played Villian, Gayle, and Hope in Kent State Stark's Almost, Maine. Serena graduated from Massillon Washington High school as a part of the Thespian's club where she performed in 42nd Street as Dorothy Brock, Beauty and the Beast as a Silly Girl, and You Have the Right to Remain Dead as Lois/Savannah. She has also snagged various roles in community theatre. Aside from theatre, Serena is a makeup design graduate in beauty and special effects, and enjoys freelancing for films and special events. 

Nick Kling

Justin Miller
Georgee-Ann Munoz
Georgee-Ann is a student at Stark State College, working on her associate degree in criminal justice. She is a lucky mom of two girls, who are her motivation to keep going. She studied drama in high school, and played Little Red Riding Hood and worked on crew in The Wizard of OZ, and in the cast for It's a Wonderful Life. This is her first show in this area, and she is looking forward to learning and growing as an actress.

C.J. Pinter
C.J. is a sophomore at Kent State Stark, and is majoring in marketing, as well as theatre. He played Stu in Our House, Paul in The Maiden's Prayer and multiple roles in Almost, Maine at Kent State Stark. C.J. has done theatre in high school, snagging multiple leads in Rehearsal for Murder, and being plant operator for Little Shop of Horrors. Most recently, he served as stage manager for Kent State Stark's One Slight Hitch. He also started the One Act Festival at his high school, and was also president of the Improv club. Aside from theatre, he enjoys a nice healthy lunch from Chipotle, head banging to music, and quoting Will Ferrell as much as humanly possible. He would like to thank the director for challenging him and giving him this great opportunity. 

Jordy Vargas
Emily Weiss

Emily is a sophomore here at Kent State University at Stark. She is majoring in applied communication and minoring in American Sign Language. With as many characters as there are in this show, she is excited to be back on the stage. Past credits include: Blur (Assistant Stage Manager), Beauty and the Beast (Crew), Anything Goes (Chorus), The Music Man (Gracie Shinn), and Peter Pan (Lost Boy). She has also been involved with aspects of the performing arts scene, being the Student Director for May Show at her high school and participated in various choirs. Emily would like to thank her family and friends, as well as her teachers, for all of their support, guidance, and giving her the opportunities to help her do what she loves.

Production Team

Brian NewbergBrian Newberg: Director
Brian Newberg is an Assistant Professor of Theatre and Theatre Director at Kent State University at Stark. Brian’s directing experience (over eighty production credits) includes Broadway, Regional, Equity Waiver, industry showcases, new work development, and many college productions. He has extensive experience as an actor (over seventy production credits) in the New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Oregon areas. He has also served as an Associate Artistic Director for a regional theatre company, run his own private acting studios, and taught at a number of colleges on the west coast before coming to Kent State. Brian is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC) and received his M.F.A. in Directing from the University of California, Irvine.

Arwen MitchellArwen Mitchell: Playwright
Arwen Mitchell is a Midwest-based writer, dramaturge, and historian with over a decade of experience in playwriting, dramaturgy, and theatre history. Her work focuses on American history, women’s studies, pop culture, and humanism. As the co-facilitator and writer for The Old State Capitol’s "Living History" program in Springfield, Illinois, she developed versatile dramatic material and programming for historic sites, and frequently performed one of her pieces as Frances Dana Barker Gage, noted 19th-century abolitionist. Her produced plays include RPM (Revolutions Per Minute), Bitter Pills, The Maybe Pile, Everybody Has One, and I’ve Got Nothing to Do Today But Smile, About Face, and A Giant Leap. She is a company member of Ohio City Theatre Project (OCTP), and has served as dramaturge for their production of The Bald Soprano, as well as dramaturge/co-creator for their original production of Free Radical and The Late Night Sketchbook. OCTP will also produce Arwen's full-length vaudeville-style play Snake Oil (or, Kilbride & Delacourt's Forever Remedy - A Night's Entertainment) in the spring of 2015.  She is the recipient of the second Nord Playwriting Fellowship at Cleveland Public Theatre. Arwen holds an MS in Theatre History & Criticism from Illinois State University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Spalding University. She is a member of the Dramatist's Guild. 

Gary Brown: Writing Editor-at-Large, The Canton Repository
Gary Brown has worked at the The Repository for more than 40 years as a staff writer, columnist, and lifestyles section editor. Since 1976, Brown has written a humor column, and since 1984, he has written a series of weekly historical articles entitled The Monday After, publishing a collection of those articles through The Repository in the 1990s. Brown serves on The Repository's 200th Anniversary Committee. He is involved with planning and writing historical articles for the four special sections that the newspaper plans to publish over the next 12 months, as well as other in-house bicentennial projects.

Leslie Heaphy: Associate Professor of History, Kent State University at Stark


Louis WilliamsLouis Williams: Scenic & Lighting Designer
Louis Williams is the resident technical director, and scenic and lighting designer, at Kent State Stark and has designed over 200 productions in 30 years in theatre, opera, ballet and rock-n-roll. This includes work with such theatre companies as: The American Ballet Theatre II, The Joffrey Ballet II, The Arizona Theatre Company, The Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis, The Kenley Players, The Ohio Light Opera, The Cleveland Opera, The Cinncinnati Opera, Southern Arizona Light Opera Company, Carousel Dinner Theatre, The Agora, Cleveland Ohio, The Temple Of Music And Art, Tucson, Arizona, ChildsPlay Inc, of Phoenix, Arizona, and The Scottsdale Civic Center, Scottsdale, Arizona. Read more about Louis Williams.

Ron JarvisRon Jarvis: Sound Designer
You might recognize Ron Jarvis as a performer, producer, music director, and/or composer for such stalwart North East Ohio acts as The Buckeye Biscuit Band, Ital, First Light, Alex Bevan, Pat Dailey and, most recently, Macaw; the American Worldbeat Band.  He is also an adjunct faculty member at Kent State where he has taught Art of the Theatre and Theatre Criticism classes as well as the three part series of Sound Design and Technology classes for the Entertainment Arts and Technologies certificates program. Ron has worked with world renowned directors Vincent Dowling (composition for The Winter’s Tale at Kent State) as well as Ping Chong (Blindness: The Irresistible Light Of Encounter at La Mama Theatre in NYC) and has served as a live mix consultant at Geauga Lake and Cedar Point Amusement Parks. Although his first sound design for Kent State Stark was for the 2002 production of Dancing at Lughnasa, since 2007 he has designed many of the Kent State Stark theatrical productions including Oklahoma!, The Marriage of Bette and Boo, Into the Woods, The Revenger’s Tragedy, The Mikado, Crazy for YouDating is Tough to Do...and Funny, Too!, Songs for a New World, Plumfield, Iraq, Evil Dead: The Musical and Anton in Show Business.

Stephen OstertagStephen Ostertag: Costume Designer
Stephen is a theatre graduate of Kent State University, who is excited to be involved in the Kent State Stark theatre scene, where he was costume designer for Almost, Maine and Spring Awakening, costume design assistant for The Crucible, scenic/lighting design assistant for the production of Buried Child, crew for One Slight Hitch and was part of the writing ensemble for Voices from Hurt Street. Some of his favorite onstage credits include Lennie in Of Mice and Men, The Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz, and Nick in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. Stephen also enjoys directing, writing and designing. When not busy with his two children, Stephen runs the Silver Star Youth Theatre Company with his wife, Tricia. 

Jessica Swank: Assistant Director
Jessica is a recent theatre production graduate at Kent State University. She has been involved in acting and technical work at the high school, community and professional level. Due to her interest and love of every facet of theatre she has found herself drawn to directing, and hopes to someday have her own theater for children with emotional/behavioral disabilities, and mental illness. Some of her roles include Merv in Our House and Mom in Blur at Kent State Stark; Jessica in Merchant of Venice at Canton Player's Guild, Maria in West Side Story at GlenOak High School, Macduff/3rd Witch in Macbeth with the Bodwin Portable Theatre Company, Pace in The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek at Dobama Theater. She also served as assistant director for Spring Awakening and costume design assistant for Maiden's Prayer.

Breanna Morton: Co-Stage Manager
Breanna is a sophomore at Kent State Stark, majoring in Theatre Management. She graduated from Hoover High School in North Canton where she performed in Les Misérables and Beauty and the Beast; worked on Peter PanAidaHarveyThe Paper ChaseWizard of Oz, and It's a Wonderful Life; and she also was stage manager for It's Murder in the WingsYou're a Good Man, Charlie BrownAladdin Jr., Blur and Almost, Maine. She hopes to one day move to New York City and work as a stage manager for Broadway shows.

Jered Rossow: Co-Stage Manager
Jered is a design/technology theatre major who is a Stark and Kent Campus veteran. His previous credits include stage manager for The Maiden's Prayer and Almost, Maine, crew on Evil Dead: The Musical and The Crucible; costume design assistant on Anton in Show Business; sound design assistant on Buried Child; assistant stage manager for I Love You Because; and sound/multimedia assistant for Voices from Hurt Street at Kent State Stark. At the Kent Campus, he worked as assistant stage manager on the student run production of Sondheim: A Celebration and the main stage production of You Can't Take It With You. He also production stage managed the Student Theatre Festival last April. He is beyond excited to be continuing his last year at Stark with The Bicentennial Project, and at Kent with the Kent Dance Ensemble. 

Samantha Wadsworth: Assistant Stage Manager
Sean Carson
: Multimedia Design Assistant


James McKeon: Multimedia Design Assistant
James is a music technology major at Kent State Stark. He has an extensive background in music performance and writing, as well as painting. James has performed in various bands since 5th grade, and has created original artwork all his life. He learned about scenic design through his first full theatre experience at Kent State Stark with Evil Dead: The Musical and again as scenic/lighting design assistant in Spring Awakening and Almost, Maine. He recently was a crew member for The Maiden's PrayerCat's-Paw, Our HouseOne Slight Hitch and Blur. James works as a theatre technician for the Kent State Stark Theatre Department.

David Sponhour: Sound Design Assistant
David has been active in theater for over 30 years. He has performed on many local stages, and acted at Kent State Stark in Cat’s PawBuried Child and One Slight Hitch, where he is a full time theatre student. David served as assistant director for Voices from Hurt Street, sound design assistant for The Maiden's Prayer, and crew for Spring Awakening, Blur and Almost, Maine. He is also a founding member of “Scared Scriptless," Canton’s premiere professional Improv troupe. Some of his favorite past performances include Crumpet in Santaland Diaries, Comet in The Eight: Reindeer Monologues, Jerry in Zoo Story, and Hal in Proof starring All My Children’s David Canary. He spends what little free time he has with his wonderful, spectacular, and supportive wife, Christine.

Anthony Antoniades: Crew
Anthony Antoniades appeared in Huck Finn’s StoryDating Is Tough To Do...And Funny, Too!Plumfield, IraqBuried Child and Blur at Kent State Stark, where he also stage managed Songs for a New World and Evil Dead: The Musical, served as lighting design assistant for Anton in Show Business and served as crew for Almost, Maine. He is a theatre major at Kent State.

Layla O'Neal: Crew