K.L.'s Bog: A Diary of Artful Things

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Tue, Oct 06, 2020

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I'M BACK HOME!:
Autumn Vacation 2020 in South East Ohio

Well my eight days of vacation came to an end when I get back to my apartment about 1:00 Sunday. It was a great time and I was really bummed Sunday morning as I was packing my car to come home.

I have started working on my accounting of the trip, which I'll post as soon as I can -- hopefully sooner rather than later, but you know how that goes?

In the meantime, as a teaser, here are a few pictures, spanning the range of the week.

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My tent pitched at Burr Oak State Park.
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Sitting at one of my Burr Oak fire pits.
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My Wolf's Den cabin at Thunder Ridge Cabins.
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Some laptop work on the Wolf's Den deck.
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At Rock House.
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At Cantwell Cliffs
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At Clear Creek Metro Park.
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A dashcam photo I took at some point on the trip.
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My most excellent veggie pizza at Pizza Crossing in Logan.
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The Mockingbird cabin -- though I'd really call it a cottage -- at Best Nest Cabins.
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By a pond on the Best Nest property.
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Doing the hot tub on the Mockingbird deck.

38 Years Sober
A week ago today, I achieved thirty-eight years of sobriety. I have scribbled out some words that I've posted, though after-the-fact, on the actual date of the anniversary. The post didn't appear until the same time as this post. Click here to read it, if you're interested, that is.



MUSIC ON VACATION:
My Music
Autumn Vacation 2020 in South East Ohio
Song number 7 in progress
Song number 6 in progress

K.L. on Bass
If you've been here before you may know that I took both the Embassy Pro bass and the Giannini acoustic bass with me on Autumn Vacation 2020. I'm happy to say I utilized them both. I started a new song on the acoustic and I worked out the synthesized bass line for "Identity" on the Embassy.

I sat on the porch of the Wolf's Den cabin at Thunder Ridge Cabins to start the new song, which has the workship title of "Chilled October Morning." I stuck the capo on the fifth fret of the Giannini and created the chord structure, which is not finalized yet. I started the lyrics Thursday morning, on the deck of the cabin, which happened to be a chilled October morning.

A big goal was to at least get a big chunk of the synthesized bass line for "Identity" worked out, and I accomplished that. It's not perfected, there are still some things to finess before I'm ready to record. But a lot of progress was made.

I'll write more on these in the official account ot the vacation. Meanwhile here are some pictures from those moments:

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On the Wolf's Den porch composing the new "Chilled October Morning."
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More work on "Chilled October Morning" at the fire pit at Best Nest Cabins.
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Working on the synth bass line for "Identity" in the Mockingbird cabin at Best Nest.



Wed, Oct 07, 2020

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MORE ON THAT MUSIC I WORKED ON DURING MY VACATION:
My Music
Autumn Vacation 2020 in South East Ohio
Song number 7 in progress
Song number 6 in progress
VIDEO PRODUCTION STUFF ICON

Since returning home from Autumn vacation 2020 I haven't worked on music, at least not directly. What I have done is edit together a DV movie that I shot last Saturday while I was at Mockingbird Cabin at Best Nest Cabins. I'd shot myself playing a little sampler of the new song (Song #7; workshop title: "Chilled October Morning"), and I shot myself playing a bit of the synthesized bass line that I worked out for "Identity" while on the same vacation. I performed that bass line for the camera -- (iPhone, actually) -- accompanied by playback of the tracks already laid for the song. Well, honestly, it's sans the vocal track, which as I have expressed before, I really don't want anyone to hear; it's only value is as a guide track. Monday night and last night I sat down at Final Cut Pro X with the footage, along with a collection of relevant still photography shots, and edited together the following video. It probably has too much auxiliary business included, but, here it is, anyway:




TWENTY-THREE YEARS AGO:
On a Personal Note icon

It's very odd to think that today is the twenty-third anniversary of the passing of my mother. Just like one day you turn around and some kid you've known is a full-blown adult, whether they are your child, another relative, or a friend's little one. It's the same with our loved ones who have died. The next thing you know the decades have multiplied. And in both these scenarios, how often do we catch ourselves saying, "It seems like just yesterday."



Fri, Oct 09, 2020

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John Lennon -- Born 80 Years Ago, Tiday


Mon, Oct 12, 2020

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I VOTED TODAY!







Thu, Oct 15, 2020

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WORKIN' ON "IDENTITY":
My Music
K.L. on Bass
Song number 6 in progress

Since I've been back from Autumn vacation 2020, until last night I had not done any music stuff, except to edit together the DV movie I recently posted. I keep getting down to close to the end of the evening and I don;t feel like unpacking everything and setting it up. So I kept saying to myself, "Tomorrow. I'll do something tomorrow."

Yesterday I decided to short-circuit that bullshit. Before I "went to the office" (you know, set my work stuff up out on my apartment patio), I set everything up in the little "music corner" of my bedroom to work on music in the evening.

So, last night, after an eleven-day break, I finally sat back down with the Embassy Pro and the SY-1 Guitar Synthesizer Pedal and further rehearsed the synthesized bass line for Song #6/"Identity." I still don't have it worked out to the point that it's ready to record, but I have come much closer. I made some further little tweaks to the arrangement of the part last night. There are still some places where I'd like to, I don't know, I guess "liven it up" might be the right term.

When I was done last night, I left pretty much everything set up to work on it some more, so that it's readily available and setting there as a strong taunt for me when I'm home tonight. It would be more than grand if I was able to have a finished, locked take of this part recorded before the end of the weekend. Actually, before the weekend would be good, too.

Yeah, before the weekend would definitely be better. Then maybe I could start working on that troublesome vocal melody.

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The little "corner of the bedroom" recording studio set-up, all set up, early in the day for later in the night.
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It's time to rehearse!
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So: rehearse!



DEJA VU ALL OVER AGAIN:
WORKING FROM HOME icon
COVID-19

Just because I haven’t recently posted any photos of me at my home office in no way meant that I was finished doing so. As I wrote before, I will be working out there until the weather no longer permits it. So, there I was yesterday. Might have been dressed a little warmer, but, no problem.
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TAKIN' THE OPPORTUNITY FOR SOME THEATRE MAKE0VER:
Dayton Theatre Guild
COVID-19
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New DTG board member Michael Welly

While we have been on this unfortunate, extended intermission from productions we have been taking advantage of the down time to do a lot of different sort of work at the theatre. There's been some clean up and clean out, some organizing, and lately, a lot of painting.

I missed a bit of the painting, once because I felt sick, and then i missed several sessions that took place while I was on Autumn vacation 2020.

But, this past Saturday, I was able to be there to pitch in. I actually had been scheduled to be a reader for the current Ohio Playwrights Circle play writing class, which is meeting on-line, but I canceled my participation in that in order to be free to do work at The Guild during the same times.

There was a good turnout Saturday, in these COVID-19 days, anyway. You kind of don't want too many people, but too few isn't great, either. Some of the stalwart regulars were there and two of our new members for 2020/2021 were there. Michael Welly and Edward Hill.

We only were there for a few hours, but a lot was done. A lot has been done prior, and I'm kind of jealous that I didn't play a part on a lot of it.

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The new look for the lobby wall.
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DTG board members Kathy Mola (bending over) & Sarah Saunders (on ladder) paint the board room.
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Me (K.L.) touching up some spots outside the men's restroom.
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Board members Jeff Sams & Edward Hill (new)
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Edward, again, doing to fine-touch work.
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Veteran board members Barbara Jorgensen (back) & Carol Finley (foreground)
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PIZZA!!!!!!
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Kathy, again, in the board room
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The hallway behind the main stage.



Sun, Oct 18, 2020

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My Civic Duty, My VOTE

Image of Ohio Board of Eelctions web page that states the status of my (K.L.Storer's)absentee ballot for the 2020 General U.S. election: "Date arrpoved for counting: 10/12/2020. You ballot has been received and is being in the elction results"

YaY!




STILL WORKIN' ON "IDENTITY":
My Music
K.L. on Bass
Song number 6 in progress

Yep, lately, all of my instrumental practice has been on the Embassy Pro, running through the SY-1 Guitar Synthesizer Pedal, trying to perfect (or some approximation of "perfecting") that synth bass line for Song #6/"Identity."

The synth bass is taking the solos during both the bridges between verses. It's simple stuff, but, really, ought to be. I like what I've worked out, but it's not singling me out as the new Jaco Pastorius, or anything. But, again, the lead work in those spots really feels like it should be simple stuff -- which is a good thing.

There is a lead guitar section later in the song, which I hope whoever the guitarist is does not keep simple. I do have someone I've approached about laying the electric guitar for this. At some point I'll pursue that. I'd like to get the rest of the tracks laid first, get that vocal line and performance where I want it, especially. Also, I plan to add "horns," which will be on one or both of my Yamaha keyboards. I'm not sure if I'll add the organ voice from my Williams piano or not. I'm also not sure yet whether background vocals are necessary. After I have this other stuff laid I make those decisions.

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Rehearsing, once again, the synthesized bass line for "Identity," last night/early this morning.



WELL, IT IS MID-OCTOBER IN OHIO:
WORKING FROM HOME icon
COVID-19
So, damn, it was just a little too nippy out Friday for the usual home-office set-up. I had to work from my actual office set-up inside my apartment.

By the way, you can't tell but on the screen in that first photo is the Biden/Harris election website, where I was just about to make a donation.

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BOWING TO THE INEVITABLE:
Dayton Theatre Guild
COVID-19
POSTPONED
Dayton Theatre Guild -- "See you in AUGUST 2021"
ANNOUNCEMENT
PRODUCTIONS POSTPONED

We regret that due to the on-going coronavirus pandemic we are postponing our live performances until August of 2021, when we plan to kick off our 2021/2022 season.

Your health and safety, and that of our volunteers, casts, and production crews is of the utmost concern. We have come to this difficult decision as so many of our fellow arts organizations, both local and around the world, have done.

We look forward to offering you a robust season when we open. Please stay tuned for information on upcoming productions and ticket information.

During the pandemic, and as we approach the end of the year, the Dayton Theatre Guild would appreciate any monetary donation, in any amount you are able to make. All donations will be used to help keep the Guild viable until we are able to reopen to the public.

We have been fortunate to have your loyal patronage for all these years, and we are impatient to get back to the business of "Giving You Good Theatre, Done Well!"

Be well and stay safe!

At our DTG board meeting yesterday morning we made the painful decision to cancel the truncated season we were going to launch this February. The coronavirus pandemic is simply not calmed down enough for it to be a safe and sane proposition to open our doors then.

Plus, in practical terms, the current Ohio mandates on inside theatres does not allow us to have a "full house" of a size that would have a ticket gross that would even cover the royalty fee for that performance.

There's just not a pro side to the February opening, and there are many cons -- of course, risk to health and safety being the biggest con. That would be the risk to health and safety of our audience members, to the cast members and production staff of the shows, and to the boardmembers and other volunteers.

All the board members were in agreement. It was not difficult for us to realize that postponement was the only action to take. I think we've all known for a while now, as we have been watching the news of new cases of COVID-19 surging in our state. In fact, our region of the state has been one of those seeing bigger surges.

It was a difficult decision to make, however, in that it certainly is not at all how we want it to be. But, this is how it is, and we have to act in accordance with the reality of the situation.

But, in a nut shell: it sucks!



Tue, Oct 20, 2020

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AND STILL WORKIN' ON "IDENTITY":
My Music
K.L. on Bass
Song number 6 in progress

fb post -- "'Hey! Try playing like a goddamn musician!' Loving words of encouragement I give myself as I try to perfect a part for a song."

Still spending all my music time on the Embassy Pro and the SY-1 Guitar Synthesizer Pedal, working on the synth bass line for "Identity." I spent time on it last night and I was getting a little irritated with myself. As I commented to a friend, who commented on the facebook post above: "I'm both J.K. Simmons and Miles Teller in Whiplash -- that's what having a perfectionist's mentality does for me. Or is that 'to' me?"

Self-castigation aside, at least I can point to the fact that I am at the point of finetuning, and it's the missing the mark of a perfomance of a instrumental part that is challenging, at least for a musician of my ilk. And I can look to the point that when I am playing the part to my satisfaction I will have improved as a musician.

I've also pretty much honed down the arrangement of the part to what I want. So the arranger/composer part of the synth bass line is essentially done. There may be some minor adjustments, but ultimately I know what I want to play. Now it's just a question of executing the performance.

When I was rehearsing last night I didn't use the headphones for most of time, instead running the mix through monitor speakers. I usually don't do that at the apartment for a couple reasons. First, the obvious reason that I don't wish to disturb my neighbors. Also, however, I'm not keen to draw too much attention to the fact that music equipment lives in the apartment. But I wasn't exactly blasting the music last night, and as it got later, I did switch to monitoring with my headphones.

The rehearsal started with the TV on. I gave it a try, watching TV while rehearsing. Had I been just doing exercises it would have worked. I've done that before. But I was working on a specific part, so it did not work. I was either concentrating too much on the part to be at all paying attention to the TV, or, frankly, the music out of the monitors drawned the TV out. I don't even know why I imagined it would work. By the way, that's My Boys on the screen, one of my personal favorite sit-coms, starring one of my major celebrity crushes, Jordana Spiro.

Ultimately, TV aside, regardless of my critical verbal assaults on myself as I was working to perfect the arrangement and the performance of this synth bass line, there was progress. Whether that was because of, or in spite of, my harsh attitude toward myself, I can't answer. That wish I expressed in the Oct 15 post to have the synth bass line laid by the end of this past weekend, clearly was not realized. I've also just figured out that I've been actively working on "Identity" for over three months, and it's been two months since I first laid official tracks on the multi-track master.

Yeah, this project isn't going to be on the home stretch any time soon.

xxxx
xxxx
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Watching TV while I worked on the part didn't really work out.
And, of course, the standard second and third photos from the session.



PLAYWRIGHT WORK:
The Writer icon
Final Draft 11 icon

Of late I am seriously considering hosting an on-line, virtual private reading, probably via Zoom of the play manuscript. All three of my original readers are on board, contigent, of course, on their schedules. A cursory look at things makes it seem like the early November period is a good candidate range for a date.

I have a new revision of draft #5 that I polished off Sunday. Only one of the actors has seen any rendition of draft 5. For her, the changes will be subtle. The other two will see a significantly different starting and ending of the play. We know, naturally, that there's no guarantee that there won't be more revision before any reading takes place. It would all be minor, i think, but certainly not off the table.

click here to go to the index of the "Playwright Work" blog entries



stay tuned for a link in this spot to the new K.L.'S FINE ARTS VITA
Meanwhile, click here for K.L.'s up-to-date résumé




Thu, Oct 22, 2020

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Vote.org -- Everything you need to vote
My Civie Duty, My Vote
  • Are you voting in-person or by absentee ballot?
  • What are the rules in your state for absentee ballots?
  • Are you mailing or dropping off your absentee ballot?
  • Do you know where to drop off your ballot?
  • Are you voting early?
  • Where is your polling location?
  • How are you getting to your polling location?
  • Do you know the answer to these questions? Have you devised your plan for voting in the 2020 General Election?
    Your vote has ALWAYS been important, but this time maybe more than ever before in your life.

    www.vote.org

    "Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting."
    -- President Franklin Delano Roosevelt
    "For this Nation to remain true to its principles, we cannot allow any American's vote to be denied, diluted, or defiled. The right to vote is the crown jewel of American liberties, and we will not see its luster diminished."
    -- President Ronald Reagan

    COVID-19 INFORMATION LINKS





    THAT |)@|\/||\| "IDENTITY" SYTHN BASS LINE!:
    My Music
    K.L. on Bass
    Song number 6 in progress
    Last night I continued rehearsing the bass synth line for "Identity." on my Embassy Pro and my SY-1 Guitar Synthesizer Pedal. I'm getting closer to the performance I want, but I still ain't there! I've yet to exactly perfect the arrangement of that instrument during the chorus section, though I came to several decisions last night. And I have some performance finesses to master. There are a few places where I need to hit the execution consistently with the dynamics I want in those spots. There's also still a little run during the bridge between verses three and four that I am not playing to my satisfaction. It needs to be cleaner and it needs to be faster.


    Tools of the Trade icon
    Meanwhile, I'm not getting the sustain for a note (high B) that I want on the string I'd rather play it on (D). I've had to adjust for at least the early part of the song and play that B on the A string. The reason is simple: my strings need to be cleaned. There are several ways to clean them. In the past I've boiled them, but I don't want to take them off. That's also why I don't plan to soak them in either rubbing alchohol or white vinegar, both which are options. So, Tuesday I went to Sweetwater and ordered several guitar cleaning items:
    Beyond cleaning fluid for the strings, there are also two microfiber brushes of different widths for cleaning the strings and other parts of the guitar. There's guitar polish and fretboard conditioner. For good measure, I bought some extra microfiber cloths, though one comes with the Lizard kit. The stuff arrived today, so one of my first orders of business when I get home is to clean all three basses.

    I'm also in the process of looking for a good pickup for my Giannini acoustic bass. It has a built-in electric pickup, but the signal is weak on the E string. It's been recommended by one guitar tech that it's more cost-efficient and practical to add a soundhole pickup rather than to replace the built-in pickup. However, the sales rep at Sweetwater thinks I might be better off with what is called a piezo pickup.

    The difference between the two is essentially that a soundhole pickup is a standard guitar pickup that is fixed, literally, in the acoustic guitar's soundhole, right under the strings. It picks up the sound vibrations from the strings. A piezo is usually installed under the guitar bridge and it picks up and translates the vibration from the body. There are pros and cons to both. This blog article, "Acoustic Piezo vs. Soundhole Pickups – What’s the Difference?," touches on most of them.

    By the time I get to the point of recording Song #7/(workshop title: "Chilled October Morning"), I want a new pickup on my Giannini. I don't want to have to mic it. That is, whenever I get to the point of recording it. I'm not done writing it yet, and I haven't done anything with it since I got back from Autumn Vacation 2020.

    xxxx
    xxxx
    xxxx
    Continuing to "Perfect"(?) the synthesized bass on "Identity," last night.



    WORKING ON SITE icon
    COVID-19
    As I write this post, I'm at lunch, sitting outside, on-site, under the overhang, at the rent-payer.

    I'll probably go on to do a little bit of HTML work on the "soon"-to-come post about Autumn Vacation 2020. That's what I did at lunch, on-site, Tuesday, only at my desk.

    xxxx
    xxxx
    xxxx
    Lunch time Tuesday at work, working on the eventual Autumn Vacation 2020 recounting that will be posted here.



    On TV icon
    THE WEST WING "Hatsfield Landing" When We All Vote banner - picture of Martin Sheen as President Bartlet wth the text already stated here.

    If you have HBO Max or would be inclined to get it, even temporarily, and if you are a fan of the TV show, The West Wing, I highly recommend the special reunion re-staging of one of the show's episodes, "Hartsfield's Landing," (S3:E15). The re-staging was shot quite recently and is a beautiful marriage of theatre staging and television production. It was done in partnership with When We All Vote a bipartisan movement to get out the vote for this upcoming U.S. general election.


    Paul McCartney logo -- Extreme close-up of his eyes behind his autpgraph signature
    The name "McCartney" on a mostly black background with a die standing oin its corner and the three-dot side facing

    In late 1969 and early 1970, Paul McCartney recorded his first solo album, McCartney, playing all the instruments himself. It was made during a bad period for Paul. The Beatles were in the downward spiral that was going to soon result in their disbanding.

    Ten years later, Paul again recorded an album all on his own -- McCartney II. Again, crap had hit the fan. He'd been busted in Japan for possession of marijuana and had to spend, two weeks, I believe, in jail -- yeah, it absolutely could have been worse. His new band, Wings, had been scheduled to tour Japan, but the bust ended that. And the band split at that point.

    Forty years after that, Paul was sequestered on his farm in Sussex, due to this COVID-19 insanity, and he has created McCartney III, which will release this coming December 11. Again, all Paul and only Paul.

    If you know me at all, you know my rection is:

    YaY!



    email me at KL_Storer@yahoo.com. www.facebook.com/klstorer; Instagram - KL_Storer; Twitter @klstorer









    PROMOTIONS:

    BE OR NOT, a movie by K.L.Storer. Starring Natasha Randall and Craig Roberts. Director of photography, Fred Boomer



    Still for sale, 'STILL ME' on DVD, http://brookwoodfilms.com/buy.html
    As an actor I was privileged to have a small roll in this multi-award winning, very touching, most poignant short film. I was further privileged to accept the award, on behalf of Beth McElhenny, for Best Family Film at the 2008 Secret City Film Festival in Oakridge, Tennessee. The film has won awards far more than that one time. Click on the image to go to the official site and see the successes, thus far.



    AND NOW, TO PROMOTE SOME THEATRE....

    Dayton Theatre Guild

    Dayton Theatre Guild -- "See you in AUGUST 2021"
    ANNOUNCEMENT -- PRODUCTIONS POSTPONED

    We regret that due to the on-going coronavirus pandemic we are postponing our live performances until August of 2021, when we plan to kick off our 2021/2022 season.

    Your health and safety, and that of our volunteers, casts, and production crews is of the utmost concern. We have come to this difficult decision as so many of our fellow arts organizations, both local and around the world, have done.

    We look forward to offering you a robust season when we open. Please stay tuned for information on upcoming productions and ticket information.

    During the pandemic, and as we approach the end of the year, the Dayton Theatre Guild would appreciate any monetary donation, in any amount you are able to make. All donations will be used to help keep the Guild viable until we are able to reopen to the public.

    We have been fortunate to have your loyal patronage for all these years, and we are impatient to get back to the business of "Giving You Good Theatre, Done Well!"

    Be well and stay safe!
    Dayton Theatre Guild




    And, if you live close by or will be visiting soon, check out these other theatres in the greater Dayton Ohio area:

  • Beavercreek Community Theatre
  • Bespoke Theatre *(facebook page) -- Dayton
  • The Black Box Improv Theatre -- Dayton
  • Brookville Community Theatre
  • Caesar's Ford Theatre, Inc -- Xenia
  • Cedarville University -- Cedarville
  • Clark State Community College Theatre Program -- Springfield
  • Dare to Defy Productions -- Dayton
  • Dayton Playhouse
  • Encore Theater Company -- Dayton
  • Epiphany Players Drama Ministry -- Dayton
  • Human Race Theatre Company -- Dayton
  • Lebanon Theatre Company -- Lebanon
  • La Comedia Dinner Theatre -- Springboro
  • The Magnolia Theatre Company -- Dayton
  • The Playground Theatre -- Dayton
  • Sinclair Community College Theatre -- Dayton
  • Springboro Community Theatre
  • Springfield Civic Theatre
  • Springfield StageWorks
  • Tipp City Players Community Theatre
  • Town Hall Theatre -- Centerville
  • Troy Civic Theatre -- Troy
  • Undercroft Players -- Dayton
  • University of Dayton *U.D. link is here, but it seems difficult to find the season at the site
  • Victoria Theatre Association -- Dayton
  • Wright State University -- Beavercreek
  • X*ACT: Xenia Area Community Theater
  • Yellow Springs Center Stage -- Yellow Springs
  • Young at Heart Players -- Dayton
  • tHe Zoot Theatre Company -- Dayton
  • KNOW OF A LOCAL THEATRE COMPANY THAT SHOULD
    BE ADDED? LET ME KNOW AT KL_Storer@yahoo.com

    That is, one within a 60 minute
    drive from the Dayton, Ohio area




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