Theatre productions have often been developed and designed as touring projects. Many of these productions have been written and produced by Rio faculty and students. Several of these have been performed in New York City in Midtown theatres. Several of our projects toured for as much as eight years and played to schools and communities over a five state area.
“Schoolhouse Scholars” are area young people from ages 6-16, who perform poetry, stories and sing songs that take audiences back to the one- room schoolhouse traditions of recitations and recess. Initially the group performed the poetry of James Whitcomb Riley in 2010.
"The Night Abbie Hoffman Spent at Rio" is research-based readers theatre about the culture of the campus in 1969, when campuses accross the nation were in turmoil. Rio students from that time are providing memories and artifacts along with their reflective assessments of how that event affected them. Current Rio students are researching and writing the project for performance in the Spring semester.
“Morgan’s Raiders” a script by Jack Hart that depicts the eyewitness accounts of the confederate soldiers entering Jackson and Meigs counties, culminating in the second battle of the Civil War occurring north of the Mason-Dixon Line, at Buffington Island.
“The Telephone” is an English-language comic opera in one act by Gian Carlo Menotti, both words and music. It was written for production by the Ballet Society and was first presented on a double bill with Menotti's The Medium at the Heckscher Theater, New York City, February 18-20, 1947. “The Medium” is a short (one hour long) two-act dramatic opera with words and music by Gian Carlo Menotti. Commissioned by Columbia University, its first performance was there on 8 May 1946. This project is slated for performance in Spring of 2013 with students and community members at the URG theatre.
“That Was Bob” is a project that combines video interviews by Di Jones (Welsh television celebrity) visiting with Bob, as he relates his family history and the history of the company that bears his name. The performance is set in a small diner with a variety of local characters (waitresses, truck drivers, farmers, sportsmen, employees, relatives) who all have stories about the colorful character beneath the white Stetson. This project had its first performance July 13 and 14, 2012 on the Farm stage by the Homestead, and featured music along with the memories .
“Our Welsh Neighbors” is comprised of stories by Evan Davis, Brooks Jones, Betty Jenkins (and many others who) who recall and relate the deeds and the mis-deeds of the local Welsh Americans, first performed in December of 2011.
“Lonesome Valley” is a reader’s theatre project based on the book by D. Brooks Jones that recounts his youth in Jackson, Ohio and subsequent stories of his life. The production was performed in the spring of 2010, by students of Trinity College of Carmarthen, Wales. The show performed to sold out audiences in New York City at the Producer’s Club on 46th Street.
“Prince Madog” the script by Jack Hart that features the legend or the Welsh Prince who discovered and settled in North America, with his crew of sailors, 300 years before Christopher Columbus. This project is well suited to outdoor theatre and can be enriched by music.
“New Worlds” is a script from four years ago, that can be revived as an outdoor drama, featuring the Welsh Immigrants who journey down the Ohio River to arrive and settle in Gallia County in 1813. The script is based on the accounts of the early settlers of Jackson and Gallia counties.
“Stories From Deer Hill” was a storytelling project in 2011 and 2012 that resulted in performances in several locations in Ohio, including the Rio campus. This project is flexible and can be revised and enhanced, in affiliation with the’ Appalachian Ohio Storytelling Project’ and Thomas Burnett.
“Jesse Stuart Stories” by Greenup County native and beloved local author, depicting farm life in the 1920’s in Appalachia just forty miles from campus. A theatrical production revival of scripts that were originally produced by Rio Grande and toured to schools and communities for eight years over a five state area.
“Out of the Red Brush” revival of the script that toured from 1987 to 1996 throughout Ohio to high school and adult audiences, depicting life in Jackson County in the early 1900’s. Includes original music.
“Gallia Country” revives the outdoor drama (musical pageant) that performed on the Bob Evans Farm for six summers during the 1970’s, and attracted multi-state audiences.
“River of Freedom” stories of the underground railroad that relate to the Ohio River and the roll Gallia, Meigs and the region played in the years leading up to the Civil War.
“The 56th” includes stories of the volunteer infantry that was formed in Jackson County and Gallia County to fight in the Civil War with the campaigns that were led by Ulysses S. Grant. This division included 150 Welsh Americans from the local communities who still spoke Welsh and comprised the largest number of Welsh-Americans in any regiment of the War.